Author Archive


This Lady’s Ride

I believe Colin will post about our visit to Terrace and the rest of our trip to the ocean but I wanted to make a post about riding in general.

This is my first tour. The longest I’ve rode in one day prior to this trip is about 100km with the lovely Jen Miller and Angel. We ventured out to Bragg Creek last spring with two old school 10 speeds and one single speed. The head wind and hills on Spring Bank Rd were killer for me. I think I walked up almost every hill. When we arrived in Bragg we stopped for coffee and got laughed at by some speed cyclists with their carbon bikes. Regardless of the being laughed at and the flat that Angel got, we had a fun day of riding. Especially since Jen packed enough food for all three of us for two days!

So I have to say – I didn’t know what to expect when I rolled out of Jasper with a fully loaded bike that I could barely balance. Colin and I were only riding 30km our first day and it was nice knowing we would make it no matter what because of the short distance.

The first day was great! The second was manageable. The third was tough. As the days went on it started getting harder. We were riding longer distances and my muscles were getting beat up while they were trying to build. Not a great combo.

I was chowing back my recovery (shout out to all my Community Natural Fooders!) to help my muscles heal a bit. I’d say it took until the end of my second week to start feeling good. Both Colin and I are impressed by how great our backs feel! My body is finally getting stronger and as we reach the end of our third week. I’d have to say the last 4 days of riding have been the best. I’m less worried about hills (I still walk a few). I don’t worry about making it to a place that’s safe to camp because I know I could ride further if I needed to. I can ride my fully loaded bike with no hands and hold its balance!! AND keep up to the carbon speed cyclists with a heavy, steel, fully loaded bike!! It’s made for a more enjoyable day. It probably also helps that since Smithers, BC the landscape and views have been mind blowing. It’s truly a beautiful place up “north” in BC & I’m glad I had time to get strong before getting here.

To all you folks reading that love riding a bike for fun but maybe you think you’re not quite touring material – give yourself time! People told me a week to get my legs but it took me three & maybe it would take you longer but it’s totally worth it!

Much bike love,

Keely

(Posted are two old photos from the Bragg ride with Angel and Jen & a few from the last few days)

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North Point

We stayed in a RV park in Houston, showered and ate lots of food. Nothing too spectacular to mention other than we had a gradual downhill for 30km into town (Just flying!), I attempted to ride a bull riding sculpture of the the town hero (I’m pathetic at climbing so Colin made fun of me a bit), and Houston is the home to the largest fly fishing rod IN THE WORLD.

We made our way towards Smithers and stopped at a warm showers (cycling host network) along the way in a village called Telkwa. Our host, John, was not home but gave us directions to the cabin he offers cyclists. The place was called Rainbow Adult Park and a bicycle was hanging from the sign. It’s hard to guess what you can expect from an “adult park” but it was perfect. The tiny green cabin sat at the end of a mobile home residential area on top of a steep cliff overlooking the Bulkley river. It had a double bed and a set of bunks. We had access to wifi, showers and laundry. I might have accidentally mistaken the doors inside the laundry area and walked in on a middle aged fellow frying eggs in his tighty-whiteys but we still got everything else we needed. Just another story to add to Keelys embarrassing moments.

The next day we had a rainy ride to Smithers. Our warm showers host in this town had to cancel on us so Colin and I walked around town – drank the most amazing chai tea at Eagle Mountain Books – and tried to think up a plan of where to stay. I had emailed another host in town but never heard back. So in a desperate moment I called her and asked if we could stay.

Laura has 5 kids (20, 19, 15, 3 and 2). She is a teacher\librarian and obviously has a lot on her plate (don’t get me wrong – it’s a lot of awesome). Regardless of the full life and the paper marking that the end of the school year brings she welcomed us into her home and Colin and I enjoyed a comfy couch sleep for two nights!

Their family was amazing and I enjoyed seeing how Laura and her husband, Floyd live such a busy life with cool and calm ‘tudes.

Laura’s mom lived next door and had done quite a bit of bike touring herself and gave us some good tips of places to sleep for free along the way (RCMP building yards and road maintenance property).

We headed to a reserve called Moricetown for aboriginal day. The town, also set on the Bulkley river, has a massive river canon that the locals harpoon on. Sadly the river has been too high for good fishing and we didn’t get to see the action. Regardless, we stopped at the canon and explored around a bit.

