Posted by: cyclingcanadacoast2coast | 17 May 2011

What a season!

Well I had intended to keep blogging over the winter but I’ve been having so much fun that I never seemed to have time. My life has either been work or skiing for the last 4 1/2 months. Apologies to everyone I haven’t been emailing. However now that I’m unemployed again I have plenty of time to bring everyone up to date!

I think I’ve been spoilt this year as Fernie had it’s best season for a long time. We had over 11 metres of snow and on the last day of the season the snow pack was still over 4 1/2 metres and we had 60cm of fresh snow. I managed to ski on 63 days of the season and many of those were with a massive grin on my face, whooping at the top of my voice, as I floated through fresh, deep powder! Oh the joy! I will never get tired of that feeling! I had to buy myself a big fat pair of powder skis in January which I used for the rest of the season except on 2 days. I also managed to acquaint myself with all the sphincter clenching double black diamond runs I missed last time I was here!

Fernie

Cedar Bowl

Currie Bowl

Fernie wasn’t the only place I skied. I managed to get away in January to Whitefish in Montana for a few days with friends. I also met up with friends from home in Kicking Horse near Golden which is another great place to ski. One of the highlights of the season was the day of cat skiing I did at Fernie Wilderness Adventures. A group of 14 of us spent the day being taken up the mountain in a converted piste basher and then skiing down untracked fresh powder, heaven! It’s the poor man’s version of heli-skiing! In January I also took a ski instructor course and I am now a CSIA level one ski instructor.

Cat Skiing

Cat skiing at Fernie Wilderness Adventures

Post skiing in Kicking Horse

One of the perks of my job was that I got to try for free all the activities we sold. I mentions last time that I went sleigh riding, snow shoeing and dog sledding. Well I finally got to try snowmobiling which is such fun. These things are really fast and have amazing acceleration. I can understand why they are so popular. However not ideal if you want to get away from it all and be at one with nature, listening to the sound of snow falling in the trees!

Snowmobiling

Unfortunately, much as I would have liked to ski everyday, I did have to work as well. The job turned out to be quite “interesting”. It was full on up to January but then quietened down for the rest of the season so we could all go on regular ride breaks. I had to deal with guests complaints and I was genuinely shocked at how people behaved. North America is known as a customer service culture which is a good thing compared to some of the service we get back home. However one of the downsides is that it has encouraged a culture where people will very quickly scream and shout and demand things, basically behaving like spoilt children, because they know that they will get something if they do. It was a good example to me of how not to go through life! Despite that I still had a great time and was lucky to work with a great group of people. I also learnt to cook the best triple chocolate brownies!

Hot Dog Day!

Unfortunately the ski season had to come to the end. I delayed the inevitable come down by going on a road trip down to Utah. What an amazing place! I would recommend it to anyone planning a trip to the states. We drove 6500kms and visited Canyonlands, Arches, Zion, Bryce and Yellowstone National parks, Dead Horse and Bridges state park, the valley of the Gods, Monument valley, and the Grand Canyon. Did lots of hiking and took over 800 pictures of red rocks! Yep I bet you can’t wait to see that slide show!! Actually there are a few bison in there too!

Dead Horse State Park

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

So I’m now back in Fernie and I seem to be back to where I started. I’m unemployed and the last of my friends are leaving at the weekend. Spring is definitely here and I saw my first bear of the season with her 2 cubs. There is still loads of snow on the hills so the mountain biking and hiking are limited at the moment. I’m not sure what I’m going to do next. Back to the unknown but I’m sure something will turn up!

Monument Valley

Zion National Park

Bryce National Park

Bison in Yellowstone

Posted by: cyclingcanadacoast2coast | 24 December 2010

Christmas in Fernie

With Christmas just around the corner and having failed miserably to send any Christmas cards it’s time for a quick update on what’s happening in Fernie. I seemed to have settled well into the ski town life. I still think it’s fabulous that I can just drive up to the hill and go skiing on my day off! I’m finally living my dream! We’ve been really lucky with the snow so far. Huge dumps in November and early December means there’s a good base already. I’ve had a couple of amazing powder days. One day I headed over to Cedar bowl and found myself at the top of a completely untouched fresh powder run. I actually started to think I had strayed to somewhere I shouldn’t be as there was no-one there. However it was open but just very quiet. I spent the rest of the day doing laps and skiing fresh tracks all day!!

