The rain this morning was hanging suspended in the air, not falling, but just patiently waiting for its next victim. That victim was me, and the faster I went, the wetter I got. By the time I was on the SeaBus heading back towards North Van, my gloves and socks were soaked.
Here’s a shout out for the Adanac tights I bought at MEC yesterday though. They handled Vancouver’s worst with ease, keeping my legs warm and dry while the rest of me dripped.
Fog of Doom
Cycling the hills out of Vancouver is like riding the world’s slowest roller coaster. Or maybe more like Splash Mountain, since I was getting plenty soaked during all the fun.
It took about 2.5 hours to reach the ferry terminal, where I could finally see the Sunshine Coast. Or I would have been able to if it weren’t for the mass of heavy fog lying low across the water.
Wringing out my various articles of clothing in the ferry waiting room, I almost decided to get right back on the Nanaimo ferry and head home.
But I had already bought my ticket, so I rolled aboard the Langdale Ferry, which, just like the Nanaimo Ferry, is equipped with an utterly useless bike rack. I guess it’s nice that they tried.
Once I had bought a coffee, I sat next to the window, trying to peer through the dark grey fog that had descended upon the land. I realized “Sunshine Coast” must be one of those ironic names, like a big guy named Tiny or a pudgy fellow called Spike.
I spent much of the ferry ride trying to come up with more accurate names for the Sunshine Coast. I have landed on Impenetrable Fog of Doom Coast and will try to popularize that this week.
It’s Getting Better All the Time
In order to avoid the highway and the gigantic hill right off the ferry, I took a sharp left on the backroad to Gibsons. It is countryside and coastal here, with most houses dedicated to offering B&B services or arts and crafts for sale. Sometimes both.
Gibsons is just as TV’s The Beachcombers left it 25 years ago (can you believe that show ran until 1990?). The main street features a view over the marina and rows of cute little wooden houses which now hold touristy shops and cafes. Most everything was closed today, being a foggy Monday in shoulder season, but on a sunny Saturday in August, I’m sure the town would be a-bustle with tourists.
The giant hill I avoided off the ferry reared its ugly slope out of Gibsons, and I ended up pushing my bike for a good 15 minutes. With the huge load on the back, I felt like a linebacker dragging a tire across a football field.
When I arrived at the highway I saw, much to my surprise, that there was a little patch of clear blue sky off in the distance.
As I rode along the highway towards Sechelt my spirits brightened with the sky and I sang “you have to admit it’s getting better, it’s getting better all the time” at the top of my voice. (I later realized that I had been singing a version of this song all day. Earlier, it had been “it’s getting wetter all the time”).
I’m finding that I talk more as a solo traveller than I would if accompanied. I hold lengthy conversations with myself about the trivia of the day. Usually, there is no one to hear, but once in a while, someone catches me at it, and I still maintain enough sanity to feel embarrassed.
Here Comes the Sun
By the time I’d finished my quite delicious lunch at The Gumboot Cafe in the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-even-if-you’re-riding-a-bike town of Roberts Creek, the sun had made a full appearance, and the blue sky was streaked with the good kind of clouds. I peeled down to shorts and took off my scarf and my hat.
It was like I had gone into lunch during winter and come out in summer.
The time between Roberts Creek and Sechelt blew by, and then the 4 km from Sechelt to Porpoise Bay Provincial Park, where I camped, seemed to drag on forever. Finally though, I turned into the park and found that I had almost the entire campground to myself.
There is a dedicated area for cyclists, so you don’t have to reserve ahead in the busy season. Each site has its own picnic table and bike rack, and these bike racks actually fit a bike.
It makes me feel kind of like a celebrity.
There is also a gorgeous golden beach which was the perfect setting for an after-dinner walk and round of yoga.
I also spent some time practicing my selfie technique.
As soon as the sun went, I had to crawl into bed to stave off the impending chill of the night.
As I lie in the tent writing this, I have just heard a deafening explosion. I wonder if Vancouver is still where I left it? ♥