Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 15 - Manning Park to Bridal Falls

Crossing Allison Pass (1,342 m /4,403 ft)

Grumpy Squirrel and the Bunny.

After having a good sleep in Manning Park, we woke up to another sunny day.  I struggled getting out of bed and dismantling the stuff as the many days touring was catching up.  I could have used a full day rest, although not there as there wasn't much to do.
As I was riding I felt like all my energy was drained despite having had breakfast before riding. It turns out that there was a slight ascent up to Allison Pass, and I was doing it while riding into the strong headwinds.  I could only manage 12 kms an hour, which pretty good for what I had going against me that morning.

The route we took from Manning Park to Bridal Falls
After crossing the pass, I was excited to go down another major pass and descend to the Fraser Valley.  It would be quite a drop, and it dropped for many exciting kilometres.  I love the rush as I am going down!  I didn't go as fast as I thought I would due to the strong headwinds, but there was still the exciting speed. In those fast moments in time,  I could almost forget all those tough hills that I went up during the trip.  I was also elated that it was the last pass that I would have to climb up for a while, at least until my next bicycle adventure.

As we reached Sunshine Valley, a truck stopped ahead of us.  It was Luciene and Jim!  They were on a day trip from Penticton to Bridal Falls and back.  We stopped and chatted for a bit.  It was a nice break from biking into the headwinds.  Jim warned me that the headwinds would be strong on the ride through the Fraser Valley as they come from the Ocean which is under 200 kms away.

Luciene and Jim stopped for a chat on their way to Bridal Falls

When we made it to Hope, we had lunch at Mcdonalds.  I had a large sized meal with a shake to try to give me some extra energy.  It really didn't do much.

As it was still early in the day, we decided to go further.  Jim was thinking of going to Chilliwack where his Sister lives.  I thought Bridal Falls was a better choice as I was exhausted from riding.  Jim asked a person how far Bridal Falls was and they said 14 kms.  One of the rules of cycling is never trust what a person says is the distance to somewhere if they aren't a cyclist as they will give you the incorrect information many a time.  But off we went thinking it wasn't so far away.  (and in a car it really isn't that far away!)
Freeway by Hope is quiet, but gets busier nearer to Vancouver

Riding along the freeway had it's challenges.  There was a wide shoulder to ride on, but the vehicles are going by at crazy speeds!  You have to have steady hands and nerves of steel to ride alongside the cars.  Each time a big bus or truck speeds by you have to hold on for dear life so you don't get pushed off the highway.  (or sucked in by the suction created by a big vehicle)

It turned out that the 14 kms was more like 30 or so!  Jim still wanted to go to Chillwack, but I didn't feel up to it.  I thought that it would be quite a few kilometres more from Bridal Falls.  Finally I just blurted out "Fine! I'll ride to Chilliwack" and grumbled.  I can't believe that I did that, but I was exhausted.  No excuse though.

After riding for a bit, I once again caught up to him and he said that he had thought about it and decided that we'd stop at Bridal Falls.  I said no no,  I can do Chilliwack.  He said that he knew I was exhausted, so that's why he changed his mind about it.  I apologized for blurting out abruptly earlier.  He understood.

We stayed at a campsite beside the waterslides at Bridal Falls.  It was the most darned expensive campsite ever at (would you believe) $47 for the two of us to camp for one night.  I made sure to use the pool to try to get my money's worth.   It was totally a crazy price, I half expected wine or cavier waiting for us at the campsite.  If we paid that crazy amount to TENT, how much did it cost those motorhomes to stay a night?

Oh well.  It was the last night we'd have to pay to camp anyways.  It turned out that it was a great idea to stay there.  I phoned my Brother to wish him Happy Birthday, and told him where we were staying.  It turns out he was in his vehicle when I called, and he was on his way to Bridal Falls to paraglide!  So yes, I was VERY grumpy and that got us to stay at the campsite in Bridal Falls.  And I got to see my brother early!  Hmmm...was sort of meant to be, despite the circumstances.  I'm sorry Jim, that you had to put up with one grumpy Squirrel!

When I told my brother of how expensive the place we were staying at he said we should have camped where they land.  We could have snuck in for the showers as we had to pay anyways...

Philip paragliding

Should have pitched the tent here and snuck into campsite for shower

Time to pack up

After we watched my Brother and his friend fly, we headed to bed.  I slept good despite the noise of the transport trucks roaring by on the freeway.  Jim did not.  I definitely was very tired!

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