We stopped at their community area and enjoyed free BBQ’d salmon and drumming by the elders. It was a perfect break for a 27 degree day.

Our goal was to reach Old Hazleton so we biked on later into the evening. There is a campsite in Ksan where the old town has been inhabited for over 10000 years. Just before reaching town we were stopped by a man and his family in a ford truck. Darren and his four kids quickly invited us to stay on their property for the night and have a fire with them. Free camping? Free fire? Heck yes!
And what a property they had!! The view was breathtaking and their company was fantastic.
The land they lived on was also shared with two other guys, Chris and Martin. Chris is from Vancouver and Martin from Germany. The two of them, along with Darren are starting a project called commonunity. Like other hippie-esk living situations they would share all responsibilities, supply themselves with food they grow in a permaculture garden and live off the land as much as possible.

Jade, Darren’s oldest, quickly looked at us and stated “this house has NO power or running water” and sighed as a teenager might in an iPhone world.

Even though these kids didn’t have power or running water at their dads they seemed to know more then Colin and I did about foraging from the land. The youngest one was eating young tree needles and dandelion leaves as we hung around the fire. They will definitely grow up to be neat little forest children.20130625-135525.jpg20130625-135550.jpg20130625-135617.jpg20130625-135647.jpg20130625-135708.jpg20130625-135739.jpg20130625-135751.jpg20130625-135804.jpg20130625-135813.jpg20130625-135827.jpg20130625-135843.jpg20130625-131532.jpg20130625-131551.jpg20130625-131604.jpg20130625-131620.jpg20130625-131704.jpg20130625-131730.jpg20130625-131754.jpg

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Catch up!

Since leaving Culcluz lake we have been threw a fair amount that we haven’t caught up on writing down. So I’ll try to give y’all the gist.

We arrived in Vanderhoof,THE GEOGRAPHICAL CENTRE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, to a off and on rainy day. We found a place to have dinner (GF pizza!) and also got to have a shower! There was a local farmers market happening so we checked it out and bought a tiny bit of raspberry honey from a very nice lady. She also a had pug puppy and I was a happy gal hanging in her tent. The town had a nice pathway system so Colin and I rode around for awhile in the evening and checked out the bird sanctuary island from a lookout point along the river. We met a fleece wearing dude named Patrick who was meeting up with a tree planting crew the next day. It so happens that our friends Kirsty and Brianna are on that crew and we asked him to say hi to them, then gave him the key code to the shower rooms at our campsite so he could score a clean up as well.

The next day we rode to Beaumont Provincial Park and got our camp site set up just before a quick storm moved in. After about a hour the sun was back a-blazing and Colin and I enjoyed a cold but wonderful evening dip in the lake.

Our park ranger gave us free wood after I did a survey for BC parks and we had a huge fire.

In the morning we chatted a bit with a fellow from a tiny town near Radium. He was riding his motorbike up to the Dust to Dawson gathering and then over to Alaska before being back in three weeks for his sons wedding. We hope you have a fun trip and better luck with the rainbow trout up north!

We moseyed on threw Fraser lake in the hot sun but got caught by a flash storm. We pulled our bikes off on a tiny road to get rain geared up and heard a voice calling to us. A nice couple, the Renshaws, lived just down the road and saw us ride up in a panic. They welcomed us into there home and made us tea and coffee while the storm passed. They had a beautiful home and we enjoyed chatting with them about there years out there on their acreage. Thanks for the rain break!!

We booked it a rode over 70km that day to a free campsite on a lake called co-op lake. Owned by the forestry industry this campsite wasn’t your typical provincial park with beautiful facilities and beaches. Mud pits roads and an old outhouse was the decor. It was defiantly the place for anyone who fishes to just show up, catch a bucket and roll back to town. There were a couple other campers with us and it worked just perfect for a free night on a pretty lake!

Photos might get added tomorrow when we are in Houston.

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The cabin

When we were in Prince George my cousin Margie generously offered us the keys to her cabin west of PG. Her family bought it after my grandpa past away, who had originally owned it. Two nights ago we got the chance to stay there, which was really nice.

We mostly lazed under blankets drinking tea and listening to the radio cause it was a rainy day.

