Saturday, August 6, 2016

Day Five - Merritt to Kamloops

It's on days like yesterday that you want to never get off your bike!   It was a relativelyy easy 96 K.  Minimal climbing and the road conditions were ideal!  I mean you couldn't ask for anything more.  Mostly flat, alongside lakes for the most part and well - it just doesn't get any better than that.

Again, I rode all day by myself, but one by one, the others would pass me. There are 12 of us and while I might be one of the first to leave camp everyday, I'm about the 8th or 9th to get in. Does that bother me?  Nope.  I'm like the turtle - slow and steady and I know I'll get there.

At some point, Mike and I were chatting how different this trip is compared to some of the others that we have done.  Most all of the other trips were more social. Stop for coffee and if no coffee shop, stop to admire the scenary, stop to eat your sandwich.  This is a very driven group and most are content to whip through the day.   And if that is how they want to do their ride, that's entirely their choice.  Me?  I like to stop.  And as I was riding yesterday, I saw places that reminded me of previous trips.  At that farm entrance, we stopped to eat our sandwiches. Oh at that pull out, we had to change a flat tire. While I can't really remember the exact route BEFORE, I'm remembering it all as I ride it!

So the day was pretty uneventful, except that that nasty 4 KM climb towards the end.  I'm not the best climber.  Oh before I go any further, I had better confess this.  The previous day, I struggled. I had zero power in my legs and I was a bit worried.  Even though there was very little down hill, I couldn't stretch my legs out.  When I hopped on my bike yesterday morning, I had gone barely any distance and realized the problem.  My seat post had fallen down.  DUH!!!!   I know, after reading all these crazy things I've done, you wonder how or why I'm still on a bike!   I whipped out my wrench and fixed the seat and instantly got relief.  Why I didn't realize that the day before, I have no idea.

Back to that 4 KM climb.  Our notes said "steep 4 KM climb".  I remember it being tough, but wasn't going to let that darken my mood.  There was only about 1 KM that was steep, the rest was a slog up, but the whole thing was doable.  I did stop a couple of times.  I really don't want to push that knee of mine and really - who cares if you have to stop.  Are the cycling gods going to look down on me?  Nope!!   I'm well over trying to prove stuff like that. 

Once you get to the top of that hill? or is it a mountain?  We were at about 1,000 M.  Then 10K along the top of the mountains through some beautiful ranch land. And then the crazy descent into Kamloops.  However there are some major cross winds around here so that was enough (more or less) to keep your speed in check.  I don't look at the speed.  What's the point! And besides, I have to keep my eyes on the road so I don't crash into another van!

Arrived at Thompson River University where we have a rest day.  Had to wait a bit for our rooms to be ready, so a number of us went off to find some lunch. YES - I arrived about 12:15 ish - just in time for lunch.  There are some new places much closer to the University so we didn't have to go far.  Then a nice leisurely afternoon of doing not much!

The internet is fabulous.  I had met Cheryl in St. John's, NFLD a couple of years ago when her son was finishing his cycling trip across Canada and I was finishing one of my trips.  We spent an afternoon together.  Then a couple of days ago, I get a notice from Cheryl if I was stopping in Kamloops.    I hadn't remembered that Cheryl was from Kamloops.  YES - so yesterday at 4 Cheryl skips out of work a tad early (hey - it's Friday!) and picks me up and we zip down the highway to Katje's Quilt Shop.  I had been there once before (2011).  I had the good fortune to meet Katje at Paducah this past April.  I had never met her but she stopped by our booth and I noticed her name tag.  Oh - I know who you are!  The hexagon lady!  She has written a book and started the Millifiori craze  (I don't think I spelt that correctly).  Anyway, Cheryl asked if Katje was in the store and yes she was so we had a super good chat.  And by the way, she is another lover of ORANGE.  I remembered that from Paducah.   A kindred spirit.  Katje has a new 365 or is that 366 perpetual calendar out from That Patchwork Place - with a hexagon pattern each day.  I got the feeling that there is some super exciting things coming out of this store in the near future - quilt alongs, and other stuff.  I'd get on her mailing list if I were you.   Go to her web site and sign up!!!!

While I was there, of course, I snagged the license plates (yes there were two) and the kit!   So much to see in the store. I didn't take too long to look around and it was better that way.  So much fun, bright stuff.  If it weren't so hilly around here, I might think of moving here!  Just kidding - but what a fun and exciting quilt shop.  You know the best part?   Katje is so down to earth - you wouldn't know that she is a rising star in the quiltng world.  I love that!!!!

Then Cheryl took me on a tour of Kamloops.  Wow - this place is hilly to say the least.  We went down to the river, saw the island that has been converted to a recreation site with all kinds of sports facilities (they call this city the City of Tournaments!)  We drove past the park near the river where the RibFest is happening today.  Music and a car show.  I think I'm going to pass on all that and just take it easy!!!  It's a rest day - not a day to go day tripping and besides, I'm not riding anywhere with all these hills and my leg doesn't particularily like walking much.

Then we were off to an Indian restaurant for dinner and it was fabulous.  And how lucky could I get that Cheryl's husband used to work at the university, she works  mere blocks away so I got a tour of the campus and she knew exaclty where I was staying.  It was perfect. Thanks Cheryl - I so appreciated the tour, the company and the visit to the quilt shop.

Back to the campus where a bunch of others were sitting around and so we had a good chat, comparing stories and pictures and getting to know each other a bit better since there was no need to get to bed early!  

I have a few bug bites and one of them on my ear lobe which is rather annoying!!!!

We were lucky yesterday as there was a major SNAFU on the Choquihalla highway.  We were on the 5A which is the old highway.  While it is 12 KM longer to get to Kamloops, there is much less traffic and much less climbing.   There was a major accident on the highway, but it occurred after we were all in camp as I'm sure the traffic got diverted to the old highway and it would have been much busier.  One must always be diligent - I will have to say that some of the traffic conditions are not for the faint of heart

On that note, I'm out of here to enjoy the rest of my day.  I shall blog a bit later to tell you all about my day today.

Have an awesome day!!!


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