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Nick & Tim’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 19 Jun 2003

Location: Trail, Canada

Map1300 km

Its another rest day - and we've only been cycling for two days. But we need it. We rode on from Grand Forks into a sweltering afternoon and arrived at Christina Lakes. We camped at a place that had a pool, which was much appreciated. Unfortunately it also had swarms of mosquitoes. While we were being eaten by mozzies, we ate three pizzas to regain the energy lost during the day. That night, Nick awoke to relieve himself and looked up into the sky (as you do) to see strange shimmerings and lights. No it wasn't a UFO, but in fact the Northern Lights (Aurora whatever it is). Tim thinking Nick was delerious, as the Northern lights are usually seen a little further North, took a little convincing to come out of the tent - but was well happy once he did.

The next day (yesterday) was the most gruelling of all. We knew it would be, so we got up early to beat the heat and started our ride over the old Cascade "Highway" to a town called Trail. The old Cascade highway is a dirt logging road that travels 80km over two summits. Climbing the first summit was good at first, with a decent grade and nice surface. But as we neared the top, it became like an evil computer game with horse flies attacking at random intervals, requiring swatting before they could draw blood. This zaps the energy more than you would believe. If you swatted too much and had to stop and rest, then the smaller cousins of the horse fly (we don't know what they're called and the name we gave em is unrepeatable) would swarm - truly swarm and start biting any exposed skin. I tell you that mountain was infested. We got to the top, and couldn't rest very long because the swarms were crazy. We hand it to Canada, your insects are worse than ours. The next problem at the top was that there were two roads down. Our map showed only one. We were in no mood to take the wrong one and climb back up again. This dilemma was miraculously solved by 'Even tempered logging truck man', who by a stroke of luck, drove his massive truck over the summit and stopped to help us out. How they drive those trucks on those roads is amazing.
So we rode down the correct road, a dusty downhill, made worse by the knowledge that we would have to climb again. After lunch, climb again we did. Back to the top of Cascade summit. Our legs were killing us, but thankfully no flies. We did however see not one, but two bears in clearings on the way up. Cool. Finaly at the top of Cascade summit, we were rewarded with a fantastic downhill into a nice town called Rossland. A coke later and we were on the trail to Trail. The trail to Trail was a fantastic railbed, going downhill all the way through lush forest. Lots of fun. Trail itself is nice, although dominated by a massive zinc smelter - nice. After climbing to 1700m and 1400m yesterday, offroad and along 80km, we decided a day off was in order. Thats today.