A big day of cycling following a rough ferry ride. The same wind that buffeted my ride south on Haida Gwai took aim at the ferry from Haida Gwai to Prince Rupert and the heaving and pitching of the boat through the night made it hard to get a good night’s sleep and be ready for a 150 km ride from Prince Rupert to Terrace.
By Prince Rupert standards, it was a glorious day. Mostly sunshine. Apparently, Prince Rupert is the rain capital of Canada and it is so continuously overcast that people with medical conditions that prevent them from being in the sun move there. Well, they had to stay indoors today.
Massive snow capped mountains lined the entire journey along the Yellowhead Highway. And next to the road for most of the way was the wide and gentle flowing Skeena River and the CN railroad tracks. There was a modest headwind most of the day and it shifted around to a tailwind at kilometer 90 as a shower and its westerly wind blew me towards Terrace.
Thanks to Jim Freer, who suggested this lunch.
As I was taking a lunch break by the river, a First Nations fisheries patrol person came to make sure I was not fishing illegally and we ended up have a good talk about life. Then I fell asleep for an hour.
In addition to the nice wind shift, two other great surprises helped me into Terrace. The first was stopping at kilometer 90 at the Wilderness Resort tucked in behind a small patch of old growth forest. It is mostly a camp for fishing groups. I was hoping to replenish my water. I found much more. A semi professional – whatever that means – baker, famous for his pies. He had just baked thee pies: lemon meringue, blueberry and raspberry. I had an energy and spirit boosting slice of the lemon meringue.
The second surprise was when approaching the top of the long climb outside Terrace. Coming down the opposite side of the road, a truck slows down, the driver rolls down his window and yells out: “Welcome David
This was Al Sande, PC year 5, who then gave me directions to his house where I was greeted with a pasta dinner, a hot shower and a warm bed. How delightful. Just before meeting up with Al, I saw my first Black Bear of the trip. The bear ambled confidently across the road in front of me, a bit too far away for a good photograph.
Much of the highway is being repaved so it will be even better for cyclists next year. I know this is a curious and not the fastest route across the country as I would be well past Calgary by now if I took the more common southerly route. However, the traffic has been light as well as the road conditions. And the scenery rugged and spectacular. After Terrace, the road goes mostly north for about 100 km but then heads me more easterly after that.
Start: Prince Rupert
Distance: 148 km
Time on Bike: 7:28
Average Speed: 19.7 km per hr estimate
Distance to Date: 982 km
Ahoy! This is Rob Sturney, the fellow you met in New Hazelton. Jolly good luck on your journey. There’s a free campground in Cinema, about 35 km north of Quesnel. Keep the rubber side down!
Hi Rob – it was great meeting you, Phil and Wendy – I will have your photos up soon. David
PS – I like your email address!
Jill Huntley and others following your progress with great interest. Saw your photo at the end of year lunch with your arm around Alex Horsley today. Watch out for geese. He’ll be the one at the front honking you on.
I love the image of you taking a nap by the river. You should have had the fisheries patrol person take a picture of you. Love you papa- I so wish I was cycling with you right now (so I could beat you up the hills!)
Nice to see you are getting some variety in your meals! We at the College are reading your blog with great admiration. “A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles”. Enjoy!
So happy to hear your voice. It has been quite a trip so far and Al is helping me. I am stocking up on food right now. Yes friends…. David