My Brother Jesse
Rest Day: Terrace, BC

September 28th, 2014

What happened…

Andrew writes: We don’t bother setting an alarm anymore since our internal clocks are set to wake up between 6 and 8am. The sun isn’t coming up until almost 8am now, so it works out well. We did our usual pack up, however because I had fresh baked goods from last night I was able to get creative at breakfast. I made some small egg and cheese sandwiches. They were a welcome change from the ever-present oatmeal.

We had what I consider to be a long day today, somewhere between 85 and 90km. The terrain was amazing! If it wasn’t flat, it was downhill. Sure, there were some lazy uphill sections, but none longer than 2km, and each of the following downhills seemed like 5km. This really made the day fly by.

It was threatening to rain from the moment we woke up, and so we were in our rain gear. At lunch though, with the sun threatening to poke through the clouds, we took it all off and hung it up to dry. Our clothing was wet from the inside, because naturally rain gear isn’t breathable (in addition to not being waterproof). We had a lovely kraft dinner lunch by the side of the highway, and really took our time to enjoy the day. As we were packing up lunch, Amanda hung her shirt on the back of her bike to dry and put on a fresh dry one. I elected to just leave all of my rain gear packed away and ride in my green wool long sleeve.

Naturally when it started to rain a short time after lunch, I assumed it would be a passing shower, like all the rain beforehand. Little did I know that this would be a 10mm downpour. You know what though? It felt warm. It felt cleansing. It felt great! I rode along in the rain with just my shirt on for almost 3 hours. Amanda meanwhile wasn’t able to dry out her one shirt, and in the process, what she had been wearing since lunch was now drenched; live and learn I guess.

We arrived in Terrace and I quickly google’d our Warmshowers hosts’ address. That ended up sending us to the wrong place. Then I re-read their e-mail and after a nice leisurely ride through the outskirts of Terrace, we arrived at Timberland, home of Cheryl and Sandy! Cheryl immediately set us up in the garage and let us do our thing. Then when Amanda was hopping in the shower, Cheryl took me out to the ‘shop’ to meet Sandy and I hung up the tent to dry. Then I hung out with Sandy and Brian, enjoying a nice cold Guinness; my first one in a long time. Just hanging out, burping and drinking beer with the guys was such a nice way to unwind. I miss moments like this sometimes. The spell was broken when Amanda came in search of me, since she thought I had gotten lost, or eaten by a bear or something.

After my shower, I got to meet Miriam and Dirk, Germans who are couch surfing their way across Canada. Couchsurfing is similar to Warmshowers, except the host and the guest end up having less in common I think. This was quite noticeable as Cheryl, Amanda and I were almost immediately at ease, talking about bikes. We made sure to include the Germans in the conversation too.

Cheryl really went out of her way with dinner. A huge pork loin, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, kale/beet salad, and an apple torte for dessert. Mmmmm. Gotta love home cooking! The rest of the evening flew by, and it was weird how quickly our bodies accepted 11pm as a bedtime, a far cry from the 8 or 9pm we’ve become accustomed to.

Amanda and I talked to Cheryl about spending another night so that we can dry out, do some laundry and run around Terrace tomorrow. She’ll let us know in the morning. She’s great. I get the sense that there are some fun bike trips in her future. Already she has ridden around the Haida Gwaii islands and on the Sunshine Coast. She talks about riding in Europe, if she can find a good partner, or even closer to home, riding the length of Vancouver Island.

Cheryl commented on it, and it made me reflect on how fortunate I am to have such a willing and able partner in Amanda. I’m really happy that we have this in common. I get the sense from people we meet along the way that not every two people are able to share a passion like cycling to the same degree that Amanda and I do. We love one another, and we love cycling with one another; it’s so awesome.

Amanda writes:While today’s ride was a longer distance, the terrain was very kind. I was able to draft Andrew for much of the day which makes the riding faster. The downside to this was that drafting and pouring rain combined meant that I was getting sprayed with road grime for hours. I managed to ensure my mouth stayed closed to keep it out of my teeth but I was pretty messy when we arrived at Cheryl and Sandy’s home. It put my mind at ease that Cheryl is a cyclist so she would understand why my face was black. This was confirmed by her offer of a shower within five minutes of meeting us.

After being wet and soggy for so many days, the hot shower was incredible. After my shower I climbed into the hot tub and I must have sat there for 40 minutes trying to warm my bones. After a long time I decided it might be rude to just soak in the hot tub as a guest and decided to pull the plug. The amazing dinner and easy conversation was so comforting and exactly what I needed after so many soggy days again. The icing on the cake was the warm comfortable bed. Warmshowers is such a great community and I’m so grateful for being a part of it and even more grateful for such gracious hosts. Cheryl and Sandy really did make me feel right at home.

Cheryl and Sandy’s home also had a scale. It appears Andrew and I had some extra pounds to lose or we’re not eating enough. Andrew has lost 18 pounds since we left and I’ve lost 15. We feel good so I suppose we are not concerned but will try and supplement our diet with some more healthy calories.

Today’s Photographs

My Brother Jesse
Rest Day: Terrace, BC