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May 22- Day 15

A great nights sleep. Despite the fact we were probably inside a cloud at some time in the night. Not a drop of water inside, thank god for well designed tents! Went inside the house for breakfast and cleaning up. Barb and Mark made pancakes, and we joked and laughed for a few hours before leaving. Mark is a laid back, mellow kind of guy, balding on top, and a rye sense of humor. Barb is bright and bubbly, always laughing and smiling. They make a cute couple. We ate pancakes and waffles with real maple syrup and pineapple... oh man!

I&S have the most amazing camp stove. It can use ANY kind of fuel. Once full, you just pump for pressure, and you're set until it's empty. You can even hook it up to other types of fuel canisters if you have to. Very nice.

I'm getting buzzed by hummingbirds right now, I'm writing this section too close to their bird feeder outside. They make a kind of "Bee-bee-beooooo" buzz like noise as they dive-bomb past you.

You know, this is exactly the sort of thing I had hoped would happen. Makes you wonder if it's any coincidence that it all happened when I gave up any hope it would.

I'm in Revelstoke now, stocking up on supplies. There is still snow in the mountains. I haven't seem anything this big since the coast mountains, and these aren't even the biggest of the bunch. The Rockies themselves will probably be mind blowing. We've seen tons of little waterfalls on the way, and rapid streams rushing from the snow melts. There was a nice lake we passed in Three Valley with a very large single structure resort on it. Hundreds of rooms at least. We've also been following the railroad, and see trains on a regular basis.

It's 3pm, we're 40k into today's journey, and the next big city, Golden, is over 100k from here. Roger's Pass is before that. I wonder how this is going to turn out....

Time spent cycling: 3:48:11

Distance traveled: 80.92 km

Total distance: 888 km

Average Speed: 21.2 kph

Maximum speed: 64.9 kph

Current Location: Just past Canyon Hot Springs, in a little known run down free park type area.

Look at that average speed. Now consider that a lot of it was UPHILL! Ilan and Shannon are not only my Sherpas through the Rockies, but they're better than a professional fitness trainer. Their very presence gives me the motivation to push harder and longer than I normally do going uphill. Didn't stop once to walk! Granted there were no 9% grade hills, but let's not nitpick.

Also note, however, the very limited time. We covered good distance, but the layover in Revelstoke was pretty long. The one thing I really admire about them is their love of food. Neither are fat, they're both in better shape than me, but they see nothing wrong with taking over an hour with preparing a decent meal from scratch. At lunch they made nice elaborate sandwiches, at dinner they made a stir fry better than I've ever made at home. It's an art to them, perhaps it has to be when you're a vegetarian. Ilan himself told me that food was the most important thing to existence, and that it should be enjoyed. I agree wholeheartedly, but part of me can only think of it as time that could have been spent cycling.

Traffic today was alternating between extreme and barren. It was a sunny day all around. Stupid Weather Network. I'm glad I didn't wait a day! Along the way we found a giant statue of Smokey the Bear... pretty f-ing dumb looking. Of course I took a picture! The view, overall, has been fantastic. Majestic mountains with snow peaks that refuse to melt, forests on all sides, and not a logging company in site (yet), lakes and streams that sometimes seem to be flowing uphill, rushing waterfalls every few hundred meters, ranging from small to huge. It was a good day.

Mark and Barb told us of a hidden campground outside of Canyon Hot Springs, and we got there by 6:30. After all the climbing we did, it was time to turn in. After all, tomorrow we have to face Rogers Pass...

This is not your average campsite. It's WAY below average. Take your basic provincial park, and throw it into disuse for ten years. This is a haunted campsite. The shelter covering community firewood collapsed years ago, most of the wood appears to be rotting, regardless of if it's wet or dry. It's deserted except for an old man a few spots away in a truck with camper attachment. I think he's trying to drive away all the tourists by pretending to be the ghost of One Eye Pete, the Land Pirate! Me and the gang will have this mystery solved by morning!

We built a campfire. I chopped some wood with an ax we borrowed from the elderly gentleman. They made stirfry, and heated my ravioli for me (plus gave me some rice to throw in it).

My sun blisters have gotten worse, and Ilan suggested I wear a bandana instead of that stupid zinc oxide. I agree. We're tying or food up to a tree tonight, just in case.

It's past nine now, I type this by flash and candlelight beside a dying fire. It's getting cold, and so, I go to sleep.



Onto Day 16...