FIRST DATE WITH BRITISH COLUMBIA
Trip Start Jul 16, 2010
15Trip End Jul 31, 2010
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Flying to Seattle and picking up our bikes in Kent Washington was definitely the right move to begin this trip. The people at Federated could not have been nicer of better...it was a seamless transition and the bikes were glad to see us...or maybe I should say we were glad to see the bikes.
Brainless here forgot his key to the GPS locking mount on JavaGold which necessitated a stop to Touratech USA located just a few miles from the Seattle airport. Those folks quickly replaced the forgotten keys, gave us all tee shirts, and then we hit at least 30 miles of bumper to bumper stop and go traffic. Finally, the highway opened up and the trip took on a new dimension.
We entered Canada at Suma after eating a great dinner at Bob's Burgers and Brew located less than a half a mile from the border. Very rural, beautiful country with fresh blue berry and strawberry farms everywhere. You could smell the fruit as we passed the farms. Crossing the border was a piece of cake and was nothing like we anticipated. They totally missed Alan's felony record and let Terry in without checking his background....just kidding folks.
Within a few miles we were zipping through a canyon as the evening sun bounced off huge walls of mountains. We made it into Hope Friday night about 9 pm which was midnight EST. Set up camp and went to bed.
This morning we started rolling about 8:30 and were immediately introduced to the Frasier River Valley. ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. We followed the river for almost the entire day-sharing the valley with two train tracks in a walled space that would fluctuate between a broad river basin to a narrow span with tunnels cutting through the mountain and water rushing directly below.
One thing for sure, we have begun to realize just how BIG this area really is and how much we've got to go before we give ourselves any credit to accomplishing our mission. We really didn't stop much, took too few pictures, and didn't get lost but still will have to improve our travel time significantly in order to meet goals ahead.
Probably the most unforgettable event of the day was watching an out-of-control RV flying down a curvy down-grade spewing waste fluid out of the side of the vehicle and spraying everything and anything in its path. Of course, we had no time to react and nowhere to go so we get spayed with the most wretched smelling stuff imaginable. We smelled like the back of seat of a Greyhound bus for hours.
We were all looking forward to meeting Pete here in Prince George but got word that he had bike trouble and would not be meeting us. Pete is one of the rare individuals who don't carry a cell phone and our phones do not well here anyway. We have no status report on where Pete is or how he is doing. We are obviously concerned. If anyone hears some news, please pass it along to us.
The weather could not be greater. Clear and dry. Cool mornings in the upper 50's and warm afternoon in the low 80's. This is perfect biking weather and leads me to my last observation for the night. I can't think of a better way to see Canada and Alaska. I would be crawling out of my skin it we had to do this by car or truck. The roads are mostly two-lane and the slower traffic can be nerve-raking. With the bikes, we have much more freedom to safely pass and we make much better time. Plus, we catch so much more of the immediate space between the road, scenery, big sky, and surroundings. There's just no other way to do this but on our bikes.