Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bikers and Babes!

Our first break... 5 minutes after we started!  The first day was definitely the hardest.  Clayton dropped us off at the top of the big hill on Kelly Lake road... apparently it wasn't quite the top!  At one point I got off my bike and I literally did not have the strength to move it off the road.  2 kids, one bike with training wheels, a bike trailer and my camping gear is damn heavy!  The 3 of us had a little cry and I had the unnerving feeling that all those people were right... this was insane... I was insane to think this could work but we managed to get it together before Vanessa arrived and gave us a push start.  Vanessa then proceeded to push us up the big hills and then run back and bike her heavy load up.  I suppose she sensed I was nearing breaking point.  Then we reached the top.

 And had this wonderful downhill all the way to Kelly Lake.  The kids enjoyed the downhill better too! 

 Kelly Lake... almost at our campsite!

 Setting up camp and getting supper ready.

 This is where Tristan got attacked by about 1000 mosquitoes.

 Shayla's first bike day. She biked 6km. And was so excited about it.

 60km a day on forestry roads, full-loaded with kids may have been a little optimistic.  As to why we camped on the side of the road in this cut block.  I thought it was going to be hell entertaining Tristan and then him and Shayla played happily in the dirt for an hour and a half.  Awesome! 

 Our bear cache... to keep out all the miniature bears that inhabit the Cariboo!

 Happy 1st Birthday Tristan!

 We decided to bike a short day... 20km to our intended campsite on Tristan's b-day.  And it ended up only taking 1 1/2 hours... thanks to a whole lot of downhill. 

 Happy dirty kids!

 Auntie and Shayla swimming in the chilly Bonaparte river.

 Laundry ladies!

 My favorite campsite.

 Gramma arrived on day 4.  Shayla was very excited that she brought her twirling dress and life jacket so we could float down the river.

First day biking without kids.  Wow was my load lighter.  We still hauled some stuff as Gramma's car was packed.  Vanessa's chain broke... and she fixed it.  I suggest taking her along if you decide to go biking in the back country!

Nice downhill... ruined by the sight of the road going up, up, up!

Yes we were just down there.  Oh but isn't it pretty.

And still more up.  We had left late this day and had thought we had 40kms to bike.  We made a wrong turn and ended up at some little lake but talked to some campers who informed us it would be more like 60km to Bonaparte lake.  By 8pm I was losing hope.  Then we saw some dust and a little silver car headed our way.  Still 10km Mom informed us.  Do you want a ride?  Vanessa said she couldn't believe I paused before saying YES!  But I guess I wasn't sure how we were going to fit our bikes and everything in the car... but then I didn't even care... Vanessa could tow my bike behind hers!!!  hahaha!  (Mom had unloaded everything out of the car so we squeezed and strapped everything on!)

Tristan napping at Bonaparte lake.  Nature napping... nature peeing... nature pooing... you do what ya gotta do!

Vanessa and Mom.

Beautiful rest spot.
Followed by beautiful small farms and lakes.  I could live here!

Mom and kids met us on the road for lunch.  Then Shayla continued on biking with us.

I asked Shayla if she would like to live in this house... .Yes I would Mom mom, but we can't, someone else lives there  Good point Shayla.

Stopped at Bridge Lake store for some ice cream.

Towing Shayla up the hills with para-cord behind the bike trailer.  She loved it.

The Cariboo is so beautiful with all it's little lakes.  This was our highway bike day... the highway had no shoulder... I was so glad the kids were in the car with farm Gramma.

The 12km downhill going into Little Fort.  There were 6 of these run away lanes on the way down... some had tire tracks in them!  Really do they get used often?  Freaky!  Then Vanessa's bob trailer came loose and she did a major speed wobble and had to hit a run away lane!  hahaha.  Well not quite... but also not really funny... I thought she was going to wipe out for sure but she held it together like the pro she is!  :) 
Nice creek stop at the bottom of the big hill.

Big culvert.

Vanessa and Shayla playing in the culvert.

We had a late lunch at The Highfive Diner in Little Fort... it was awesome.  The ice tea was slushy and they had amazing desserts.  Then Mom packed up the car and took both kids back to the farm.  Shayla really needed to get her flip flops! 
Tristan was out like a light!
See you in 2 days!  It was a little bitter sweet... I was hoping Shayla would choose to stay... but then really enjoyed pulling less weight and relaxing at camp!

