A Supportive Day, August 21
We woke up in our comfy hotel room and packed up as we usually do, choosing to eat our peanut butter and jelly and bananas in our room instead of heading downstairs to the restaurant. We had met Tam's parents the preceding night in Prince George. This morning they took our bags in their car, and we headed off for the day feeling much lighter than before! The plan was for Andie and Michel to act as our "SAG Wagon," meaning Support and Gear. They met us down the road about 20 miles in and provided water refills and fresh berries! Yum! We ate lunch just another 20 after that; we had hoped to go farther than 50 before lunch, but the constant headwind limited our progress. The lunch was great! We had our usual hummus and cucumber sandwiches, but with pie and ice cream for dessert! We digested for a few minutes while talking with a motorcyclist from Argentina who now lives in Ireland. He will be going to Argentina as well over the next six months. We were glad to hear that he is taking his time; motored travelers sometimes forget that the journey is the destination.
We set off after lunch and, powered by the great food, went another 30 miles relatively easily. Not hauling all our gear was a treat! Even with the headwind, we kept up a solid 12 mph through rolling hills, a decent speed for us. We met Tam's parents again at the Ancient Forest, a short interpretive trail through the rainforest, which, at 800 km from the coast, is a rarity so far inland.
A campground was marked on our map as being about 15 miles up the road, but our tireless support team drove up the road and couldn't find it. So, after a wonderful dinner of brown rice pasta with pesto, and chips and salsa, we are camped by a river at the nicest rest area I have ever seen. There is running water in the bathrooms, picnic tables galore, even tent spots by the river! The soft sound of the river masks most noise from the road. I am glad to have a relatively nice place, because Andie and Michel are camping tonight too! They rented gear and are giving it a go, and we are flattered and excited to have them here with us.
Pie! August 22
Our rest area turned out to be pretty quiet, and we all slept well. Nutritious oatmeal complemented with berries energized us for the first few miles. We had done 30 miles by our first break, Down to big rivers then back up again, but the headwind was starting to get to us so we stopped for lunch just 15 miles later. Tasty bread, hummus, and avocados were a great treat. During lunch, the wind switched directions to a tailwind! We didn't get our hopes up, expecting it to change around more, but the tailwind held and we FLEW down the road. Our average speed for the day rose from 11 mph to 13 mph in just a few hours.
We stopped in McBride to stock up on groceries. The farmers market had been open earlier, but we unfortunately were about 30 minutes too late. Lucky for us, Tam's dad, Michel, managed to get there just as the pie woman was closing up, and he snagged a strawberry rhubarb pie! About 20 miles down the road from McBride (which took about an hour- thank you tailwind!), we met Tam's parents again, and this time we tried the pie. It was so good we each had a second piece. That and the tailwind powered us through the next few miles, and at the next rest stop with the SAG Wagon, we finished the pie. Didn't mean to, it just kind of happened.
From lunch on, we had been biking through a wide valley between the Rocky Mountains and the Cariboo Mountains (not a typo). The road was mostly level and relatively flat, and we got to feast our eyes on the snowy peaks all around.
As twilight fell, traffic diminished and we biked side by side, listening to Ratatat. We saw a dog-like creature far off in a field and think it may have been a wolf.
We arrived in Tete Jaune Cache around 7:30 having done around 94 miles... Not too shabby! Tete Jaune Cache is the last stop before heading up into the Rockies. Tete Jaune (yellow head- he had blond hair) was a fur trader in the 1800s who discovered what came to be known as Yellowhead Pass, the lowest pass in the Canadian Rockies. We are camped tonight at a campground next to the Fraser River in a nice little spot away from all the other campers.
A delicious dinner of brown rice pasta with beans and tomato sauce, supplemented with some strawberry rhubarb wine, was absolutely scrumptious. Late night potatoes baked on the fire with brie and balsamic vinegar were a perfect end to the day. We'll have sore legs tonight, but that's nothing new.