We explored around the cabiny streets a bit and I snapped a few photos of Culcluz lake, the quirky out house full of losing lottery tickets and the old cabin with its new deck!

Thanks Margie!!! I hope you find the keys in the coffee cup under the deck!20130615-131107.jpg

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Throw back

Colin and I stopped over in Prince George last weekend to have a few rest days. We stayed at my cousin house who has moved since the last time I had been there. They have a beautiful home on a few acres where Colin and I enjoyed doing nothing and watching 80s movie on the free movie channel. We also got a chance to have a great visit with my auntie Della, my uncle and my cousin Margie (who I’ve never met before now).

When I was a kid I fondly remember a few trips to Prince George to see my auntie Joyce, uncle Bob and to hang with my cousins. Everyone is extra grown up now and some of the kids when I was a kid have a lot of there own kids now.

My dad sent me this photo of us in 91 or 92 hanging at my cousin Rob and Elaine’s house in Hixon BC.

In photo from left to right: Martin, Matt, Adam, Jocelyn, my Auntie Gayle, Lindsey, Carly, Erin, Greg and me


Colin look-a-like

Yesterday my sister, Erin, messaged me and had decided that Colin looked like a young Matthew Broderick. What else could I do but mash their faces together.
Enjoy.
Keek


It’s Been One Week

After leaving Bonnie and Curtis’s (we wish we could have stayed FOREVER) we set out for a 65 km day. After riding 65km and becoming totally beat from riding uphill most of the day we realized our supposed camp spot wasn’t there… We asked a local who was turning off of a logging road and he let us know that it was still another 10-15km and mostly up a huge hill. (Que sad face). 80km & 11pm rolled around and so did Colin and I to our camp spot, exhausted and sweaty. We quickly cooked in the dark and passed out.

The next day we rode only 44km to a rest stop called Dome Creek. There were flush toilets and picnic tables. Not a campsite but Colin and I pitched our tent and made it home. With lots of travellers and truckers stoping in to get a walk and pee break they also got a peek into the hobo life of Keek and Colin. Pretty sure we got the craziest looks as we ate power bars, washed our dishes, brushed our teeth and hung out under the awning of the bathroom building. Living the life of luxury. Our burnt faces and heavy eyes probably didn’t help much. The rain was so heavy in the evening that the soil on the cliff above the river was eroding away and trees were crashing into the river.

After sleeping for 12hours that night and feeling like Dome Creek was a time warp we couldn’t escape we rolled out and had a great ride to Purden Lake – a REAL campsite. We splurged on buying firewood and had a huge dinner (coconut veggie rice with lentil chilli on top!). The running water was spring water fed and drinkable (not non-potable bathroom water that we had to filter! Woot woot) and our campsite neighbours (Pat and Tamika) lent us an axe to cut our wood.

We arrived in Prince George last night and rode to my cousins house just outside town. They are away for the weekend but will be back tonight to visit with. It’s great to have a rest day.

All in all, the last few days have been good. It’s been a lot rainier but Colin and I have got the gearing up and gearing down managed well.

Colin will post soon about an awesome attraction, the ancient forest!!! BC is beautiful!

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Bonnie and Curtis

I just wanted to make sure I wrote a post about these two amazing folks before too many days passed.

Yesterday after about 6 hours of riding in the hot sun a red mustang pulled over beside us and to our surprise Bonnie and her grandson, Peter, stopped to meet us and take all our bags. Bonnie and her husband Curtis were our next destination. A warm shower and a dry bed was all we expected but we got so much more.

After a 60km per an hour ride down a huge hill (with no heavy bags!) into the Robson Valley and across the Fraser river we arrived to our home for the night. Bonnie had started cooking potatoes (score for me) and we unloaded out bags and had a hot shower.

Great dinner and good conversation was out night.

We got the night to explore Bonnie’s amazing lilac garden (one of the biggest in the west as Curtis told us) and learn about the humming birds that Curtis is helping tag and track for the Canadian wildlife association (hummingbirds he has tagged have gone from Alaska to Alabama and Texas and back)

We were welcomed into there warm home with open arms and we couldn’t be more thankful!

Plus Colin got homemade cookies for the day!

Thanks Bonnie and Curtis! We hope you have a great summer and we also hope to see you again one day. (Maybe for the hippie music fest!)

-Keek

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