In and around Richmond: 44km.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014.
Today was our last full day on our trip across the Rockies. I have now realized that the Rocky Mountains are but one of the mountain ranges between Calgary and Vancouver. In fact, a more suitable title for this trip might have been “From Calgary to Vancouver in 28 Days.”
Initially we had planned to bicycle exclusively on this trip, however the reality of mountain ranges, stamina and accommodations -or lack thereof – forced us to improvise along the way. We have done some amazing cycling including completing the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. We also got to meet some long lost Baird descendants and some Nye ones too. If we could do this trip over we would, and we would probably do a few things differently such as, have more than 28 days and also to have a driver and vehicle for logistical support. Those are some things we will consider for future trips.
…Back to Richmond.
In the back of our rental van are our bikes, boxes and gear. We drove to the airport this morning, dropped off our empty boxes for our trip back home to Ontario tomorrow. Then we turned in the keys for the van and pedalled the 4km to our new hotel for or final night of the trip.
It was way too early to check in so we dropped off some of our luggage and hopped back on the bikes. The streets were busy in Richmond, but soon we were on the Middle Arm Trail with a nice view of the water.
We ate our breakfast on a bench in the shade watching planes take off from the airport. After we ate we followed the trail to the Richmond Oval, one of the 2010 Olympic venues. We couldn’t see any ice inside but it is a striking looking building.
The trail is dusty gravel surprisingly and it is also well used. We passed a lot of people on the trail on our way to Steveston for a Tuesday afternoon. Once we got to Steveston there were people everywhere. We passed the famous fish and chips place, the fisherman’s wharf and the Britannia Heritage Shipyard.
It was so congested around Steveston that we opted to ride on the road for a bit. We picked up the trail again by South Dyke Park.
We went as far as Gilbert Beach before we turned around, but not before we took some tourist shots with Lambie our little mascot.
(We found Lambie on the side of highway 3 just west of Eholt summit. A few days prior to that we passed a huge mounted collection of stuffed animals. When I spotted Lambie, I figured that that is where Lambie needed to go. However, we missed the ‘plush wall’ by accident navigating our way heading westward out of Beaverdell and Lambie has traveled with the us ever since.)
Our ride back to Richmond seemed much quicker even though we took the same route. When we arrived back at our hotel it was time to check in and we were hungry. We walked to the Costco to take a look, but it was just as we’d expected. Across the street from our hotel was a grocery store we’d never heard of with a large selection of Asian products. We bought the remaining ingredients for our salad as well as some hot Chinese food and then scooted back across the street and up into our room.
After dinner although we wanted to fall fast asleep, we didn’t. Since our bike boxes are already at the airport we don’t have to disassemble our bikes tonight. We can relax, reminisce and write our journals. In the morning we will pack our bags, load up the bikes and pedal to the airport. When we get there we can box the bikes and then sit around and wait like you do at airports.