My street

We had a couple of days of rain last week so things are a little icy in places. It’s also much busier now although not quite Europe busy. Christmas and New Year are our busiest times at work so I wouldn’t be getting much slope time next week. I don’t mind as I’d much rather save it for the quiet slopes and powder we’ve been predicted for January!

My faithful car

Talking of work, yes I actually have found myself a job and been working very hard. I’m working as a supervisor on the ski hill and from day one it’s been full on. I’ve had to interview and employ three more people as it’s been so busy. I’ve had to do some long days but hopefully after New Year things will settle down and we can all start going on ride breaks. Yes one of the perks of the job is we get to go skiing on our break.

The dog car!

There are other perks too. As we sell a number of activities we get to try them out for free. So I’ve been on a sleigh ride, snowshoeing and dog sledding. The dogs were amazing and I managed to fall off three times. I didn’t feel too bad when I found out everyone else fell off multiple times too. I’m also hoping to go snowmobiling which I’ve heard is a blast.

Leader of the pack!

 

The only down side of all this is I never get any time to just relax. When I’m not working I’m on the hill so I seem to be crashing every night at about 9pm. No wild parties for me!! I’m trying to catch up with my sleep so I can at least stay awake for Christmas and New years eve!

Snowshoeing

I’ve met a really lovely group of people here. We’ve set up a regular “Stitch and Bitch” group which involves lots of food, wine and bitching although not much stitching so far!! One of our S & B meetings was at a friends house who has a hot tub. Two and half hours in the tub is a record for me! Had to go and roll in the snow a few times to cool off!

We’ve organised a big Christmas dinner on Christmas day for about 12 people so I’m not going to miss out on my favourite meal of the year! I’m working all of Christmas so it wouldn’t be too wild!

Anyway that’s a quick update on what’s been happening to me. I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! (hopefully with lots of snow!!)

Happy holidays!!

Liz

View from the hill

 

Fernie in the distance

Posted by: cyclingcanadacoast2coast | 31 October 2010

Back to the UK

Just a quick update. I’ve managed to get a job in Guest Services on the ski hill in Fernie which starts at the end of November. So I’ve headed back to the UK to get some warm clothes, my skiing things and to catch up with friends and family.

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Location:Rowlands Castle UK

Posted by: cyclingcanadacoast2coast | 25 October 2010

Back to Fernie

Well it’s been I few weeks since I stopped cycling and I’m really missing it. I was hoping to be back in the UK by now but everything seems to take forever to sort out.

I ended up spending over two weeks in Vancouver trying to buy a car. Luckily I was staying with Tom and Mollie who, together with their son, Peter, really helped me out. I’ve never owned a car and didn’t have a clue what to do! Well two weeks later I’m an expert in head gasket and timing belt problems and the owner of a Subaru Legacy! I think I did quite well as the guy I bought it from had really looked after the car. Even after we had agreed the sale he still went and spent $90 on it to get the transmission filter changed! He said it’s supposed to last for the life of the car but he doesn’t believe that and didn’t want me to have any problems. How nice is that!!

However I almost had a heart attack when I went to buy insurance as together with the tax it was almost the same price as the car!

It took me two days to drive to Fernie. The weather was fabulous and it was a great drive. It was interesting to drive some of the roads that I’d cycled. You see so much more on a bike and I remembered lots of details about the route including good places to stop for food! It was also interesting to see the big passes I missed out by going via Nelson and up to Duffy Lake. Quite a climb!

I stopped at the hostel in Rossland again and saw Martin who runs the place. I also bumped into Tara and Adam who I’ve heard lots about but never met. They also cycled across Canada this summer together with their dog. Helen met them in PEI and travelled with them for a while. It was lovely to meet them at last so we went out for a meal and swapped stories.

Back in Fernie I spent the first couple of nights in the hostel. I was lucky as I met a good group of people. The second day the weather was beautiful so we climbed Mt Fernie. It was quite a climb and I was in agony for the next 3 days! We were on the look out for bears as we went to a really interesting slide show by Charlie Russell the night before. He spent 14 years living with bears in Kampchatka, Russia. Unfortunately/fortunately we didn’t see any. However I have since found out that a hunter was attacked by a Grizzly bear just outside of town a couple of weeks ago. He accidently got between the mother and her cub but luckily survived.

We also went to the hockey. I can see this becoming a regular Friday night outing. Everyone is hockey mad here and there’s a good atmosphere. Fernie were having a good night and thrashed the opposition.

When I was last here I met the owners of a B & B who offered me a place to stay in exchange for work around the house while I look for somewhere to live. So that’s where I am at the moment. I’ve been sanding doors and washing walls.

