I've never blogged in my life, so y'all are probably going to have to suffer through some initial stumbles before I get better at this.
I keep expecting to see a Viking longboat round the corner. The sound of voices shouting in unison drifts across the lake. Undefineable shouting punctuated by the occasional "One! Two!" Oarsmen straining to the commands of the war chief, striking out to attack the shore of this small BC lake. Oh, there they are. Not fierce Norseman, but still exciting: two long canoes piloted by ten rowers each, very slowly making their way over the water, very slowly becoming defineable. Little caterpillars creeping across the surface, legs flailing for purchase and propulsion. And then they're gone, the slow crawl only slow from a distance, their speed deceptively fast as they soar by.
I'm sitting on the edge of this lake where I've pitched my tent for the night after riding 70km today, relaxing before I continue the ride tomorrow, another 60km to Hope where I'll spend the night.
Two days ago I packed up my unicycle in a box and took an uneventful bus trip from Canmore to Langley, where I was staying with a family friend. Yesterday my ride officially started. I was driven out to Vancouver (without my stuff - an easy first day to start), and rode to Port Moody where I dipped my tire in the Pacific. From there I rode a few hours back to Langley - all in all, about a 50km journey in three hours. Then I prepared myself for my first 'actual' day, leaving the comforts of a house and riding with everything I'll need strapped to my uni.
Day 2 started in the rain, which eased then increased for 35km, from Langley to Mission. Along the way, I heard a snap. Shit, a broken spoke. Particularly troublesome when the length I need, 369mm, is not common stock for bike shops. No replacement in sight. I carefully carried on. Got to Mission cold wet hungry; found a cafe on main street and stayed for an hour until the rain stopped. Patted myself down with paper towel from the bathroom in an attempt to dry off. Sun out, I headed to the only bike store in town on the off-chance they carried the spokes I needed. They didn't, but the owner had the ingenious idea of screwing two spokes together with a spoke nipple to get the proper length. Worked like a charm so he made me a few more as spares and charged me nothing for the lot (thanks a million, Bruce!). Got directions out of town and hit the highway smiling, dry, warm, and with my crisis averted.
I rode for a few hours along a beautiful stretch of highway 7, on the north side of the Fraser River, singing loudly most of the way (you end up talking to yourself and singing an awful lot. Partly to drown out the cars roaring by. Or at least that's what you tell yourself), until I decided I had had enough riding for the day. Came upon the Kilby campground (also a historic site from the mid-1800s the more you know) and set up my home. Spent a bit for the site instead of wild camping but hey, this is my first real day riding with full weight and I deserve this view. Plus the nice man a few campsites over gave me a bag of his homemade pepperoni sticks, so totally worth it.