Biking time: 4 hours 38 minutes
598 km total
Another weather/rain filled day today. We got up at about 7am, thanked Peter and Jackie profusely for all of their hospitality, packed up the tent and left their place by 8:15. We passed the closed supermarket and stopped for groceries at a gas station where the road met the highway. By 8:45 we were on the highway to Revelstoke. We took only 3 breaks along the route today, but the first stop was a long one. It was dark, looked and felt like rain, so we stopped near a gas station/restaurant to wait it out. Turns out, that was a great move. The rain we saw and felt turned into hail about 10 minutes after we stopped. Luckily, that was after we ducked into the gas station and got a bite to eat (grilled cheese) at the restaurant.
We were back on our bikes by noon and we took our next break at this “Enchanted Forest” tourist spot. I assume the demographic they were aiming at was families with small children. That or homesick Smurfs. It was just a brief stop for a snack and a quick rest and the remaining 35 km were fairly easy, if not interesting. We were nearing Revelstoke, there was a bit more traffic and we saw a car in the westbound lane had stopped. We kept riding at a quick pace and slammed on the brakes when we saw a bear taking a lazy stroll in the middle of the highway. We didn’t want to get close, so we hung back, it gave us a quick once over and eventually it meandered its way back into the woods. The ‘Welcome to Revelstoke’ sign also notified us that this was bear country. That’s good info.
We got to this campsite, toward the western side of Revelstoke and set up shop until Sunday, since we’re taking a day off tomorrow. Tonight we’re going to eat pizza and have a few beer to celebrate Kinger’s birthday. I’m sure the pizza will be great and the beer even better, but I’m most excited about sleeping in tomorrow and not packing the tent and not putting on my chamois and not cycling up mountains, down hills or even riding on flat ground.
LOOKING BACK, 10 YEARS LATER: If memory serves, the hail stones weren’t small. I took a picture just after we left the restaurant and the clouds seemed to be almost within reach. The Enchanted Forest seriously looked like Smurf territory and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking for them. The hail, the clouds, the near-Smurf-sighting, then the bear! This was an exciting route. When I was 10 and younger, a group of about 4 families, including ours, would go to Terra Nova National Park (in Newfoundland) for Thanksgiving. There were black bears around and we (the kids) would always have stories about how “a bear was chasing us in the woods.” Those stories wouldn’t exactly hold up under cross-examination, so even though I know the accuracy of these particular bear stories, I can’t help but second guess myself.