To Date: 409 km, 5156m elevation
To Go: 7,591km!!
I decided to alter my normal routine of coffee and oatmeal in camp and splurge for bacon & eggs 2km down the road at the Savona Hotel. I was immediately brought back to memories of my childhood growing up with parents running a roadside lodge/restaurant. I asked if they were open for breakfast and the cook and server (?) looked at each other hesitantly….”yes…” Turns out they had just opened for the season the day before and were having all sorts of troubles – the fridge had failed, so they could not offer me anything to drink but coffee.. but no milk – just some french vanilla creamer stuff. But coffee is coffee, so good enough! I later asked if there was a washroom, and another furtive look passed between the two – but after a meaningful pause from the cook “…of course we do!” I just had to go up stairs and through the guesthouse to access it. When it came time to pay, I asked if I could use credit card – but that hadn’t been set up yet – no big deal – I had a $20. But unfortunately they had no change yet either…… after scrounging through their pockets, they found a $5, which was good enough. The whole ordeal reminded me of the power outages, the staff crises, the machine malfunctions and all the other stressful, yet exciting moments that highlighted my childhood at the lodge. Breakfast was, by the way, delicious!
The ride into Kamloops was mostly uphill – the grades were pretty low, so it was just a steady slow plod. No wind to speak of, just heat. It was another day that needed music to motivate me to keep trudging slowly along. The highlight of the ride was passing this very VERY large squirrel (so large I do not think it was a squirrel – groundhog perhaps?) perched on the concrete barrier. Nearing Kamloops, a sign lead me off the TCH onto a residential road – and at first I was pleased and impressed that there was a bike-friendly route into town. My warm feelings soon wavered as the signs disappeared and I was left to my own devices to figure out where to go (and large no-bike signs prevented me from rejoining the highway). Riding into Kamloops city centre was not a pleasant experience. I hate riding clipped in through cities, so I unclipped which makes me feel a little bit out of control – so that is my fault, but the traffic is not particularly bike friendly – they do not leave you much room and whizz by. Then to actually get to the center you drop down a long steep hill punctuated by traffic lights. Have I mentioned I hate downhills? This one with traffic had me completely terrified.
Once I got downtown though, things flattened out, and a friendly local cyclist stopped to chat and help me find my campground. Kamloops was redeeming itself. The campground, Silver Sage, is great! The husband and wife couple running it are very friendly and made me feel right at home – a great place to pitch my tent for the next two nights! I am taking a rest day here to get my brakes checked out (nothing wrong with them, just humouring my fear of them failing) and wander the city.
After getting camp set up and showering (free! hot! wonderful!) I wandered into town to find some food and do some blogging – after not being able to find an open restaurant apart from Boston Pizza, I ended up spending my evening at Starbucks. Always a reliable choice for a plug and an internet connection!