Luck Running Out (Alaska Highway KP 500, British Columbia, Canada)

Well, it looks like our luck ran out.  Maybe.

We had one last pass to cross today, and managed to make it all the way to the top before the rain came.  We barreled down off the pass in pouring, freezing cold rain – not pleasant at all.

The good news is that the rain let up very quickly, so we mostly pedaled in a drizzle – which isn’t nearly as bad as a pouring rain.

We toyed with the idea of going for it and getting to Fort Nelson today, but in the end made the decision to bail.  We headed back into the forest and stumbled into the most heavily mosquito-infested area we’ve seen since the Dalton.

The four of us entered into fast-forward mode and got the tent set up in record time so we could take refuge from the voracious beasts.

Kilometers today:  69
Kilometers to date:  2817

Climbing up Steamboat Pass - no rain yet

Other side of Steamboat Pass - directly into rain

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Daryl’s Journal July 31

Today we had to ride in the rain.  It’s a good thing the road went the way it did.  If it had gone to the right, we would have been soaked.  As were going down off the pass, Daddy said, “Get ready to be cold, wet, and miserable.”  I was a little wet, a little cold, and not miserable at all.  We are camped in a place inundated with mosquitoes.

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Another Fabulous Day (Tetsa River, British Columbia, Canada)

Yet another fabulous day in the northern Rockies of British Columbia…

I feel like God is holding His hand over us, catching all the rain that should be pouring down.  There was pouring rain ahead of us and rain behind us, but the worst we got was a very, very light sprinkle – so light, in fact, that we didn’t even pull out our rain jackets.

As we pedaled toward the highest point on the Alaska Highway we were, once again, awed by all the wildlife – Stone sheep, caribou, and deer.  It felt like we kept stopping every mile or so for more animals.

I think I’m spoiled.  I’m not sure how we’ll deal with “normal” cycling again after passing through this region.

Kilometers today:  58
Kilometers to date:  2748

British Columbia

British Columbia

Stoine Sheep

Caribou near Summit Lake

Davy with caribou

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

I Wish He’d Learn (Alaska Highway KP 627, British Columbia, Canada)

You’d think he’d learn – God knows we’ve been through this enough times…

Every couple of months John somehow gets into that “gotta-get-up-at-five-o’clock-in-the-morning” phase.  He wakes us all up bright and early, we cycle for a few hours, then the kids fall asleep and we sit and wait.  It makes no sense to me.

So – yesterday morning John declared we HAD to leave the hot springs by six o’clock.  He woke us up early, we all crawled sleepily out of the tent, and got on the road.

This morning he did the same.

At noon we wearily pulled into the Toad River Lodge.  Davy ate his burger, then curled up on the chairs and passed out.  We sat there for nearly three hours letting him catch up on the sleep he should have gotten at night.  Fortunately, they had wi-fi so we were able to get a bunch of work done while waiting, so it wasn’t too bad.

I just wish John would finally “get it”.

Kilometers today:  75
Kilometers to date:  2690

Northern Rockies

British Columbia

British Columbia

British Columbia

Davy with Folded Mountain

Folded Mountain

British Columbia

Campsite by MacDonald River

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Daryl’s Journal July 29

We went to a restaurant.  They were selling some neat tops.  You turn then and music goes off and lights flash.  Then you put a cranky thing in it, crank it around and push a button.  Then it falls and spins.  It looks really neat.

We got food there.  I ordered a cheeseburger.  It was really good.

I found a tundra comic book. It had some really funny jokes.  Here’s an example:  A caveman creeps up behind a mammoth with a torch.  The mammoth sticks out his trunk and says to the little mammoth, “Go on, son, pull my trunk.”  Later that day Oog’s friends find a pile of ashes and a smoldering torch.

While I was reading the comic book I got some chocolate with caramel inside.  It was delicious.

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Quick Update from Toad River, British Columbia, Canada

We don’t have much time, but I wanted to post a quick update.  We are now in Toad River, about 120 miles from Fort Nelson – we expect to be there by Friday.

This portion of the journey has been the most phenomenal ever.  We’ve seen lots and lots of buffalo, Stone sheep, and bears.  It seems like every time we turn a corner, there’s another animal waiting for us.  In addition to all the wildlife, we are  now passing through the mountains, so we have spectacular mountain views all the time.  Lovely!!

John got a few photos posted, which you can see by clicking on the gallery button above.

I’ll get our journal entries typed and posted once we arrive into Fort Nelson.

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Bison, Stone Sheep, & Bears – Oh My! (Muncho Lake, British Columbia, Canada)

Today has to be the most unique day I’ve ever experienced.

We had pedaled a mere ten km from the hot springs when we encountered a herd of bison – a huge herd of about fifty buffalo or so. They were lounging about on the side of the road, just waiting for us to take their picture.

And take pictures we did. And videos. And more pictures. And still more. It seemed like every direction we looked there was yet another buffalo begging to be photographed.

