Canada

Entering Canada / Yukon Territory coming from Alaska on July 12

Yukon

Canada ride, Yukon – Photo Album

Ride in the Yukon at SpotAdventures

Map created by SpotAdventures:GPS Geotagging

British Columbia

Canada ride, British Columbia – Photo Album

Canada Ride, Southern British Columbia at SpotAdventures

Map created by SpotAdventures:GPS Geotagging

Daily Trip Log Notes

Yukon

Monday, July 13

Beaver Creek to (40km before) Burwash Landing

140km / 1535km; 7.7h / 88h;

Late start at 12:30pm due to Blog update in Beaver Creek. Slow and hot
ride with dusty gravel sections. Many former rest stops are closed and
abandoned. Once I jump into a clear creek with shoes and bike jersey
and all to cool off while riding on! In evening at 10:00p I get to
another abandoned “ghost town” and see a sign “Burwash Landing 39km”;
so I stay there for the night (wild camping).

Tuesday, July 14

Burwash Landing to Haines Junction

170km / 1705km; 9h / 97h;

First 40km to Burwash Landing is hard work. There I have coffee and
send email / Blog updates (same place we stopped during bus ride
Whitehorse to Anchorage).
Then I see my first Grizzly bear cross the road in front of me!
More food and coke at Destruction Bay. Then beautiful ride along
Kluane Lake. Stop at Cottonwood RV park and again email connection.
Then stop at airstrip and reunion with Lance and Donjek (pilot to
Logan basecamp) – very nice to see them again!
3 hour Evening ride to Haines Junction, long 400m downhill at the end.
Camping and shower at Haines Junction.

Wednesday, July 15

Haines Junction to Whitehorse

160km / 1870km; 7h / 104h;

Walk over for early breakfast at Village Bakery around 7:30am. There I
meet David Cartier, the Alaska Direct bus driver with another group of
passengers. Then I start around 9am. Ride with slight tailwind, good
average speed initially. After 3+ hours I get very hungry. So I stop
at an abandoned roadside house and cook some freeze-dried dinner.
Later there is some light rain and I need to put on my GoreTex. About
2hrs of riding in rain and somewhat messy roads and passing trucks
spraying water.
Then I stop at a B&B (cabin rental) which looks very nicely maintained
from the outside. It is owned and run by Heidi Hofmann from Bamberg
who emigrated to Yukon 10 years ago – a very cozy place!
I keep going for another 40km and reach the center of Whitehorse by
7:45p, good time for dinner at Klondike Bar & Grill. Meet other folks
from hostel (incl. Brett). Hostel is fully booked, so I proceed to the
Robert Service Campground in the late evening.

Thursday, July 16

Rest Day in Whitehorse

Bike Tune-up at Philippe’s bike store:

  • Clean chain and replace half-broken element;
  • Replace 2 broken spokes in back wheel and true wheel;
  • Adjust rear wheel and disk brake;
  • Tighten suspension bolt;
  • Adjust chain tensioner using spacers;
  • Friday, July 16

    Whitehorse to Teslin

    182 km (196km actually pedaled) / 2077km; 9.4h (10.2h actual) / 115h

    False direction start through town! Cost me 45min and 12km unnecessary riding :-((

    Met German rider who flew in day before (Frankfurt – Whitehorse nonstop with Condor) and rode a few km together. He turned South to Skagway, AK.
    Had second breakfast at RV park – nicely maintained by Swiss couple –
    at 30km. Then along Marsh Lake – with two disappointing detours toward
    lake in search of restaurants – and to Jake’s Corner at 80km. Met Adam
    and Steve from Edmonton on their way North. Huge cinnamon bun and
    blueberry scone plus coffee around 3:00p. Smelled the fresh
    strawberries alongside the road!
    Then 50km to Johnsons Crossing, Hwy bridge across the Teslin river at
    North end of Teslin lake. Stop at RV park, Gatorade and rhubarb
    bakery; thankfully free wireless Internet, 25min Skype with Jill :-)
    Last 52km to Teslin along lake up and down small hills. Initially rain
    under a small cloud with sun from the side! Then beautiful evening
    light with pictures and video (helmet mount and tripod). Felt really
    strong despite headwind and 10+hr day.
    Arrived in Teslin just around sunset at 10:45p – thankfully motel / RV
    park office was still open until 11:00p. Quick email, then well-
    deserved (and badly needed) hot shower and into tent by 11:45p.

