Day 16: Prince George to Purden Lake

Distance: 75 km

Elevation: 660 m

Date: August 17

Today was a great day! I slept surprisingly well given that my tent was still totally wet from the day before.

Inside a wet tent

I woke up to blue sky. The air was still cold, misty and damp. Of course it was not easy to get my food bag back but it worked with a bit of tenacity.

What I am finding is that once campgrounds decide to let people live their permanently, e.g. because they can‘t afford other housing, or even for short term e.g. for laborers as an alternative to a motel … it totally changes the energy of the place.

This was the clearly the case here. Nevertheless, I took time for my breakfast and let my tent dry up in the beams of the morning sun.

It quickly got very warm. Around 10 am I slowly cycled downhill into Prince George which was still covered in one heavy cloud.

First I went to Cycle Logic, a bike shop that John, my host in Vanderhoof, had recommended to me. I asked them to check my gears and brakes before I would hit the Rockies. Without much ado, Quinton did so right away and that for very little money. Good luck with trying this back home.

He very much liked my bike and the setup. „This one of the better ones I have seen around here“. I pass this compliment on to Peter who has build and customized Rosinante.

Quinton, the mechanic

After that I went grocery shopping since I would now hit a stretch of 200 km without civilization until reaching McBride.

Prince George is at the junction of two major highways: the Alaska Highway and the Yellowhead Highway which I am following. Hence it is a real town with shops, traffic lights and city issues like homeless people. I had not seen much of this lately.

I felt good when I was back on the road. The weather was beautiful and the scenery had changed drastically to the better. I had clearly left the interior plateau now and was approaching the Rocky Mountains. And even better: the broad shoulders were back and there was not much truck traffic anymore.

After a while I saw a logging truck standing at a rest area. Without much hesitation I pulled over and talked to the driver. As they say „know your enemy“!

I told him about my experiences yesterday and asked him how I could improve my visibility or safety. He said: „You are doing everything right. You even wear safety colors. If they don‘t make space even though they could they are just being rude.“

I asked him if they were incentivized to transport the logs from A to B as fast as possible. He said „Quite the opposite. There are defined trip times and if you are too fast you get in trouble.“ Interesting, no?

Anyway, he seemed to be a nice guy and he promised that he would always make space for cyclists.

The distance today was easy and fun. Around 4:30 pm I arrived at Purden Lake Provincial Park.

Purden Lake

I set up my tent and took a long swim in the lake. After that I made dinner. I knew from the park ranger that there was a bear cache for food. But this time, I wanted to rope up my food myself since I knew how it worked now.

Food needs to be roped up 3 m above ground and 2 m away from trunk

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