Shawn’s injured calf made it impossible for him to do all the things he had planned at home, so he decided to stick around for another day or two. I put all my gear into the car. According to the info I had, today was going to be a day comparable to Allison Pass. Drank a bunch of Gatorade, ate some oat meal and was on my way. The first 23 kms from Manning Lodge going East on Hwy 3 were just me sitting on my bum mostly, going downhill. Some of the views along route:
I stopped at one point cause I spied Shawn on the side of the road taking a nap.
Then the uphill began. It was easier by far – and not having 50 pounds of weight on me, like I did for Allison Pass, made a huge difference. I was still stopping a ton of times and taking many breaks, but not nearly as many and I was moving faster. Saw an unusual cross on route.
Now comes the bad part…it started to pour rain and there were some downhill sections. Going downhill at 25-30 kms/hr in rain was horrible. I was drenched and freezing cold. I thought for sure I was going to turn into solid ice! Rain was hitting my face hard. I was shivering. Finally I reached Sunday Summit. It did not feel as much of an achievement as Allison Pass had. In general, aside from the added challenge of being rained on, it was an easier climb by far. I wanted to take photo of myself next to the sign, especially as I had not been able to the day before at Allison Pass because of the bear.. but it was still raining pretty hard.
Then I came to this sign… uh oh. Steep downhill is not my thing.
I’m sure lots of people enjoy flying down at break neck speeds… but not me. I started going down and thankfully the rain had become a drizzle. I think if I had had my 50 pounds of gear on me, this would have been a far dodgier descent as I would have been less balanced and it would have been much easier to lose control (thank you Shawn!!) The wind was blowing hard (it probably wasn’t but just felt hard cause I was going downhill) and I went from soaking wet to dry by the time I reached Princeton (thank you wind!). On the way down I saw a guy riding his bicycle fully loaded with all his gear heading up in the opposite direction – I yelled over “Keep going!!” and he yelled back “you’re almost there too!”…. huh? He must have thought I had yelled over that he was almost there… he was far from almost there, he had a long way to go. And I had a long way to go too (35 or so kms).I had thought it was going to be strictly downhill after Sunday Summit, I was totally wrong. There were stretches of uphill too (no fair!).
Met Shawn at the Booster Juice in Princeton and then we headed over to get a sandwich and soup, where we got a tip of some nice reasonably priced rustic cabins 27 kms in the direction I needed to go anyway. Got a few bananas at Coopers Grocery store and then back on the bicycle several kms past Bromley Provincial Park. The cabin had a 50s fridge in it and looked like was in some other time zone. It was pretty cool. The insulation sucked though, so it was cold. Was super tired and pretty much crashed. I think I’m going to need to take a day off soon, been going 4 days with two of those days being the hardest of the trip.
The guide says it’s all downhill right to Penticton, so will do that today and take a break there (haven’t had a chance to write the blog for day 5 – but downhill while some of it was, in general it was NOT! Plus it was blazing hot and sunny… more to come as soon as I get a chance).
Day 4 = 95kms in 5.5 hours of riding time.