    Saturday, July 18

    Teslin to Swift River

    109km / 2187km; 6h / 121h;

    Doing email and updating Blog; continental breakfast (disappointing);
    visit to Northern Wildlife Museum (great); Skype with Jill; burger for
    lunch.
    Late start at 1:30p up an 160m hill for starters! Despite some drops
    when starting I’m dodging the rainclouds most of the day. More hills
    than I thought – for a total of 1600m vertical for the day! At Morley
    River I pause to eat some more and cool off by swimming in the clear
    stream. Also filtering 2l water to drink.
    Met John and Eddy from Cleveland on tandem since June 1st.
    (AnchorageForOrphans.com)
    Then rain the last 15km to Swift River and very cold :-((
    Luckily they take me in at the gas station – Thanks to Jerry, Big
    Larry, Ken, Nick and Mike!

    Sunday, July 19

    Swift River to Watson Lake (-20km)

    138km / 2325km, 6.5h / 128h

    After a hearty breakfast I leave around 8:30am. Lots of hills make for
    a rather slow start. Then there is the Continental Divide and
    gas station / restaurant (20km). Rhubarb and coffee. Internet doesn’t
    work here. I continue with tailwind following a river downstream much
    faster now to Rancheria (40km). Here Internet works and I update Blog
    and Skype with Jill as well as have a Special Omelette. Continue at
    1:45pm downwind and sometimes downhill. At 57km I have a rear tire
    tear and tube puncture. Fixing and only soft tire pump pressure. Meet
    Laura at 80km; she is a teacher from Oregon on her way up to Alaska,
    Skagway, Dawson City and time permitting the Dempster Hwy. She has a
    tough time into this headwind! With her pump I can get decent tire
    pressure again.
    Continue through scenic, but very hilly stretch. Stop at 37 junction
    about 20km short of Watson Lake after 140km and 1500m vertical for the
    day. Excellent food (double-dinner with bumbleberry pie a la mode and
    milk), shower and simple campsite.

    Monday, July 20

    Watson Lake to Contact Creek

    98km / 2422km; 5.2 hrs / 133hrs.

    After small breakfast (Apple Turnover and coffee) I start early 7:45
    to get to Watson Lake. Unfortunately I have a flat tire (front) and
    then realize that my new tubes shrader valve doesn’t fit into my rims!
    (Never had this happen in 40 years of riding!) I lose a lot of time
    fiddling with it and there is also 200m worth of hills to climb. Pump
    up the tires at Watson Lake Motor Ltd. No bike store in town :-(
    Then breakfast and buying groceries.
    Meet Scott Mullin from Pompano who is on the road since 5 months!
    Visit to the Sign-post forest.
    Skype chat with Jill from her office.
    Leaving town at 1:50pm.
    Flat rear tire again after 8km – tire needs to be replaced! I tie the
    bike to a telephone line pole and hitch back to town with my panniers and back
    wheel. I meet Scott again and it is my lucky day: He has a 26″ spare
    tire! So I put on the new tire and again inflate at the garage. I
    hitch a ride back, put the bike back together and resume my ride (at
    38km).
    After 2 hrs or so (73km) I stop at the Hyland River to look at the
    map. There I have another flat tire on the front!! I replace the tube
    with the new one from Scott (with Presto valve) and pump it up again
    to resume riding.
    Finally after many more hills I reach Contact Creek at 8:30pm. I buy
    some milk and pastries. Owner Dennie also offers me hot water, which I
    use to make soup. Finally I tent on the grass behind the building.

