Today: 75.5 km, 373m elevation gain
To Date: 358km, 4491m elevation gain
To Go: Oh I don’t know…. 7,650km?
Everything yesterday was, today wasn’t. Yesterday was crazy hot with long exhausting climbs – today was light rain and glorious, glorious downhills. I felt like I was coasting the whole day – and if you look at the elevation map – I pretty much was. Another huge highlight for me was a long lunch break at Hat Creek Heritage Ranch. I set up my computer, had coffee and an enormous amount of food and plugged away for a few hours. Mmmm I had some very tasty fries and gravy, a garden salad, and an order of corn bread. I did not look too much into the historical significance of Hat Creek – it seems like some of the buildings date from 1860’s during the creation of the Cariboo Wagon Road and the associated development of ranching and farming in the area at that time. It also seems that it is one of the few remaining original roadhouses along the Cariboo Wagon Road still serving travellers which is actually pretty cool. If you are a real history buff and this stuff tickles your fancy, you can read more about it here.
After lunch I joined the TransCanada Highway for the first time – and let me tell you – it’s a whole different ballgame. Traffic doesn’t care about you – no one moves over (which is generally not a problem as shoulders are good). It was a bit nerve-racking until I got used to the vehicles whizzing by. Another new factor were the bugs – I felt like I was the grill on the front of a truck – I collected at least 10 dead flies on my shoulder…. and had to stop a handful of times to rescue bugs from inside my helmet. Ew.
Despite the overwhelming downhill nature of today’s ride, it did not go off without a hitch. About 10km away from my campground, the wind picked up ferociously. I got blown around so hard that 3 times I had to stop to avoid careening off the shoulder. I even walked! The Lillooet hills couldn’t get me to walk, but the wind sure could!! It was during one of these walk breaks I came upon Deadman Junction – a Wild West theme park in progress. At first I thought I came across a movie set, but as I wandered around the property, I met the owner who told me he has been working on this place for the last few years… although it is still a work in progress, it opens in the summer holding concerts, horse shows, and other things you would expect to see at a Wild West Theme Park. It was very bizarre.
At Steel Head Provincial Park, I was given a half price rate for being a biker – the first time I have been offered this! Made my night!