Wednesday, 9 September 2009

On getting wet

Well, I am in the public library in Agassiz, BC. I have stopped here for lunch and a bit of relief from the weather. It has been raining off and on at various intensities all day, but it looks like it will be clearing in the afternoon. The next three or four days should be very nice, so it is a small price to pay.

Louise saw me off from Margo and Chris'. From there, I made my way via bike routes across Vancouver, getting slightly lost in New Westminster. Leonardo wasn't working quite as well as I felt he should, so I brought him in to Cap's Bicycle shop where I bought him in Sapperton. The front brakes were diagnosed as being out of alignment, so I left him in their care while I went to find some lunch at Greens and Beans which one of the people at Cap's had recommended. Less than an hour later, Leonardo was much improved and I headed off to Surrey and beyond with Sarah McLachlan's Building a mystery in my head.

This included Fort Langley where Louise had recommended a gelato place. It had very good gelato indeed. I was tempted to skip the National Historic Site, until I realised that my legs were protesting a mite. I wisely decided to give the place a whirl and spent a surprisingly interesting couple of hours at what was labeled the birthplace of British Columbia.

I had sort of planned to cross the Fraser on the Albion Ferry from Fort Langley, but alas, it no longer runs as they just opened a new bridge several kilometers to the West. My revised plan was to cross at Mission. After zooming along the edge of the Fraser, I turned inland along some some surprisingly badly laid out farm roads which included an incredibly and surprisingly long and steep hill.

Crossing the bridge to Mission was no fun at all as I was in with a substantial amount of automotive traffic that seemed much less polite than BC traffic usually is. As I was coming into Mission proper, I suddenly became aware than my chest was hurting: it felt as if my ribs were caved in. I was worried that I might be seriously ill or something, so I stopped at a gas station to catch my breath and to find out where my motel was. After five minutes and a bottle of orange juice, the pain went away. I think the issue was that I was scared without having realised it.

This morning I set off with Stan Roger's McDonnell on the heights running in my head, likely due to my reading Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Waterloo the night before. I stopped mid-morning at a gas station for some hot chocolate. As I sipped it, a suspiciously well-dressed man got out of a car wielding a brace of magazines and asked me if I wanted something to read. I turned down the offer of Watchtower and Awake. As I rode along a few minutes later, I pondered why Jehovah's Witnesses offend me so. I first thought by devoting so much attention to the text of the Bible they were ignoring or even denying Christ's fundamental message. Then I realised by their assertion of the literal truth of the Bible, they were denying the Bible it's historical and social context. Thus, they deny the very things they claim to believe in! At that point, Stan Roger's Pharisee began to seep into my brain.

I was spared further contemplation of this silliness by the sight of a bald eagle, followed closely by an osprey and a raven.
The views are "typically" super, natural British Columbia. I wish I knew the names of some of the mountains I am seeing, especially that of the big, snow-capped one near Abbotsford. Time to get back on the bike.

I have been told that the big, snow-capped mountain is in fact Mount Baker in Washington State, which is quite far from Abbotsford.


Margo and Chris said...

The bridge at Mission is indeed very scary. It struck terror into our hearts as well, when crossed it on the way home from Castlegar.


Margo and Chris said...

By the "big snow-capped one" do you mean Mt. Baker, in Washington just south of Abbotsford?


Bikemoose said...

It might have been Mt. Baker. It certainly was roughly South of Abbotsford. The point was that as someone relatively non-familiar with B.C. I didn't know. It was large, snow-capped and obvious, near Abbotsford.