    British Columbia

    Tuesday, July 21

    Contact Creek to Liard River (Hotsprings)

    146km / 2569km; 7.25hr / 140hr

    Some rain overnight, so I pack a wet tent. After breakfast and email
    check from the convenience store it’s Goodbye from Yukon and Hello BC!
    I start early (8:30) and know from Scott’s website how many hills to
    expect. The first part is tough, as there are 4 substantial hills for
    a total of 1000m to climb. Scenery is gorgeous, weather is cloudy, but
    generally clearing after rains. I see some Bison on and next to the
    road. I finally get to Coal River after 86km at 1:30p after a long
    steep and fast descent (73km/h).
    A restaurant and Internet access, so biker life is good! After a big
    Western omelette I check email and update my Blog with the flat tire
    episode…
    The afternoon leg will be much easier, as the road follows the Liard
    river downstream without major hills and there is a bit of a W
    tailwind :-))
    I get to the Liard hot springs at 146km around 7pm, one of my earliest
    arrival times yet! That’s great, as the sun can still dry my tent and
    the restaurant closes at 8pm. After dinner and tent setup I walk back
    the 700m wooden boardwalk to the hot springs. The hot water feels very
    soothing. Under a mini waterfall I get the closest thing to a back and
    leg massage. I also get even more tired, so I quickly crawl into the
    tent and sleep for 9.5hrs!

    Wednesday, July 22

    Liard River to Toad River;

    120km / 2690km; 7.5h / 148h; 1530m / 29100m

    After crossing the Liard river long uphill into a side valley; some stretches too steep for me to pedal. Entered Muncho Lake Provincial Park. Saw a black bear sow with two cubs -very nice. Once at the higher plateau of the valley nice views of valley, but also lots of annoying short steep hills – like a rollercoaster!
    Finally arrive at the lake and ride alongside. Stopped at the Northern Rockies lodge, which I remember from 10 years ago. It is run by some Swiss folks who also offer scenic flights, kayak tours and fly in fishing excursions as well as remote cabins.
    I have “Zuericher Geschnetzeltes” for lunch. (If I could have afforded it, I would have had another one right away.)
    More scenic riding along the lake; then hard climb into the S headwind up some 400m! Seemed to never end – one of the hardest parts since the Dalton Hwy! Then 4100m descent at 7% at up to 60km/h, then turn and follow the Toad river downstream. Now the sun comes out and it is downhill and downwind :-) Life is good! Great scenery, canyon walls to the right, river to the left. I stop to drink and snack; see a beaver in the river and two caribou on the road (until they get bitten by some horse fly and take off running).
    Some gravel patches on the road lead to a lot of dust from passing vehicles. Finally after 120km I reach the Toad River lodge, where I have two of their Ribeye steak specials and camp for the night. Also free wireless Internet :-)

    Thursday, July 23

    Toad River to Tetsa River campground;
    98km / 2788km; 6hr / 154hr; 1200m

    Breakfast at the restaurant. Steep hill to start, then some gravel and
    pretty dusty. Then long climb up to Summit Lake at Stone Mountain, at
    1260m highest point of the Alcan. Beautiful scenery coming up to the
    pass. Getting water at “Bubble Canyon” where a camper truck lies in
    the ditch!
    Stop at Summit Lake where I meet Gary and Lynn, who travel with bikes
    and a small camper, relay-style: One rides the bike, the other one
    drives the camper; then they take turns. A great way to travel and
    stay together!
    Long descent and one more gravel stretch (with pilot cars). Stop at
    Tetsa River Lodge (86km) for the “Cinnamon Bun Center of the Galactic
    Cluster” (road sign ad), then some WiFi and at 7pm steak night special.
    After dinner I continue on to Tetsa River campground another 14km or
    so. 2.5km off the Hwy down to the river.

    Friday, July 24

    Tetsa River to Fort Nelson

    100km / 2895km; 6h / 160h; 1250m / 32000m

    Aweful mosquitoes the first 30m gravel hill up through the woods
    pushing the bike. 5min later I have maybe 50 bites :-((
    On Hwy the day begins with a steep 100m hill, followed by some
    relatively flat and well engineered section. After a few km the road
    starts to climb up, eventually some 500m to 1135m. From there super
    long descent to the East. Then another 60km or so of relatively
    monotonous riding through the forest.
    Nearing Fort Nelson the Alcan follows some ridge which offers sweeping
    views to the West. More homes and some farmland. Eventually I reach
    Fort Nelson and stop the library for cold water and Internet. Then
    visitor center for info, a grocery store for lots of fresh food
    (including the blueberries, mill and cereal for next day’s breakfast.
    Doing laundry and Skype with Jill. Lastly dinner at Boston’s Pizza –
    large Greek Salad, followed by Italian Penne and some fruit pie a la
    mode – yummy!

