Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Saturday, 07 August 2010 – Fort Nelson to Muncho Lake – 153.5 miles

My camp neighbor at Fort Nelson was a bicyclist named Bill. We talked about his trip all along the west coast. He asked about mine too. He had lots of recommendations, including the guide book called Milepost and a good read called If you Lived Here I’d know Your Name, about life in Haines, Alaska. Bill also rides a motorcycle and we joked about how some Harley riders won't wave to BMW riders, BMWs don't waive to Kawasakis, etc. Bill complained that nobody waves to bicyclists. "I waive to EVERYone on two wheels," I told him. Laughing, he said, "But I refuse to wave to a scooterist!"

Later that day, I passed a fellow on a bicycle, rain jacket flying in the wind. I waived and laughed as I passed and he gave me a huge wave back. Must not have been Bill.

It was overcast and rainy all day. I spent most of the afternoon at the library catching up on blog entries while I waited for it to pass. Finally, at 4pm, the library closed and I could procrastinate no longer. Except for two more stops - one at the market for some fruit and one fuel stop. I'd learned my lesson and decided to use my 2-gallon bag in addition to the one-gallon can I usually carry.

There was more road construction. At one of the stops, I met a flagger named Kristy. We talked about safety gear and the importance of being visible. (We both wore yellow vests with reflective tape.) She offered to give me an even brighter, more visible vest. Thanks, Kristy! It sure came in handy in the fog that was just minutes ahead.

There were also very bad roads ahead. Yuck! The chip sealed roads had frost heaves. Many places were gravel. One particularly bad spot was muddy and slippery and the rain decided to fall even harder through that section. No fun. Eventually the sun did come out for a little while.

My goal was to get to Muncho Lake and set up camp before the rain started again. Both campgrounds were full. I was lucky to find some lovely folks who allowed me to share their space. Robbie and Madonna were the first to let me encroach on a corner of their campsite. Then their neighbors, Doreen and Pat, said I could move to a higher spot in front of their camper. I gratefully accepted. As I was setting up the tent, Doreen invited me to join their group and eat some of Pat's bannock. I didn't know what it was, and didn't think I'd had it before. . . What the hell, why not?! Doreen was right. It was the best, lightest, tastiest fried donut-ish treat. Combined with butter and Madonna's home-made jam, it was the best thing I'd had in a long time. Thanks, Pat! We talked and laughed (Doreen has the best, most contagious giggle!) until way past my bed-time. I left the group, finished setting up camp and slept well (thanks in part to the wine Robbie poured).
Here are Madonna, her brother Pat, Doreen (Pat's wife), Robbie (Madonna's husband), and other camp neighbors Lorette and Kevin, the joke-teller.

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