So Saturday morning I set off on a wonderfully sunny east across BC. The traffic was pretty good & BC was beautifully forested - it really is a large province when you drive across the bottom in one day. After Kamloops I was back on roads I'd driven before & there was a half-hour wait near Shuswap - but I had the Kindle out so I wasn't too fussed. Over Rogers Pass & coming into Golden there was an ominous big cloud of black smoke billowing into the sky. I was near the front of a queue for almost an hour as some poor family watched their RV incinerate. The rest of the drive was uneventful & I was soon driving below familiar peaks - just they had a lot less snow (almost none) on them than I remember. It was a little odd getting closer to Canmore - being away for three months & doing so many other things must have lessened the blow of leaving such a great place as I wasn't too concerned that I'll be gone in three weeks.
So that was it really, just under 22000 km, 87 days, 13 states, two provinces, 45 MTB rides totalling a thousand kilometres, at least 15 National Parks & 5 National Monuments, only 2600 photos & 435 gallons of gas. What a great trip! We were blessed by the weather - notably it never got really hot, as it did the last time I visited Utah, Nevada, Arizona & California in 2009. Highlights are hard to list as there were so many. But I'll try anyway:
- Most spectacular National Park - Bryce Canyon, Utah
- Most beautiful scene - Crater Lake, Oregon
- Favourite National Park - still Zion, Utah
- Most bizzare scene - Carhenge, Alliance, Nebraska
- Best meal - Barbecue at Chip & Dale's, San Diego, California
- Most entertaining dining - the '50s diner with waitresses on roller skates, Boise, Idaho
- Best Capitol building - Idaho
- Place I'd most like to live - Bend, Oregon followed closely by Grand Junction, Colorado & Flagstaff, Arizona
- Favourite ride: Downieville Downhill, California - despite two hours of hike-a-bike through three miles of snow
- Best use of a small area for a trail network - Phil's World, Cortez, Colorado
- Longest & biggest group ride - Cuyamaca, California - 30 miles & eighteen riders
- Other notably impressive rides (it's just too difficult to rate these in order): 18 Rd, Fruita; Magnificient 7, Moab; Mt Elden, Flagstaff; Sedona; San Juan, California; Montana de Oro, San Luis Obispo; McKenzie River Ride, near Bend.