Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Excitement Is Building

Near Greenwood
 In only a few days, Perry (whose blog you might have read the other day), Roy and I will be heading southwest to the interior of British California to begin our adventure cycling trip for the year.  For me this is year five, Roy year seven and the newbie Perry - year one.

The above picture shows Roy up ahead near Greenwood and one of the two summits we would climb on the way to Castlegar.  We had just had an encounter with a local who I named Graham Townsend - a rifle toting farmer originally from southern England.  Mr. Townsend was out for an evening stroll with his dogs and keeping a wary eye out for the coyotes who had been raiding his henhouse.

It has been a busy week trying to get everything ready for the trip - choosing freeze-dried foods, replacing a bent tent peg, trying to locate my camping pillow, returning the crappy sleeping bag that I tried out last weekend on our over-night camp out, raising the handlebars on the bike, buying small containers of toiletries, finding a second water bottle and bottle cage and a hundred other tasks that need attending to - like cutting the grass, weeding the garden etc.

Just one of the tunnels that we'll travel through
One of my favourite occurances is riding through the railway tunnels that dot the trail.  Riding from 30 degree temperatures and bright sunlight into a dark, moist and cool cave-like atmosphere never fails to thrill me.  The longest tunnel is called the Bulldog Tunnel - here's an excerpt from "Riding the Kettle Valley Railway": The tunnel itself cuts a straight line from east to west with a slight hook at the west end.  Travelling from west to east is preferable because once around the corner you just walk toward the light at the other end, but coming from the east you walk in total darkness for almost the total length of the tunnel.

From cool and moist to hot and sunny
 The weather forecast is for hot sunny conditions and if there isn't a fireban in effect, we might just relax in front of an open fire.  It can get pretty cool way up near the summits that we will ascend and a fire can quickly improve the morale of my two fair-weather cycling friends.  I can remember huddling with Roy in a patch of sunlight early one morning in Beaverdell while trying to eat porridge and waiting for the temperature to warm up enough to melt the frost on our tents.

If the thirty degree temperatures that are called for actually happen, then our stays inside a cool railway tunnel might actually stretch into an overnight adjournment.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good time! I hope to cycle some of BC's rail trails someday, maybe when the kids are older. Looking forward to seeing a summary of your trip and photos when you return.