I got a reeeeally late start today. Poop. I didn’t end up riding too much. About 40ish miles.
You know, one of my favorite things about doing something like this is the random people you unintentionally meet along the way. Last night I was talking to a cool guy who was working in town installing a new cooling system for the local ice rink. Shoot I don’t remember his name, but thanks for sharing your beers with me, cool guy! 🙂 Oh Canada…where even a town with a population of 2,000 has a state of the art hockey rink!
And right in the area I decided to stop tonight, two guys who were cruising the backroads on their motorbikes rolled by and we chatted for a while. English guy who lived in Canada since the 70s, and his friend whom he was taking on a practice ride, because friend is about to take his motorcycle license test. Good luck!
If any of you guys plan on riding the Divide, go to Sparwood, and don’t bother stopping in Elkford. Sparwood is such a cool town! And the grocery store is freakin ridiculous! Like, better than any grocery store I’ve ever been to. Their bulk food section is sooooo badass! They even sell powdered cheese!!! I could have made my own kraft dinners damnit! Lol!! Anyhow, too bad I didn’t need to buy food. But I did buy a super healthy (HA!) lunch of root beer, ketchup chips, and lunch meat macaroni and cheese. Yeah. When I saw that I was like, WTF?! Naturally I had to try it. It was interesting. Lol.
I ate the entire bag of ketchup chips. (Why can’t I find those in the USA, why why why??) That was a poor life decision, because the hours proceeding that I felt sooooo crappy. But damn I LOVE ketchup chips. Even more than I love coffee crisps. Gasp!! Yes. That’s how much I like ketchup chips.
Anyhow, I did indeed feel horrible after lunch, although I’m sure it wasn’t just the ketchup chips, it was probably the combination of my delightfully nutritious meal… Yeah… Haha. I don’t eat THAT bad on a daily basis, btw. I didn’t have any fuel for my stove until today, so I’ve been eating just food bars, instant oatmeal, dried fruit and nuts, and raw ramen. Now I can actually eat hot food yay!! And even better, I can have hot coffee yay!!! 😀
My cook system is the same as the one I used on the PCT hike, which is my .85L msr titanium pot, and my Caldera Cone windscreen and soda can alcohol stove. For fuel I use either denatured alcohol or gas line antifreeze. Due to the nature of my stove, it’s either on or off, I don’t have a flame control, so when I say “cook”, what I actually mean is “boil water”. Hence I eat anything that can be reconstituted with water. I also eat right out of the ziplock bags I pack my food in, so my pot doesn’t smell like food. Helps keep bears away 🙂
Oh, so in Sparwood they have the “biggest truck in the world”. There is no other like it, and it became too expensive to maintain so they decommissioned it a while ago. Now it’s just on display.
I did a lot of road riding today. Pretty mellow stuff. I passed by a lot of ranches and mines and mining areas.
It’s a gradual consistent climb coming out of Sparwood, and around 4pm I just felt so horrible. It’s pretty hot today (around 90F and not much wind) and my stomach was just gnar. I pulled over and took a nap by a creek for an hour, in hopes it would cool down. It did, and I felt a lot better after.
I stopped to eat around 8pm, I made a kraft dinner (that’s Mac n cheese, for the USA folks), and I was going to keep riding some more, but i decided to camp where I was because it was rather nice, and also because my butt hurts. Plus I like riding uphill first thing because it warms me up. My butt is currently my limiting factor right now. Physically I feel awesome, but I don’t want my bum chaffed raw so I think I better take it easy til I’m more used to being on a saddle all day.
I know from the pics it doesn’t look very nice, but my camp area is actually quite pleasant. I love listening to water so I always try to camp by a creek or stream.
Funny, because I’m actually right by the entrance to a coal mine. There are a lot of those in this area. My next stretch of riding is on a gravel/dirt road that is used as a snowmobile path in the winter. Where I’m sleeping is the junction of the end of the paved road I’ve been on, and this gravel road. People must frequent this area a lot because there are logs for firewood laying around here.
Many people ask me if I often make campfires, and my answer is, heck no! Lol! At the end of the day, I am so tired all I want to do is lay down and pass out. Last thing I want to do is look for firewood (in today’s case, there is wood, but I don’t have an axe to split it). Plus, I’ve always viewed campfires as a social thing, and since I’m by myself I think it’s pointless, unless I’m in a survival situation, which I’m not. Plus, you can’t just leave a campfire and go to sleep (many unintentional forest fires have started this way), so you have to completely put it out. Which is a pain in the ass, and takes more water than most people think.
It’s not like I need the heat. My sleeping bag is so warm. It’s also my downfall in the mornings and the reason i start so late. My sleeping bag is too comfortable! Lol!
And on that note, it’s nap time! But damnit now I need to pee. Arrrgg! 😡 If I was a dude I would just unzip my tent and aim out the door. But alas, I am not anatomically equipped for such a task. Oh, for the males, if you’re doing a long distance trek, don’t do the “pee in a water bottle so I don’t have to get out of my tent” thing. On my PCT hike, I got many first-hand stories of every possible thing you can imagine going wrong, from doing that. So yeah. Just go outside… 🙂