I’m also looking for a job but it’s slow going. The job fair for the ski hill was this weekend so I’m waiting to hear if I’ve got anything. Most other places are waiting until after the job fair to start recruiting so there’s not much I can do at the moment. The pay is appalling at $8.50 an hour. This will cover my rent and car insurance but not much else! I may have to get a second job although I don’t want to give up skiing time!

I was hoping to be back in the UK by now but I’ve had to delay my flight. This is slightly inconvenient has winter has arrived and it’s been snowing up in the mountains (how exciting). I only have my cycling gear with me and not exactly kitted out for the cold! I don’t even have a proper coat! Once I have a job I’ll be heading back to Blighty to get my skiing gear. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again.

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Location:Fernie BC

Posted by: cyclingcanadacoast2coast | 1 October 2010

The End!!

Tuesday 28th September
Victoria to Vancouver
Distance 72km Total 9634km

Today I had my last bit of cycling to do to finish in Vancouver. It was actually a longer day than I thought it would be. The weather is turning nice again so I had a lovely sunny day to finish on.

The cycle to the ferry was about 24km back along the Lochside trail which was lovely. I seem to have a problem with ferries as I almost missed this one too. I bumped into a Swiss couple just before the ferry port whom I first met near Nelson. They were originally going to cycle over the Duffy Lake road between Lillooet and Pemberton and they were the ones who gave me the idea to go that way. Well in the end they didn’t do it and came the way I had intended to go. I had a quick chat with them and then followed the signs carefully to the ferry. This time I found myself at a dead end with the ferry on the other side of a fence. I had less than 5 mins before they stop selling tickets and really didn’t want to miss another ferry so peddled as fast as I could up the hill only to find the tiny turnoff for bicycles with the sign hidden behind a bush. I made it just in time!

Lovely ferry crossing through the islands. My shoes are causing problems again as I found myself sitting in a block of seats on my own as everyone moved away. Even when someone came to sit down they didn’t stay long. It was quite busy so very noticable that no-one was sitting near me!

I’m staying with Tom and Mollie in Surrey and the ride there was mostly nice through farmland and suburbs. I managed a little detour on the way when I couldn’t turn onto the road I wanted as it went over a bridge. I noticed a tractor path along side the field on the side of the road that joined up with the road I wanted so I got off and started pushing my bike. It was very soggy and my sandals were already getting wet when I smelled that it wasn’t mud I was walking through but manure!! Too late to turn back so I carried on. Lovely, now there’s a double smell to my shoes!!

Had a lovely welcome at Tom and Mollies and finally got to see my permanent resident card. It’s a bit of an anti-climax finishing as I’m going to miss getting on my bike everyday. I also have to face reality and make some decisions!!

28th – 30th September

The last couple of days have been spent doing business things. This includes getting a social insurance number, BC drivers license (I had to give up my UK one), medical cover, opening a bank account and buying a car. Yes for the first time in my life I’m going to own a car!! I think it’s going to be hard in Canada to get by without one. I have no idea about cars but luckily Tom and his son Peter do and they are helping me out.

So sadly I’ve come to the end of my cycle journey although my Canadian journey is just beginning! I’m not going to be blogging regularly anymore although I will do the odd one to let you know how I’m getting on.

I’d really like to thank everyone who has posted on my blog. It’s always great to hear from people and to know I’m not forgotten!

Now I just need to start planning my next trip!!

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Location:Vancouver BC

Posted by: cyclingcanadacoast2coast | 27 September 2010

Mile 0

Sunday 26th September
Nanaimo to Victoria
Distance 110km Total 9518km

My last full day of cycling today which is very sad. The forecast rain had disappeared and it warmed up quickly to quite a nice day. I headed off down the TCH for the last time. It’s a busy road all the way but with a good shoulder and relatively flat which makes a change.

I decided to take the ferry from Mill Bay to the Saanich peninsula to get off the main road. Unfortunately my timing was again off and I missed the ferry by 15 mins and had to wait an hour for the next one.

When I got to the other side I was trying to find the Lochside trail that would take me into Victoria. The rather busy highway 17 was in the way and my map didn’t show if you could cross it at the junctions. I was on a quiet side road and noticed a no cycling sign. It was by the sidewalk and I assumed it meant on the sidewalk. Well I went round the corner, whizzed down the hill and found myself on the 17 and unable to turn back. As I cycled along it dawned on me that the sign actually meant I wasn’t allowed on this road oops!

