Wednesday, August 6, 2014

On To the Cassiar, August 5th, 2014

RV parks in the morning are noisy places, but we're so exhausted from the 100 miles yesterday that we sleep until 9:30.  Our morning ride involves hills and long, flat sections.  The wind is blowing lightly, sometimes a headwind, sometimes a tailwind.  It's just under 25 miles when we start seeing signs for the junction with the Cassiar Highway.  Yay!  To make things even better, there's a restaurant/RV park/motel just before the junction, and it's open!  Since no other cyclist had told us about it, we had assumed it was closed like most of the other former establishments on this highway.  It's called Nugget City, and they serve food, baked goods, and ice cream.  The guy running the place is rather funny and advertises all the food to us.  We end up enjoying a large blueberry muffin and some ice cream.  A kilometer or so down the road, we turn south on the Cassiar Highway.  Immediately we are climbing a steep hill with a full-on headwind.  So continues the rest of our day.  Notable stops along the way include entering British Columbia (for good this time), lunch in the shade (it's super hot out today), and a stop at Blue Lake to fill up water.
 The area we're riding through was recently subject to a huge forest fire.  All the spruce trees are crisp and burnt.  In some places, they look striped, the inner bark creating a stark contrast with the charred outer bark.  It would look desolate if it weren't for the fireweed, which forms a dense, pink carpet among the trees.  And the smells!  The wind carries us the smell of chopped wood, fishiness from the lakes, wet burnt wood from the forest, and summer flowers.  It's really quite beautiful.  Thankfully there's much less traffic than the Alaska Highway, so it's easy to ride side by side and chat.  
Late in the day we enter back into green forest and reach our first campground.  60 miles.  We decide to push on, but the headwind has really picked up and it's tough going even though the road has flattened out.  At 70 miles we come upon a rest area where some RVs appear to be camped.  Exhausted, we stop and set up as well.

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