Hills and spectacular scenery would be the story today. Right away as we left camp we started to climb. After an early morning rain it had cleared off and was a beautiful sunny morning. Though long, the hills initially weren’t that steep. Most were 3% to 5% grades.
About 11 km into the ride we encountered our first snow tunnels. These tunnels can be a bit hazardous when you are on a bike as drivers entering from bright sunshine can be momentarily blinded. They can be quite dark with debris on the shoulder. Prior to entering the first one I donned some reflective bands and a flashing red armband. With my tail light flashing we headed through 3 tunnels as we continued our ascent to Rogers Pass. As we got closer to the pass the climb became steeper. The last few kilometers were up to a 6% grade. 34 km into our ride we reached the summit! Most of us had been a little apprehensive about today’s ride but it had turned out to be not too bad.
After a break to take some pictures we rode a short distance down the hill to the interpretive center. Hoping to buy something to drink at the store we were disappointed to find that everything other than the National Parks Center was closed. At least the center had a nice water bottle filler that dispensed ice cold water.
We now had a nice long downhill descent from the pass through 5 snow tunnels and beyond. After the long climb to the pass we felt like we had earned a break. Naturally our good fortune didn’t last for long as we soon were into about 15 km of long steep climbs which were generally steeper than what we had encountered on our way up to Rogers Pass. Eventually we descended into the Columbia River valley and had a relatively flat ride the rest of the way into Golden. Somewhere, about halfway from the Rogers Pass summit and Golden we passed from the Pacific to Mountain time zones.
By the time we reached town it was quite hot (+29) and as luck would have it one of the first things we saw was a Dairy Queen. As we pulled in we saw that a few other riders had the same idea. “The French Connection” (Jacques, Alain, and Lise) along with Yukon Greg. A blizzard sure hit the spot!
The campsite is quite nice although the truck is about a block from the tent. It makes for a long walk back if you forget something (which of course happens frequently). The total distance today was 111 km.
After another great dinner our driver Adam lit a fire near the tents. Marshmallows were soon roasting!
Mike, Rob, and I finished off the day with a trip to a nearby pub. Joy of joys it was Karaoke night. The lack of singing ability of the performers was an assault on the ears but the beer was good.