June 11, 2008

6/11/08 Manning Park, BC

69.7km / 255km

Woke up only to hear the rain on the tent and light outside. Checked the time and it was only 4:30am. It didn't matter, several hours later it was still raining.

Before we left, I got to meet the other cyclists in camp. Megan and Alice are riding to Ontario. But this is their first bike trip and the weather is way out of their comfort zone. So today they are going white water rafting and taking a bus to bypass the climb over Manning Park. I didn't blame them at all. Maybe we'll see them again.

Our climb started immediately and kept going for 20kms, all on a busy highway with the pouring rain. In no time, I was soaked and very, very cold. And the climb seemed to go on forever. I really wasn't sure I was going to make the 40kms all the way to the summit, not if the weather kept on like this. I was almost willing to hitch-hike. But kept on.

Soon after Sunshine Valley, where there was no sunshine, the rain finally let up. Most of the day we had a shoulder to ride on, but during this section, we had to ride in the road and it was only a 2-lane. But traffic seemed light so it was no problem.

Then we hit the finally long ten kilometer climb to the summit. I ended up stopping pretty often just to catch my breath. I was so wet I didn't want to stop long or else I might get the chills. But in the end, I made it to the top, 1342m (4400ft). I knew we were going to hit the mountains pretty soon, but I didn't know we were going to go this high this soon on the third day.

You could still see the snow from yesterday's storm. The whole morning during the rain, I wondered if we'd get a white-out like they did yesterday. The scenery was spectacular even with the rain. Too bad I didn't want to chance taking the camera out.

We all stopped for a late lunch-early dinner at the Manning Park Resort. Felt full and warm except for my cold, wet feet. As we left the resort, I looked back and the guys didn't follow. I waited a bit, then headed back to see what the problem was. George decided to go ask what the cost of a room was at the lodge. We started to ride toward the campground but I could tell both Mike and George wanted to stay indoors. I have to admit, spending the night at a campground with no showers, with wet clothes I couldn't dry, didn't sound like a great night. So I gave in and made the decision that we should go back.

I am exhausted and sore, and even thought there is a pool and jacuzzi, I barely had enough energy to finish this entry before crashing for the night.