June 17, 2008

6/17/08 Golden, BC

119.4km/888km

It turns out our campsite was only about a hundred feet from the Canadian-Pacific Railway. I know because they must have run over a dozen freight trains throughout the night. No loud whistles but just the heavy rumble.

It was cold enough this morning, that I had to get dressed just to go to the bathroom. It was a bit after 5am so I just stayed up doing some updates on the computer.

Last night I got a chance to watch the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica on YouTube. Wow, what a shocking mid-season finale. If you watch the show, you know what I mean. But there are ten more episodes for the final season so almost anything can happen after this latest installment.

We got a good start out of camp this morning but it was pretty cloudy and threatening rain. We didn't want to put on rain gear as we knew it would be a sauna underneath as we made the big climb up to Roger's Pass.

As the day went, the clouds parted letting in the glorious sunshine. All I can say about our scenery was impressive, immense, spectacular, amazing, mind-blowing, etc. You just have to view the pictures to understand.

What scenery!

Even though it was a pretty tough climb, we made excellent time to Roger's Pass. About a hundred yards from the top, as we were taking pictures, George's rear tire exploded. It sounded like a gunshot. It sure made him jump. Not only did it destroy his inner tube, the tire itself had a huge rip in the sidewall. Good thing Mike had a spare tire. So, once again, we spent a while resting while George changed the tire.

We stopped in the cafe at the lodge there just before a bus-load of French-Canadian tourists descended upon the place. I talked to the attendant at the gas station next door and he said already business was worse than last year. Most children get out of school for summer holidays on the 28th and that's when a lot will be traveling. But to everyone we talk to, the season's prospects don't look good because of gasoline prices are keeping people closer to home.

Trying to keep up with George and Mike

It was a great ride down the other side of the pass but soon enough we had another climb to make. The difference being now the sun was cooking us a bit. So, it took us a bit longer for this one but we eventually made it over the top.

The plan was to stop at a campground about forty kilometers before Golden but Mike made a bit of an arithmetic error and thought we only had twenty more to get to Golden. So, we kept on going. So, we were coming in a bit late, plus we lost an hour crossing over into the Mountain Time Zone.

Riding to Golden along the Columbia River

The shocker as we neared Golden was the almost vertical climb we had to make a couple of kilometers to the Whispering Spruce Kampground. I know for a fact, that I was near exhausted but I kicked it into high gear just to make it to camp. What a relief.

After a quick shower, we headed off next door to a hotel restaurant that turned out to have an excellent menu. We checked over our itinerary for tomorrow and it looks tough. No services until the last twenty kilometers, just before a huge climb. And to add spice, there is a 40% chance of rain tomorrow afternoon. Yippie! NOT!!!