Sunday, May 15/11
I’m writing this from Revelstoke, British Columbia. I saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time in my life—they’re spectacular. About 20km east of Calgary they appear out of the horizon’s haze (on a clear day). From the time you see them, to the moment you actually get to drive by them, it takes about an hour; which gives some perspective to how big they are. It’s actually amazing how flat the Trans Canada was to Banff. After Banff, not so flat; windy roads with 6-8% grade slopes that are often around 2-3km. The shoulders are paved for the most part, but there are some areas that are a little sketchy, such as east of Golden. Like northern Ontario, the Trans Canada is my only choice, and these roads are what I’m given.
I have to say, the prairies are quite pretty too. You get a real sense of space driving through landscapes that are so open and flat. Whenever we stopped driving, I could always count on prairie dogs to entertain me. They’re everywhere, curiously poking their heads out of their holes, playing with each other, trying to get closer to the vehicle that just pulled up to them, and then running away when they hear the slightest noise. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan is one of the friendliest places I’ve been to. People aren’t
shy and they want to help. There’s just a nice easy-going vibe to the place. No one’s in a rush.
It turns out that the prairie flooding may have some serious implications for my route. A lot of side roads are completely flooded. One exit off the Trans Canada literally went into a lake, quite a large lake. What normally would have been a 10m bridge over the Assiniboine was a lake that was almost level with the road. Another drop of water and the river just may have flooded the highway. We’ve even heard one horror story of a sink hole on a side road swallowing an RV. So I may need to reschedule my route; but I’ll have to give it a little time.
We’ll be in Vancouver later today. It will be a relief to get some rest from our 7 days of driving. Also, both my mom and I have been fighting colds. She got hers just at the beginning of the trip. I managed to stay clear of it until yesterday. Last night I felt lousy; tonight I’m feeling a lot better. Hopefully I can detox and be good-to-start cycling with a healthy body for the 19th.
I’m looking forward to the coming days. There are lots of Cool Communicators to meet. Roads to cycle. Stories to share. Events to occur. Press moments to have. Greetings and good byes to say.