    Saturday, July 25

    Fort Nelson to Buckinghorse River

    184km / 3083km; 10.5h / 171h; 1900m / 33900m.

    Early start at 8:30 after big breakfast (1lb cereal, 1lb blueberries,
    1l milk, 1 yoghurt) due to grocery shopping last evening. Long hill
    down and up from Muskwa River. Long straight roads through endless
    forest, one 11km straight stretch with odometer test km markers. Hot
    on uphills and around noon, hard to find shade… At noon I have 60km.
    Finally at 95km I arrive at Prophet River, but there is nothing there!
    A little further is a B&B and a wedding is going on, so plenty of cars
    and people. No water (unless I wait until after wedding ceremony), but
    I’m told there is a creek in 6km. Unfortunately the water is fairly
    muddy, so I need to work hard on the water filter – I take 2l filtered
    water. Getting up to the plateau from the river is another 100m hill –
    hard work!
    Buckinghorse River will be very far, but there is nothing in
    between… I am told there are no hills – not true: The road climbs
    slowly but unrelenting; eventually I reach 1130m, some 800m higher
    than in the morning down at the river! Total elevation gain 1900m for
    the day – more than the last two days! I calculate that it will be
    tight to get to the restaurant before 9pm; so I push myself hard, and
    I get very tired.
    Last hour on ridge in beautiful light and great views to the West.
    Also see 1 big black bear and a moose with calf. Arrive at B.R.
    exactly at 9pm after pushing hard up those last hills… Great food
    (restaurant open until 10pm) for dinner, then walk over to Provincial
    Park campground and tent setup at 10pm.

    Sunday, July 26

    Buckinghorse River to Wonowon

    120km / 3204km; 7h / 171h; 1500m / 35400m

    Early breakfast, then easy 23km to Sikanni River; stop and nice chat
    with owner lady. Bought Alberta map. Then 350m hill back up to the
    ridge – two long push sections and 45 min later I’m up there again…
    Then another short section to a motel / restaurant just prior to Pink
    Mountain which I reach at noon (49km). Here I have a clubhouse
    sandwich and coke. Then I sleep in the shade of the building for 1h
    while sun & wind blow-dry my wet tent :-) Then Skype with Jill and
    more email & Blog reading. Finally after the heat of the day subsides
    I hit the road again near 5pm. There is another 150m hill up to Pink
    Mountain, which then offers a rewarding view. From here it’s another
    60km along a ridge with some gas field exploration sites. Plenty more
    hills, unfortunately, but nice evening light again. Arrive in Wonowon
    at 9:15pm – luckily the gas station / convenience store is still open
    until 10:30pm and has wireless Internet :-) I drink two milk mixes and
    check some email. I set up my tent on a public rodeo field /
    playground around the corner. Sleep at 11pm.

    Monday, July 27

    Wonowon to Hudson’s Hope
    155km / 3360km; 8h / 186h; 1400m / 36800m
    Early departure after coffee at the gas station. Rolling hills through
    the forest, not quite as strenuous as yesterday around Pink Mountain,
    with a bit more downhill than uphill. Some farmland as I get closer to
    Fort St. John. On the last 20km of the Alcan I meet Danny Chew and his
    nephew Steve who ride up North. Danny is a multiple RAAM winner and
    knows Wolfgang Fasching quite well – small world! They travel on a
    small budget ($10/day) and do 100miles/day! Hats off to them!
    At Charlie Lake I drink and rest at gas station. Here the road turns
    West to Hudson’s Hope in the Peace River valley. Crazy hills here,
    lots of steep up&down. Very scenic, great views of the river; smells
    remind me of the “Waldviertel” in Austria and our summer vacations
    there on the farm as a young boy. Arrive at Hudson’s Hope 80km after
    Charlie Lake late around 8pm. Dinner at Sportsman Grill, plus email,
    then roll another 2km to campground near town limit. Pitch my tent,
    good shower and then chat with Helen and Hans from Denmark who worked
    here as engineer on the dam some 40 years ago and now comes back to
    visit as tourist. Sleep at 11pm.

