I have seen my first gopher. Well I think it was a gopher. If I was in Europe I would have thought that it was a Marmot. There he was sitting on a rock as we climbed Mt Anarchist. Mt Anarchist was a 20km ride uphill which took us 4 hours. It was about 11% gradient I think. Adi had not brought enough water and the route guide said that there was no water at the top. I had packed a can of root beer and had about 500ml of water. This had to see me over the mountain and the 50kms to Midway, our next camp spot. So I climbed the hill without drinking knowing that I had my root beer to look forward to at the top. You guessed it. After drinking most of her water on the way up Adi then wanted half my root beer!
Can you believe that?
|Doesn't he look Cute. Bet you He could take Your Finger Off Though.|
Luckily for Adi there was a tap at the top where she refilled her bottle. Most of the mornings ride was a bit like Central Otago in NZ. Complete with orchards. After the hill where Adi got a bit parched it became typical Rockies scenery again. I can’t get over the lovely smell of pines which is everywhere and smells very different to the exotic trees back home.
We are camped tonight on a river which acts as the boundary between the US and Canada. Even if you didn’t know that the US was over the river you could work it out. The Canadian side is peaceful and quiet while from the other side you can hear twangie voices.
Off to bed in the tent where I will keep Adi awake with my snoring. I am only snoring because Felix gave me his cold on my last days at work.
An easy day today. We had no massive hills to cycle over and had time to stock up on a few essentials such as bulk peanut M&M’s and chocolate raisins from the super market. And less essential things such as camera batteries and disposable lighters, as the matches have got rather damp in the recent rain.
|Breakfast in Bed.|
Calgary , where we will be headed in about a week is flooded like never before. But today we saw the sun and I have already started to get my cycle tan lines back. The fine weather and short day of cycling have enabled Adi to do a bit of washing. This is a camping chore that she enjoys as much as I like firing up the primus. My white cycle shorts are still looking resplendent with just the odd grease mark. I’m hoping to travel across Canada slowly turning from sparkly white to a uniform grey. We will see. Either way the shorts should match my black /grey and white New Zealand top. I’m always happier when the kit all works together.
Today we climbed the longest continuous hill in Canada (or so the locals said). The road went skywards for 35kms and then fell for 35kms to our lunch stop. I have to say I was a might hungry by the time I got there. Normally we lunch at about 1pm but today due to the rather continuous hill we didn’t get our toasted sandwiches until 3pm.
|Nice Sparkly White Kit Still.|
I’d forgotten how many choices there are for everything here. The toasted s/wichs came in about four different bread types and then numerous fillings. After this I had to make constant decisions about how I wanted my coffee. I got totally confused the other day ordering my sausages and eggs at a diner. Too many choices!! I want my eggs ‘double over easy’, my bread French, my coffee a light brown colour and the chit chat kept to a minimum so that I can get it all down! And then when paying with a credit card even the bank gets in on the 100 questions. No such thing as in New Zealand where you just swipe and go. No there’s one question after another ending in whether you’d like to give a tip. I’ll give them a tip, ‘Time is Money’.
Honestly though the service so far has been really friendly and helpful. The Canadians so far seem a relaxed and chatty bunch. I think those involved in the tourist trade in New Zealand should try and be a tad less surly. The weather was sunny today and after 130kms we had arrived in Winlaw BC. A lovely alpine valley populated by numerous spring flowers and the biggest mossies’ I’ve seen so far.
|Not a Picture of the Grizzly as I was a bit Preoccupied to get the Camera Out.|
Today we saw a bear! I’m happy now as I would have hated to cycle across Canada having not seen one. Not only did we see one , we saw him at close range. He didn’t see us and we didn’t see him until we were about two metres away from each other. There he was amongst the wild flowers at the side of the road. Partially hidden behind the flowering things. I was following behind Adi , who had seen nothing. I saw him, a grizzly, he saw us, and before I could warn Adi he decided to move further out of her way and head up the rocky cliff at the side of the road. She then saw him but the danger was over.
|Fixing Adi's First Puncture. (Actually not enough rim tape on the wheel so cant really blame the tyre choice.)|
For the next two hours Adi then drove me nuts by ringing her bike bell constantly. Lovely Scenery today but it was predominately wet and at the camp site tonight Ken the cooker has decided to play up by not holding his pressure properly. I’ll try a new leather pump washer tomorrow. Cooking dinner while constantly pumping him was a drag. Hoping for some sun in the morning.