Sunday, May 29, 2005

Terrace to Prince Rupert

11:15 a.m. Kleanza Creek Provincial Park, just outside of Terrace, BC

527 miles racked up yesterday, and just over 2,000 on the trip thus far. The bike is packed up. I'm just enjoying a little quiet time before heading out. This is a very tranquil setting, with campsites lined up the canyon along the water, or just across the road from it. The "creek" is a raging river in my estimation.

Raindrops had me scurrying to put the rainfly on the tent this morning. It was light outside, 5:00 a.m. "This is strange." Today, I have less than two hours of driving to reach Prince Rupert, so there is time to relax and catch up on a few organizational matters. Dozed until about 8:30. Crawling out of the tent, I was surprised to see a number of my neighbors had already left.

Took some time to rearrange the tank bag. Washed my face and hair using the bucket of water scooped from the river last night. Only a few mosquitoes around. Very mild temperatures overnight and this morning.



LATER

In Terrace, had a cup of coffee and a muffin at "The Artful Cup", sitting at a sidewalk table.

There are some big industrial operations in Terrace, including Alcan, Eurocan Pulp and Paper, and Methanex.

The past few days have just been a continuation of the past months, the same hectic pace. But the Canadian highways have been great, beautifully maintained.



Along the Skeena River in Northwestern British Columbia


An awesome ride today, just following the wild and powerful Skeena River as it cuts through an incredible landscape to the sea. Rode alongside a Canadian National ("CN") train, snapping photos as it rolled toward Prince Rupert. Near the coast, the Skeena broadens into a huge tidal basin, the stiff ocean winds, cool and refreshing.



Just more Canadian beauty



Racing the Canadian National (actually, he was only doing about 45 mph)


Signs guided me through Prince Rupert to the Alaska Marine Highway terminal. Before anything else, I wanted to determine the procedure for tomorrow's ferry. I checked in and was given a boarding pass, then told where to line up along the road tomorrow morning.

The next bit of business was finding accommodations, hopefully with internet access. A campground only a few minutes from the ferry was one possibility. I inquired at the office, a young couple minding the place (though not as much as they were minding each other!) They invited me to have a look around. But the campsites border on a bog, that I imagine must be horrific once the mosquitoes come out.

Told them I was going to have a look around town, and asked if they knew of an internet cafe. They pointed me to one right downtown.

Parked myself at a window seat in "javadotcup", a great little internet cafe. For three hours, I caught up with e-mail and tried to capture observations from the past few days, all the while enjoying some excellent coffee and bagels.

At 8:00 p.m., I left town. I had passed Prudhomme Lake Provincial Park on the way into Prince Rupert and thought I'd give it a try. It looked fairly secluded and pristine.

No office or gate, I helped myself to a vacant site. Soon after arriving, a ranger came over to welcome me (really!) He was unusual in that he seemed to be working here solely out of his love for nature. He was not caught up in the trappings of his official role.

No mosquitoes out here, but tiny black flies might drive you crazy.

Drove only about 140 miles today, a bit more sane.

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