Seattle tour start

Kicking off the border to border bike tour

The Heat Stroke Avoidance Alternative Border to Border Bike Tour has begun! I may just refer to it as the Border to Border or B2B tour from now on, largely because I can’t remember the larger name and because it’s so far from warm on the coast that the memories of forecasts in the 107-109 degree range are all but a memory. Take a listen to episode 004 of Pedalshift Project for more on that.

I began my journey with a visit to my cousin in Seattle, which was a nice treat considering my original plans did not take me north of Portland. Since he was planning on rowing the next morning, I got up with him at 5:19am. I felt every bit of that early hour through the day… trust me. A 40 minute ride later and I was boarding the Victoria Clipper to Victoria, BC.

Victoria Clipper

First, I took a dramamine. I. Am. Not. Fit. For. Seafaring. I’m a landlubber. Whatever. But thanks to this wonderful concoction that I used to have to take crushed in applesauce before long car trips (#protip: not recommended) I got through the rough seas to Canada.

I saw a sign that made me happy:

eat poutine

And then I was full and happy. Bless you Canada for poutine.

I spent a leisurely couple of hours winding my way north on a series of regional trails through suburbs and agricultural areas. A stop for blackberries was a welcome layover from the unusual heat and steady sun exposure. After about 20 miles (translation: “aboot 33 kilo-meeters” – I love you Canada. Don’t ever change.) I was at the picturesque McDonald Park, part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Camping was a little pricey at CDN$13.75 (no showers, primitive toilets, but water, so yay for that) but the tree cover was spectacular, reminding me Burlington Campground in the redwoods of CA.

McDonald Park

One other thing to note… the smells. I love that hint of salt water as you get near the coast, but around here you also get the cedar-ish smells of the conifers mixed in. It’s a nice balance and one I don’t get very often.


Mt. Baker over water
Mt. Baker over the water from Sidney, BC

Here’s today’s Tour Diary – a reminder I’ll be doing more of these audio snippets and tweets than posts. The tour diaries will be tweeted but you can also subscribe to them as a podcast or check them out on Soundcloud.