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May 21- Day 14

Perhaps 14 is my unlucky number.

It's official, I've got a nasty blister on my lip. I also noticed that the sunblock did do a lot of good, because there is a patch on the bottom of my neck that didn't get any, and it is much much worse than my face or arms.

It's still raining. It will rain on and off for the rest of the week. Not at all what was forecast just two days ago. "Million Dollar Weekend", indeed. That weatherman should be shot.

I'd stay another night except for one problem. Tomorrow is the end of the long weekend, and it's still supposed to be raining. Riding on a highway on the end of a long weekend when it's cloudy and wet and raining sounds like suicide to me. And I can't afford two more days here. So I'll get as far away as I can today (hopefully to a park just past Sicamous) and lay low for Monday if the forecast turns out to be correct. Sounds like a plan. Time to put my dad's rain gear to the test. Hope it works better than that windbreaker.

I've gotten more accepting about these conditions. "Just part of the job" I tell myself, "Just do what you gotta do". It helps.

This will be the last time I will be able to access the internet until Calgary, so expect a delay of a week or so before the next report. It might not take that long, but might as well give a conservative estimate.

Expect me when you see me.

Time spent cycling: 5:28:28

Distance traveled: 113.07 km

Total distance: 817 km

Average Speed: 21.4 kph!

Maximum speed: 49.5 kph

Current Location: Off of highway 1, at Barb and Mark's place, near Taft and Eagle Pass

What a day. I mean it. WHAT A DAY! Okay, folks, get ready for this one.

Fortunately for me, it's not raining when I start. In fact, it didn't rain the entire day. Go figure. Stupid Weather Network. I wiped out twenty minutes out of town, don't worry, it was a non-event. It didn't even hurt. But my bike computer was screwed up and I forgot to reset it before, so my time and distance is adjusted by my best guesses at this point (about 15 minutes and 3k). By the time I get to Armstrong I've loaded up on oranges again. Five of them of them, I chat with the store owner and customer for ten minutes or so, got some free coffee.

After that, I was a machine. I didn't stop for anything, and thanks to the 97% humidity, I wasn't even thirsty much. There were no really big ups or downs, as the average and maximum speed might indicate. Generally it was somewhat downhill. I just wanted to get to Sicamous so I could re-evaluate where I was going to stay at. I had determined a nearby park, but you never know...

You never know indeed. On the way to Sicamous, I went over a construction road, and en route I lost my water bottle, which broke. I needed a replacement, so I stopped at the Super Value in Sicamous and bought a Gatoraid to replace it.

A young man, wearing tinted wrap around glasses, a scruffy face with a tuft of beard hair under the lip stops me.

"Where are you touring from?"

His name is Ilan, and his girlfriend is Shannon. They're riding a tandem bicycle across Canada, and started from Vancouver on the 13th. Unlike me, they're sponsored, and even have matching clothes. Man, they have a sweet bike, and their gear is awesome. Makes me look kind of sad.

We talked for a half hour or so. They did the survey together (tandem, my idea), and we decided to hook up for a while. At first it was just until I got to the park, then we'd part ways, since they planned to rough it, and I was thinking about resting an extra day (tomorrow is Monday, the end of the long weekend, and it's supposed to rain. Not good).

We rode. Sometimes I was in front, sometimes in back. A CN train slowly passed us, which tooted for us when we gave it the classic arm gesture.

But they were nice, and I enjoyed the company. The fact of the matter is that the Rockies is the most dangerous part of this trip, and with no phone and no friends, a team effort is easily the best idea. They were up to it, and by the time the day was done, I had biked over 110km!

We pulled up along Crazy Creek, which is so well named. The spring runoff and rain has made this creek EXTREMELY volatile. I mean HUGE gushing rapids you wouldn't believe! There was a nice flat area not too far away from that, where we made camp. Then someone (a tourist watching Crazy Creek) sighted a black bear not 100 meters away and told Ilan. We set up our food stores a couple hundred feet away, just in case.

But it never came to that. A couple who lived nearby had come down to see how high the level was at Crazy Creek. Ilan talked to them a while, and the next thing we know we've got a place to stay for the night! Their truck packed all our stuff, I rode in it, Ilan and Shannon took the now payload-less tandem and followed.

Barb and Mark used to run a fish nursery, but a mud slide ruined that for them. They're trying to sell the house, and a nice house it is, I'm typing this now in their livingroom. We're trading stories about just about everything under the sun.

I haven't felt so satisfied in my life. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship... at least until Banff, where they're getting a lift to Calgary (they're doing a couple of school seminars, and will be brought back after to Banff after they're done).

Ilan and Shannon are doing an awareness and cooperation program, along with environmentalism. They're talking to school children across Canada. It's a great thing they're doing,

I take it back. Perhaps 14 is my lucky number.



Onto Day 15...