Vancouver to Hope

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June 12th 2017
Published: June 13th 2017
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Saturday night Du's Mom, May, came down and we took part in the Chinese practice of burning play money to honour our ancestors. It was to bring us good luck on our trip, and I have to say that so far it seems to have worked. Sunday morning I took off from Du and Emily's about 6:30 am. Both Michele and I wanted to leave Vancouver when the traffic was lightest - thus Sunday morning. The streets were nearly empty, and for a large part of the way I utilized Vancouver's excellent bike trail and dedicated lane system. It was 40 km from Emily's house through Vancouver to the bridge over the Fraser to Pitt Meadows - I was there by 8:30 which is good time for me finding my way through the big city. I dawdled after that because we planned to stay in Mission, and I was already more than half way. I waited for Michele in a pull over just east of Maple Ridge and she showed up right on time for lunch, which we ate by the road. She had her own adventures driving through Vancouver by herself, but I will let her tell that story.

Michele went on ahead and checked in at the Sun rainbow trout farm campground, a private place that also boasts its own stocked trout pond. Parents and kids were having a great time reeling them in ($25 for 3, $7 each for extras, no throwing back) - there was a happy, family vibe to the place. Michele was given the "honeymoon suite" which at first approach looked dismal, but once through its entry lane the site opened up into a beautiful clearing beside the babbling Silver Creek. It was quite beautiful - and private too, though we could still hear the happy sounds of families slaughtering trout at the pond. Before long a foraging racoon came wading along through the creek 10 feet from us, completely unperturbed by our presence. He was pulling some kind of edibles out from under the stones on the creek bottom and chowing them down. We never did figure out what it was eating - crayfish?

Warblers and Robins were singing up a storm in the trees and undergrowth; kingfishers were swooping down along the creek; great blue herons and even a crane flew by high up above the huge cedars and spruce that surrounded our "suite". Michele phoned our friends the Greenslades and as she was talking a bat flittered back and forth cleaning up the evening bugs just above the surface of the creek. In the morning, just as I was about to go, a beaver swam by. We were glad to have camped there (even though they wanted $1 for a 5 minute shower) if for only for the continuous parade of friendly wildlife.

The next day I got off to another early start and was at Agassiz by lunch time where I ate my peanut butter sandwich in the little park by the visitors centre. Agassiz is a beautiful little town and the ladies staffing the visitor's centre were very friendly and nice to me. The Fraser valley from Mission to Agassiz is generally flat with incredibly productive farms - dairy, fruit and ornamental shrubs from what I could see. Although mostly flat, there was one spot just before Harrison Mills that had an 11% climb for a couple of kilometres. It tested my old legs, but it was fun to ride down the other side.

Michele caught up with me about 10 k east of Agassiz. She had the car serviced in Mission and also bought a new laptop at Walmart - the monitor on our old one died the day before. She drove on and got a site at the Telte Yet (People of the River) campground. It is right in Hope on the Fraser with the usual collection of 100 - 150 foot tall cedar and fir throughout the grounds. 20 bucks and the showers are hot and free. A fellow cyclist - Raja from Sarnia is camping next to us - we are both going up the Crowsnest tomorrow and are planning to stay at E.C. Manning Provincial Park. He started at mile 0 in Victoria and has ridden here (and taken the ferry) in the same time we have taken from Vancouver.

According to Google, tomorrow's stage is only 65 kilometres. But in that distance we go up about 1600 metres and down only 400. It is kind of giving me the heeby jeebies thinking about it.

Additional photos below
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Mike deciphering new laptopMike deciphering new laptop
Mike deciphering new laptop

It's blue - Michele bought it.

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