    Tuesday, July 28

    Hudson’s Hope to Chetwynd (semi rest day)

    70km / 3438km; 4.5h / 191h; 700m / 37500m

    Today is a semi rest day for several reasons: The next town after
    Chetwynd is too far to reach from H. H. There is the interesting
    Bennett Dam here on the Peace River to visit. I have gone for more
    than one week now without rest day and it’s very hot.

    After breaking down the tent I roll back to town at 7:00am for
    breakfast and email. At 8:30 I continue to the Visitor Center. There I
    leave my bike and try to hitch a ride up to the dam. 1/2h wait, no
    luck! I walk across the street into the restaurant there to have some
    coke (as it’s already pretty hot). I mention the German flag outside
    and there is chef Freddie from Germany. We chat a little bit and I
    mention my plans to go up to the damn. Without hesitation Freddie asks
    whether I have a drivers license. Before I really understand what’s
    happening he already holds his car keys in front of me and offers me
    his car – amazing!
    I accept and go up the 20km by car – an unusual mode of transportation
    for me after 1 month of just riding…
    The dam is quite interesting and very large. Back in the sixties it
    was the largest hydroelectric plant in the world. Total capacity
    2700MW, together with the smaller sister dam at Dinosaur Lake
    downstream those two create 1/3 of all of BC’s electricity need!
    After I return I have lunch at Freddie’s and leave a good tip
    including some gas money at least…
    Then back at the Visitor Center more email and Twitter as well as
    chatting with Kathy, the friendly agent. I buy some delicious apricots
    and cheese bread at the farmer’s market across the street and also
    check out the Hudson’s Hope Museum. Great views of the Peace river.
    Then at 3:30p I finally start my ride. Quick stop at the smaller dam,
    but they close at 4p. Then long, hot climb 300m above the river! Ride
    leads past two lakes which invite for a swim in this heat. At the
    second (Morley Lake) I use a technique to keep bikers cool on very hot
    days: I jump off the bridge into the lake (local attraction for
    teenagers).
    Then one more 250m climb, followed by a 300m descent at 70km/h down to
    Chetwynd by 8p. I shop for groceries, proceed to dinner at
    “Buckroads” (great country style cooking and Internet), and finally
    roll down the street another 2km to the local RV park, where I pitch
    my tent at 10p in the dusk.

    Wednesday, July 29

    Chetwynd to Mackenzie Junction

    158km / 3597km; 8h / 199h; 1280m / 38800m;

    First 50km uneventful ride into valley with three huge high-voltage
    lines. Stop at Silver Sands Cafe (73km). Meet with Florence from Lyon
    over lunch who will stay here for the day. I continue on to the Pine
    Pass – beautiful scenery along the Pine River. Unfortunately road has
    no more shoulder, so I need to monitor traffic and pay close attention
    at times.
    Climb up to pass is not very high (990m) but very hot. At Lake
    Azouzetta lodge I stop for a refreshing swim in crystal-clear lake
    water with nice mountain scenery all around. And a chat over coffee
    with owner Curtis, who has an interesting MTB.
    Then fast descent to Bijoux Falls for a quick stop. Remaining 30km or
    so are rather boring through forest. Arrive at MacKenzie Junction and
    after bridge and short, steep hill at Windy Point lodge run by the
    Dutch van Boois family. Very nice place here, free wireless – actually
    phone-line based and fast DSL – free camping, nice chat with parents
    and kids love playing with my iPhone. Email with Jill, sleep at 11pm.

