Awake early again at 6. Had an absolutely fantastic night's sleep but didn't get up until 7. Did hear the dawn chorus through the screen at about 4 but went quickly back to sleep. A beautiful day beckons with clear blue skies.
Went down and cleaned the bike. Picked up an awful lot of bugs yesterday and with the mudslides and thunderstorm the bike was quite dirty. It is a brand new bike after all. This morning it was also covered in pollen from the pine trees outside reception.
Today is a rest day so we'll be in and around Revelstoke for most of it. Decided not have breakfast at the hotel too expensive at $17 each but to go into town and find somewhere. Revelstoke is supposed to have two good Bakeries. Good decision as it turned out.
Back down the long and winding road to the 1. Stopping at a bridge by a lake for some photos then into town. Found a great little bakery, Buns and Beyond, that had a cafe. We both had their very large full Canadian, I had my eggs poached and Wifey had hers sunny-side. Free help-yourself fill-ups on the tea and coffee. And all for the bargain payment of $15 for both of us. Best value breakfast of the trip so far. So much cheaper than the hotel.
We then took a spin about town to get our bearings. We're here all day so have the time to wander around the byways of Revelstoke. I can quite easily see me living here. Lovely little town with great views. Rode down to Centennial Park on the lake taking some great pictures then back to Main Street, parked up and strolled about. Counte four coffee shops here and lots of students in fire service and forestry shirts. Obviously working for the summer.
Wifey went souvenir hunting buying more postcards. Daughter collects them and has a wall full. I bought a shirt, a nice Marmot walking shirt. I needed one. As the size of the top box was smaller than we'd planned on I'd left most of my clothes back with the boys at Cycle BC so was low on shirts. Then to the post office for some stamps - Mike and Psmith-like? - for the postcards. Probably spent $40 on stamps so far.
Then did the tourist thing and went to the small but perfectly formed Revelstoke Railway Museum. $10 entry and a goodly number of exhibits.
Lovely old carriage showing how the first class traveller, well, travelled, in cosseted luxury a hundred years ago. Rather more space than the carriage we had on the Canadian, and a little more comfortable it looked.
Also had one of the last big oil-fired steam engines built in 1949. It was huge. There was an old bloke who had driven it back in the 80's when it last ran to Vancouver. Good talk about the train and the controls. Not only did the engineer control the engine he also controlled the heating in the carriages, which, in the depths of a Canadian winter, was a great temptation. Also learned that the engineer also could deposit sand onto the rails to improve grip on the rails in adverse conditions. I was thinking snow, ice, rain, leaves. He said caterpillars!?
Outside they had a good collection of working cars such as snow ploughs. Impressively large snowploughs that hooked onto the front of trains with side bows to push the drifts further away from the train. Must've been an incredible sight watching a plough that size at work.
Other must do thing in Revelstoke is a ride up Mount Revelstoke itself. Apparently the local Revelstokians created the park themselves then petitioned government to accept it into the national parks scheme. Costs $9 each but that covers us through any other parks until 4 pm tomorrow night. Unfortunately, although the road up to the meadows above the tree line at the top is some 24 km long, only the lower 12 km are open in June. Still snow further up and unsafe for cars to turn around. Lots and lots of really tight and steep switchbacks which were really great fun to ride up. Took it steadily though.
Stopped at the 12 km point at a bench looking down over the town. Could have sat there all day. At Buns and Beyond we'd bought a picnic lunch of sausage rolls, chicken curry pasties and a very large apple fritter which we ate as hungrily as we ate in the views. Thoroughly enjoyed that lunch and the spot. Young couple sat next to us debating the costs of weddings.
Came down the mountain very slowly. It is very steep and it is very windy after all. What to do next? Not a big place, and I'd rather not go back to the hotel too early. I know. We have a bike and we have a road, any road will do actually, let's ride.
There is a road to the north of Revelstoke that runs 140 km to Mica Dam. There are no points of interest, other than the two dams. No towns, no hamlets, no cafes, no petrol stations, but there is a road. A road to nowhere. Let's ride.
What a wonderful decision. I love riding bikes. It's a glorious day. The road is dry. The road is nice and wide and windy. Only thing to watch out for are the big logging trucks taking timber to Revelstoke. We probably only went 40-50 km up the road. Just went on. Stopped at a particularly attrictive campsite with a beach. Wandered down and sat on some logs looking back down the lake formed by the dam at Revelstoke between the lines of mountains. Beautiful, beautiful spot.
Eventually had to turn around, would've loved to go to the end, but Wifey wouldn't. Followed one of the logging trucks most of the way back to town. He wasn't hanging around and was hitting 120 kph, however, going up the hills he was barely managing 30 kph. Due to his speed and a rising wind, his trailer was all over the place. Gave him plenty of room and made sure that I could see both of his wing mirrors at all times (if you can't see his wing mirrors, he can't see you).
Once back in town we filled up ready for tomorrow's ride to Banff, $25 and had a long chat with a couple driving from Chilliwack to visit their son in Calgary. They do the trip three or four times a year but don't really stop and see anything other than petrol stations and rest stops. She really wants to do the Canadian. Surprising how many people we meet say the same. Nodded to four Harley riders as they pulled out after filling up.
back in Revelstoke just riding around a bit. Kids out of school and riding here there and everywhere and not following any sort of highway code. Downright dangerous. Especially with the big logging trucks rumbling through town.
Decided to complete the treble and stopped back at Buns and Beyond to buy dinner. Didn't fancy going to a restaurant or chancing that the hotel had an available slot, well they are sooo busy. All three meals today furnished by Buns and Beyond. Heartily recommend. So bought tuna and egg sarnies and another of their most excellent apple fritters. Woman behind the counter, after serving us three times today, dug out the biggest fritter left on the tray. A veritable beast of a fritter. Also nipped over the road to the supermarket to get some other snacks.
Rode the 13 km back to the hotel and it looked like we were the only guests. Got the bottle of wine and a glass from the room and went and sat on the veranda outside the restaurant on very comfy seats eating the sarnies and snacks and treating the wine as my sundowner. Hotel growing on me, or is this the wine talking. Watching the hummingbirds feeding and saw 5 or 6 turkey vultures riding thermals over the dam.
We were eventually joined on the terrace by two more couples. One appeared to be Dutch (what draws the Dutch to mountains?) and the other were from the UK. She was from Preston and he was a Brummie but they lived in Yorkshire now. They'd rented some sort of hybrid car and were touring up to Prince Rupert from Kelowna through Banff and Jasper. They said that they were both retired. Looked mighty young to be retired. Must've been public sector.
Early to bed. Rest day over. Ready for a long day in the saddle tomorrow. Saw more people checking in including another bloke on a bike who sounds British.
I've really enjoyed Revelstoke today. A place that I could easily live in, but it has been a beautiful day. Winters could be grim.
Tomorrow is not as far as yesterday's ride and Wifey has Kaiboshed my planned detour to Radium Hot Springs. Lake Louise it is then tomorrow before Banff. Trade off so that I can get the longer ride from Banff to Calgary which looks too quick as currently planned.
No map today as we were just pottering around Revelstoke.