I pulled off at the first opportunity and luckily found unlocked wifi to check google maps. As I was doing this a guy came over with his map and ended up photocopying a page for me. I had to backtrack a bit but eventually found the trail.

Lovely trail with a mix of on and off road. I came across a cyclist who had a puncture so stopped and lent him my tools and had a chat. This all meant I was rather late arriving and there was no time to go to mile 0 today. Oh well what’s another day after 4 1/2 months!

I’m staying with friends of my parents, Dave and Marion, who lived in my home town for a few years in the 70’s. Had a lovely evening getting to know them.

Monday 27th September
Victoria Mile 0
Distance 42km Total 9561km


Had a lazy breakfast as I wasn’t going far today. Loaded up my bike, as I couldn’t finish without my bags, and headed to mile 0 on the seafront in Victoria. Mile 0 is the end/beginning of the Trans Canada Highway. Although I tried to keep off the TCH I did start my trip on it and now I’m finishing on it too. Dave and Marion were waiting there with champagne to celebrate, how wonderful. It’s quite weird as it still hasn’t sunk in that I’ve finished. There was also another statue of Terry Fox at Mile 0.


We had lunch and then I went for a wonder around Victoria (with a quick stop in MEC!). I then headed off to cycle the scenic route around the coast which was beautiful although the rain started and continued the rest of the day. I even saw a deer in someones garden happily eating the lawn.

Back to Dave and Marions for the rest of the champagne around their real fire, lovely.

Still haven’t decided what to do. I will have to make a decision soon!!

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Location:Victoria BC

Posted by: cyclingcanadacoast2coast | 25 September 2010

The Pacific!

Saturday 25th September
Whistler to Nanaimo
Distance 116km Total 9408km

I’ve reached the Pacific!! I’ve actually cycled coast to coast across Canada, yippeee! It’s great to see the sea again. Not quite finished though as I have another two days of cycling to do.

I reluctantly said goodbye to my lovely apartment this morning. It was wonderful. I’ve discovered that my insulated mug which keeps my tea hot for hours is also brilliant at stopping the ice from melting in my G&T while sitting in the hot tub!! Why didn’t I think of this before. I’m sure there’s a market for this especially in Whistler!

Today was forecast for wind and rain but it’s actually been quite nice. They’ve really improved the sea to sky highway for the olympics but it’s now quite busy and not always cycle friendly. Great cycle with wonderful scenery. A nice downhill for quite a while and then it was up and down to Horseshoe Bay where the ferries to Nanaimo run from.

I was aiming to catch the 3.10 ferry and arrived at 2.40. I passed the sign for foot passengers and followed the sign for cars as all the ferries I’ve been on I’ve gone on with the cars. Big mistake! I found myself on the main highway on the opposite side of the road to the ticket booths with a concrete barrier inbetween so I couldn’t cross or go back. It was still sign posted to the ferry but it was about a 4km cycle up the hill before the junction that allowed you to cross over and then come back down the road. Needless to say I missed the ferry and was slightly miffed. I’m sure you can imagine what I was actually saying at the time! This meant I had to wait two hours until the next ferry at 5.20.

I’m staying with my last warmshowers couple of the trip, Cathy and Lee. I found the forecast wind and rain in Nanaimo and it was getting dark when I arrived. As they live a little way from the port they kindly came to pick me up. Had a really lovely evening with them. I felt surprisingly tired after a day back on the bike.

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Location:Nanaimo BC

Posted by: cyclingcanadacoast2coast | 24 September 2010

Whistler

Monday 20th September
Lillooet to Pemberton
Distance 103km Total 9254km

Wow that was a tough, tough day! Woke up to rain and lots of fresh snow on the mountains. I knew I had some big hills today as I’ve cycled this road before but the other way. Unfortunately my memory of this road is completely different to the reality.

It was up from the word go. The first 25km were really steep with much of it at 13%. It was then up and down but still with some steep sections. I’d only done about 30km by 2pm and I started to think that I may not make it before dark.

It continued to rain all day and got colder as I got higher. I had to stop for road works about 2.30pm for 15mins and that was the last time I felt my feet until I stepped into the shower. There were plenty of places to camp but I had no desire to set up camp in the rain and freezing cold. I was determined to get to Pemberton where I knew there was a dry, warm bed for me.

I knew that the last 15km were flat and before that there was a massive downhill. When I cycled up it last time it took me all day and was one of the hardest climbs I’d done. Well every corner I turned I thought I must be at the downhill but it was always more uphill. I was losing the will and beginning to think I’d imagined the hill. Finally I saw the sign for extreme grades ahead so I breathed a sigh of relief, put the rest of my layers on, checked my brakes and let rip for the next 15km! It was sweet! Shame it was still raining as I had to take the corners slower than I would have liked.

When I got to the bottom I was racing against daylight so got my head down. I’m staying with warmshowers hosts Niki and Anna. I got there just as the light was fading and I’ve never been so glad for a warmshower!

Had I lovely evening with Niki and Anna. They did a good job of selling me Pemberton. It’s a small town of about 2000 people but is only 35km from Whistler.

Tuesday 21st September
Pemberton to Whistler
Distance 36km Total 9291km

Had a lie in this morning as I only had a short day. The sun was out so I went for a walk around town. Went and had a chat with the local physio. They have just employed someone so no jobs available.

The cycle up to Whistler was beautiful but up hill. I was definitly feeling the affects of the last two days so I took it slowly and enjoyed the view. I joined one of the extensive cycle paths as I got closer to Whister and meandered around until I found my apartment.

A friend of mine has very kindly let me use his luxury condo which is right on the slope at Blackcomb. Wow it is wonderful with a pool, hot tub and gym (might give that one a miss!). What a great way to end my trip! After 4 months of camping it’s great to have my own place for a few days where I can actually cook a proper dinner and have a G & T on the balcony!

Wednesday to Friday 22nd to 24th
Whistler

It’s really interesting to be back in Whistler. Skiing here was what made me decide to immigrate and I always thought this would be where I would live. However it is so touristy, expensive and money orientated! It is the exact opposite of somewhere like Fernie. I’m now really torn about what to do. I’ve had a chat with a few of the physio and there are jobs here. If I was to choose on the skiing and job I’d choose Whistler. But if I choose on where I want to live I’d choose Fernie. Decisions, decisions!!

I’ve spent the last few days just chilling and enjoying Whistler and the flat. There’s a great network of cycle paths I’ve been exploring. I also finally got to see a bear and was able to watch it for a good 5 mins as it was feeding. I did some shopping and finally bought some shoes so you’ll be glad to hear no more socks and sandals!!

It’s now raining again and the forecast is is not good with rain well into next week. It seems like I’m going to finish the trip the same way I started with rain and cold!

The big news in Canada this weekend was the 30th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. Every village, town and city I’ve been through was holding a race to raise money for cancer. It’s truely amazing what an impact this courageous young man had on a nation and the fact that his legacy is still raising millions of dollars for cancer research! An inspiration to us all!

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Location:Whistler BC

Posted by: cyclingcanadacoast2coast | 20 September 2010

9000km

Saturday 18th September
Merritt to Goldpan Provincial Park
Distance 76km Total 9058km

My food survived a night in the washrooms and no signs of any bears. It was raining when I got up. I packed slowly in the hope it might stop but it looked pretty set in so I had to pack a very wet tent.

I only cycled 10km when I decided to stop for a second breakfast as this was the last place for food for the next 60km and again in the hope the rain might stop. The breakfast was great but still raining when I left. The ride was beautiful up and down following the Nicola River along a quiet back road. I was going with the river so more down than up. It finally stopped raining in the early afternoon and the sun came out as I got to Spences Bridge.

I had to get back on the Trans Canada Highway here but it wasn’t too busy. The road runs next to the Thompson river which is a huge river famous for it’s rafting and fishing by the looks of all the fisherman I passed. The salmon are just starting their spawning so everyone is out fishing.

I’ve found the most lovely campsite on the banks of the river in Goldpan Provincial Park. Apparently this is the hottest place in Canada although not going to be breaking any records today! My neighbours came over and gave me some wood so I could have a fire. They then invited me over for a beer. They come up here every year as it’s their favourite spot. They told me for the last two nights they’ve seen a brown bear and a three legged black bear walking along the opposite river bank checking to see if the salmon are ready. Well I got very excited at the thought of seeing them with a nice big river inbetween us. I had a prime view in a comfy chair but alas they didn’t show up for the nightly performance. They said they also come down about 6.30 in the morning so I’ll try and get up early to catch them. They’ve seen amazing things here including a mother bear teaching her cubs to cross the river as well as a pack of wolves!

As I was enjoying my cup of tea around my fire another couple walked past and noticed my rope I had already put in the tree before it got dark (at 7.30!) for my food. They told me I was very brave especially with the bear around. I said I didn’t mind if they are across the river but they then told me there is one this side that tends to come around about 8.30 every night. I really wish they hadn’t told me as it’s now 8.40 and I’m still sitting by the fire feeling very twitchy at the slightest noise!