    Thursday, July 30

    MacKenzie Junction to Prince George

    151km / 3749km; 6.75h / 206h; 940m / 39700m

    Relatively flat and easy stage. Get up at 6, breakfast at restaurant
    at 7, depart at 8. During breakfast I see lightning and black clouds
    to the North. I hurry to get going and only get a few raindrops and
    some spray from passing trucks as the road is wet the first 25km. Then
    I get slightly ahead of the cloud line and it gets sunny and warm. At
    noon I already have 80km and pause at Bear Lake gas station /
    convenience store. They have cool soda and wireless Internet. I write
    two Blog posts, check email and so pass the time until 4pm! On the
    road again by 4:30pm. Very fast ride the next 50km with flat good road
    (some RR crossings, though) and slight tailwind. Then pause at Salmon
    River and some snacks right next to the water in the shade under the
    bridge. Hard climb up from the river valley some 120m and construction
    zone with no shoulder… Finally reaching outskirts of Prince George
    and stopping for food shopping. Lots of friendly and curious people
    there. Luckily I hear about a campground just a few km down the road
    and it’s just rolling downhill. I get to the Roblyn motel & CG by 8:40
    or so. Free camping, shower and wireless Internet :-) Very tired.

    Friday, July 31

    Prince George to Quesnel

    130km / 3880km; 6.5h / 212h; 1300m / 41000m

    On the road at 8:20am after big cereal / blueberry breakfast at Robley
    CG. Already hot at 9am. 120m climb out of P.G. in construction zone
    and narrow sidewalk crossing of Fraser River. Stop near airport
    turnoff for coffee to finish my 2 remaining Danish butterhorns –
    yummi! Not very scenic ride today, and more little hills than I
    expected! It always seems to come out to 100m vertical per 10km
    distance. Brief stop at Stone Creek Lodge – nicely maintained and with
    German flag (but owners were not at office). Lunch stop at Hixon. Some
    coke, but no big meal. Continue at 1:30p in full midday heat. Another
    stop at a roadside “Cinema Cafe”. Huge cherry pie a la mode – yummi
    again! Then continue to Quesnel. On last long downhill into town
    something feels weird with the bike. I’m cruising down at 65km/h and
    an impatient truck driver trying to pass right behind me. When I roll
    out at the bottom of the hill there is a campground. I inspect my
    tires and get a sickening feeling: My backtire has a 1 inch long nail
    in it which slowly leaks air! I patch the tube and have it fully
    reinflated at a nearby tire shop. Decide to stay at the CG and take a
    shower and pitch the tent. Skype with Jill and roll down to town
    center for dinner.

    Saturday, August 1

    Quesnel to Williams Lake
    139km / 4027km; 7h / 220h; 1300m / 42300m

    Roll down to center of Quesnel, breakfast at Granville Coffee and
    email / Skype with Jill. Start riding at 9am. First 20min out of town
    are terrible: 120m uphill, construction, traffic, heat… But after
    that it’s a good ride, slight tailwind, often 100m above Fraser River
    with beautiful views. When I stop for some fudge and icecold coke I
    realize how hot it is when stepping out of the A/C cool building – 1pm
    and 32C. And no shade on the road… Actually, on the next long hill
    up to lake Leese there is a thundercloud forming with lightning and
    thunder, which provides much appreciated relief from the sun like a
    giant umbrella! At Lake Leese I stop for a snack and drinks. Seems to
    be the weekend getaway for the local folks, as the lake and resorts
    here are quite busy and crowded. I meet Diana and Peter, who are on a
    shopping trip up to Quesnel; they live in Williams Lake and give me
    lots of useful information; we set a tentative dinner date for
    Williams Lake.
    After another 2.5h (45km) and a long climb to almost 1000m I roll down
    at high speeds to W.L. I stop at Boston Pizza for a salad and emails.
    Then at 7:30 I am at the next restaurant and meet up with Diana and
    Peter. Turns out that restaurant is closed so we just switch plans to
    another one 1km down the road. We have dinner and I tell them about my
    trip.
    At dusk another 5km ride along lake shore to Will Yum Campground.
    Setup tent under clear sky and moon. After brushing teeth I walk back
    to tent and notice bright object tracking across night sky – perhaps
    the Space Station?

