Across Continents

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Mountains to climb, plateau to cross

Three weeks to Seattle. I’d miss Meg Ryan but would have the chance to meet up with an old school friend I’d not seen in, well, decades. Planned to ride together for a while, just as we’d done as teenagers back in Pembrokeshire.

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Plan was simple enough. Inland, due east, from Prince Rupert, through the imaginatively named Coast Mountains to British Columbia’s interior plateau. It sounded flat, but you could never be sure. Fertile ground for headwinds, especially as I’d an idea they’d still be mostly southerlies.

From Prince George, at the northern end of the plateau, I’d turn due south, heading for the winter resort of Whistler. Too early, I hoped, for snow. But I’d a warm bed booked in a hostel for a few days. Planned respite from camping, chance to dry kit out, and confirm the arrangements for the next stage.

A few days later and I’d be in Vancouver, back once more on the west coast. Arranged to stay with some fellow cyclists, and hoped to meet a Kazakh masseuse I’d met back in Kazakhstan, but now a Canadian citizen living in the city. I was curious.

I’d balked at trying to pick a route amongst the busy highways south over the border. Deciding instead to take a short hop on the ferry to Vancouver Island, night or two there, then a fastcat into the US and Seattle itself. Leaving me about five miles through the city.

Quietly pleased with my solution. A certain elegance, a simplistic beauty I thought. Just had to push the pedals, turn the cranks, wild camp and avoid any aggressive bears. Or moose.

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