Day 3: Mission to Hope (90.5km)
If you could be anywhere in the world right now where would you be?
It’s easy to have moments when that ‘anywhere’ is somewhere else – eg home, warm, dry, not in an office on a sunny day etc. But there are also those moments, as rare and unacknowledged as a sundog in the heavens above, when that ‘anywhere in the world’ you dream of is right where you are standing.
Yesterday I couldn’t wish to be anywhere else in the world except riding with Monty between Mission and Hope.
Cycling yesterday was one of the best days riding I’ve had all year. I set off from the campsite with Nicolas, a cyclist from Quebec who is headed to Nova Scotia. We whizzed along highway 3. I felt like there was an invisible rope pulling me along – the joy of drafting behind Nic was so great. But then when I overtook we were still going a nippy 20km per hour.
For the entire day (all 90km) we cycled along the same road. No turnings, no navigating just a fat hard shoulder of smooth tarmac. The scenery heading East became gradually more mountainous. In the foreground lay fields of fruit trees, ripening in the cool breeze. To our right a rumbling freight train laden with lumber shook past. A golden eagle called out in a shrieking cry and swooped overhead. Swallows dipped and dived. The Fraser river reflected the shimmering blue of the snowy mountain peaks. And on we cycled.
We encountered a few short climbs but mostly it felt like we cycled downhill all day. The kilometres fell past us like dominoes knocked to the floor. On we cycled.
We pulled up for lunch outside a gas station. No sooner had we pulled out our food but a soft rain fell so we sat underneath the picnic table to keep dry. (It was a picnic table built for giants so plenty of room). Even rain couldn’t damp my spirits on day like this.
Nearing 90km we descended into the small town of Hope, that is nestled like a tiny egg in a box of snow capped mountains. On Monday I will be cycling up over the infamous Allison Pass. But for now I will rest in Hope. Hopeful that cycling across Canada will continue to be that ‘anywhere’ in the world that I really want to be right now.