the Weird and the Wonderful

Not all too surprisingly Canada is lovely in summer too.Good morning Canada

Although the extremely brief transition period between winter and summer seems to confuse nature too.hot but still frozen

It’s a strange feeling to be sweating and hot and cycle past big lumps of ice.

Or at 27 degrees celsius wanting to jump in the lake,frozen lake

but the lake having different ideas.

I arrived in ‘Jade City’. Basically a shop in the middle of nowhere. With the most generous and friendly folk you can imagine.

I’d already seen the sign that lured me in a kilometer ago.O yeah

And upon my request if I could maybe charge a battery the reply came:

Sure! And there’s the coffee in the back. You can use the free wi-fi if you like. And should you decide to camp here, there’s no charge! “Jade City

I had only 40km and it wasn’t even noon. But how could I refuse that?

So I had a look around,Jadeand learned that this family happens to have their own show on TV. (if interested have a look here)

Also, they were about to shut up shop in order to use the sunny weather and have a family BBQ at a nearby lake (one that wasn’t still frozen)

So what else would I do but join in the jolly celebrations of a sunny day.

I couldn’t stretch my stay much longer, even though I would’ve liked too.

With the promise to catch up later I threw myself back onto Stewart.

The Stewart Cassiar

Stewart Cassiar that is, the road I’ve been cycling for a little while now. And the road threw me back some surprises.My wayNot just the gorgeous scenery and the very pleasant cycling conditions. Lovely Road

just another small summitBut also a nice variety of wildlife.DandelionLike big birds,

Eagle

Bold Eagle

And small ones.

Grouse

A cute little ground squirrel.ground squirrel

And some deer (or maybe caribou?)

Caribou

Then there were a few encounters of the less innocent type,

I’ve already told you I don’t necessarily want to encounter bears.Bear in the middle of the road

And that I am exactly at the wrong place in the wrong time of year for that. Bear on side of the road

And so, every time I see one my heart beats a little faster even though I know the chance anything is gonna happen is minimal.

Still.

They are big and scary (sometimes little and scary)

And even though I never sat on their chair, ate their porridge or slept in their bed, they still give me a fright. Bear in tree

But, at least sometimes, the feeling seems to be mutual.

One day I spotted a small bear in the distance, or so I first thought. It hopped and limped across the road in a very odd way, and when I got closer I noticed the tail.

Most definitely not a bear.

It ran up and down the road in a most erratic fashion for a little while before disappearing into the scrub.

I wasn’t totally sure, but a trapper in the next community confirmed my suspicion. I’ve seen the very elusive Wolverine! And according to this fellow not ‘just’ a wolverine, but judging from my pictures he reckoned it to be a giant one.

Highly unusual and extremely lucky to see one running towards you, take a photo and be able to tell you about it!

Along the stories I’ve hears these beasts are known to attack grizzly’s vehicles and even helicopters. But I think maybe they’re just mis-understood.

With all these strange beast running around I get really good at hearing strange and frightening noises at night while camping. pretty camp

Like a weird drumming sound, I later discovered it’s the mating call of the ruffed grouse! Not something to be terribly worried about.

And of course nothing ever happens at night, except for me sleeping and having dreams about wild animals.

Lucky I’m pretty good at finding accommodations.

Here’s MartyMarty

He works at the road camp at Bob Quinn Lake and didn’t mind me crashing in the workers-quarters.

Lovely sunsets out there too.pretty skiesTrue to their word the Jade-City folk passed me along the way and took me to Prince Rupert for a couple of days break where I encountered a very different sort of lifestyle. Staying on the boat a few nights and visiting a casino at night.

Not my scene at all and I didn’t find all the people staring at screens pushing random buttons very entertaining at all. But Steve pushed 100$ in my hands and told me to try. So I did and never wasted that much money so quickly before. What a terrible thing to do!

He continued feeding the machine, and did walk away with a bit more than I had ever seen in cash.

Still, not my thing. It was good to meet some people out on the boats.Boband to have glimpse at ‘the others’…

I was rather pleased to be reunited with my bicycle to continue the sort of live I prefer (and can afford 😉 My Kindda sceneI had decided to take a bit of a detour (surprisingly huh!) through the Nass Valley,Nass Valley

I’d seen it on the map and the volcanic landscape is pretty impressive,Lava(probably even more so if you didn’t just spend four months cycling in Iceland)

It was still sunny and warm but storm clouds were rolling in and I found my self a perfect spot to pitch my tent in Rosswood.the general storeGood spotMy timing was absolutely perfect.You wonder how I do it ;)

Coffee!And I spent a lovely morning making new friendsNew Friends and meeting some wonderful characters with great stories.

