March 28, 1999 - Journal Entry (Osoyoos, BC)
Sometimes this trip is so easy, I laugh out loud. But mostly, it is a series of challenging moments followed by outrageous relief.
It's only 12 days in, but that's 5% of the way. It's simply amazing what one foot in front of the other can do.
There's so much I want to share with you through this update that I don't know where to start. Perhaps I'll start with the obvious. Thanks to everyone who has helped me, waved to me, honked at me, talked to me or even just thought nice things about me for even a fleeting moment. It's all helped. Sometimes it has helped immensely. Thank you.
Foolishly, I have just covered 254 kilometres in 7 days without a rest, putting me at 412k from Vancouver. Today, I am staying with Carl Peterson (and Jane) in Naramata just north of Osoyoos. I have learned that rest days are my friends. You should never neglect your friends.
I see that Rob's run log covers most of the trips details. Isn't he amazing? So this update will cover other things. I could write about people, places, sights, animals, challenges, emotional conditions or pain. Lots of information, but I don't want to write forever. That's for the book (ha ha).
When you start losing track of what day of the week it is, you're on vacation. I have reached this plateau almost instantly, but I do not feel vacationishal. What am I doing wrong?
Out of Hope, there is a 17k hill that rises for over 700 metres. To enjoy this part of the trip, you must have previously practised running underwater with rocks. Fortunately, that was part of my training (right, Jeff?), and it was a sensational day. When you reach the apex of these types of rises, there is a sharp blast of joy that swipes you upside the head. Even though I now expect it upon reaching these moments, I am still surprised and delighted to be surprised and delighted by them.
My nights in the DrYad hanging tent have been fascinating. In the snow, it's not so easy to find accessible spots to set up, but there always seems to be "one". That's even including the wild night up the active logging road in 6 inches of mud. This was at 1200 metres elevation where I couldn't pitch alongside the road due to large snowbanks, and the only roads were these gruesome mud piles. A regular tent would have been sucked under by the muck, but there I was swinging high above it all. Until the snow came. Then I was under it all...
How hard can a trip be when your friends show up and cook you a pizza by the side of the road? Thanks Carl! And thanks for the stretching advice that has probably saved my knees from early retirement.
In fact, the daily distance is not really so bad. The camping and care of body seems to be where my challenge exists. But since I'm taking it fairly easy with mostly walking, the wear and tear on body is minimal for now. My theory is that I will get my legs accustomed to the daily distance by walking through these mountainous parts, then my running days will begin in earnest once out the Rockies. Does that sound like a good plan?
My hydration is huge. Cheri will be pleased to know that I am downing 6 to 8 litres of the elixir of life every day. Of course, I am releasing it fairly often as well. The RoadRunner seems to be designed with this concept in mind. My brilliance is often surprising, even to me.
Every so often, I get resentful at having to camp out in the sub zero mountains. But through the generosity of Les at Manning Park Lodge, Lea & Rochelle who pre-arranged a room in for me in Princeton and Ken & Susanne at the Elk Motel in Keremeos, my sanity has been maintained by spending delicious evenings in their care. And even though it was outdoors, Chuck at the Hedley Museum was most accommodating to allow a temporary campsite in the backyard of the museum. Hooray for everybody!
Speaking of Hedley, Chris & Candace stumbled upon me there enroute to a concert. During their overnight campout with me, we enjoyed an evening with some Hedlites, and a jubilant new singer from Keremeos who had something to say about the mountains. In the morning, Chris & Candace were assigned to delivering a note from Hedley's "mayor" to Leon the Monk who lives in a cave up the mountain. What a great time they had as they took time to actually visit a community instead of just driving through it. So it goes...
As I'm pushing up a hill that had a delicious tailwind (that's a piece of heaven, by the way), along comes this fellow whose shirt says he's cycling across Canada to raise money for handicapped children. Turns out Richard and Phil are doing the trip in 74 days with no rest days. Phil has run across Canada twice in the past 15 years, both times with no rest days. It makes me feel like a bit of a wimp, especially when you realize that Phil is 80 years old. They sure were a couple of characters and I look forward to seeing them in Quebec later in the year. If you'd like to check out their trip, please visit their website:
Without people like Richard and Phil to inspire us, what would we do? Sometimes the world looks a bit grim with bad news all around us. But if we seek to find the exciting things that people are doing or the exciting challenges that await each of us, we will find a world that holds unlimited possibility as its mantra. That world is here now, and I hope you all find that which you seek. You will. One step at a time.
Tuesday's journey is up a hill that one Hedlite told me he wouldn't take his truck up since it's so steep. Richard and Phil tell me it's the biggest challenge for them of the trip. Sounds great. Then it's a week of camping at over 1000 metres elevation. I'll tell you all about it next time. Hope you have a good one.
"Pain is mandatory, but suffering is optional"