Civil?ization (Geoff’s Post)


So we left McBride and had a very nice ride to Jasper and on to Lake Louise.  The scenery was amazing!  It is an awesome road and worth the entry fee ($10 Cdn).  The valleys are so green and stark and the elevation changes are super cool.  There is a lot of haze in the air and apparently there are a lot of forest fires in the area.

We stop at a pub in Lake Louise and inquire about camping areas from the bartender.  He sends us in the right direction but the site is full.  As are all the others in the area we can see so we wind up at a campsite about 200’ from the interstate.  In addition, it’s at the bottom of a hill and the trucks using their airbrakes are REALLY loud in the canyon we are in.  And there is a train track there too with huge trains coming by for some auditory diversity.  And no fires are allowed because of the fires.  Uggh.  But the scenery is amazing- you just have to close your ears.

One thing we have definitely noticed is that there are a TON of RV’s everywhere.  They are all over the place and they are also not being driven very well.  It’s like summer time in Southern California.

I disconnected my horn early in the trip. It sometimes hits the tank bag in parking lots and goes off and is very distracting.  Especially as it is a VERY loud aftermarket one.  Previously described as “127 decibels of latte-spilling attention grabbing noise”!

Well, I have to put the fuse back in so it will work again to give my finger a break from waving “hi” to the all Tourons.  I had not felt the need to use it an anger in over a month and in one day I miss is oh-so-much.

So we camp and in the morning, we move on to Golden to find internet and cell phone connection so we can get “caught up”.  From there it’s time to split up and go our separate ways.  Elliott is meeting his dad in Montana and I have a date with a yet-to-be-determined dentist and a visit to the US Consulate in my future.  My original plans of Glacier Park and Yellowstone got scuttled when I left my passport in Stewart, BC and they mailed it to the Consulate in Van.

We have had an amazing run… almost 10,000 miles in like 38 days.  We rode on average 300 miles/day, seven days/week for over a month.  I think there was a day off here and there… but no more than a few.  I’m burnt but in a very good way.

I call 8 dentists in Vancouver this afternoon to set-up an appointment on Monday and then I have the weekend to explore the wine country of BC which sits smack-dab in between where I am and Vancouver.

Seven of the eight don’t answer.  The eighth explains that Monday is a holiday.  That would explain:

1)      no answers on Friday afternoon

2)      hundreds of RV’s everywhere

3)      moronic driving

So with nothing else to do, I head off down the road.  Maybe BC wine country deserves another day?

As I descend from the Canadian Rockies, it’s absolutely stunning.  Breathtaking.  This is in the top 5 list of awesome roads from this trip and that’s a pretty exclusive list!

It’s also packed with cars.  What a cluster-F!  Morons everywhere… it’s like a giant Disney Land parking lot.  I wear the paint off the button of my mute horn.  My middle finger aches from overuse.  And it’s getting HOT.  It’s 85-90.  I’m actually pretty calm as I have nowhere to be in no particular time, but were I at home it would not have been pretty.

I used to think that the USA had a lock on road rage.  We were the champions. Apparently Canadians are working hard at it as well.  If road rage were an Olympic sport… we’d still sweep the event (gold and silver from LA and NYC) but Canada would be in medal contention for sure… there were some angry aggressive Canuks out today… dueling with pop-up trailers at break neck speeds!  Awesome.

I get to Kamloops, my goal for the day… and it’s 95.  Uggh.  I can’t camp on this.  I surely don’t want to be here tomorrow… it’s supposed to be hotter.  I pull into the fountain of all knowledge… the local Irish pub.  After a beer, I ask the bartender where would be a good place to camp for cooler weather.  He said the coolest would be in Hope, about 2 hours further down the road, as it gets me off the plateau and nearer the coast.

I look at the map and sure enough, there are 6 campgrounds to choose from in Hope and nothing much between.

In the meantime, I also manage to coax a connection to the internet out of the bartender as well.  Turns out my friend Jackie in Pender Island (near Vancouver and where I was scheduled to be in a weeks time anyway) answered my query about nearby dentists.  A friend of hers I met last year climbing, Maria, just happens to be a dentist in Calgary.  She is a cool gal, good climber and dog lover so we got along in Skaha climbing, just never discussed her job.  Also turns out she went to dentist-school in Vancouver, so I am hoping that she still has some contacts there and I won’t have to resort to a Google search for a dentist (sorry Elliott).

I bet Obama would like Hope.

So I get back on my trusty steed and we gallop out of Kamloops.  What a great name for a town, by the way.  Indians are way better at naming stuff than we are.

120 miles fly by and I get to Hope.   I’m beat.  It’s 8PM and WAY longer than I intended to ride today.  I do some math over a beer.  I did 370 miles today and intended to do like 140.  The heat drove me off I guess.

So it’s 1030 and I am at a campground in Hope.  It’s big, and would not be accused of being either particularly nice or very cheap, but I am beat and it is cool and I am happy I am not sweating anymore.  They built a subdivision next door and I have some 2-story houses 20′ from my tent.  I hear there are very nice spots down by the river… but this is what you get when you show up late Friday on a three day weekend.  Good times!

Tomorrow, I am going to navigate the BC Ferry system and drop-in on Jackie at Pender Island.  She doesn’t know I am coming, but that’s what happens when you don’t check your email or answer your phone. she’ll never learn. Besides, her kids love me!!!!

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