Day 11: The Day of Lost Things

Ascent 1166m, 79.3km………….nothing else needs to be said – but I will anyway.

Usual wake up – we knew we had a big day so French toast and, yes, again, BACON. We were breaking down camp and Farid wanted some aerial footage so he sent up the drone. In the gorgeous tall cedars the drone gave breathtaking views of camp and its environs, until he promptly flew it into a cedar, like a bird perching about 30 feet off the ground. We tried and we tried to MacGyver it but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. The red light on the thing kept flashing like a Christmas tree ornament.

Off we went. We have learned some new words (courtesy of Jim, the vet that I told you about – he had dinner with us yesterday) that are a take on undulating. So there is ascendulating (up/down but net gain) and descendulating (up/down but net loss) and when it is all going to hell it is flatulating. This describes the first 19k out of camp – a bit of ascendulating but mostly just OMG up. Unbeknownst to us we were climbing up to Wright pass. The day started off gorgeous, then we had some beautiful clouds alongside glorious mountains covered in low brush of reds, oranges and yellows. Then all of a sudden we were in clouds, clouds with giant bladders, and those bladders were full of rain, sleet and yes snow. Visibility dropped to about 15 feet, wind kicked WAY up – not sure what it was blowing (other than of course the rain, sleet and snow) but it was a strong HEAD wind. The only way you knew you were climbing is because you were in your granny gear (lowest) and only moving at 4-5 kph. Dale in yellow, Suneet in orange – and I lost them in the mist. You kept in your own head remembering to just keep peddling. Was I happy to see CC parked on the side of the road? Hell yes, 4 ways flashing, and the sign for Wright pass – which is exactly at the border of NWT/Yukon. Farid had made chicken soup with extra noodles and it tasted like heaven. When Dave arrived at the camper he said ‘in the cycling world, that is what we call bullshit’. Total ascent: 602m, desc 103m, 19.35 km distance

And then, and this part was not fair, we had to do the bump b/o the bears – and the bump was all downhill – I mean WTH??? We kept a close eye out but we lost the bears too……which meant when we finished the bump, just past the gorge as she suggested, we were all kind of looking behind us (grizzlies have a big territory). It also meant that when we started we were ascendulating again…….to what I have named ‘no name pass’. And then when we finally, finally, thought we were going to go down and spill some altitude there was nothing but descendulating, into a headwind that made you gear down (come on man!!). Post Wright pass we did: 60.3km, ascent 564, descent 1230m. The amazing bit it is while we shared some CC driving, Dale did the whole cycle. We rolled into camp at 8pm….a really long day done. Jim, our vet, who has done the continental divide, said this was the ‘hardest day of cycling yet’. Go team testyourlimits!!! On a side note, my Garmin says I need 85 hrs of recovery time…….

Dinner was chick pea, in ginger, garlic and onion on rice. We are in an awesome camp, Nitainlaii Territorial park. Campfire on, lots of laughs (and Tylenol). We called it a night around 11.

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