Finally we made it from nearly the end of the Alaska Highway in Tok, Alaska to the beginning of it. Mile Zero in Dawson Creek, Canada. 2100km cycling on one and the same road. A road with nearly no junctions and with a lot of different faces and different landscapes. Heat, freezing, rain, dry, flat, steep, empty and very busy traffic, we’ve seen it all. But now we’re finished it. Done...fini...check ✅🤘
The plan is to stay a few days at a Warmshowers host we contacted a few days before. Cynthia our host agreed and was well willing to host us. “You are my first Warmshowers guests for this season” she wrote back on our request.
When we arrive at her house we meet Cynthia, Randy her husband, Caroline a good friend and the old dog Spyro.
The house is far from everything, at the end of a few mile long dusty back road. A real country house with veranda, fire pit, outdoor hot tub and is surrounded by nature.
Today it’s Caroline’s birthday so we fall with the nose in the butter as we say in Holland. We’re right on time for a good wine, campfire and marshmallows. That fits!
Caroline guides us through the house and shows us our room were we can put our mattresses and sleeping bags.
A campfire is always good for getting each other known. So we tell our stories and they theirs. Randy tells he was also a long distance cycler in the old days, even far before the word “long distance cycler” was introduced. He cycled all over America, Canada and parts of Central America. Great stories to hear how it was back then, without high tech tents, Gore Tex clothes, ultra lightweight sleeping bags and a descent bicycle. He tells “I had no money, my bicycle had just a few gears and it was way to big for me. My stuff was heavy but I didn’t care. I was strong and well willing and my longest day of cycling was over 200 miles in one day.”
These stories are good to hear and make us realize it’s not a matter of what stuff you carry around and on which bicycle you cruise, just go and you can cycle wherever you wanna cycle.
The next day it is time for some maintenance on the bikes. Arjan build both of our bikes himself from scratch, he knows exactly how it is built up but Kim also wanna know her bike better and can do her own maintenance, and so she will.
We put on new back chain wheels and a new chain.
We also will try to pack the bikes lighter by sending more stuff home or get rid of it. Our plan is to carry that little that it will fit in just two back panniers each. So cycling without the front panniers.
Plan: one pannier filled with all cooking stuff and food for our daily breakfast, lunch and dinners. One pannier with all our clothes, even the winter stuff for colder days. One pannier with sleeping bags, mattresses and inner liners and one pannier with our tent. Occasionally an extra roller bag will be added to one of our back racks for shoes, down jackets and rain gear.
We search out all our gear and pick out a lot of things we did not or did rarely used for so far.
It nearly works out as planned, our front panniers are empty now, with only one exception we have to make. The tent will be on Kim’s steer in stead of in one of the panniers. Otherwise we don’t have enough space for bike maintenance tools and spare parts, first aid kit, laptop and electronics.
We try our new setup on the hilly road along the house. It seems to be ok.
For the evening we are invited to come over to the neighbors for some shooting and a bbq. We go there with the five of us, Cynthia and Caroline by quart and we in the back of Randy’s truck. Spyro runs behind us. The neighbors Jo & Joel also live awesome in a nice country house and close to a small river. Along the riverside there is a fireplace, an outhouse and clay pigeon launcher and after we lighted the fire the shooting is on.
First the weapons are explained and then the shooting begins.
After a while the sausages and sweet corn go on the bbq and we have a great evening with some more shooting and lots of fun.
When we wake up the next morning and have one of Cynthia’s great breakfasts again she tells us we can borrow her car and go to the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark, a two hour drive from here. We check their website and see they have also an interesting guided tour along authentic dinosaur footprints at 2pm. We decide to go there. On our way to Tumbler Ridge we first go to the post office to send the gear home we decided we’re not gonna need it anymore.
At the post office the lady behind the desk does not have a clue how to send a package to Europe and keeps telling this is not her regular job. We have wait for someone else she says after a while checking her computer. The waiting takes a long time and after a while another lady comes in but still not the one who we were waiting for but she knows a little more and we finally got our package send. Because all the waiting we now gonna miss the guided tour in Tumbler Ridge. We will see and if we don’t make it in time we probably can do something else.
The ride to Tumbler Ridge is pretty nice over green hills. Halfway we realize we don’t make it in time. To bad... thanks post office lady😒
In Tumbler Ridge we find the hiking trail to the dinosaur footprints ourselves so we park the car and go for a hike. It’s a nice walk into a small valley to a riverbank were the footprints are. We find the footprints not that impressive but the hike and scenery is awesome. And if we follow the trail deeper into the valley we find a nice swimming spot to. We don’t have swimming clothes with us but who cares, there is no one out here except us.
After the dipping in the river (to cold for swimming) we hike back to the car. It’s already late in the afternoon and we wanna see some more spots in the area. On the map we find some waterfalls we like to see but on our way to it the distance is way to far and leads over gravel road which makes time to come there even longer. We skip the waterfalls and check our map again for other interesting places around but everything seems to be quit far or only accessible by 3 or 4 hour hikes. We decide to hit back to Dawson Creek.
Back “home” Randy made steak for us on the bbq. Jummy!! It’s Saturday night and we end up at the campfire with Randy, talking about cycling.
The World Soccer Final is on TV in the morning and we see the France beting Croatia. In town is a big classic car show this weekend and Randy wants to go and asks us we wanna join. Sure we want.
Coming back from the car show we go by the liquor store for some cold beers and with a BVO we drive back home. (BVO = bier voor onderweg / beer on the go)
Right behind the house is a river flowing and since it’s hot today we go for a swim and do some quarting. It’s a nice and relaxing afternoon.
The next morning it’s time to say goodbye and hit the road again. We do a little interview when we leave the place since our host is collecting such interviews from all her Warmshowers and Couchsurfing guests. Many thanks folks to all of you for the great time we shared together!!!
Alberta is calling and we’re just a few hundred meters away from it. Ride on...