I’m in the US! *fist pump*

[think I might have posted his twice now – struggling with the technology!]

Have made it over the border successfully, so am now in the land of weirdly low loos with weirdly big gaps at the side of the cubicle doors, and burgers. And my cousin – hello Michael!

I got here faster than I expected, 2 days ahead of how the book maps it out, both as a result of saving a day with quad bike-gate and the fact I took the Fernie Alternate route rather than, as per outlined in the book, the Grizzly Bear Highway. The GBH is so-named as it has the highest concentration of Grizzlies in Canada. It’s also 40 miles longer than the Fernie Alternate and starts with a 12 mile climb. The decision was a really, really tough one and it took me almost as much as a nanosecond to choose to go via Fernie (which was a good one as it’s a really lovely little resort town). As I’m writing this, I’m realising it doesn’t sound like I’m doing much cycling but I am – nearly 50 miles yesterday which was my longest day yet!

I’m now at comparatively low altitude so the landscape looks very different – farmland rather than the plush forests and glacial streams of the Canadian stretch (although think that’ll return when I get back up high again). There’s locusts everywhere and, whilst I used to weave round them, I’m afraid to say I no longer bother and ‘show them the rubber’ before ending it all with a crisp packet-like crunch.

In many ways, I’m probably doing them a favour as it’s ABSOLUTELY BAKING and they’re probably getting a little grouchy in this heat. Every time I look at the weather forecast it’s 5 days of 32 degrees, a sun symbol for the following day and thunderstorms after that but these storms never seem to materialise (apart from the odd flash of lightening in the distance at night). There were a few drops of rain in Elkford and the sun once passed behind a cloud a few miles south of the border which was quite exciting, but the rest of the time it’s constantly beating down. Still, thinking of the tan scale, I’ve not been this colour since an ill-advised experiment with olive oil in the back garden circa summer of 1990. Need to correct the horrendous tan lines though so the pink short-shorts will be making an appearance soon – watch out Eureka!

Eureka is the town I’m currently squatting in, with a nice patch in the park down by the river where people come to swim. The loos are the type I wouldn’t normally enter unless in full Hazmat suit but it’s free so can’t complain! As with most of the other ‘towns’ on the map, it’s really just a collection of a few houses and it’s easy to ride straight through thinking ‘right, the main bit of town must be coming up…oh, that was it’ and having to turn around. The need to rest my temple and let my legs recover plus, moreover, do some washing, means I’m having a day off. Parrrrrr-tayyyyyy! The quilt festival was yesterday so I’ve missed that unfortunately but maybe something equally raucous will be lined up for later today.

The animal-spotting is going well, with creature and excitement scale points as below:
1 x Grizzly bear – 7 points (it was running off and I think you need eye contact or for it to do a fake- charge for 8 or above)
1 x wolverine – 8 points (they’re quite rare I think and have a cool name so score highly)
3 x elk-type things – 4 points ( basically just over-sized deer)
1 x snake – 5 points (it lost 5 points by being dead but from the sinister looks of it markings, it once had potential to score a full house)
1 x Bald eagle – 6 points (scoring boosted by their rarity but not reaching upper echelons as it didn’t do a lot bar fly to a different branch)
1 x cat – nil points (it was momentarily a 10 when I thought I’d seen a cougar cub but it was quickly stripped of its points when I realised its domestic credentials)

Off into the wilds again tomorrow which I’m looking forward to!

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7 thoughts on “I’m in the US! *fist pump*

  1. Welcome to the USA! I’m sorry to hear you missed the quilt festival. I’m sure you were looking out for souvenirs to take back to the family. Michigan is jealous as you saw a wolverine which is their state animal even though the last one died just recently. Enjoy the day off although I wonder if you’ll keep on pedaling?

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  2. Seems like your rapid progress and euphoric entry to the US has had a similar effect that a couple of glasses of red has on your quizzing. Victoria is capital of BC, which is 48 Waleses large – fewer than i was expecting. Nunavut is the largest Canadian province – I’d have accepted the ‘big bit at the top’.

    Something easier to get you back on track. Granted it’s really warm and dry where you are, but what are the hottest and driest parts of the world? No need to be too specific and that’s in terms of average temperature and rainfall.

    Glad things are going well. What’s the skiing like in Fernie? i’m thinking of going.

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    • Firstly, definitely recommend skiing in Fernie! It’s really small and a nice mix of feeling traditional whilst also being quite cosmopolitan. And it has a micro-brewery. No Lloyds no. 1 though so maybe think twice before booking your flight.
      Good question, good question. This is a round 2 slightly foggy-feeling where you think you know the answer but can’t think what that is. Sure it’s somewhere in Saudi Arabia for the hottest. Driest? Tricky. Many dry places. I’m tempted to do a cover both bases and settle for a single point rather than potentially 2 points but potentially no points, and say Saudi again. However, I might liven things up by plumping for Chile, Atacama desert.

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