Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Goose Tour Day 3: Revelstoke to Nakusp

A Dog's Life

I started out the day with my second and last SAG shift for the Tour, so it was off to the grocery store with Laura. At the store, we met Martin & Nadine, bicycle tourists from Germany, who had been touring the world since 2003. That's no bike tour, that's a lifestyle! They were very well loaded down with not just panniers but with dry bags and other odd-shaped gear, covering all possible areas of their bikes. They had a lot of gear but they were carrying it all, unlike us goslings who had 2 vehicles for all that stuff. It made me feel like I was part of a consumption tour, with a van full of gear, food and water (and more about to be purchased). [Since returning home, I have read about Nadine & Martin in the Adventure Cycling magazine. They are not just bicycling- they are also paddling their way around the world.]

After taking a while to do the shopping, due to some serious deliberations regarding soda (both the consumption of and the variety), we each set off to the route, noting that the group had made quite a lot of progress, despite there being a good climb to start out with. At the summit, Kent, Marie, Bill and Sylvia were waiting and, after a quick wardrobe change due to a hole in the sky and my never-ending optimism, I set off downhill with Bill and Marie, reaching the Galena Bay ferry in no time. We were greeted by sunshine and lots of food. Tom M was the brave one who decided to try the "treat" I brought from home. He had some on bread, exclaimed that it was good and understood when I told him we'd just keep that to ourselves, the others can go on thinking it's Vegemite.

Once on the ferry, with lots of trucks and some cars, we became the captive audience of one very ornery truck driver. He went on and on about the miserable road conditions that lay ahead for us (tight, winding roads with no shoulders) and that he wouldn't want to hit us. He had a mixture of anger and concern, which we all interpreted as fear. Once we disembarked the ferry and climbed the steep grade on the other side, we found the shoulders to be nice and we realized there wouldn't be much traffic until the next ferry arrived. Steve caught up with me and we rode and talked, soon to be joined by Marilyn and Peggy and the four of us rode together toward Nakusp, the town we would stay in for two nights, enjoying a rest day.

I hadn't been expecting much from Nakusp, the little town on Arrow Lake that seemed difficult to pronounce at first, but from the hotel parking lot, it looked like a cute place. I changed into my swimsuit to go for a dip. Ayyy!!! It was cold, but I managed to get in and swim a bit, before my feet went numb. At the very least, I figured that I was reducing the swelling in my legs by submerging them in cold water.

Nearly the whole gang dined together at a pizza & schnitzel place which was owned by a very pleasant German man. While our group seemed to have been able to get along on the bike, this was not so much the case when it came to food. There was some competition about which table was getting served first and it was best to guard your plate, lest someone make off with a slice without you knowing. After what happened the first day with Bill, I didn't dare go to the restroom. Dessert was even more cutthroat; when we inquired about the menu, we were told there were only a total of three desserts left so our table ordered them all and high-fives went around the table.
After dinner, we made peace and went for a walk along the waterfront, meeting the town character and historian along the way, who told us the history of the town and BC Hydro. He had a Chesapeake Bay dog, named Chesie, whom we all took turns petting and, more importantly to him, scritching. Once he'd made his rounds with us, he set off to the hedges that had grown so they were perfect Chesie-height.

65 miles, 3,900'

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