DAY 99

June 21, 1999

A raven was next to me investigating my trailer, which woke me up. I’m sure he was trying to get in, and given enough time, probably could’ve unzipped it. They are very intelligent birds, although most view them as pesky scavengers. It was 5:30am when I opened my eyes to a bright morning. My body and mind were still exhausted as I forced myself to unzip my sleeping bag in the cold air. I sat and ate about a half a pound of trail mix while contemplating nothing. Then I made myself get up and get ready to leave. The place I slept was by Grande Cache Lake, I knew I had to be close. As soon as I began to ride, I had to climb a hill. Man, this sux! The hill was very difficult in my lethargic state. My only thought was how crazy I was to add so much unnecessary weight while in the Canadian Rockies. I will need this much for my trek up to Prudhoe Bay, and I thought it would be good to start getting used to the weight. But screw it! I’ll have to continue riding with all this extra food until I can eat most of it over the next few weeks. But after that, only what I need.

The town appeared after just over 3 miles of riding, which took me about 45 minutes. Even if I’d known the town was this close last night, I’m sure I couldn’t have made it. I was like a zombie riding in the night. Getting weaker and weaker after 41 hours with no sleep. This morning I didn’t feel much better with only 4.5 hours of sleep. There was a sign for a campground so I thought I’d go there and get some sleep. Then the thought of attempting to set up my tent and trying to sleep in the noisy morning did not appeal to me. So, I checked in to the Mountain Village Motel. I paid $40.00 Canadian which is $28.00 US and thought it would be well worth it to sleep in a quiet room. As soon as I took everything in my room, I went into the bathroom. Looking in the mirror I noticed my lips were now beyond dry and cracked, but bleeding in several places. Oh well, I thought, then collapsed on the bed and slept.

Waking up at 10:30am, I got my photos ready to mail and walked to the mall across the street where the post office is located. Going inside the True Value store I purchased some extra bungee cords. I’ve had a problem lately with stuff falling off my trailer. A couple of days ago my tripod took a flying lesson off my trailer. Luckily, Patrick was behind me to pick it up. Flying downhill, I never new it came off and wouldn’t have noticed until I was ready to use it again. Unfortunately, it looks like Patrick won’t be behind me picking up after me now. Since he was much stronger than me yesterday and had a bike with less weight, I can only assume he made it to town and possibly further. Knowing Patrick, he won’t be taking a day off like me so I’ll be lucky to catch up with him again.

Hey, ya know how when you’re around a group of people for a while, you begin to pick up on their slang, ay? Many Canadians put "ay" at the end of every sentence and some will put it at both ends, ay. Well, I’ve caught myself saying "ay" quite a bit now. At least that’s better than "y’all" :-) or maybe I could combine them and really screw people up, "How y’all doin’, ay?"

Another lesson: Check everywhere for spiders! They were in my handlebar bag and in some of my clothes. Good thing I’m not a Zen Buddhist. They believe in co-existing with all living things, even spiders and mosquitoes. Someone with that belief wouldn’t even think of squishing them. But I have a small fear of toxic spider bites.

Today - 3.4 miles
Total -  4485 miles
Avg. Speed - 5.0mph

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