Davy pedals past a bison

Nancy takes pic of bison

A kilometer later we found another herd – this one of about twenty or so. Yet more photos and videos.

buffalo

Davy and Daryl watch the buffalo

John with buffalo

As we pulled away from the second herd, we decided (for some bizarre reason) that we wanted a photo of a “Buffalo on Road” sign. A few minutes later we passed one, and fuddled around for quite a while getting people and bikes in position for our picture.

A block or so away from the sign, we decided to go back and get a video. We turned around and pedaled back.

“Nancy!” John shouted from behind. “A bear! Over there!”

Holy mother of God! A black bear was grazing on the opposite side of the road – directly across the street from where we had been putzing around for so long!

After waiting for the bear to leave and getting our sign video, we continued on.

A few kilometers later… we found three Stone Sheep in the middle of the road!

About a gazillion photos later, we pedaled away.

Stone Sheep

Davy with Stone Sheep

John with Stone Sheep

Eventually we arrived here at Muncho Lake – a turquoise green, extremely deep, and extraordinarily beautiful lake.

I think my mind is on overload right now

Kilometers today: 67
Kilometers to date: 2615

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Daryl’s Journal July 28

We left the hot springs today.  They were really awesome.  Beta pool, the secret hiding place, the small stream, and the jousting log were my favorite parts.  It was nice, but I’m glad we left.  We need to make our miles.

 

We saw two herds of buffalo.  I think we spent way too much time taking photos of them.

 

Then we saw a simple sign.  We took too many pictures of that, too.

 

Then we saw some Stone sheep.  You can probably guess what we did there.  (Yep, we took too many photos.)

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Davy’s Journal July 28

We saw a lot of wildlife today.  We saw two herds of buffalo, a bear, and three Stone sheep. 

 

First we saw a herd of buffalo.  We took way too much time and photos there.

 

Then we saw the next herd.  The buffalo are big!  They are also hairy.

 

Then we took a picture of a “Caution: Buffalo on Road” sign.  We were leaving and then my parents wanted to take a video of the sign for a movie.  When we were going back, we saw the bear.

 

Later we saw the three sheep.  They were so brave.

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Heaven on Earth (Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada)

I think I’ve decided I don’t want to go out and explore the world after all.  I’ve found heaven on earth right here.

 

We needed today – a whole day lounging in the hot springs and eating burgers in the café across the street while our belongings dried in the sunshine.

 

Life just doesn’t get any better than this.

 

Kilometers today:  0

Kilometers to date:  2546

 

Liard Hot Springs

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

The Best of Times… And the Worst (Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada)

Ahhhhh… What decadence! What luxury! To soak in the lovely hot waters after cycling for 1 ½ months was a treat like no other. The four of us played and relaxed in the natural pools and allowed all the built-up stress to gently flow away.

Hours later we made our way to Kelly and Terry’s RV, where they had invited us to dinner. The boys spent a delightful evening playing and watching movies with their son, Michael, while John & I were entertained for hours by Terry’s stories. And the food – oh my! They had whipped up some of the best food we’ve eaten since Fairbanks!

But perhaps the best part of hanging out with Kelly and Terry all evening was the rain – it poured buckets and buckets – while we kicked back in lawn chairs under their awning. Maybe there’s something to be said for those RVs after all.

Around midnight we waddled back to our tent in near darkness.

“Who left the tent fly open?” I called out as soon as I arrived.

“Not me!” Davy answered.

“Not me!” Daryl echoed.

“I didn’t,” John added. “Someone must have broken in.”

Once we looked inside, however, it was clear that no one had broken in – nothing was taken, but LOTS of stuff was wet.

I don’t mean just a few little drops of water. Our mats were floating in a huge puddle of water, one pillow was completely drenched, another one quite wet, and half of two sleeping bags were wet. Quite a disaster, in other words.

As near as we can figure, John left the fly open – he came back to our site to get jackets and forgot to close it.

We mopped up the mess the best we could, then piled in. Our tent is just barely large enough for the four of us anyway, and with one-quarter of it rendered useless, it was quite a mess.

The kids and I crammed into one half of the tent using two sleeping bags, while John curled up in the remaining part using the dry parts of the two wet sleeping bags.

The moral of the story here is: ALWAYS close your fly!

Kilometers today: 67
Kilometers to date: 2546

Pedaling past a buffalo

British Columbia

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Whirlpool Canyon (on the Liard River, British Columbia, Canada)

This was an unexpected break… After a very long day yesterday, we headed out this morning exhausted, determined to pedal about thirty miles before stopping. 24 miles later we pulled into an abandoned campground next to some beautiful rapids – and just couldn’t drag ourselves away.

It’s been a wonderful afternoon of hanging out in the banks of the beautiful river, playing in the huge logjam caused by spring flooding, reading, writing, doing math, and – most of all – relaxing. I think we need more days like today.

Kilometers today:

Kilometers to date:

Whirlpool Canyon

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel