Day87

Sayward Junction RV Park[MAP]

Crossing the 50th parallel at Campbell River (Day 87)

Crossing the 50th parallel at Campbell River (Day 87)

I suffered today. I’m still tired from the hiking in Tofino and it was bloody hot with a headwind for the entire day. Stopped at a great outdoor gear/bike shop in Campbell River where I bought some spare spokes for the first time. The whole process took about half an hour. First they tried to measure the spokes on my bike then they were checking sizes on a computer program they had. I thought a spoke was a spoke, but turns out I have different sized spokes on my rear and front tyres. They’re now proudly attached to my bike frame with electrical tape. I feel more like a serious cyclist now. I should have got spare spokes ages ago, I knew something was missing in my life. My expertise for bicycle repair is limited to fixing a flat tyre. Maybe if I was to do this all again, I’d learn how to completely pull apart my bike and put it back together again before I started the trip. I got a quick “Replacing a Spoke 101” lesson from Dirk in Oregon but I wasn’t really paying attention. Anyway, it’ll never happen.

It was fifty miles between Campbell River and Sayward with nothing in between except waterless and toiletless rest stops. I stopped at one of the rest stops in the afternoon and fell asleep on a bench for forty minutes, I felt so weak and tired. Luckily I didn’t need to ride the extra six miles into Sayward, but instead camped at the highway junction.

In the US I was having corn grits for breakfast, a horrible tasteless gluten free cereal that I’d mix with peanut butter and nutella in order to make it bearable to eat. I haven’t found anything similar in the Canadian supermarkets. I had the inspiring idea today of having baked beans for brekkie. Beans twice a day.

What a great idea.

Day88

Telegraph Cove RV Park[MAP]

Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island (Day 87)

Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island (Day 87)

Telegraph Cove beach sunrise, Vancouver Island (Day 87)

Telegraph Cove beach sunrise, Vancouver Island (Day 87)

It took me ages to do the first twenty miles today. I started early at 6:30am (the sun rises at about 5:30am) and rode through miles and miles of commercial timber forest. There can hardly be anything more boring and tedious than riding through commercial forests. My baked beans breakfast didn’t help me much energy-wise, so at Woss I stopped in to get some snacks. They had a little restaurant at the gas station so I decided to try the egg and veggie breakfast and told the lady to skip the toast. She asked me if I was wheat-intolerant and offered me corn tortillas instead – it was great. It seemed to make all the difference, I think it’s the eggs. I met a guy who cleans the rest stop toilets along the highway, turns out he is a commercial diver. He told me about the world class diving in the area and gave me the number of a friend who does dive tours on the weekends.

The idea of being in such cold water is putting me off, and I think instead I will just head straight to Prince Rupert.

The turnoff to Telegraph Cove began with a long thirteen percent downhill which I’m going to enjoy struggling up tomorrow morning. The last five kilometres were a horrible corrugated road covered in a fine white powder sand that would fly up and cover me in dust every time a car went past. Telegraph Cove is a tourist trap, but has a nice little village on stilts and is a popular starting point for the $90 Orca watching tours.

An uneventful day, more commercial forests. At one point I had to get driven through a construction area. While I was on the back of the pilot car, the driver called something out. Later he told me he’d seen a bear. Boris, the German from several days ago, told me he’d seen sixteen bears on his road trip so far. I’m still on number one, and that was back in California fifty days ago. Got a flat tyre later in the day; stupid me – I was looking out for bears and hit a big rock on the road. Even damaged my rim a little.

At the campgrounds I met a young German couple, Rolf and his very fine girlfriend, Dorit. They’d started riding from the middle of Canada four months ago but were now returning home to finish their Biology and Psychology studies. From what Rolf told me about the ferry up to Alaska, it sounds stupendous and I’m convinced now to go up as far as Haines.

Port Hardy (Day 89)

Port Hardy (Day 89)

Day90

Prince Rupert[MAP]

Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (Day 90)

Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (Day 90)

Caught the 7am ferry to Prince Rupert. It was a long time to spend on a boat. Even though it was beautiful, I did start getting sick of just seeing forest, forest, forest. Very beautiful but agonisingly monotonous. They should have a hot tub and a happy hour or something like that on the ferry. Or even better, a happy hour in the hot tub. I spent some of the hours reading my latest book, “The Killing Fields”, which I picked up at an RV park by swapping my old book “Cider House Rules” by John Irving. The most I’ve spent on a book so far is fifty cents. The highlight of the ferry trip was the $22 dinner buffet. I broke my gluten-free diet totally, but at least I broke it in style: four main meal plates of halibut and fresh salads, then three plates of desert. When I saw the profiteroles (cream puffs) I couldn’t resist; eleven of them.

Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (Day 90)

Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (Day 90)

Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (Day 90)

Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (Day 90)

Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (Day 90)

Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (Day 90)

Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (Day 90)

Ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (Day 90)

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