posted on Sunday, July 19, 2015

Golden


Sitting in Golden's Wolf Den Restaurant listening to some live music and testing how Canadian burgers compare to US ones. Today I waved goodbye and thanked Alberta for making these six days so exciting and full of good memories. It was a mostly downhill day joining the transcanadian highway, the main road in Canada crossing the country from east to west. Most of it seemed to have a safe enough bike lane but just before Golden where the road turned to one lane with no shoulder with some uphill sections, a truck really did pass a bit too close for comfort! I had heard this could be the slightly more dangerous part so hopefully I won't have anymore close calls...The problem is that I was really slow uphill and this large truck I suppose was not in the mood of slowing to a standstill and wait for me to reach the top! As it overtook me in what seemed very long five seconds I could see the driver staring at his mirror and, like myself, hoping for the best and that neither of us would be swayed and make the wrong move! All I could do was steady my nerves and keep going as straight as I could manage, because on my right side I had a rock face that I don't think would have easily given in either...
In Field the first village I crossed I saw at a cafe table the same ranger that had checked me in at Lake Louise with two friends so I sat with them and found out that his name was Takeshi and, like Mina his girlfriend, they were both Japanese. The other guy's name was Chris and he was one of the last hundred souls still leaving in the little mountain village of Field. Of course I surprised them with some of my best Japanese to roars of laughters and utter shock at my fake fluency! On the road crossing into British Columbia and Yoho National Park I suddenly picked up what must be a very niche hobby, collecting registration plates I spotted on the ditch by the side of the highway. Like with any sports it seemed that I was getting better and better with practice and plates seemed to spring up all over the place as if they were mushrooms after an autumn shower. My new addiction started when I first spotted an Alberta one, picked it up thinking it would make a nice registration plate for Brontie and a fond memory too. Next and not too far I saw a British Columbia, battered, dusty and under the sun, begging to be rescued. Thinking this new pastime was getting a bit out of control and that I could end my day squashed under the weight of a pile of metal plates, I was almost leaving it but then ended up walking backward,  picked it up and noticed the plate registration was '1Bike'! Brontie now was legal and had found the perfect local registration plate that would carry it all the way to  Vancouver!