Posted by: Silver | June 25, 2011

Falher to Valleyview to Fox Creek to Whitecourt

Distance: 83 km + 92 km + 87 km
Ascent: 343 m + 537 m + 596 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 17 minutes + 5 hours, 27 minutes + 5 hours, 27 minutes

My next three destinations all looked curiously familiar: much as I try not to double back on myself, unfortunately there really weren’t many other options for coming back down from the Peace Country again. I was worried about the fact that this would mean imposing on people for accommodation for a second time, but I was extremely touched to discover that all the people who had taken care of me on my way up were actually completely delighted to have me back again and saw it as a bonus rather than an imposition! Once again, I was deeply humbled by my hosts’ kindness.

I had originally hoped to start covering new ground again after Fox Creek, but a chance conversation with the bus driver on my way back from Hay River alerted me to the fact that, just because Google maps paints a road yellow, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s paved… It was not ideal to discover that the only information I have to indicate road surfaces was even less reliable than I thought, nor was it straightforward to adjust my schedule to the fact that the only paved route to my next destination would take two days to cycle rather than one, but I was at least very grateful that I found out about the gravel before I ended up actually on it…

Since I’m trying to claim that my tardiness in blog-writing is a consequence of non-stop gruelling cycling though, I shan’t tell you all about the flight I took in my Valleyview host’s amphibious Cessna (my first ever landing on water!), nor the time I spent single-handedly doubling the average age of people careering down the water slides in Whitecourt’s Rotary Park – after all, I’m not here to enjoy myself, you know… 😉

The fields are still full of dandelions, but they're not yellow anymore...

My Valleyview host enjoys feeding the squirrels; I enjoyed how easy that made it to take photos of them!

Hangin' out on Sturgeon Lake, preparing to take off again

Do you remember me saying that this section of highway 43 is known as Moose Row...?

The fountain in Rotary Park, Whitecourt. Yes, there are also many photos of me in a swimsuit on the water slides; no, I'm not going to show you them... 😉

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