Leaving Hope was a double entendre. Heavy rain came down and just a few minutes in we were drenched as we headed north into Fraser Canyon and the hills began. What would have ordinarily been a scenic view was obscured by the rain and mist. A couple hours of suffering later and the rain gave way to sunshine. For the rest of the day a strong tailwind pushed us towards the town of Lytton for the night. The restaurant in town served us half-frozen spring rolls.
The small towns we stay in overnight are now spaced 60-75 miles apart, usually with one even smaller town somewhere in between. Food choices range between pubs, cafes, and the occasional Chinese food which at first breaks up the monotony before becoming part of it.
Leaving Lytton we were treated by beautiful weather and views. Another stiff tailwind kept us moving quickly through the mountains, following a river. Before too long I got my first flat – a piece of metal managed to pierce my rear tire going down a hill. I made quick work of the fix and we continued on to eat lunch in a bar on the side of the road. Another couple hours in the saddle and we arrived at Cache Creek, a tiny town at the junction of route 1 which we had been following and route 97 which would take us north. The couple next door in the motel talked loudly past 3am.
The next morning was frigid and once on the road we were greeted by a headwind. Progress was slow as the headwind turned into a never-ending hill climb which gave way to more wind and even snow as we approached the mountain pass. A quick lunch in the town of Clinton and the headwinds and snow continued as we pushed towards 100 Mile House for the night. The motels seem to be getting seedier somehow.
The bagels I picked up a few days ago are positively mediocre so every morning I force myself to eat some in order to get them over with. After another such meal we head out towards Williams Lake. There’s some more snow and I do my best to zone out of the freezing weather and just focus on making progress.
The days are starting to blur together. The road from Williams Lake to Quesnell has a nice tailwind so we make good time, but leaving Quesnell there is heavy rain that makes the morning full of suffering but it manages to clear up in the afternoon and another tailwind brings us to Prince George. This is the last large town before Whitehorse, a thousand miles away so we’re spending a rest day here to visit a bike shop, do some laundry, and relax.
Day 5: 70
Day 6: 52
Day 7: 71
Day 8: 58
Day 9: 75
Day 10: 76
Day 11: 0
Total: 603 miles