Day 14: To Burns Lake - Western Canada 2007 - CycleBlaze

July 13, 2007

Day 14: To Burns Lake

I got up at 7:10 and was on the road at 8:35. Amazingly early for me. Mosquitoes swarmed my campsite.

I pedaled over the hill back to Telkwa, then southeast on Highway 16. Just before the town of Houston was a 200 meter climb to a 850m elevation summit.

The land is now looking relatively settled. Many fences, fields, and pastures. I seem to be leaving the snowy mountains behind. The landscape ahead is hilly, not mountainous.

Pastures again.
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I won't see snowy mountains like this for the next few days.
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Nice road. Less mountainous. Still a long way to Prince George!
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As the climate becomes drier and colder the trees are changing from mostly Spruce to Lodgepole pine. Unfortunately many of the mature pines are killed by Pine Beetles.

Lodgepole pine killed by pine beetles.
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I stopped for lunch at A&W in Houston, then walked into the visitor center across the street. They had free Internet access so I checked emails for a few minutes (only time on this trip that I checked email). I sent an email to my wife because there has been no GSM cellphone service since leaving Prince Rupert.

The road to Topley was flat and I had a tailwind. So I got to Topley at 4:30PM. I saw two other bike tourists in Topley. The said they were on their way home from Alaska.

Train in the distance.
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Shortly after Topley the sky became overcast and the temperature dropped. A few giant raindrops fell, but no accumulation. The cooler weather felt wonderful. I got a rear puncture due to a big staple. The tube had 3 holes in it by the time I came to a stop. So I replaced the tube.

The road has another non-trivial climb just before the town of Burns Lake. That hill tops out at 900 meters  (2950 feet) elevation. The mosquitoes are definitely getting worse as I get into higher elevations - I passed the first roadside chain-up area. Fortunately an hour later the wind shifted and it seemed to blow away all the mosquitoes (for now). The heat wave is finished.

The "Lake District" of northern British Columbia.
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I got a motel in the town of Burns Lake because I don't want to camp with the mosquitoes. It can be my reward for pedaling such a long distance. I ended the day feeling strong thanks to the tailwind for most of the day.

Distance: 138.1 km / 86.3 mi

Climbing: 1010 m / 3333 ft

Average speed: 15.3 km/h / 9.6 mph

Maximum speed: 63.5 km/h / 39.7 mph

Today's ride: 138 km (86 miles)
Total: 1,119 km (695 miles)

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