Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Biking with the Viking

Stepping out from under our covered shelter on our second day, I could see low clouds covering the hills in every direction.  While our tents and camping gear were dry, nothing else was.  It looked like more rain could fall at any time.

Our first stop was the Midway hardware store where we hoped to buy garbage bags to cover our rolled up sleeping bags and tents.  Chris was persuaded to buy a rain suit since I figured while riding up the trail to Grand Forks, we would be soaked by low hanging branches and wet fields.

We made it to  Greenwood finally after Chris lost part of his bike seat but managed to repair it with some electrical tape he had thoughtfully toted along.  We had stopped to admire? the giant slag heap that lines the banks of a clear running creek behind the town.  We couldn't help but wonder how Greenwood has the world's best tasting water when the area is full of slag heaps.
Said slag heap
 The carrot on the stick that kept wet Chris going was the thought of pie at the Copper Eagle.  My hungry boy ordered two slices of Bumbelberry pie (Roy would have been proud) while I enjoyed a slice of vegetarian lasagna.

It was while we warmed up in the cafe that we decided that with Chris' faulty gears and wonky seat that he wouldn't be able to make the summit at Eholt so we turned back to Rock Creek where we stopped at Mile Zero of the KVR  to sign in and visit the railway museum.
The obligatory signing

While I showed off my pocket watch, the boy wrote his name on the rafters after finding his uncle Roy's, his Dad's and his sister's signatures.
The museum at Mile Zero is well done and is staffed by a trusting couple of volunteers.  Trusting enough to let us loose in the backyard where they couldn't see us.  In moments we were riding around on a child's trike and fooling with large axes.
It was all reminiscent of a visit Roy and I had made a few years ago to the museum where again we were allowed to be out of sight.  In a  mock classroom,we carefully arranged (hard to do when you're giggling like a couple of naughty kids) a Dick and Jane book so that the manikin teacher was pointing to the name DICK.  Then took numerous pictures while snickering like the immature men we are.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Bike Name Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a GHOST who wanted to have an ADVENTURE.  She wanted to go to WHISTLER where she expected to meet her NEMESIS the GIANT DRAGON.

It was while on the EXPRESSway to the NORTHSHORE of Vancouver that LIGHTNING struck nearby and scared her.  A GHOST being scared?  A loud THUNDERBOLT made a SIMPLE SLICE in the LUSH undergrowth.  It was bad enough that it could TRIGGER a landslide which would mean that the GHOST would have to make a DETOUR and choose another ROUTE.

The GHOST thought she should call on her friends LEXI, IVY and LILY to help her.  The problem was that LEXI was such a BAD GIRL and LILY was a HOOLIGAN.  Ivy was  young with a QUICK temper.

The GHOST had an idea.  She and her friends could RACE DOWNHILL and call the POLICE.  The worst that could happen is that the POLICE might warn them of the GRAVITY of their situation and possibly give them a TICKET.  A TICKET could PROPEL them into court where a judge might find them too ROWDY and throw them out of the SESSION.

It would seem that the GHOST and her COMPANIONS would never leave the METROPOLIS and get to WHISTLER where if they could DEFY the GIANT DRAGON, they would be known as the SLAYERS because they made the GIANT DRAGON'S heart FLATLINE.

Alas, the GHOST and her friends LEXI, IVY and LILY would never enjoy the SIMPLE pleasures of the town of WHISTLER and would have to content themselves with cycling Vancouver's TRAILS where they might be able to eat CUPCAKES with a LIL HONEY on top!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Boy and the KVR

My son joined me on his very first bike packing trip and experienced in less than one hour just about everything that a trip like this can offer.  Bicycle mishaps, feeling the cold waters of the Kettle River. encountering wild animals and riding through entrancing scenery.

Within the first fifteen seconds of riding bikes loaded with camping gear we managed to crash into one another.  Leaving the gates of the campground at Rock Creek, I noticed that my bicycle computer wasn't working.  I stopped to readjust the small magnet on one of my spokes.  A jarring crash brought my attention back to the road.  It seems that Chris was having trouble shifting and was also looking down to see what the problem was when BAMM!! into the old man's bike.  Other than a chainring tattoo on his shin, I'd like to say no harm no foul.  Except for some choice expletives from my boy.

A few kilometers down the trail, I had just gone through a farm gate when the boy mentioned that just up ahead, the bushes lining the trail were being thrashed about by some unknown source.  Moments later, a browney-golden bear shuffled onto the trail, intent on scooping berries off the bushes.  Acting quickly, we hustled back behind the gate and locked its chain firmly into its slot and hoped the gate would offer protection from the bear.

We shouted at the bear and banged large sticks together to scare the animal away.  Giving us an uninterested look while it pooped on the trail, the bear went back to harvesting the fruit.  We had some choices.  Ride back the way we had come and find another route or wait for the bear to finish eating.  Chris came up with an option that we spent some time evaluating - push our bikes down to the Kettle River and wade close to the shore and past the bear's location.  The question was "Would we be far enough away so as to not disturb/anger the bear?"

I earned my own chainring tattoo when my water-shoed foot slipped on a slimy rock and the bike and all its weight slammed into my shin.  Chris was ahead of me glancing frequently over his shoulder expecting to see the bear charging down the riverbank ready to devour two hapless intruders.

After sloshing through the clear and cold water, we decided that we were far enough away that the bear wouldn't pose a threat.  Lugging our bikes up to the trail, we rode double time to the next farm gate.  Above the gate is a highway bridge and riding on it were two cyclists who pointed in the direction we had come and shouted "Don't go that way!  There's a grizzly down there!!"

The smartass in me wanted to show them my still bleeding leg and casually tell them that we had already met the grizzly.