    Sunday, August 2

    Williams Lake to Green Lake

    125km / 4155km; 7.5h / 228h; 1600m / 43900m

    I get up early at 6:30 and hit the road at 7am. Per Peter’s tip I
    detour slightly at the beginning of the next hill and take a small
    backcountry road around the hill. Windy road, many cattle guards. At
    one I stop and take a picture when I suddenly see Peter come out of a
    driveway; he just wanted to ride back towards the campground to meet
    me! Had I been 2min earlier we would have missed each other! So he
    invites me into his house for breakfast – fresh coffee and toast with
    fresh raspberry jam. After we talk for a while he joins me for the
    first part of the ride back to Hwy 97. There it’s Goodbye to Peter and
    I continue South. I pass the scene of a fatal head-on collision the
    day before on the Hwy – a grim reminder of the fragility of life. Then
    at 30km I have a flat back tire. I walk 200m to a litter barrel area
    and unload all bags to find the leak and patch the tube. A car stops.
    It’s Dustin and Jennifer, asking whether I need any tools. I ask
    whether they have an air pump. To my surprise he has an electrical pump
    and so I’m back up to 50psi tire pressure right away :-)
    I continue to Lake La Hache at 55km. There I buy 1.5lb of fresh
    apricots at a fruit stand and chat with Lionel (from South Africa) in
    German! He also offers a delicious peach and Greek cheese for free.
    Then I proceed to the Austrian Edelweiss restaurant across the street
    and have Homemade “Spaetzle” for lunch – oh my, is this good! Checking
    email and then going for a swim in the lake. Resume ride at 3:15p.
    Again many hills until I arrive at 100 Mile House at 85km. Visitor
    center with Swiss folks, plenty of info and free wireless – hence
    Skype with Jill. Planning overnight stay, decide to detour to Green
    Lake East of Hwy. Call ahead to “Little Horse Lodge” with German
    restaurant sounds promising. Not too many hills, I ask. Not to worry,
    no problem… Well guess what: Big problem; there are probably another
    500m vertical in those 35km, so it takes me more than 2h and I arrive
    very tired a little after 9pm when it’s about to get dark. Beautiful
    sunset, bright moon (near full) and red colored thunderhead in the SW
    distance. Here at lodge big disappointment: Restaurant already closed
    at 8pm, only opens at 9am for breakfast, Internet not working … I go
    to sleep hungry. Then my tent pole snaps near the top – going to be
    hard to fix. Tonight is not my night, so go to sleep early. Tomorrow
    is another day.

    Monday, August 3

    Green Lake to Clinton

    58km / 4213km; 2.75h / 231h; 420m / 44320m

    I get up, take a shower and cook some noodles as I’m really hungry.
    Then I pack my gear and write a few emails. Finally at 9am the
    restaurant opens up for breakfast. Over breakfast some more emails and
    eventually I start my ride at 10:45!
    Rolling hills along Green Lake, little traffic and some cattle guards.
    Then at 30km I get to 70 Mile House. Coke and email break. I received
    two donations within 24hrs of $350 total :-)
    The next 30km to Clinton are the worst of the entire trip: Nonstop
    traffic both ways, bad shoulder almost unrideable (gravel, debris,
    washboard), construction, heat, smoke – after a few near misses I have
    enough of this and stop in Clinton. Unfortunately the roads via
    Lillooet are closed due to forest fires; so it looks like I will have
    to take the Fraser canyon route via Hope!
    I decide to stay put for the day and let the insane traffic (from the
    long BC holiday weekend) subside. All-you-can-eat BBQ buffet with ribs
    help compensate for last night’s calories deficit :-)
    Two Blog posts and email. Also a walk up&down Clinton mainstreet (I.e.
    Hwy 97) and visit to Clinton museum. Sleep at 10p – fixed up tent pole
    using duct tape for now.

