David Freeze: Brutal headwind, long day bring reminder of good things
Some days on these trips, I just think I have reached my limit.
How much more could a person do physically in one day? I have asked it often, and then I remember the good things. I remember that former Salisbury Post night editor Paris Goodnight said it best, “But what were the good things that happened?” That was after I told him about a very trying day. There are always good things.
I had a good night with a little extra sleep last night at the Highland Motel in Falkland, British Columbia, Canada. I got out on time and made good progress by late morning. Progress was so good that I wanted to stop at the first McDonald’s I saw in the city of Kamloops, the biggest I would see for a long time, and have another go at getting my iPad to work right in sending messages and photos.
Nothing worked, but I stayed there trying for about hour. Then, Colin, who was from the area, asked me about the bike and ride to Alaska, making for a nice but extended conversation.
Colin pointed to where I had to climb this monstrous hill to leave Kamloops and the wind went out of my sail. Back on the bike, it took close to an hour to leave town. Right away, the challenging hills started again, but admittedly the first few miles had more downhill than up.
Then, it shifted the other way and I battled pretty much even-Steven through the community of Savona.
I stopped at a no ice/no restroom convenience store in Savona and paid too much for some snacks and water. I started to throw away the old water but didn’t.
What began then was a sudden, brutal headwind that hadn’t been around all day. The wind had been light and pleasantly warm. The fierce wind began to batter me as all the riding seemed uphill. With nearly 40 miles to go to Cache Creek, the pace slowed so much that I doubted I would make it by dark.
In fact, it was almost dark when I rolled into the Sundowner Motel, having arranged the deal with my last battery power on the phone and my last water. That is right, almost out of water again. Just before going to the motel, I got food and plenty of water at the nearest convenience store then hustled to the room to eat a massive amount and write this update.
By far the longest day on the trip and nearly the most miles at 98. My last conversation of the day was with an adult skateboarder who asked where I was going. He knew the towns better than I did, so I asked him. It looks like I am going to try for the community of Chase tomorrow.
With that said, physically punishing but still worth doing, I wouldn’t have missed this day for anything. Now, I am just a few hours from starting another day. A shower will feel great, and I should still be done by midnight.
I have been going west for the last day and a half. Now, I will turn directly north and a couple cold nights and days are predicted for Wednesday and Thursday. Then, it’s back to warmth, which suits me!
David Freeze is a Salisbury Post contributor who is biking from Nevada to Alaska. He can be reached at David.firstname.lastname@example.org while on his journey.