We stayed at a motel and RV place in Barriere.  The manager insisted we take towels and soap and use the showers... we tried to decline a couple times but he didn't give up.  I guess that's how bad we smelled!  He was like, 'Have a shower, you'll feel like a hundred bucks and then you can run back into Barriere and get some supper.'  'Oh we have food with us.' 'What? You have food... oh your bikes?!' 'Yup.' 'Like MEAT?'  'Yes meat even!'  I don't think he'd seen a lot of tour bikers.  He was hanging around outside when we were cleaning up from supper... 'So what did you have???'  His comments made it worth the $22 to camp there... our most expensive stay on the trip!  Being right by the train tracks didn't even keep us up... trains are much more peaceful then crying, runny nosed, mosquito bitten babies!  It was the best night's sleep I've had in 3 years! :)

Biking down Agate Bay road to Adams Lake.  We were passed by a 65 year old tour biker from Montana whose top day was 190km!  You go biker Mike!  We were just commenting how much busier this road was than we thought it would be and Mike bikes up and says he was so glad to get off the highway and onto this peaceful road.  I guess it's all in your perspective!

Adams lake.  Hey back to country I know!

Finally the beach cleared out... fullest spot we stayed at.

The stove tried to quit on us on our last night.  But Vanessa took it apart and jiggled a thing-a-ma-bob and it worked!  Yay!  We were happy to get to eat and glad we didn't have to spend the rest of the evening being hangry (hungry and angry!)  Again don't go camping in the back country without a Vanessa!  :)

Last day.. bitter sweet.

Turtle Valley.

Dry Lake... one big downhill left!

And then we came across this cute little farm that smelled of fresh cut hay... we could live here!  Oh wait we do... well sort of! 
Shayla and farm Grampa met us... 1km from home base!

Almost there.

Biking in the driveway.
OK I'd do it again!  It was so much fun!
And I got to try the full meal deal... 3 days hauling all our gear and kids, 3 days with a support vehicle and 2 days hauling all our gear and no kids!
We biked a total of 341km with our average speed being 12.8km/hr. 
(Fastest speed: 61.6km/hr, slowest speed: 2.1km/hr)
26 hours and 37 minutes in the bike seat.
8 days and 7 nights.
Thanks Shayla and Tristan.  You both did so well.  I had so much fun having you both along.
Thanks Mom for meeting your crazy daughters and then taking your grand kids home with you.
Thanks Vanessa for planning this trip!  And doing everything well I looked after kids each night at camp.
It was a very rewarding trip...
and now that some time has passed I think I could even use the word fun!


Vanessa said...

Wow Kimberly! Nice long post, it felt like a story/picture book! Thank you for casting me as the worker/mechanic/hero, I guess you have forgotten that I was the "optimistic" one who thought 60km a day would be a piece of cake!? Can you say oops!
Love the pictures, you have beautifully summed up the trip, it almost looked easy!
Can't wait to do it again, we just have to talk one more adult in to it, and plan 20-40km days and two nights in each place.... ahhh, sounds perfect!

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! So awesome and brave!! Glad you got to take kids and go a bit without and that you made it back in one piece... nice work girls!!!! Great pics as well, beautiful scenery!! Can't wait till you're back in AB ;) See ya soon


Likethepear said...

I'm in for the next trip! But I'll have my own babe-in-a-bob to tow. What a great story and what a perfect inspiration for this mama-to-be who doesn't want to give up bike touring.

Your pictures are all beautiful, too - especially the one of Shayla riding beside you!

Can't wait to ride with you one day Kimberly!

Christine (Vanessa's fire/biker friend)

Allise said...

Looks like a trip to remember for ever! Thanks for the super long post!

Anonymous said...

amazing! that is magazine-worthy!

Lance Armstrong said...

What kind of steroids do you girls use?

Anonymous said...

I love being married to an awesome cick!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you took the time putting in all the comments Kimberly..... it is so much nicer with them- like a story of your travels!
I enjoyed being support vehicle.
We now know some things (like distance to go in a half day and what kinds of signals like arrows or ribbon to mark the way...he,he)to clarify before the support vehicle zooms ahead.
Thanks for forewarning me about Tristan's mosquito attacked head before he came out of the tent when I first arrived... so I didn't exclaim in horror... (not really- they had healed somewhat by then!)That oil of lavender worked magic to stop the itch (thanks Joyce).
I would do it again... I think my car could handle another trek!!!
Love Farm Gramma and Mom :)

Corrine said...

Finally got around to reading your bike trip blog on a real computer, not just my phone :) and I must say the photos and commentary almost make me want to do something like this, almost!!! lol Way to go, my amazing sisters!