11th of June – 18th of June 2107.
As we are burning a lot of calories we need to ensure to eat sufficiently. In Enderby we get the best omelet ever in the Cliff restaurant.
This week we started to meet more dedicated local or long distance bikers. Frank and Jerry are biking to collect money for Cancer research, great work guys.
Just outside Enderby we had our real second bear sighting. Luckily it was far enough to enjoy.
Travelling through Canada is covering distances and in Sicamous we met two Dutch Ladies who are travelling 4 months through Canada by car. They envy us because of our biking as they are normally dedicated bike travellers. I am jealous because of the distance they can travel in luxury and the energy left to still bike/hike specific trails. I have to say that after a day of biking we are still ok to cook and have maybe a short stroll and the resting days we often spend resting 🙂
They have a great website with a lot of info.
After some great back roads from Sicamous we finally started to do what we really wanted to do more. Get into closer contact with locals and see how they do their business. We greeted somebody who was taking some stuff out of an old car and result was he showed us the car company he was working in. They refurbished old cars, of which they had several on site. All still to be restored, cars from the 40-50ies. Derek is mechanic and Garry is the collector and trader. It does look like all the programs you see on television, but now in real, hidden in the forests of Sicamous.
After this stop we can no longer avoid the highway. Highway 1 is the Trans Canada connection for all traffic. Challenge is that large part of it is only one lane, curved and not always the best shoulders. Also some great stretches, but very happy about the mirrors we have on our bikes!
Of course we need to stop at “Last Spike”, where the Trans Canada railroad was connected in 1850. It was built from the east and the west simultaneously, to meet somewhere near Craigellachie. Fun was to see the busloads of Japanese which were released the same time we were there. Seems we are not the only tourists.
Staying at Crazy Creek was a bit crazy due to the noise of the train. I will not get used to it but we will have to endure as long as we follow highway 1. The valley is so small there is no other solution than having highway, train and villages close together. The villages were constructed during the creation of the railroad. Revelstoke is the cutest village we have stayed in. With a very informative railroad museum, great food and apparently great winter sports.
First two nights at Williamson Lake to recover. Without Highway or train noise and with new trout in the lake (not that we caught any of those though). Now you understand why the fishing license costs $84, the Freswater Fisheries Society stocks more than 800 lakes in BC with 8 million trout.
First gardener snake spotting.
When we discovered we could visit the dam which is generating second most electricity from the Columbia river in BC, providing electricity to 800,000 homes in BC, we did not want to miss this opportunity. As the weather is changing we decide to move from the campground to the Cube hotel. The dam was very interesting to see, feel the power below your feet, see how it was constructed and how electricity is generated. We would have liked to see more of the power plant itself, but that is only possible on special, pre-arranged request.
Closeby were a Log Sort Yard and the Forestry museum together with the local timber yard that gave us more insight in the amount of work which needs to be done to harvest the trees and process the timber.
Revelstoke was the first village where we met other long distance bikers (or is it because we are back on the main road?)
The Cube Hotel is a great concept: toilet in the room but shared showers, breakfast included and there is a fully equipped kitchen where you can prepare your own dinner. You need to clean your own dishes, though 🙂 Result is an affordable price and great encounters with other guests. Long distance bikers Brian & Jo from New-Zealand, David & Katia from Canada and Switzerland are staying at the Cube. As the weather stays bad all decide to stay an extra nigh which resulted in a morning looking, discussing, admiring each other’s gear and exchanging stories and tips and tricks, this together with Louis-Marc, the owner who is also a bike addict.
On Saturday the weather finally looks good enough to start going over Rogers Pass. As we are quite soon at Albert Hot Spring and we still feel good we decide to push for Roger Pass and there would be camping possibilities…but they were all closed…oeps we should have called and not trust local info. Being tired and weather starting to get foul we did not take any decent photos of the place where the connecting of East and West of Highway 1 happened. Sorry. At 19:00 and after 83 km, 1377 meter up and 708 meter down it was slowly getting darker and we decided it was enough and camp at a closed campsite. Luckily there was a pit toilet and bearproof garbage container. (used the trick of Brian to keep our food in there, for which thanks!). We just put up the tent when the weather went bad and even pulled some tent pegs out of the ground! Frank was inside the tent and could secure it. I was outside cooking and had to hold on to all the stuff but after 10 minutes this also passed. 20:00 in bed! No bears. And a great hike in the morning to a beautiful waterfall!
David and Katia were less lucky, we saw them the other day in Golden. But as we got their story on Sunday it is part of next blog. Stay tuned.