Monday, July 8, 2013

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

The last time I was in Prince Rupert was five years ago, and both my Trek 520 bike and Brooks saddle were brand new. While I was waiting for the Alaska ferry I had stayed at the Pioneer Hostel which sits near the bend of the Yellowhead Highway as it heads east out of town into the mountains. Part of me was tempted to point my bike in that direction, but my plan then was to ride north to the Yukon and Alaska. I told myself that someday I would come back and take that road. Well today's the day!

The ferry docked at the harbour in the early morning after a rough night of sailing across the strait. It was a picture perfect arrival as the transcontinental train was also pulling into its station beside the terminal. Prince Rupert is the transportation hub of the northern Inside Passage, from here you can take ships up to Alaska, Southern BC or Washington State,

My bike got tied up with the dogs in the hold

One of the things I love about coastal BC: loads of wild raspberries and blackberries everywhere free for the taking. It also keeps the bears happy — if you were given a choice between a sweet berry and a salty sweaty human, which one would you pick?

They did not have s sign for BC in Haida Gwaii so here was my photo op

I went for a coffee in town at Tim Horton's and bumped into Mike, the old man from Masset again. After chatting over coffee, we said our second goodbyes and I went to the supermarket to stock up on lunch and snacks as there is absolutely nothing for 145 kilometres until Terrace.

Today's ride was nothing short of spectacular. Most accounts I've read from other cyclists complained about the rain and clouds obscuring the mountains, But I lucked out on a clear day and there was a tremendous tailwind blowing up the Skeena Valley, pushing me to speeds over 30 kph without much effort. The river cuts right through the snow-capped Coastal Mountain range, resulting in a tight valley shared by the Yellowhead Highway and the railroad. If I had stopped to take every photo I wanted to take, I would not have made it to Terrace in a day.

Can a road get any more scenic than this?

Does this sandwich make my ass look big?

Even the view from my rear view mirror is as tantalizing as what's ahead of me

I'm withdrawing from the Karma bank of the fraternity of touring cyclists. Tonight I am camping out in someone's back yard for free.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

1 comment:

  1. That sandwich did not make your ass seem fueled your journey.
    Enjoying your posts,