Bike Odyssey
North America 2004

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Journal for 3-June-2004 : Squamish

To get back at yesterday's motel, Linda made use of their coffee machine. She didn't get to sleep until 4am.

Alarm went off at 6:30am so we could get the 8:30 ferry. Alarm turned off. 10:30 ferry boarded.

Ferry ride across to the Canadian Mainland very enjoyable. Great views of the snow capped peaks on Vancouver Island and the Canadian mainland (all peaks are snow capped in Canada). Forgot to take a last look at the Pacific Ocean water. We're going to have to ride around the world to see it again on the other side.

The “Sea to Sky” highway a real shocker. It had just about everything imaginable wrong with it. It was hilly, etched into the side of this fiord leading out of Vancouver. It was *very* busy. Because it was hilly and windy the visibility was awful. The road had dangerously narrow shoulders that reliably disappeared at the bottom of every hill and around every blind corner. As these hazards tended to coincide the cycling became extremely dangerous. The erratic road verges were usually strewn with fallen rocks and loose gravel from the cliff face the road was etched into, or else playing host to a sequence of cement barricades. The white line supposedly separating us from the throngs of traffic (not really, the verge was too narrow for us to stay completely off the main carriage way) was studded with death strips – designed to wake drifting motorists and throw bike riders attempting to cross the line (as we needed to do often) in random directions. On top of that, Canadians seem to drive more like Australians than Americans. That is meant as an insult. The scenery (and weather) were sensation, which sort of compensated for the dangers of the road, but also added to them, as not everyone was watching what they were doing.

Spectacular granite domes and towering waterfalls lined this route. We even got to see some of them at Shannon Falls park. At the turnoff for this excellent attraction is a food serving establishment with a name that would not encourage too many Aussie in the front door: “The Roadhouse Restaurant”.

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