Tuesday, June 28, 2011

day 8 -10 Sat., Sun., Monday

Aaron is an amazing photographer!

Burger time at crazy cones, this is our halfway point and we celebrated with burgers and ice cream!

This is the beauty I'm talking about!

Here is some more beauty...

And more loveliness, it keeps coming! And they say it is just going to get better!

Oops, wanted to state that I accidentally combined day 5/6 on my last blog, being a 86 mile long day I realized somehow in the blur of trying to blog quickly due to the time table allowed in the library. Anyhow, I think I have corrected the mistake.

And speaking of blur these last few days have been a blur of beauty. I can't describe all that we have seen and experienced but it has been breathtaking. Around every bend has been something more spectacular than the second before. We have been spending lots and lots of time on the bike. One day we were riding for 8 hours for a grand total of 100 miles. Yes, the burger count is growing, 22 patties, 20 burgers. And today we have found ourselves in Jasper, a quaint picture perfect town. Deservedly, we are taking a day off. A day of rest.

The hills, mountains are coming so wish us the best...

Friday, June 24, 2011

day 4 - day 7

Our campground at Mark's.

Mark the photographer, took this photo of all 3 of us, our 1st and only one.

Kristin and I trip planning.

Our campground last night, outside of Prince George.

Me and Aaron
What is Canadian Food?

How many burgers can one eat before becoming sick of burgers?

How is "Ah" supposed to be used ah?

If one (ah hum, Kristin) has to spend $550 fixing a bike that you are going to replace soon anyway, should you just spend $1000 plus %12 sales tax on a new one?

These are all questions that we are trying hard to have answered on this trip. So far we have one answered, yes, spend the money on a new bike! The others as of now go unanswered.

So the miles plug forward, the first 4 days were sunny and luxurious, these last few have been rainy and chilly, but some how we manage. The burger count is now at 13 total. Today we opted for a buffet, Aaron's choice, and now regret (he is currently lying on a couch in the Prince George Public Library.

Day 4 we departed Smithers, one of our many happy places and spent the night 67 miles later in Topley a cute extremely tiny landing where we became friends with maybe half the town, Leanne the Topley Grocery employee and Mark a photographer and kind man who let us stay in his yard, which he used to open as a campground.

Day 5 our sun ended but not before Kristin and Aaron managed to get a sunburn. Kristin looked very red and white, just like Canada (and her new bike!) with the combination of bug bits vs. sun burn. We also cranked out an 86 mile day and landed in the evening in Fraser Lake a community not much larger than Topley after getting caught in a big storm. Kristin and I ate Chinese food at a place called Tony's, bad idea. Not seconds after we set up our tent that night a massive thunder storm hit, we were warm and cozy in our tents. The storm was awesome, being able to count the number of times I've send lighting on one hand in Sitka, it was so wonderful to experience a thunderstorm again. In the morning something magical happened, something I call magical morning tail wind. We zipped out of Fraser lake so quickly. We were averaging 15+ miles per hour, very fast for our typical 12 mph maybe pace and ended up at the most lovely community of Burns Lake. At Burns Lake we realized the severity of Kristin's need to replace her bike part. Kristin and I discovery the most delicious organic restaurant where we got Portabella burgers (do those count as burgers?) and Aaron found a greasy burger spot where he became friends with Lyle and Lawrence, old loggers from the area.

Day 7 was the uneventful day. At least that is what I said it was, uneventful. Kristin and Aaron thought otherwise. I guess when I said uneventful I meant easy breezy. We just rolled out of bed, slowly, cooked up breakfast, again slowly, experienced more magical morning tail wind, hung out in Vonderhoof for 3 hours eating, you guessed it, burgers and Aaron paid a lady to do our laundry, biked some more and then set up camp before supper, fire and bed. Uneventful or easy breezy, you decide?!

Today is Day 8, very eventful. We had magical morning tail wind this morning, a Chinese buffet (every bit is eventful, what is it?) and Kristin just bought a bike! A beautiful red and white Canadian bike to serve as a trip momentum. No pictures as of yet because the guy at the bike shop who we are calling Bruce because we haven't figure out his name yet, is putting all her gear on it now, but it will come.

So overall, a delightful trip in every way shape and form.

And to sign off, an observation. I call the phenomenon "man conventions." These are very prevalent around here. In each restaurant we go to we find ourselves surrounded by large parties of 15-20 males. Is it Canada? Is it because we are in logging country? Is it the restaurant selections we have been making?


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

day 4 update

Me at Emily's bakery in Petersburg, AK. This is one of the towns where our ferry stopped. Adorable!

Me and Aaron taking a snack break!

Our campsite the first night in Terrace, 91 miles from the ferry terminal in Prince Rupert.