This is Bob.BobBut you could probably tell.

One of the reasons I came here is to see a kermode bear, also called ‘Spirit Bears’.

These are actually just black bears but with a white coat. So A white black bear. Funny as it may sound.

Of course I ran into your usual black bear, even with cubs, But the one time you actually want to see one. You don’t.

I did hear many stories and even saw footage of people who’ve seen one.

But I saw other things.Riding in pretty forest

Like a pile of shit that might or might not have been from a Kermode Bear.Pile of shitAnd a few waterfalls where I posed like I am a bicycle-clothing commercial.Me(which, of course. I am)

Taking a break at a lovely spot at the lake I seemed to have crashed a 6th birthday party. But the birthday boy and his brothers and sisters didn’t seem to mind as they appeared to be a lot more interested in my peanut butter sandwiches than any of the goods stalled out on the other picnic tables.P1020470Little sister

I didn’t hang around for long as I was on a mission to find a bear and it was already late afternoon.

pretty flowers

And I  had places to go,Volcanic Landscape things to see,rope bridgeand people to meet.

A car had pulled over to tell me the restaurant at Nass Camp had opened today.in NashCamp

I needed to go check that out and as it turns out the old workers-camp has been converted in a restaurant & accommodation.

I never planned to stay there as I wanted to get to Dragon lake.

But who am I to deny some amazing hospitality. Thanks to John & Shawn who took the time to drive me around and show me all the things I must not miss while in the area.

Hidden hotspringLike a small hidden hot spring.

And the search for that bear we just didn’t find.

Kermode Bear

Image Credit: IMGUR

But here a picture I found just to show you what they look like.

I’ll have to come back and look again one day. But for now I was in a little hurry to move a couple of thousand km south.

So from the turnoff on Highway 16 (the same road I already cycled last winter) I hitch hiked without any trouble to Vancouver.

Where I arrived just in time to welcome mum & dad to Canada. Mum & Dad

29 thoughts on “the Weird and the Wonderful

  1. Could you post a map of your route? It looks awesome. I love the wolverine photos! Where are you now? I love the new tent. What brand is it? I am tent shopping.

    • I’ll try! Maps are still a struggle for me, digital-ones that is. Paper-maps I’m real good with! The tent I’m using is a McKinley, the one I’ve had for years was a Black Diamond, the one I would get were I rich is a Hilleberg…

      • Primarily I must confess that you are brave as you take this world venture on two wheels but most intriguing question is what is the sole reason of globetrotter’s objective to take such treacherous route to see world. It is worthwhile if one can exchange culture, literature, food, habits to bring world together….

      • Thanks! But I have not felt in danger or like I was doing anything particularly treacherous at any stage during my travels, unless it was riding on busy highways in different places, but I’m guessing that’s not what you’re hinting at…

  2. That Stewart Cassiar Highway is one of the prettiest highways in BC as you found. Also, it is best to ride from Northern BC to Highway 16, southbound all the way. It is almost all downhill in that direction.
    Glad you enjoyed Jade City. So too did we. And And And — Boya Lake was the best for camping.
    LOve the blog M

  3. You have done it again – another adventure that is so full of interest! How many miles/km and hours do you cycle on average per day?

  4. I think you saw a wild wolverine. That is very rare. And you saw a lot different wildlife during this segment of your trip! Treasure it.

  5. Just toasted on your health here in Holland – looking forward to more pictures and stories and hopefully meeting your parents

  6. Net pas je blog gelezen (de modem moest vervangen worden…) Leuk om te zien wat je deed vlak voordat je ons op het vliegveld kwam ophalen! Liefs!

  7. Tienes un excelente blog. Frecuentemente paso por aquí para leer acerca de tus viajes. Admiro lo que haces. Gracias por compartirlo a través de WordPress.

  8. I’ve been following your blog for several years now and have learned more about Canada’s west and its great images. I was born in Canada and can say you have seen more of it than I have. Your sense of humour and writing style is very entertaining.

  9. overweldigende natuur daar en ik heb bewondering voor je dat je dit allemaal gewwon doet !
    ben benieuwd naar je volgende etappe !! eigenlijk zou ik wel meer willen weten, zoals hoe je aan zo’n tocht begint; wat je bezielt en
    waar je naar uitkijkt voor de volgende
    veel plezier en succes op je ritten !

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