Friday, 3 July 2015

Coyote Ugly and Beautiful Baby Bunnies

Location: Terrace, BC, Canada
After saying goodbye to Bryan and Theresa we stopped briefly in New Hazelton (another tasty bakery) and I managed to resist the urge to buy a 1.56kg bag of peanut M&Ms (just). We then briefly detoured to check out the suspension bridge at the K'san junction and continued on to Seeley Lake Provincial Park.

There was almost no one in the campsite when we arrived, but another couple were checking the place out and we arranged to share a pitch with them to save costs. Chris and Gil were from New Mexico and were road tripping up to Alaska. They had an amazing netted gazebo they put up over the table so we enjoyed a lovely evening outside without being sucked dry by the skeeters. They were great to chat to and very kindly gave us a taste of the trout they had just caught.

We got an early start the next day and enjoyed riding down a section of road that was no longer viable for cars which Bryan and Theresa had tipped us off about. It was great, the forest looked like it was reclaiming the road and we spotted a lot of bear scat, but still no bears. We joined the main highway again and had our first run in with Canadian wildlife. We spotted a coyote up ahead on the left side of the road, it stopped, turned and then despite us dinging our bells to try to scare it off crossed the road towards us. Tom shouted at it a bit, then yelled at me to 'GO! GO!' at which point we both pedaled hard and it started to give chase. Eeeek! Scary stuff. It was looking pretty scrawny and we guessed it must just gave been really hungry and thought we might be an easy meal. Despite following us for a while, we got away and then some cars passed us which we hoped would further scare it off. After this little burst of energy we kept our pace up and before long pulled into the gas station at the junction at the same time as Chris and Gil. We had a coffee, another chat and got to try our first fried bannock.

Although as the sign states you can turn North here for Alaska and the Yukon, and overall we're heading north, our usual convoluted route took us straight on, west, towards Terrace on the road to Prince Rupert. We'd arranged a Warm Showers host in Terrace but arriving into town much earlier than expected we made for the grocery stores to get stocked up. While here we met a German couple, Barbara and Matthias, who were heading the same way as us and we agreed to meet up the next day on the road or at the campground we were both headed for in the Nisga'a Lava Beds Memorial Park. 

Arriving at Cheryl and Sandy's house we were welcomed with the exciting news that there were another couple of cyclists due to arrive that evening too, an American couple heading north to Alaska. We also got to shower and, rather wonderfully, got a soak in the hot tub. Cheryl cooked us a gorgeous, hearty dinner of mashed potatoes and moose stew, with salad out her garden and then pudding! We shared this wonderful feast with Cheryl, Sandy and the two American cyclists, Justin and Melissa. After dinner Melissa and I joined in with the drumming circle that Cheryl was hosting. Honestly I was pretty rubbish and found it quite stressful to begin with, but I got more into it and it was fun to be part of something quite different. Cheryl cooked us a scrummy breakfast the next day and the four of us rode out together. Justin and Melissa had decided to alter their route a little and ride with us up the Nisga'a highway and we were stoked to have company to mix things up a bit. Tom and Justin rode ahead with Melissa and me bringing up the rear. I think it was nice for everyone to be able to ride at their pace, but still have company. And it was cool to have new people to talk to. It heaved it down with rain for the start and then the sun came out and we ran into Barbara and Matthias drying themselves by the side of the road.

We all stopped at Rosswood for coffee and lunch. It was funny to be in such a big group. For the majority of our trip we've seen barely any other cyclists and when we have they've rarely been going the same way, it was actually really nice to have a little gang of us. We stopped a number of times along the way to look at sights along the 'Auto Tour' and then rolled into the campsite. 

Tom and I had planned a rest day the next day to explore the Provincial Park, but as Justin and Melissa needed to keep going as they're on a much tighter time scale than us and as we'd all so enjoyed riding together the four of us packed up and headed off together in the morning. We thought we'd bump into Barbara and Matthias down the road, but sadly that didn't happen. As alluded to in my last post we've been a bit down in the dumps recently. We've found the weather challenging, the scenery a bit boring (though I really hate to admit it) and we'd not had as many lovely people encounters as we'd had during our time in the States. We needed something to change it up and riding with Melissa and Justin was the perfect antidote to our pedaling blues.


  1. Where's the photo of the coyote then? Mr P

    1. Our priority was to get away from the beast and not to photograph it; sorry we are terrible documentary-ists!!!

  2. Loving the blog, entertaining as ever :-) also the beard looks like it is coming along nicely Tom! good effort! big hugs to you both.