DAY 104

June 26, 1999

This was a very bad day for me. I hated the road, I hated being here, and I thought I’d quit as soon as I got to Whitehorse. It all started with me waking up to a brief 5 minute rain at 5:30am. I stayed in my sleeping bag and scooted under the picnic table as soon as I felt the first raindrops. Patrick got up as soon as the rain stopped and proceeded to dry out his tent.  Of course for him to dry out his tent he had to shake his rainfly LOUDLY, over and over and over.  I thought it would never end!!!  Oh well, I needed to be getting up anyway.

After we got ready, Patrick rode ahead and I stayed behind at the café for coffee and a bran muffin. It just seemed too early for me, I’ve never been much of a morning person(have I mentioned htat before?). Leaving the café, I started out with a tailwind in the cool morning. The temperature was constantly changing, either too hot or too cold. The clouds would cover the sun and it seemed the temperature would drop 10 degrees, then they’d move away and it would get warm again. There was a lot of dust on the road which gets kicked up in my face whenever one of those RV’s fly by. The landscape was still the same and I was just not wanting to ride. During one of those warm moments with the sun shining, I sat in the grass by the road and just hung out with a butterfly. I wondered what it would be like to be a butterfly floating along in his beautiful world….but then I imagined him getting splattered on the windshield of an RV. Maybe that wouldn’t be such a great life huh? :-) Anyway, it was calming to sit in the lush grass, with my mind riding on the wings of a butterfly, embracing the soft cool yellow.

Continuing my ride, I was in a better mood. I found a positive moment out of a negative day. But then I looked ahead at the dark rain clouds. I struggled to make it to the top of the pass before the rain started. When I reached the top, the rain had already started.   After leaning my bike against a trash dumpster, I covered my handlebar bag in plastic, then put on my rain coat.   Then….ping….pop…bop…thud…thunk…CRAP! It’s hailing! It started out as bb sized and when they became marble size….they really hurt. I ran down the hill off the side of the road to the tree line ow, ow, ow, ow, crap, sh!t, ah, geez that ones gonna leave a mark!  I found got a giant road sign by the trees and ran with it over my head back up to the dumpster.  After putting the sign on top of the dumpster I weighted it down with a large steel pole so I could slide it over the edge. Then I just sat under my makeshift shelter and waited. The hail stopped after about 20 minutes and the rain was gone after about 30 minutes. Soon the sun came out and the temperature raised about 20 degrees. Then, after riding about 3 miles, I realized I’d left my sunglasses on the ground by the dumpster. Crap!! Well actually, I used a different synonym. :-) So, back I go, up that hill to the top of the pass where I’d waited out the storm. Luckily no one had found them so they were still there. What a crappy day this is turning out to be. I rode maybe 30 minutes when the rain started again. Ugh! I’m really hatin’ it now! But wait, what do I see? Cool! A sign for a steep grade…..downhill! As I rode down the wet road the raindrops began stinging my face as I reached 47mph. Then I saw a sign, "Dangerous Curve, Drive Slow". Since cars can’t corner as fast as me, I take up the whole lane and take the wet curve at 47mph…Woosh! What a rush…make that 2 positive things today. :-)

It was 10:30pm when I found Patrick camped out by Bucking Horse River. I threw some pebbles on his tent but he didn’t wake up, so I yelled, "Yo, Patrick". Then I hear "no way!", in a very surprised voice. I said, "Don’t ask." "I've heard many stories about you", he tells me. "I waited for you and asked people if they’d seen you. One said you’re about 10 miles away, then I hear you are about 2 miles away. Someone told me he saw you in the rain and felt sorry for you, but he wasn’t sorry…just glad he was in his RV and that it wasn’t him" , Patrick said with a laugh. "But then someone tells me that the only biker he’s seen was going the other direction." "He tells me ‘maybe he got tired of you’ and laughed."

After our conversation and laughing at my miserable day, I fixed a Mountain House 2 portion, chicken teriyaki dinner. I was very wet, cold, exhausted, and VERY hungry. My small camp stove didn’t even have time to heat up the water fully before I added it to my dehydrated meal and scarfed it down like a wild animal.

Today - 110.23 miles
Total - 4478  miles
Avg. Speed - 8.8mph
Max. 47.0

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