It was a beautiful morning by the roaring Willow Creek. After a late night, I took my time and brewed up some Starbucks instant extra bold coffee and toasted a bagel at the same time. My little Esbit stove is well worth its light weight when away from civilization.
The only challenge I see in the day ahead is that I have about 100 km to go and only about a liter of water. It is a sunny day so I set out to solve that before I leave. There is a sign in the rest area washroom that says the water is not potable and it stinks too so I decide boiling is out of the question. So I hang out at the rest stop for a while seeing if those stopping by have some extra water. I get my first liter from a woman traveling across Canada with her dog. She gives me the water from her dog’s water bottle (a beautiful glass bottle). The second liter I get from a professional “life coach” who agrees with my mini sabbatical and recommends them to his clients. A few kilometers on the road at another rest stop I am offered two oranges, so my hydration worries are over for the day.
It is a beautiful day for a ride.
I see my first Moose drinking water by the side of the road. Like the bears the night before, as soon as he hears my clicking freewheel, he rumbles off. It was one mass of dark brown, taller than me.
As the day continues, a slight headwind turns into more of a challenge and there are several long 6% grade climbs, a few three to five kilometers long.
I also see a few more Black Bears and one who was very nonchalant about me stopping to take his or her photo.
This bear seemed just as comfortable on the road as in the forest.
Aside from the building headwind and the climbs, a great day for riding with very few cars or trucks on the road and a wide clean shoulder to ride on.
During a roadside rest break I notice the sun glisten on my double top tubes.
I also discover a treat that takes chocolate covered raisins to another level, these, dark chocolate covering blueberries.
When I make it to McBride, I notice the sky is changing behind me and rough weather looks to be on the horizon.
McBride, I discover is on the eve of its 80 year celebration of its founding in 1932. The town is alive and people spill out from the Elks Hall. I find myself dinner in town then cycle two more kilometers outside town to Beaverview Campground, run for the past five years by a British couple, Dave and Jill. As the wind picks up further and the rain begins to fall, I nest in my watertight Hilleberg Akto tent, oblivious to the patter of rain.
Stats – for Friday 15 June 2012
Start: Willow Creek Rest Area
Distance: 95 km
Average Speed: 16.5 km/hr
Time on Bike: 5:43
Distance to Date: 1,805