To Day: 107km 1,026m of climbing
To Date: 625.5km, 6,904m
To Go: 7,175km
Today an odd thing happened. I kept waiting for the hill to come, and it never came. I had looked at the elevation map last night and knew today was predominantly uphill….. but riding it, you never would have known! Talk about perfect – gaining elevation and not even knowing…. tomorrow will be worse as I start to climb up into the mountains for real – Glacier National Park – that just sounds high!!!
So with so little to complain about today – what shall I talk about? :) Well let me tell you what filled my thoughts for a large part of the day…. the shoulder. Not my shoulders, but the shoulder of the road I was riding it. I have come to a few conclusions about said shoulder. Something that you have probably never thought about, or care about for that matter, but here goes anyway. First of all, there seems to be a rule of thumb about shoulders. When you need them – ie. when the road gets a bit sketchy, when there is a cliff beside you, or a steep drop off, and the road winds around blind corners, and often as you climb a hill – the shoulder all but disappears – and any shoulder you do have is a mess. The pavement is cracked, there is dirt and loose gravel everywhere. But on the flip side – when the road is straight, flat, multi-laned – the shoulders tend to be beautiful. Wide, smoothly paved, no drop offs – just a continuation of grass or gravel. It is an interesting thing – perhaps a continuation of Murphy’s Law.
The other thing about shoulders is that I seem to become very protective of them. If a car goes over the white line even the tiniest amount, I have a surge of…. something near anger… “that is my space, get out of it!” I have felt this feeling towards cars pulled over in the shoulder – even work trucks and construction signs… what are they doing? So inconsiderate. I realized I might have a bit of a problem – some road rage perhaps – when I found myself slightly annoyed a pedestrian was daring to walk in MY shoulder. Just breathe and learn to share perhaps.
There were two main stops on my ride today – the first was lunch and coffee in Sicamous – a cutesy little lakeside community that seems to exist solely to rent houseboats. The second was at the site where the last stake was driven in during the creation of the railway – back in the 1880s. I vaguely remembered hearing about this place during grade 11 Social Studies – so I knew I had to stop. Two main questions were raised in my mind by this site…. first – how many different signs/plaques do they need to commemorate the event? Seems like about 5. Second – why was the last stake driven in the middle of nowhere? Its not even near water?
The rain was nice enough to hold off until I was 10k from Revelstoke, and then the skies opened. I was drenched and cold, but knew I would be there soon, and therefore too lazy to get my jacket out. I went straight to the hostel and then took care of priorities – showered and then found some food. I went to a very odd, but tasty restaurant specializing in East Indian and German cuisine…. what a combination? Butter Chicken Spatzle was actually on the menu!! So was Chocolate Mousse… yes please.