49: Dease Lake to Jade City – 66 miles
Another morning of slow motivation, turned off alarm clocks and procrastination getting out of camp.
The first quarter mile up the dirt road back to the highway was exceptionally steep and painful, and the road climbed some more in the first ten miles. With weather that couldn’t make up it’s mind and relatively un appealing scenery, I considered every reason to stop a good reason: four snacks and seven clothing layer changes later, the weather cleared up and I finally rounded a bend and found myself atop a long, sweeping descent down a mountainous river valley. It was quite idyllic and precisely the kind of scenery I was expecting for this road.
The good weather and easy riding couldn’t last forever.somewhere near the bottom of the valley the clouds rolled back in and I entered a bizarre ecosystem: uniform height monoculture lodge poles planted after a wildfire in the 80s. The unnaturalness of it was eerie, and quickly sapped my motivation as I began climbing again. As I neared the crest, the burn zone ended and I found myself once more amongst mountain lakes. I met a young southbound Cyclist from Belgium who had a small vintage hard-sided leather suitcase bungeed to the back of his bike and smoked two cigarettes while we were chatting: talk about nonchalant culture. He recommended I stop at the cafe in Jade City 10km down the road, where I happily consumed a pancake sandwich and breakfast potatoes for first dinner.
Feeling grimy, I also paid $5 for one of the most satisfying showers of my life and pitched my tent in the trees behind the RVs near the Jade shop. An Italian cyclist was camped nearby, but he spoke so little English it was hard to share any info about the road ahead. I gave up trying to fend off the Mosquitos without bug spray (since I’d just showered and all) and hid in my tent until an appropriate hour to go to sleep.
(Again, all the good photos are on my other camera)