South to Alaska
A Fork in the Road

Van Dyke Logging Camp to Lake Kitwancool

September 26th, 2014

What happened…

Andrew writes: There was an eerie fog last night. It made for some strange noises from outside, and at some point in the middle of the night, I was voluntold to go investigate. Everything turned out OK, and most of the noises were from rain hitting various parts of the ground and the building, and I was left thinking that we really lucked out by setting up the tent inside the old weigh station.

Morning came quickly, and we were up at about 8am. Amanda took care of the tent and I decided to make a fancy breakfast which included fried tortillas, scrambled eggs with cheese, and oatmeal. I’m really going to enjoy it in a few days when we can shop every 2-3 days. This will allow me to start buying fruit and vegetables, and to make some really fun, fresh, creative meals for us.

The terrain today was weird. I somehow have it in my head from an elevation profile I saw a few weeks ago, that we should be going mostly downhill. The terrain in the morning was rolling, with a tailwind, but then in the afternoon it shifted to a pretty constant 2-3% uphill, with a headwind to boot. The sun was shining though, so I decided we’d end the day early to take advantage of some R&R by a lake we found.The flip side of the coin I guess is that by taking these easy days, we increase the likelihood of a rainy day in the future, particularly at this time of year. You know what? After being cold for so long, I’ll take my chances.

We got all setup at the lake by 5pm and I even went in for a bit of a dip. My friend Sven would LOVE a lake like this I’m sure. It’s big, warm, and in the middle of nowhere.

Amanda and I have continued to talk about whether or not we should goto Jasper or not. I feel like it is something I want to do because of the challenge it represents; the altitude, the weather, I think all of it will pay off with incredible scenery. I also look forward to seeing and spending more time with some of the Warmshowers hosts I met in April. Back then I was in a real hurry and hardly had any time to shower, let alone talk to these cyclists about their travels and dreams, and now I have all the time in the world.

On the flip side of things, I know Amanda gets really unhappy when the thermometer dips too low. Today she said she would rather just be on a beach someplace warm. We have been thinking about taking a ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. There are some really positive aspects to this decision; we could stop in Nanaimo for Thanksgiving Dinner with my Aunt Pat and Uncle Des. Grandpa is there too. The weather should be a lot milder, and we could take a ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, and then cycle around the Olympic Penninsula, something we didn’t do the last time we rode down the coast. Finally, we would be on semi-familiar territory, and it could be really nice weather in the few weeks it would take for us to get south of San Francisco.

Whatever we decide, I’m just happy to be cycling, I’m happy to have my loving wife and best friend with me, and I’m happy to be out in the world doing things at my own pace; instead of having the pace dictated to me by the life around me.


Amanda writes:We didn’t set the alarm and got up later than normal. That was okay by me because we still got up before 8am. We had a really nice big breakfast and we’re on the road by 10 a.m. Andrew had joked and said we’d ride 220 kilometres to Smithers today and I mentioned Kitwanga would be good at 100 K. I figured that was reasonable as we had both mentioned it when we were riding later yesterday that Kitwanga would be a good destination. It had a campground, showers, a grocery store and laundry.

In the morning we had nice downhills and an awesome tail wind. I decided now was as good a time as any to bring up our discussion about what direction we were going to head in. And boy I somehow wish I hadn’t. The winds changed as did the terrain. Suddenly we were climbing constantly and a headwind picked up. Our conversation about which direction to go in went about the same way. We are totally not on the same page.

It seems that Andrew has declared that every decision he makes is for my benefit and to make me happy. Combine this with his new found rules of he doesn’t ride more than 100 kilometres in a day, or past 6pm or longer than 6 hours. I’m so confused. I’m left thinking we need to figure this out and come to compromise because I married a man who makes himself happy first; that’s one of the reasons I married him. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a princess and love it when he makes choices to benefit me but we just need to work some things out. I’m hoping a nice dinner will help because stopping just 30K shy of Kitwanga was not what I had in mind tonight. I’m sure we’ll figure it out and who knows which direction we’re headed. I’ll just be glad to be cycling with Andrew, even if we’re arguing every step of the way.


Today’s Photographs

South to Alaska
A Fork in the Road