Hope to Canyon Alpine: 71 km, 1239 m alt. July 8, 2015
When the going gets tough ...the tough get going ... this quote from the song by Billy Ocean comes to my mind when I think back on today's ride. Up early, I didn't get off until until 8, because I got tangled up in my stuff. Dave was right when he said to me that it takes a while until you have a routine and know where everything is. In this case I had packed in everything and was ready to go - this had taken quite long when I couldn't find my glasses. ... Well, as usual, they'd been right in front of my nose. (check Dave's very funny article on possible mishaps when touring: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=tS&doc_id=15002&v=1G )
After saying farewell to Yous, this widely travelled cyclist from Indonesia, I headed off on Highway 1, which follows the Fraser river and is the older of the two highways up north to Kamloops. Less traffic, but still tough: hot sun, 35 degrees in the shade - shade? what shade???? plus the wood smoke coming from the wild fires in the mountains - and tunnels!
I have never been so afraid in traffic when sitting on a bike as in those tunnels. The first one was the worst. A sign indicated to me to cross over to the other side "when safe", end of quote! and then go on the sidewalk which was about 1 meter wide. So at first I tried to ride it - a whole meter is definitely no problem - and then a truck approached me. It announced itself with a deep rumble which got louder and louder until I thought the tunnel was going to crash down on my head. I stopped the bike and jumped off just in time to lean against the far wall when the truck loomed over me and rushed by me at a hundred km/h. The frightening roaring noise was added to by the suction of the truck's draft. Wow! The next five tunnels - each about 5 km apart - I walked through! At one tunnel I could press a button whch turned on a warning signal for the drivers and had to go on the right hand side which was even more frightening because I could not see but only hear the approaching vehicle. Thanks to my rear view mirror I could at least anticipate the size of the car.
It was a long hot ride and I got some beautiful impressions of the Fraser River and finally after about 70 km reached my destination: Canyon Alpine Campsite. When the friendly lady at the reception saw me she commented that I was "one of those crazy cyclists" she sometimes had on the site but then went out of her way to give me a shady site which was normally reserved for RV vans - the size of which here in Canada never stops to amaze me! I got a nice place, a cool shower (air at 35 degrees!) and wifi - so I was a happy camper indeed. ...
Oh, and she warned me that the smoke from the wildfires would become more intense the further I went up into the mountains. Let's hope for the best!
Lemon juice in the bottle, no, I don't have a fridge to make it even more delicious ...
Mostly trees hide the Fraser river from view ...
together with next image this is living history
Read aloud, it's fun!
One of many frightening tunnels - at least for a cyclist
Fraser river ...
Old road now leading nowhere
Even if Highway 1 is steep and tedious it definitely is a step forward from Simon Fraser's route along the river
exhausted - but still happy enough to take my picture
wow, from up above
Finally, my destination
...and yes, if this admonition (turn off your AC when not present) is necessary, Canada still has a long way to go; energy just isn't dear enough!