Well, that’s how the road construction area crossing guard put it as I wobbled past him. “Didn’t you see those two big black bears right on the side of the road? he barked. No I hadn’t of course or I surely would have been avoiding those uncomforting owners of this land. “You tourist just don’t pay attention” he babbled on as I walked away on a stretch of the road surrounded by ever thickening forest. Now being alone again you can be sure I paid attention to every tall tree, large rock and windy curve where I though the blacks and their predator cousins, the grizzly bears, might be hiding waiting for their lunch to saunter by.
My fear subsided when I encountered two more long distance bicyclists. “Are you Tom?”they enquired. A Canadian cyclist named Jules whom I met back at Buckshot Betty’s’ told them of my adventure and how I had walked all the way from the Arctic Ocean some 800 miles away.
Long distance bicycling is a grueling, tough, sport. Where there are no hotels the cyclists often has no choice but to camp and they need to carry a few days’ supply of food. Granted walking up and down mountains day after day, week after week, has its challenges. Since I support myself with a vehicle my sport seems easier. But then again I really don’t like bikes anyway although I have great respect for their riders.
These are long days. It is not only the mid night sun. I typically am up and in my support vehicle by 5:20AM, start my “race” for the day by 7AM and begin searching for a hotel or other place to sleep around 6PM. Yes, that is nearly 12 hours on the road every day.