Me and Kristin following the Skeena River

Well Canada and Canadians are a delight. If you are every lacking on a vacation destination it comes highly recommended.

We are on day 4 of our bike trip since we arrived in Prince Rupert on the ferry.

Day one was delightful. We road 91 miles with a tail wind the entire day. We collapsed in our tents after gobbling burgers at Mr. Mikes. YUM! (My veggi ways have disappeared for this trip)!

Day 2 we were weary, sluggish but we plugged forward for approximately 60 miles before collapsing at the most beautiful campsite of all time atop a hill over looking the Skeena River.

Yesterday, Day 3, 60 miles later we arrived in Smithers and here we stay eating and swimming and saunaing and hot tubing and eating some more. We are waiting for a bike part to arrive for Kristin's bike and couldn't be more happy about it.

We hope to get around 60 more miles in this afternoon, it is the solstice after all so we'll be fine on light. I've coined the trip the burger tour and we seem to have never run out of room in our bellies. Aaron just bought a box of doughnuts, and I see him outside the window globing them so I am going to join him now. I hope to give a more detailed update in Jasper, so check back then!

Oh, and has anyone ever heard of the expression "muscles in your poo?" We were told that is what we would have after this bike trip... :0)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Packing List

Aaron's bike

The trailer Aaron and I are going to pull

My bike

Tomorrow Aaron, Kristin and I depart on the M/V Matanuska ferry to Prince Rupert for a 1200 mile bike trip on the Yellowhead highway 16 where we will bike through Banff, Jasper and end in Glacier national park. This trip we have been planning and anticipating since last summer. We can't wait to begin. We will be our bikes for 3 weeks, 21 total days and are planning to average around 60-miles per day give or take.

Last year about this time my buddy Heang took a cross country bike trip. And though I was unable to go with him I enjoyed reading about his trip via blog. His initial pre-trip blog consisted of a packing list that I use in the early stages of forming my packing list for this trip. Using Heang's model I hope to give you an idea of the 45 pounds of gear we are bringing to make the trek possible.

Equipment List

A beautiful orange Orbea that I bought with my first teaching paycheck almost 7 years ago!

Bike Accessories:

sweet handlebar bag (it is on loan from Bill the owner of Yellow Jersey, the bike shop here in town) and nice rear bag
tail lights
a reflective triangle


a two wheel cycle tote Aaron bought at a garage sale and paid $125 for last fall, it weighs approximately 25# but has an incredible breaking system so we don't have to worry about fishtailing when we cycle down the Rockies

camping equipment:

MSR hubba hubba 2-man tent with footprint
my dad's old down sleeping bag he bought after college in a new OR waterproof compression sack
Thermarest 2-lite (a wedding gift)
Coleman dual fuel stove (another wedding gift)
various quick dry towels
an old Petzl headlamp Aaron bought at a garage sale last weekend (thank goodness all our other ones have either disappeared or stopped working)
Pur waterfilter
nike running bag
1 large waterproof stuff sack, just in case
Chamious butt'er (for chafing)


2 cycling shorts
2 jerseys (Heang gave me one, Mike Pruett the other)
1 OR baselayer
1 OR rainjacket and rainpaints - both black
1 pair of nike running shorts and running shirt for when I am not biking
a skirt, great idea Kristin!
1 synthetic hoodie
4 pairs of wicking underware
2 sports bras
3 bike socks
1 smartwool socks
1 tank top for sleeping
OR mittens
trek biking gloves
ip arm warmers
teva flip flops
ip biking shoes designed also for hiking post ride
some old sunglasses

Bike stuff:

1 spare tube
1 spare tire
patch kit
2 multitools
lots of zip ties
break cable
gear shift cable
and a random assortment of other goodies like a trailer nut (this is not Aaron by the way)

Other items include:

Canon power shot SD1300
lots and lots of Clif bars, goos and shot blocks for quick energy
sports drink mix
other food items
hygiene products
Aaron's cell phone for texting and emergencies
mini first aid kit

Partners in crime:

My wonderful husband
and dear friend Kristin

Now off to the races...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

205 crabapple drive


Well our house remodel/face lift #1 is finished, for the most part, for now. The projects since Dec. 1 when we purchased the home have been continual: ripping out walls, drywall, floors, trim, lighting, a fresh coat of paint on every square inch of the house minus the laundry room and ceilings and various other odds and ends including shelving in the garage and closets. Right now Aaron is in our crawl space drilling holes for ventilation. And we still have a growing list of projects, but for now here are some photos to enjoy. We also had the joys of dog sitting a sweet dog name Trout whom you'll notice in the first photo, not much of a swimmer, but sure is cute! Enjoy!