Houston to Tete Jaune Cache, BC
I set out very early this morning, and without someone else to gauge my speed against, I wandered across the countryside. I followed the same pattern that Gavin had taught me, stopping at the rest stops for food breaks. At lunch a bus stopped out piled many Amish people in full traditional dress. They stretched and walked around the rest area, their black and white clothing filling the area. I might not have noticed them quite so much if it hadn't been for the rush of children of all ages running full speed past my table, a blur of laughter and smiles. They were having so much fun in a simple running race it was a joy to see. I spent a bit of the day thinking about the different styles of raising children and how each seemed to have its benefits and down falls. Without regard for speed I was able to keep from getting overly fatigued and ending up breaking another record for myself - 132.18 km and a top speed of 60 kph! The next city
|Kayakers on a river outside of Prince George.|
was Prince George, my main goal for the area as it is a symbol of having completed the first two mountain ranges. I reached it in two days and spent a day trying to find a solution to my flat tires on my trailer (four at this point).
He lay there, looking quite dead. His thin face was covered with a thin red beard, his jeans had been cut to shorts and he wore no shirt. The only hint of life was the small rise and fall of his stomach. "Is this how you found him ma'am?" The police officer was round in all of his features, but even so he didn't look over weight. He was checking the man's pulse and looking up at a woman with shoulder length brown hair who was fidgeting with her fluffy key ring as if trying to signal that the direction of her anxiety was not toward the man in the ditch. "Yes. I'm surprised how long this is taking." She looked back toward her truck, "My kids have been very patient" and gestured toward her truck with her key ring. "You don't have to stay ma'am" the police officer replied. She was relieved, as were most of the other onlookers, who relieved of their sense of duty all left the man to the police and drove away. I was the only one who remained with the cops waiting for the ambulance to arrive. He started to chat about my trip when from behind the car came the second officer. "Oh, don't worry about it," he spoke into his radio "I hear the sirens now." Soon two paramedics were hovering over the man. "Been here since 4:00?" the paramedics asked the officer. "Yup, but was apparently sitting up at that time." They both chimed a "hmmm" nodding their heads as if to say, "oh, a drug overdose then." She flashed a light in his eyes and confirmed her suspicion. She called to him loudly and finally a thin voice said "my back" and his eyes moved ever so slightly. The four people rolled him carefully onto a stretcher, checking his back for injuries and asked me to hold the table so it wouldn't roll away until they got him on it. Watching the ambulance drive away I asked "Does this happen often?" No one had seemed even interested in what had happened to the man, even the onlookers had scattered at their first chance. "Usually only in the cities, but yes it does." His eyes were the large sad eyes that I have seen in a number of cops on this road, and he shook off the emotion to wave a happy goodbye and wish for a safe journey.
At five o'clock I made it to McBride, the last large dot on my map before the great divide. I stopped to make dinner and decided to ride with the setting sun (about five more hours until sun set this far north) and just take an "after dinner stroll". The farm fields rolled by, horses interested in my strange, long bike; dogs skidding to a stop when they see what they were planning to chase. The wind was a strong tail wind and the kilometers were flying by. After a few hours I was starting to look for a place for the night. A red tailed hawk flew low overhead and landed on a pole above a row of shrubby willows. This would be a perfect place, and a gift from a red-tail. But the wind urged me on, and the sun was still above the horizon, the bike gave into the wind and rolled an inch forward. Ok, I'll continue. Each time I saw a place to stop the wind would tell me to continue.
The sun was starting to set and I was starting to wonder why I hadn't chosen any of the other spots yet. At sunset I pulled into a hiking area and was amazed to read the signs "Please limit your stay to 14 nights." I was actually welcome to spend the night here in this beautiful area with picnic tables and washrooms. Heaven.