Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Its on to that "O" place, June 24

This morning is a good morning, we all wake up early and have the van packed and ready to go by 8:00am. This is the earliest we have all been up and at 'em yet. However, just when we go to unlock the bikes and head out, Kelly notices that he has a flat tire. No big deal we've all had flats before, but then Brett notices that he has a flat too. Kinda strange and they are both on the rear tires. Considering what we went over the day before it isn't really all that surprising but odd that they didn't go flat until the morning. With the tires replaced we are now ready to get going, we make it about thirteen k's out of Princeton when my rear tire blows out. Also not a big deal, all we have to do is replace the tube and get going again.....ummmm... until we realize that my tire is totally blown right through and I didn't bring any replacement tires.

Oh. my. goodness. This is the beginning of a long day, we decide to take the tire to Kal Tire to see if there is anything they can do. It turns out...that they can't as I had completely torn through the cords. Which I gather is really REALLY bad and it means the tire is dead. So the Kal Tire guy sends us to the bike shop in Princeton. Oh man, but the shop doesn't open until ten and its not even nine yet. So Brett and I go to the bakery and try some tasty things and then nap on the sidewalk until the shop guy shows up at about 9:45am. Oh yeah! But our hopes are quickly dashed when he tells us he has nothing in the size I need. So the only alternative to waiting until a tire can be couriered is .... to ride the Tandem! Nooooooooo! But we do... for way too long once again.

Until we reach Keremeos and Alan, my hero! Has a replacement tire from Oliver B.C. Apparently the shop in Osoyoos didn't have one either :o( Ohhhh.... things are just kinda hairy right now. Between Brett's spoke and my tire we should hopefully be good for awhile. But its just a small set back and we didn't lose too much time. We arrive in Osoyoos as planned just a couple hours later than expected.

The campground here is amazing! Brett and I enjoy the hot tub which makes my Achilles feel almost 100%. Which is a huge relief as I wasn't sure what I was going to do, it was so sore today and very painful when I took my foot off the pedal. But it feels great now :o) We have a campsite right on the lake and our own little beach :o) We don't have much time to enjoy it and I kinda push for a rest day tomorrow before we tackle Anarchist mountain. I guess we'll see how everyone feels in the morning :o)

Hope Floats June 23

Waking up this morning was not something I want to do... it definitely feels like a Monday. I can't explain it, it just feels like Monday and Monday's are not good days for me. However, we do make it to the bike shop and the super cool hippy bike tech gets Brett's bike into Tip Top shape in no time. It turns out that the spoke Kelly and he replaced was done correctly after all. I decide to buy some spokes as well just in case this happens again. I'm definitely learning that being over prepared is not a bad thing :o)

We then get on our way, leaving Hope behind and head on to Princeton. The ride is super hilly and we make it over two mountain passes "Sunday" and "Allison" both are quite challenging. Our legs are all beginning to feel like Jelly by the time we ride back down to the river and to Princeton.

The campground once again is amazing, we have a spot right on the river and free showers! However the camp stove is no longer working. The propane leaks and when one tries to light it fire begins shooting out the side and underneath the stove. I hid behind the van while the "guys" tried to figure out what was going on. Soon we all decided that the next Walmart we find the stove is being exchanged. So.... we end up cooking Kraft Dinner on the open fire, it works really well but the pot is now black....very black. But it tastes great, it might just be that I'm really hungry!

....and the days start getting shorter June 22 :o)

It was a great relief to find out that none of the four of us snore, or perhaps I was just so tired that I didn't notice. However we did wake up to realize that the Starbucks across the street from our "campsite" has wireless internet! Over some coffee and tasty breakfast items we start blogging.... this is actually my first blogging experience and it is definitely...interesting. Anyhoo, once we have all satisfied our caffeine addictions we head back over to the van aka the SS Enterprise, to begin organizing ourselves for the trip from Chilliwack to Hope. Now that Brett and I are back on our own bikes the ride is really fantastic. However now we have to pack the hideous Tandem into the van. Oh my goodness will it be a huge relief when that is returned to its owners.

