June 12th. Everything gets more beautiful each day, but I joke that it’s ugly, the trees greener the mountains higher. We are at Hells Gate near Boston Bar staying at a campground. I climbed the tallest hill I have in my life. We didn’t start out till three thirty since it was windy and rainy. Trees were knocked over in Vancouver. It was windy and cold. Then we heard Don’t Stop Believing and 25 k later we reached Yale, a village of 150. At a gas station a 69 year old man with few teeth, noticeably only the incisors on the bottom half, told me he moved here from Chantour, Ontario, 47 years ago with his mom and 5 siblings when his dad started giving his mom trouble. He worked in the station store with his son. His voice was hypnotic music I found myself staring contentedly in his eyes.
We climbed and climbed, the biggest hills or mountainsides that I have in my life. John turtle had to walk a few of the hills but this trip shall make the young strong and the old stronger. When it was time to camp we could only find a slight rest station, a bend in the roadside with handfuls of trees and some flat ground. How did they ever make roads in these mountains? There was no water and I only had a little left in my bottle so I suggested we try to make it to the next camp though dad was tired. GPS said it was mostly downhill. When we arrived there wasn’t a soul in sight so we began to cycle the curved parallel roads that spread through the soily hills, a rarity in the rocky parts. I lost track of dad, he was gone. I thought to return to the general store at the entrance, it was closed when I arrived. To the left was a visitors centre also closed. But a sprinkler. I cycled close and dismounted to drink. It tasted fine, but difficult to swallow, the cascades emerging from the sprinkler mount. I’d figure out what to when no longer dehydrated I told myself, the future was so far away, dad and I would meet up at some random town eventually. A few minutes later a white haired man as suave as the original James Bond pulled up in a white pick up, smoking a cigarette, probably paramounts.
Are you Sarah? Your father is worried. Don’t drink that water it has chlorine. I have clean water 1 k from here. Follow me.
So I did to a campground. Dad was surprised to see me fine he thought I’d crashed or seen a bear. Bernard, the man who found me, is inspired by the Art of Zen and Motorcycle Maintenance, or he was at some point, or at least he read it, he says he doesn’t remember much of the book. He has a friend who likes it. Bernard told us tenters pay 10 dollars but tenter cyclists pay 9 if they record their stories in a leather bound book his motorcycle friend from afar gave him. Bernard is Australian.
I learned a little today as cheesy as that is. Patience is the fine. And, as Bernard pointed out, cops shouldn’t be compared to heard animals like zebras, horses and sheep, they don’t abruptly harm and trample one another. Cops are rocks.