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.
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:
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.
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.
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.