Day 4: Cottonwood – Marble Canyon

Cottonwood - Marble Canyon

Today: 75km, 1093m elevation gain

To date: 282km, 4,185m elevation gain

To go: somewhere abouts 7, 720km

Today was both a really good day and a really bad day.  Let’s start with the bad:

  • Terrified out of my mind going down a total of 6km of 13% grade…. may need to get new brake pads….
  • Not to mention sore, sore hands from gripping the handlebar so tightly to keep control and brake
  • I kept thinking the hills had ended, but every time I was thwarted
  • The heat! Oh the heat.  And I swear the shade I saw in the distance never appeared. Had to be pushing 30 degrees.
  • Morale low

But! The good:

  • Delicious Bison burger with cheddar cheese in Lillooet – and very friendly people
  • As soon as I put my music on, this came on: “Don’t worry bout a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be all right…..”
  • Cycling with music is huge morale booster
  • Met a couple who were travelling the world on a motorbike – they are half way and three years in – read about them here
  • I was running low on water, and said a little prayer for either a creek or a store and low and behold, in the middle of nowhere, a store appears!  I buy 2L of water to stock up
  • Met Danny who is cycling from Red Deer to Seattle.  We set up a picnic in a meadow and made tea, then carried on our ways
  • Got to wash my hair in the lake which was not as freezing as previous water sources have been

Rainy MorningToday was my first rain, but it came right as I needed it – climbing another big (isn) hill to Lillooet.  I was completely wrong in my assumption that I did all the big climbing yesterday and today would be smooth sailing. Not so much.  As much as I may seem to complain about hills, they really aren’t so bad.  I am starting to realize this whole biking thing is like a big game of “Would you Rather?” …. would you rather have ascents for kms, or hair-raising descents?  Neither option are ideal, but pick your poison… I would take the ascents – because then at least you have complete control.  I cannot stress enough how much I hate steep descents.  Maybe as I get more used to Slow Loris and her 130lbs of bulk, I will get calmer…   I was talking to a woman about this at Seton Lake just outside of Lillooet (a very beautiful Lake, and a free campground near by, by the way), and the motorcycle couple overheard me, and we got to talking too.  I guess word travels, because later in the day when I saw Danny coming towards me, the first thing he said to me was you must be the girl who hates downhills…..

picnic with Danny

Meeting Danny was a much needed morale booster.  He is the first person I have seen cycling and it was good to swap stories and compare bikes and gear.  Some people (mother) have made fun of some of the gear I am carrying (rock climbing stuff), but he is carrying a gold pan…. and a fishing rod, which I actually do wish I had (like you suggested Dawn).  He was showing me pictures of some of the fish he caught and I was so envious!

I left Danny and continued on to Marble Canyon – my goal for the night.  I could not have got there fast enough – my legs were done, my hands were done and my shoulders were developing this weird pain. The campsite was really lovely, tucked between two lakes.  Riding in I saw two loons – everytime I see a loon (which isn’t many), I am always shocked by how big they are! At camp, I got to washing my clothes and as I was doing so a huge eagle flew right by… priceless moments!

Links:



Categories: Across Canada, Biking, British Columbia

Tags: , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Hi Deanna I know it can be scary going downhill , but as you gain confidence in yuor bike you will use your brakes less. I have gone 65km/h on my bike and it felt stable. Think of this as training for the Icefield Parkway( if your going that way). If you are defenitely get your brakes checked as you will have the longest downhill of your trip.
    Anyway looks like you are doing great and enjoying your adventure. I am enjoying following you.
    Gerry

    • I can’t believe you’ve gone 65km/hr!! Since getting an odometer thing in Kamloops, I have clocked my top speed at 45km/hr and I can’t imagine another 20! Wow! I decided not to go the Icefields parkway, but still got my breaks checked in Kamloops, just in case!

      • Yes I see you are in Salmon Arm. I guess youll have to put the Icefields on your Bucket list. You are making good tome. Glad to see you are taking rest days.

  2. Hey let me know if and when you are coming through edmonton.

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