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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Revelstoke to Golden

    It had drizzled just a tad during the night, but I didn't wake up until the crows located where we had immigrated too during the day and screamed until we were all up and alert.
   There was a little cafe in town and we had a small bite to eat there. The plans of the day were laid out on the table.

   "Today we are from here" Downey said pointing at a map. "To here"

    The map Downey help was one with both the province of British Columbia and Alberta. The two towns he pointed out were Revelstoke and Golden.

   There may not be much significance in indicating in which town we were in, and to which town we were headed but let me tell you a few things about the road we were facing. First of all, Revelstoke and Golden are about 150 km apart. Not a long distance for two in shape cyclist, until you take into account that the 150km includes the notorious Rogers pass, a 50km uphill at a 4% to 8% grades. Our friend Emanuel doubted that it could be done in one day. But with my great persistance, Downeys determination and Emanuels free of being alone in Grizzly territory, I knew we would make it one way or the other as a team.

   Downey was gracious enough to begin the day as the pack leader, he drafted for the team for about 10 km. After which I decided to take the lead... for 3 km. Downey went back to the front and drafted for 6 km, at which point I got bored, broke out from the team and sped uphill to the Rogers pass lodge about an hour in front of my friends. It was a purely miserable day weather wise. Since the day started out warm I was biking shirtless, about and hour after leaving the team the sky opened up into an angry and cold rain. Since I was going at a good pace, I didn't bother stopping to putting on a coat, but about 2 hours later, at the point of hypothermia, I managed to put on a wet sweater and jacket. It felt great.

   Upon arriving at Rogers pass lodge, i found the kitchen closed, and the available food limited and overpriced. I angrily poured a coca-cola down my throat and ate my four dollar wonderbar (it was actually extremely delicious). When Downey and Emanuel showed up, I was eager to keep moving. The secound part of our day would be the easy part, it was all downhilll. So after a short break for Downey and Emanuel, we went bareling down the hill. Emanuel cruising at about 40 km, I like a conservative 50 to 60 km, and Downey likes the breakneck speed of 70 km to 80 km. Therefore we all arrived at the bottom of the hill much later in different shape. Downey felt relaxed and satisfied while Emanuel and I had sore arms from holding the break steady for about an hour. Golden was still a ways off but now in attainable reach. We were only about 50 km from our goal, but I was starting to hit what some people like to call the wall. The very energetic first part of the day, the lack of food and the incescant uphills had taken a big toll on my body. Therefore, about 25 km away from Golden I fell behind by about an hour. My ragged body was aching, cold, hungry, my ipod didn't work and my bum was beyond painful. When I finally forced my body into Golden I literally collapsed at the nearest Barbeque Restaurant.
 
    During our travels we have seen our share of good and bad. We did not know what the expect in Golden. The thought of sleeping outdoors in our thin sleeping bags and water resistant (NOT PROOF) bivy bags didn't exactly rally enthusiasm. When we checked out one hotel in particular the price we were quoted would have busted a weeks budget. Someone in town refered us to the Sportsman Motel. From the outside it looked like any regular motel exect the staff was so kind and understanding of our situation they accomadated us in everyway they could. Our rooms were great, it felt so good to lie in a dry bed. The staff even alowed us to relax in the motels hot tub. My legs felt so good relaxing in the hot tub, it was nice to have such nice people looking out for us.

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