    Tuesday, August 4

    Clinton to Hope

    241km / 4455km; 11h / 241h ; 2400m / 46700m

    Rarely have I seen more difference in riding conditions within 12h:
    this morning the air was at least 10C cooler, smoke-free, there was
    much less traffic – well I started at 6:20am and the long holiday
    weekend is over – and the first 40km were aided by a 450m drop and
    tailwind :-)) At 8am I already had 40km. (I remember a day in the
    Yukon where I had 40km only at 5pm!) At 11a I stopped for a quick soda
    at 90km and at noon the 100km mark rolled around. At a fruit stand I
    buy some apricots to eat a little later at Spences Bridge with coffee
    and a cinnamon bun (1:30p, 135km).
    Before Lytton my good luck with the tailwind runs out and it changes
    into headwind :-( This also brings smoke-filled air from a nearby
    forest fire :-((
    Of course the initial downhill is long past, and there is a lot of
    up&down now in the canyon. While this provides often great views and
    some relief / fun on the downhill, it takes a lot of sweat to grind up
    those hills in the afternoon heat. Eventually the smoke clears and at
    last I can breathe easily again.
    At a hill called “Jackass Mountain” (no kidding!) I stop at an
    overlook with a 250m drop to the river. A German couple also stops
    there and we chat briefly and take mutual pictures. (They got my last
    business card.)
    At Boston Bar (175km) I drink another liter of Coke and wonder whether
    I can still go all the way to Hope with this wind and only about 3h of
    daylight left. Usually the wind does down in the evening, but not
    before I have to fight some more jet-like blasts through the half-
    dozen tunnels. Traffic is moderate, but a few trucks pass pretty close
    where there is little shoulder. Last bottle of Pepsi in Yale, then
    24km to Hope. Towards the end it starts to get dark, and there is one
    more 90m hill after 10.5h on the bike -yikes. Then rolling down and
    over Fraser river bridge into town. I eat at Subway, as no restaurant
    in sight is open at 8:45pm. The campground is right next to the river
    and I pitch my tent under some huge Redwood trees. I’m tired but also
    very satisfied. Great shower, then some email and fall into a deep
    sleep.

    Wednesday, August 5

    Hope to Lynden, WA

    121km / 4576km; 6h / 248h; 650m / 47250m

    After the long ride yesterday I take it easy in the morning. Yet, I wake up at 6:30 and go looking for some breakfast place that’s open in town. There I feast on some “Logger’s Special”, followed by a cinnamon bun, while I update my Blog and do email. I continue with the latter from my tent, as I’m trying to coordinate a meeting with Rich, our Logan mountain guide.
    I leave around noon and expect a semi rest day, i.e. somewhat shorter distance. After 1km or so the road merges onto the Trans Canada Highway 1, a four lane divided hwy – one of only two choices in this valley. It feels like riding on the Interstate or German Autobahn. Trucks and cars are passing at 100km/h while I’m riding along on the shoulder. It’s relatively safe due to the wide shoulder and also cyclist warning signs – and it’s definitely legal, too – but what bothers me most is the noise. I can hardly hear anything but the wind and engine noise – it’s deafening. At one point bicycles are rerouted to a parallel route, which is infinitely nicer through residential neighborhoods and some rural areas. Lots of farmland and fruit growing up here. Once coming out of the mountains it’s completely flat. Yes, there is some headwind, but no more hills.
    I stop at Chiliwack (60km) for some food at a Best Western after inquiring at the Visitor Center about roads and restaurants. Due to my rather leisurely pace it’s already 5:30pm when I start rolling again. I underestimate the distance to the border: It’s another 40km zig-zagging down towards the SW through beautiful and quiet farmland. What a contrast to the noisy hwy earlier. Here I only need to stop for the occasional dog “attack”. At one point I am close to pulling out my bear spray due to a somewhat aggressive Rottweiler out on the public road – that’s one thing I don’t like about free running dogs…
    At 8pm I get to the border at Sumas. The usual questions about where I live, what I do for a living, who pays for the trip etc. But it takes only 10 min and I’m riding South again, now in Washington State. The sun goes down as a perfect red ball over the cornfields. To the West I briefly see Mt. Baker with its glaciers, triggering memories of my ascent 10 years ago at the end of August 1999…
    I continue on West to Lynden, which has a KOA campground, about 10km (which I have to come back tomorrow) in the dusk. I’m happy to get there by 9pm, when they just close the office. They send me to a plaza some 3km away, and there I find a Pizzeria Bar still open. I eat two pizzas and have a glass of red wine in celebration of the event. Also I receive a phone call from my parents, who realized from my Tweets that I am back in the US and my phone probably is working! Rolling back to the CG around midnight. I don’t even bother with my tent and just roll out the sleeping bag – which is a bit warm (it’s 15C, some 40C warmer than most nights on the glacier), but there are no mosquitoes and no rain (bright full moon).

    (end of British Columbia section)

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