Sunday, April 26, 2015

An Awesome Pointless Detour

I ended up at a camping spot right next to a nice lake, but unfortunately the weather didn't really clear up. I didn't have to setup or tear down in the rain, but the tent definitely demonstrated it was worth every penny.

A photo posted by Byron Young (@byron.a.young) on

The next day I was off to Smithers for more biking, and the road west took me closer towards the mountains, a welcome relief from the more arid rolling hills. Once in Smithers I saw a biker riding through town. My normal approach is to ask a local bike shop or information center for trail recommendations, but seeing this biker I decided the best plan was to just follow him.

After a while I thought this was getting awkward and decided to just be a normal adult and ask him for a recommendation. He immediately pointed me to the nearest trail "network" that he was heading towards, a term I've come to despise but I thought I would give it a try.

While examining the (very confusing) map for the system some helpful bikers, Matt and Erin, came to my aid. They gave me some recommendations, but also offered to just let me follow them around, which I happily accepted. Two other bikers Brian and Zach met up with us, and we rode up the mountain.

The network they've developed is really extensive and amazingly well maintained. The new bike handles the climbs really well but it's going to take me a bit to get used to the new tire size. They've got a sweet widget that effectively lets you spin a wheel to decide what trail to go on! There were also a lot of other people enjoying their Saturdays on their bikes, definitely a healthy bike culture in that city. Having a ski area in town also helps bolster those sports.

A photo posted by Byron Young (@byron.a.young) on

The trail uphill was pretty easy going, but on the way down I would find that there was a good reason everyone but me had a full suspension bike. The Trek handled it pretty well but i think less tire pressure would have been better over the roots and small rocks in places. It got pretty steep at times, and I chickened out by walking in a few places, but unfortunately not on a feature over a large log.

There was a narrow plank up a 3 foot high log, and unseen on the other side was the descending ramp actually turned to the right slightly. I ended up tumbling off the left side, and jammed my leg into either the bike's frame, the ground, or both.

I was able to make it down to the bottom without any problems, but it's definitely going to be sore for a couple of days! Matt and Erin both gave me some recommendations on where to check out next. They said the drive to Prince Rupert was incredible, and that there was a brewery there. It was out of the way, but whenever someone mentions and incredible drive and a brewery I pretty much have to check it out.

The drive was as great as they said it was. There was still snow on a lot of the peaks, but I think the warmer temperatures at lower altitudes and near the coast allowed the aspens and other deciduous trees to start blooming down below sooner than the rest of the country I've seen so far. The route followed a large river, and was a broad sweeping highway.

A photo posted by Byron Young (@byron.a.young) on

Yogi's still afraid of loud noises, so he's never been a huge fan of driving, but he's starting to get comfortable enough to almost sleep in the car. I'm sure by the end of this trip it'll be no problem for him.

Prince Rupert is a nice quaint town, lots of nautical architecture and history. I stopped for a couple pictures near the water hoping to find their seaplane base, but eventually had to give up and found the brewery.

A video posted by Byron Young (@byron.a.young) on

Wheelhouse Brewing is a really great place, the owners were serving great beer, the people were very friendly, and they let Yogi roam around the building. Everyone signed the car, and after some free samples of a grapefruit ginger beer we all ended up heading over to a sushi place in town. I went with a wonderful girl from Prince George Lindsay, Lindsay's friend Lindsay, a local legend that payed for our dinner Tim, and co-owner of the brewery Ronnie. Ronnie told us some pretty amazing stories about the region, and I gave them some beer in exchange for dinner and the company. Pretty late I headed to the local hostel to get some sleep, eventually.

A photo posted by Byron Young (@byron.a.young) on

Now I'm off back East, then heading North again to get to some higher latitudes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment