Thursday, July 19, 2007

Day Five: Castelgar to Grand Forks

It rained all night and through the day. I spent at least 2 hours before sunrise praying the rain would stop before the alarm went off, but no dice. We woke up to pouring rain. Usually when I look out of the tent at 5:30 or 6:00 I see people milling around, beginning to take down their campsites etc, and this morning I looked out and there was no movement. People were all hoping the rain would let up before we had to tear down camp, but after eating breakfast, and hanging out drinking coffee for longer than it usually takes for everyone to clean up and clear out, we accepted that it wasn't going to happen and packed up our soggy tents.
Once on the road things the rain let up and was actually quite refreshing as we were climbing our 40km ascent of Paulson Summit. Unfortunately, the rain kicked back up just in time for the descent, and it became a very unhappy time. The cold, rain and speed was bad enough, but having multiple logging trucks blowing me around and kicking up muddy water into my face was almost more than I could take. I arrived at the water stop at the bottom of the descent nearing hypothermia and somewhat shell shocked. I stood under the tent as the rain came down even harder and seriously considered taking a ride the final 20km. But I didn't. As soon as the rain let up slightly I jumped back on my bike and decided the only way I would make it was to drop the hammer and pedal as fast as I could- to warm up!
Despite a couple of close encounters with logging trucks and concrete barriers, at the top of the last climb the skies cleared and the sun came out. It was a beautiful final 10km into Grand Forks and I arrived warm, dry and safe.
D was already there and had been waiting almost 2 hrs for the luggage truck to arrive. He missed the worst of the rain but we decided to do another night in a hotel.
Once the luggage arrived we set the tent up and laid everything out to dry in the sun before repacking it and heading to the hotel. Not long after the rain began and came down in buckets...I was very happy on our accommodation choice. The rain turned to hail, and we were somewhat caught in it as we were downtown doing laundry and having lunch.
Thankfully for the brave souls in the tents, it was dry overnight and through till morning.

Bike 102km Big climb- 40km 1485m (Paulson Summit) 4hrs 4mins

No comments: