David Freeze: A shorter day allows for time to address communication issues

Published 1:25 pm Friday, June 21, 2019

After yet another late night, this one in 100 Mile House, Canada, I was tired of email and communication problems.

My iPad could receive but not send, but my phone was still working for the time being. I made the decision to push hard against the wind Wednesday morning and go to the city of Williams Lake and call Windstream or Verizon to hopefully correct the problems. My reports sent I crossed the Canadian border have involved time-consuming work-arounds. There is so much to do on these trips that all this needed to be corrected.

The low Wednesday morning was 42 degrees, and it was only slightly breezy when I left town. I thought it was bearable until the wind picked up with a vengeance again. For some reason, the wind seems to blow out of the north lots of days, and it has been a struggle to make my usual progress. When the wind started again, I added long pants and two sets of gloves. The radio said there had been snow close by.

Going was tough. I stopped at a rest area just to stay in the warm restroom for a while. I passed the community of 108 Mile House and saw another stage coach stop. This one was restored very well, with lots of outbuildings.

Lac la Hache, the lake and the town, was next, with about five motels calling my name. I just couldn’t do it.

Occasional rain started to fall, and the wind seemed to blow even stronger during these times. The sun started popping out on occasion, and the suffering slowed. I was determined to make Williams Lake, the biggest town of the day by far. Any farther would mess up my planned “fix it” session.

Once in Williams Lake, I got a room at the Valley View Motel, again facing the large and picturesque lake. I also stopped at the visitors center and got some information about my continued ride north.

It is becoming day-to-day now, truly one day at a time. After just 56 miles Wednesday, my average took a small hit. The call to Windstream took two hours and solved only one problem. There would be no direct emails out of Canada; apparently Windstream doesn’t think that is important. As of now, I can still receive messages on both my phone and iPad but the previously reliable phone, too, appears to be stopping when sending anything. It’s complicated, but we’ll get the daily updates to Salisbury and Rowan County.

Gold was discovered in this area in 1861, and the stage line started moving people north through many of the towns I have visited. The route became known as the Cariboo Trail. I saw the last remaining stage coach this morning at 100 Mile House, displayed outside the Red Coach Inn where I spent the night. All this is part of British Columbia’s Gold Rush Trail.

On Thursday, I hoped to make the city of Quesnel, with hopefully less wind and cold. I planned to be dressed better this time.

I have seen seven cyclists going south over the last three days and heard of one other going north. The mosquitoes were even out in the wind, big enough to see. The only exposed skin was on my face and they went there.

Still, no major animal sightings, but the signs say that bighorn sheep and moose are in the area.

As I look out now, the wind is still blowing. A calm day or a tail wind would be wonderful.

I had some blister issues on my feet, but they are getting better. Still no aches or pains, and I plan to get a little extra sleep.

The sun rises well before 5 a.m. and doesn’t set until about 9:30 p.m.

David Freeze is a Salisbury Post contributor who is biking from Nevada to Alaska. He can be reached at David.freeze@ctc.net while on his journey.