Day 1 – Gulf Islands National Park (McDonald Provincial Park), Vancouver Island. Distance today: ~50km
Finally the ride is underway. A few false starts, delays and anxieties about leaving, but now I have pedalled away from Vancouver. And it being Vancouver, it was raining when I left. Nice touch. However, by the time I got to Tswwassen for the Island ferry the sun was out, a breeze was up (which I had certainly noticed earlier when riding into it) and things seemed much brighter.
I found a few people eager to know where I was going, fellow bikers I met headed to or from the ferry. A bunch of guys embarking on a big ride of their own across Canada, and a very helpful lady heading home (on her Surly LHT no less) to Victoria.
However, now that it’s underway, the scale of the trip is beginning to hit home. A bike that somehow gets forever heavier; traipsing and backtracking for the campsite; unpacking; setting up the tent; remembering that this is a more simple existence, or should be if I wasn’t worrying about how I’m going to pack up again…it’s a day of very mixed feelings and although I’m glad that finally the trip has started, I have a heavy heart thinking of the complications and perhaps less glamourous parts of the journey. I think it’s just something to get used to. Shedding a few pounds from my bike will certainly help, if I can (eating all the food doesn’t count…)