We take every opportunity to snap pictures of ourselves and the "Super Natural" BC landscape as we ride by. Every thing flows smoothly until we reach Hope, actually just past it. When Brett's spoke broke, however we did meet a fellow gathering bottles and cans along side the highway that was delighted to inform us that he made twenty thousand dollars last year, simply collecting bottles and cans. He also mentioned that he found ten thousand dollars American in the ditch in a plastic bag, hmmmm.... he definitely was a bit odd. The can man soon takes off on his electric bicycle and Kelly and Brett continue to attempt to replace the broken spoke but none of us have ever done this before. After some frustrating attempts we decide to head back down into Hope and wait until tomorrow when the bike shop opens. The campground we end up in is really nice, we have a spot right by the river, which allows us all a chance to relax and think about what tomorrow might well as try out the new camp stove, it works great! However the thingy that connects the propane is stuck and I'm unsure as to how we are going to get it out... oh well we'll figure something out tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy Summer June 21st Woo!

We all awake to silence, the inebriated people from the night before must be sleeping off their excitement. We are all happy to see that the van is still in one piece as we start re-packing to continue the journey to Chilliwack. For breakfast we stop at an IHOP only to discover that there are only five in B.C. and that might be only five in all of Canada, unless there are some in Ontario. We will have to find out in three provinces. The route through Abbotsford and to Chillwack was a little hairy until we found the North Parallel rode that runs alongside the Highway One. It was a really beautiful ride and the weather was a perfect 24’C and a little overcast. The Tandem bike has to go, it had been decided by both Brett and I that we just can do this anymore, it is the most uncomfortable bike ever and whenever we encounter a hill the gears start slipping all the way up it and we nearly fall over every few feet. I miss my bike, and my super comfortable squishy seat. We have a brief stop over at a Petro Canada in Abbotsford and then make our way to Chilliwack. The biggest challenge of the day is finding a campground that will take tents, which we do not find. Along with a few other RV’ers we camp in the Walmart parking lot. Four people sleep quite comfortably in a Dodge Caravan. The end of one more day in our ten week adventure.

Biggity Bloggity Boo June 19 and 20

Woooo, the day is finally here that we begin our long journey across the country. However our first destination is the zero mile marker in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria. Three of us have final exams today so we have to wait until the afternoon before we can leave. The packing of the van turns out to be a bit of a challenge, as we now have to fit a Tandem mountain bike in here as well. The Tandem is supposed to be the solution to Brett resting is torn muscle while still managing to peddle across Victoria and some of B.C. We finally leave Lethbridge at 6:30pm and drive all night to make it to the Ferrie for 9:00 am. We were hoping for the first Ferrie of the day at 7:00am but between inaccurate GPS instructions and the late departure from Lethbridge we arrived a little later than anticipated. The Ferrie was fun as always and I even managed to avoid the gift shop, which was quite the achievement.

We arrive in Swartz Bay and head off to find the Chateau Victoria for lunch with several University of Lethbridge Alumni, the GPS did not let us down for this destination as we find it quite quickly and arrive exactly on time. After a nice lunch on the eighteenth floor we head down to Beacon Hill Park for the Zero Mile Marker photo shoot and the kick off to the trip of our lives. However the road was on an uphill and although I lost my shoe and almost fell over about five times we managed to get the Tandem going, and headed off through downtown Victoria. The Lochside and Galloping Goose trails were recommended to us to get back to the Ferrie terminal. This made the trip across the island much more enjoyable compared to the highway. If only the Tandem bike was not quite so difficult. Seriously if it were made of wood I would burn it!

Anyway, we made it back to Swartz Bay and the Ferrie at 7:00pm. Rather than pack the giant Tandem back into the van Kelly rode it onto the Ferrie. The catch was that Kelly actually made it in time to get on the earlier Ferrie, the rest of us had no idea where he was and when we finally boarded our Ferrie we could not find him or the Tandem anywhere. The level of concern amongst the group was beginning to rise until Alan received a call on his cell phone from Kelly’s mom letting us know that Kelly was just an hour and a half ahead of us in Tsawwassen. Instant relief! As we were all thinking that maybe Kelly got on a different Ferrie and may have ended up somewhere other than where we were heading.

With us all reunited in Tsawwassen, Brett and I jump back on the Tandem (unfortunately) and carry on towards Surrey. The sun was quickly beginning to set and rather than continue on and risk getting caught in the dark we spent the night in Surrey. In a rather sketchy hotel in, so sketchy in fact that we brought all of our stuff including the bikes into our lovely cigarette smoke scented room. Not only did our window not have a screen but the air conditioner did not work and apparently Nick loves Ashley forever (this was written with black Jiffy marker on the bathroom door.) We fell asleep that night to the sweet sounds of inebriated gentlemen arguing over who was smarter. It was the end of a very eventful day.