Believing


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.IMG_20150612_191438

Advertisements

Stranger

IMG_20150611_163512

June 10th

I saw my dad talking to a man from the old world or a different world that never existed who broke every rule we think sacrosanct on a bike tour or any long journey. They talked for twenty minutes as I bobbed my head in agreement to whatever, on the side of a ridiculous Aldershot hill. He wore a polo shirt navy blue with tobacco stains as big as pancakes on the pocket. He said he was 59,  he looked 70. This year he was only biking across BC though he rode through Canada twice before on his old mountain bike, no drop bars, brake handle sutured together with red electrical tape. His panniers  were filmed with 200 grams of hill dust and oil and a million car’s exhaust. A single wheel trailer crept behind, twenty years old, once it had been silver and on it lay his three person ten pound tent wrapped in canvas, canvas and a helmet hand painted once ages ago and now fading into twenty blue shades. Helmet wasn’t on him since he walked up hills, too hard with the trailer. Dad couldn’t find a campground to stay in from him since he never stayed in campgrounds, just waited till dusk then folded into the bushes. In all the years he travelled he never had any trouble being a guerilla. Next year he would go across Canada again, always solo.

On the ground in a tent right now on the other side of Aldershot from Victoria. As I biked down a 40 metre hill on highway 11 a group of boys somewhere in their 20s roughly glided past me and threw an orange cardboard box with something heavy in it at my face. Reacting strangely quickly I moved my head so it bounced off my helmet. They were in a white ford truck that had one of those the glass covering over the back. I’d never seen them before of course. When I realized that it wasn’t an accident but a calculated thing, maybe they hated cyclers, what they thought I stood for (an Easy Rider ending), that I seemed happy, that they had considered, hesitated then carried out hurting someone, possibly trying to knock them into traffic, I started to follow them.  I yelled hey like Black Francis and zoomed to where a red light had prevented them from their cowardly get away. Seeing that I wasn’t flat on the road that I was pursuing them they cut through 2 lanes of traffic turned right and yelled random bile out the window while doing the finger thing. Every impulse inside wanted to continue the chase but I knew my crazy neck might break as I leaped frogged through traffic with a heavy trailer and panniers.