I didn’t do very well hanging my food. As I was hoisting my bags up the rope broke and my two lovely Ortleib panniers went flying down a 10 metre high rocky cliff. I don’t know how they survived in one piece but they seem ok. I didn’t check the contents inc a jar of jam but I’ll find out in the morning.

I’ve moved into my tent and I know it’s no safer but I feel much safer and happier in here especially when I listen to music so I can’t hear any noises outside!! Ignorance is bliss!!

Sunday 19th September
Goldpan to Lillooet
Distance 93km Total 9151km

I survived another night with the bears. I didn’t see them this morning but there was fresh bear poo and paw tracks along the beach infront if my tent. I’m glad I slept through that! The jam was amazingly intact.

It rained all night and my tent is decintegrating. I was dry but I managed to get water under the tent so my mat was soaked. Nothing was drying as it looked like more rain so I packed everything wet. As soon as I set off it started to pour so on with the waterproofs.

I followed the Thompson river down to Lytton. I stopped to watch some guys catching salmon in the rapids. One of them was tied on with a rope and was just leaning over with a net scooping the salmon out as they tried to jump up the rapids. I was looking down on the river and I could see masses of fish at the bottom of the rapid. Apparently it’s a bumper year for salmon this year.

Just as I got to the top of the hill before Lytton I found one of the RVs from the campsite. I hadn’t spoken to them last night so they were waiting to talk to me. They offered me hot chocolate and we had a chat. They then tried to give me money (do I look that bad that people think I need help!?). I declined but they insisted on buying me breakfast. I didn’t realise until I went to pay that they gave me $40 dollars!

The rest of the day was really tough. It carried on raining until early afternoon. I was on another back road this time along the Fraser River going up stream. It was up and down really steep mountainside roads all day. It was stunning scenery but I was really starting to flag. I didn’t arrive till almost 6pm and there was no way my tent would dry so I decided to activate my emergency motel fund. I have the lovely couple in the RV to thank for my night of warmth and dryness!

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Location:Lillooet BC

Posted by: cyclingcanadacoast2coast | 17 September 2010

And more hills!

Thursday 16th September
Hedley to Princeton BC
Distance 40km Total 8885km

I decided to have a “rest” day today so only did 40km. Had a lie in and didn’t leave until 11. Beautiful sunny cycle along the Otter River which was only slightly uphill. Found a nice campground by the river and spent the afternoon reading and eating rubbish food.

One of the saddest things about my trip almost being over is not being able to eat such large amounts of food anymore! The last 4 months have been great eating as much food as I want without having to worry about the lbs. I’m making the most of the last few days before I have to start cutting down. No more second breakfasts for me!

Friday 17th September
Princeton to Merritt BC
Distance 96km Total 8981km

Had much more energy this morning. It had rain all night but stopped when I got up. Overcast until the afternoon when the sun came out and warmed everything, inc me, up. The area I’m cycling through is still dry and yellow but seems to be more ranchland with wide open grassland and lots of cattle. Everyone’s wearing cowboy hats. The leaves are changing colour which makes the scenery even more stunning.

More uphill today although not quite as much as previous days. Most of the day was spent on a small back road with no shoulder. There were plenty of logging trucks but little other traffic. The trucks seem to be much more friendly and considerate on the back roads and hills. Maybe because they can empathise as they can’t go much faster than me up the hills! I try and race them to the top, but obviously I let them win as I don’t want to upset the truckers!

The last 25km were back on a major road but with a large shoulder. I was treated to another great downhill for the last 6km of the day. 60+km/h all the way and didn’t have to break once!

Everywhere I go I’m constantly being told to be bear aware especially with food. I’m pretty good about it but really surprised at how unaware some of the locals are. At the campsite this evening I asked if there are bears here. Yes you need to put your food away. I get this often. Even though they know I’m on a bicycle they seem to think I’m going to magic a car from somewhere to put my food in. When I explained this she backtracked and said she’s never had a bear in the campground. When I questioned this she did say there was one across the road last week! When I pointed out it probably wasn’t a good idea to have food in my tent she told me to put it under the table next to the tent. What a good idea, the bears will never think to look there!! She was no help and there are no trees to hang my bags so I think I’ll risk leaving them in the washroom and hope they’re still there in the morning.

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Location:Merritt BC

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