Ok so this is my first post typed on a dirty iPhone coming to you live from a washroom power socket via dodgy campsite wifi. There will be typos, iffy grammar and interruptions whenever someone wants to use the sink. But apparently I've been slow on the updates and you people want to know how things are going, and more specifically whether I've got blisters in rude places (negative, owing mostly to liberal applications of Vaseline from the industrial sized tub I packed in order to defeat the dreaded chafe).
First things first: it's been 6 days since I left Vancouver and since then I've been up and down at least 7 mountains, been bitten by numerous winged beasts (I'd like to call them something else but my mum is reading) and got the weirdest tan, sorry, burn lines known to man. But most importantly I've covered 571 km to my current camp at Christina Lake. My top speed was 60.4 km/h and my longest haul was 171 km from Manning Park to Osooyoos. But these are just numbers and mean nothing really.
They say the hardest steps on any journey are the ones out of your front door. That is particularly true when trying to exit a basement with a fully loaded tourer slightly hungover at 6 am. But I prevailed and after the obligatory photos I waved goodbye to Auntie Liz and wobbled off to meet Greg who escorted me out of Vancouver. Before I left I thought it would be neat to dip my wheel in the Pacific, and do the same in the Atlantic in a couple of months. If I thought getting the bike out of the basement was hard dragging it back up Kits beach was even harder. But again we managed it between us with a lot of grunting. Greg left me about 15 km outside of Vancouver and that was it. Go time!
Since then a ton of stuff has happened, too much to bang on about here. So I'll just include the best bits and tell you the rest when I get home mmmkay? Good. At a place called Mission I stopped at the visitors info centre to get some campsite advice but mostly to take advantage of their air con. The ladies in there were super sweet and super helpful and we spent a while chatting about the what's, why's and wherefore's of my trip. This old guy on a bike turns up and comes bursting through the door yelling something about cycle lanes and how the signposts suck. Turns out he's called Wally and he's the neighbour of one of the ladies who work at the centre. We chit chat about bikes for a bit, then the ladies tell him what I'm doing and why. This guy comes up and shakes my hand then gives me the biggest hug ever, like a bear hug properly lifts me off my feet. He apologises for being sweaty, tells me "atta girl you show em" shakes my hand again then jumps back on his bike to ride a round trip to the next town Harrison Mills a good 30 km away. Apparently he does this nearly everyday and has done for years. One of those super fit old men that will go on forever. Only after he's gone his neighbour takes me aside and says Wally is dying from leukaemia and has months to live. Hence the bear hug. Now everyday the first few km of my ride I cycle for Wally.
Vancouver to Lake Errock - 115 km
Lake Errock to Hope - 56 km
Hope to Mule Deer (Manning Park) - 79 km
Mule Deer to Osoyoos - 171 km
Osoyoos to Midway - 77 km
Midway to Christina Lake - 73
Mileage is currently limited by the next populated area where I can camp, as I'm in grizzly country and don't fancy tenting alone. Plus I have implemented a 2 mountain daily limit for the sake of my poor old knees.