This morning started out slow, as I went the wrong way to a coffee shop and also left my wallet at the hostel. It could have gone worse – the entire Revelstoke regional RCMP detachment showed up right behind me. Apparently they just wanted coffee and I was able to go on my way. I finally hopped on the bike at 9am, beginning the grind up and out of Revelstoke.
Grind is really the only way to put it. Over 60km I climbed continuously, for a 500m rise into the Rogers Pass, allegedly the easiest way across the Rockies. This climb was uneventful, I paused a few times for snacks and at one point met Dean, tour coordinator for the Cross Canada Grampas. While the Instagram machine was firmly tucked away an eagle soared overhead while a snow capped mountain lay off in the distance. Perfectly Canadian.
Having summitted the pass it was time for the fun part, a 8km long drop of 300m. When I have wifi I will upload some GoPro footage of me screaming through the snow sheds at what felt like light speed, but was really only 60 km/h. When you’ve spent the last four hours slowly climbing everything feels fast.
Finally, near the end of Glacier National Park there was another short climb, followed by a quick descent and 30k of riding along the riverbed to my destination in Golden.
At the campsite were four other cross-country riders: one Monctonian, an Aussie living in Vancouver, and two Germans. Having all just finished a long day (there are no options in between the two towns until July), we were all set to tuck in. As the sun set I took one good, last look at the Columbia Mountains. Tomorrow brings the Rockies.
Today’s lesson: some wildlife memories will have to be remembered alone.
Today’s distance: 150.0 km
Cumulative distance: 837.3 km
Today’s climb: 1,819 m