After a wonderful several days with Al and Lucie spoiling us rotten, we have to pry ourselves loose from our newfound comfortable oasis and head east. We have friends in Alberta to see and eventually we should get back to my home. Back to the ferry to head for the mainland…
Then east on the Trans-Canada Highway, Highway 1. It’s been raining a lot here, which is fairly normal I think, and we ride in and out of showers all day.
We ride through Hope, BC, whose name I like. Not my kind of trivia, but everyone seems to think it’s pretty cool that First Blood was filmed here. And we head to E.C. Manning Provincial Park for the night. We opt for a room in a hostel instead of the tent, and the clerk at the desk says it’s a good choice as they have had a lot of bear activity around the cabins and camp. I think to myself, “I bet you say that to all the girls.” and on we go to the hostel.
We have the whole place to ourselves until a Quebecois man arrives. Turns out her was there before us but had a problem with his key not working so had to ride back to the offices for another. Yves is on a cross-Canada bicycle trip and is a super nice guy. Cyclists inspire me and make me feel silly about complaining about a hard days ride or the weather.
Long-distance cyclists have life figured out I think.
The next morning Yves leaves before us, of course, and pedals up a hill for several miles before we catch up to him. I’m starting to feel guilty by then and vow to get some sort of exercise when I get home.
I catch a glimpse of a Grizzly as it runs into the ditch on the right side of the road when we pass. Glad I didn’t see him/her up close! We ride on Highway 3, The Crows Nest Highway, all the way to Castlegar today, having our plans to go further curtailed by some nasty thunderstorms.
A local information office in Osoyoos suggested a few cafes on the main street for our lunch break and we breezed past several before finally settling on a coffee house. Brian and I settle into a table by the window so we could watch the bikes and a few minutes later another rider came in and sat at the table behind me. Turns out she is Allison, of “She Rides…” ADV Rider ride report fame. Crazy small world! Was great to chat with her for a few minutes before we carried on up the road.
And a fuel stop highlighted by a close-range hilltop lightning strike near Castlegar turns into me calling it a day….welcome home for the night.
The next day brought us a climb up and over the Rockies, and that brought us up to snow.
There were still the ever-present rain clouds.
Turning northeast at Radium Hot Springs took us through Kootenay National Park toward Banff.
And finally, at the top, we cross the Continental Divide which is also the border to Alberta.
If you haven’t visited British Columbia, I can highly recommend it as one of the most beautiful places in the world.