Two Nation Vacation: Day 11
11 Sept 2012
Nelson to Salmo BC 25 miles (TNV 308 miles)
I am being attacked by a dog only in this case, I am being killed with kindness. My new best friend and I are sharing the jump-seat of a pickup truck cab along with another canine cousin and my new BFF is intent on licking every last drop of sunscreen from my body, including the side of my face. She’s super cute and frankly, super stinky, as is her traveling partner. Stuffed in this miniature back seat, they are not the only ones covered in dog fur. We could now all use a good hosing down.
Outside the windows we watch the torn up, under construction, shoulder-less, grooved pavement roll past as we exit Nelson in a similar manner to which we entered – via a thumbs-out, thumbs-up hitched ride in a pickup truck. Having just started our day’s ride, we hit a construction zone at mile 2 of an 8+ mile climb and quickly determined that there was no way on God’s green earth we were going to tackle that next stretch on just two wheels.
What we have learned, though, is that one of the blessed (and sometimes cursed) things about traveling in Southern BC is that most everyone drives a pickup truck. It only took two attempts before a very nice young man on his way south to cut a load of firewood pulled over, loaded our bikes and bags next to the two chain saws rattling around the bed of his truck, and gave us a lift up the road. A few “clicks” later (as they say here in Canada) and one last lick from my new BFF, we were deposited at the summit, beyond the construction zone and (conveniently) the day’s lone climb.
While regrouping at the summit, which included Gina making sure that her bike was not “hurt” by being laid out flat in a rusty truck bed with my bike draped across like a cozy duvet, it was time once more to ponder the best route forward: the still shoulder-less albeit lightly traveled Highway 6 or another off-road option, the Great Northern Rail Trail. Asking a nearby local for directions to the trail, Gina was informed by said local that “Oh yes, the trail is just around the corner and would ya believe this past Spring we saw 5 grizzly bears out here in our field where the rail trail runs through?” I think I’m gonna need a bigger bell.
Opting, perhaps obviously, for the highway, it took only a few miles of riding before the shoulder re-appeared, lifting our spirits and finally our pulse rates. This little bit of exercise required a refueling stop at the Ymir store, a super cute off-the-beaten-path grocery/cafe with a very non-people-person behind the counter. But no matter her grumpiness, the homemade eggie sandwiches and drip coffee went down just fine.
Our final destination – Salmo BC – is a quiet village tucked here in the Selkirk Mountains. There’s not much to do in this town, but there are three liquor stores. I’ll drink to that.