This simple but powerful act of direct confrontation towards your inner judge not only reduces its seemingly unshakeable self-defeating strength, it also allows you to stand tall in your power. It helps you recognize that what you think is some irreparable mistake, or some end of the world happenstance, or some truth that will always be, is really just a small bump in the road on the journey of life and learning and love.
Being that we also loved trekking around by foot on the forgiving forest floor, we decided to cap off the bikepacking mission with a backpacking adventure, roaming along the aforementioned Sunshine Coast Trail, giving our bodies (and butts) a little break from the saddle. That goal was suddenly in our grasp.
The lake was tranquil and warm with a long wooden dock jutting out into the sparkling waters directly across from their site where we could swim with Western Painted Turtles and bask in long rays of sunshine. The temptation to stay was palpable, but there was a stirring inside us both. Adventure beckoned, the unknown called and we decided to rail ahead.
Eventually, the 180 kilometres of existing and proposed trail will be seamlessly connected from the sky-piercing, snow capped mountains at the north end of the Sea-to-Sky corridor in D’arcy, along British Columbia’s undulating wet coast through Whistler and down into the southside of Squamish where the river runs thick with pink Pacific Salmon from the Strait of Georgia.
“BEAR!” I yell, grabbing my breaks and squealing to a stop. Mat follows suit. In that moment, time slows to a crawl as a massive mama grizzly rises up on all fours from her bed in the tall grass. She’s so close that we can see her slobber swaying back and forth, sloshing around on the sides of her jowls. The hair on her hump stands straight as an arrow as her beady eyes make instantaneous sense of the situation
And yet, here we were, about to embark on a journey into world-renowned wilderness with all the items we would need to survive and thrive until we decided to make the return to civilization. We’d be riding the same trails as people who paid to get dropped off by float plane or helicopter, but for a fraction of the cost. A fraction of the cost and infinitely more effort.
The old man’s advice was well heeded as we rounded the corner at the top of Phoenix Ski Hill at the exact moment that the clouds parted ways and sent handfuls of dime sized hail showering down upon us. We dashed for the empty undercover and hid in the sanctity of the beat up, brown shelter that suddenly seemed like a luxury hotel.
It was the first full day of our cross British Columbia bike trip that we’d been excitedly routing for the past four months. We had pieced together a map of as many gravel roads, repurposed rail beds, logging branches and bike trails as we could, doing our best to avoid bustling roadways and long stretches of pavement at all costs. We were ablaze with excitement for our path.
As we ascend the etched-in path, we buzz about our summer plans with even more gusto. Our bags, the final piece of the puzzle. Ultralight and incredibly packable, we’ll fold them into the bottom of our bike panniers as we roll across the dirt trails and gravel roads of British Columbia, making our way west to the Coast.