I hope everyone hadn’t grown too comfortable with our recent announcements of good weather. It didn’t last. Yesterday it was back to soggy shoes, but at least the weather gods had the good graces to keep their outbursts constrained to two fairly limited bursts in fairly warm weather.
As is becoming customary it seems, we started the day with a hot breakfast in Fraser Lake, a few miles down the road from our campsite. We are constantly reaching new heights of depravity in the amount of food we eat in a sitting. I had a 3 egg denver omelet, two potatoes of home fries, 4 slices of toast and a muffin at the restaurant and, still unsatisfied, a few handfuls of wheat thins and a packet of fruit snacks in the parking lot. It may be the 8 hours a day we spend in the saddle, but I think that replenishing our RBCs after weeks under mosquito siege has something to do with it too.
After breakfast, we pedaled out into the rain with our sights set on Topley, a small town 70 some miles down the road. We had heard talk of a scenic, free campground on Sunset Lake that we were eager to take advantage of. The ride there was pretty uneventful, the usual story of rain, rolling hills and intermittent headwinds, with two notable exceptions.
The first occurred some time in the early afternoon while we were enjoying one of our regular (10-15 mile) snack stops. Aaron was scrutinizing one of the ubiquitous moose crossing signs, when he noticed some hilarious (at least to our rain-addled minds) vandalism. (I can’t get pictures to upload right now, but all you’re missing is a moose silhouette with an extra appendage). We later noticed another sign that had clearly been hit, but repaired.
The second moment of excitement happened soon after discovering the anatomic moose. Out of blue skies, gallons and gallons of water suddenly appeared to drench us and stopped in an instant. Thirty seconds later the torrential downpour reappeared as suddenly as it had stopped and left Dan and I, who had been scrambling to put on our rain jackets, laughing inexplicably and convinced that God must have had his hand on the rain faucet opening and closing it to toy with us.
But despite the pleasant late afternoon soaking, we rolled into Topley in good spirits, ready to grab a meal at the anemic general store and relax for the evening. That is until we saw the pack of teenagers hopping into their trucks with cases of beer shouting “You headed up to Sunset, eh?” We had already ridden 81 miles, and the next town or campsite was another 20 down the road,
but the prospect of a sleepless night with rowdy townie teens turned the cranks all the way to Houston, for century #2.
Houston, BC is another of the smallish towns with the distinct sense of seediness just beyond your perception that Aaron wrote about. It had a pub though, so we went out for some dinner and a round of beers after setting up camp. There we ran into Canada’s worst waitress (”How big are the medium nachos?” “Medium-sized.”) and an amazingly bad jukebox. The highlight was a compilation album claiming to be the best beer-drinking album ever. Song 1: Chumbawumba - Tubthumper. The girls at the next table tortured us with what sounded like the most recent Britney Spears all night, but Dan was still keen on them until a basket of wings and an order of fries (after our meals) arrived for us and they declared that we ate too much and it was kind of gross. We know.