Day 7 – Rest day at River Haven Campground, nr Hedley, BC

Let me set the scene – I’ve ridden 4 miles into Hedley and hitched my trusty steed to the Hitching Post, my saddle bags are off, and I’m slaking my thirst after corralling my herd.. (that’s enough corralling. Ed). This is the ex-gold mining town, where Sarah has just taken my order for a big lamb burger with everything. Not a lot of sheep around here, but that doesn’t bother me, I’m hungry! Bill, whom I mentioned yesterday, keeps goats and makes goats’ milk soap, but he’s probably too attached to them to go into the meat-supply business.

This is a great place, with the huge cliff-face (where the ex-gold mine is) looming overhead. Shirley, who runs the campground I’m staying at (River Haven Campground) with her husband Cameron, told me this morning that there is still gold to be found in the mighty Similkameen river, though she’s had no luck herself. They offer gold-panning at the site, and a little while back someone came back from the river smiling, and it turned out that the “flakes and a couple of nuggets” he’d found were worth $7,500. I’m sure her holiday reservations were up for a while afterwards. There haven’t been any finds since however. I suspect he’d brought the gold with him just to make them feel bad..

  • Today’s Distance (miles): negligible
  • Time in saddle: negligible
  • Max/min temp (°c): 29°/22°
  • Climb/descend (feet) : a bit / about the same
  • Calories used: um..
  • Cafe time: quite a lot

I won’t deny that a day of R&R feels great. This morning I went down to the river (I know, that river is a bit of a feature here). I should continue that sentence, but instead I’ll point you to a totally excellent Hank Williams song that starts with those very words: Long Gone Lonesome Blues. Please do click on this link. Even if you don’t like Country music, Hank Williams is essential listening. He lived a short life, dying of (assorted) substance abuse aged 29, but burned very, very brightly, writing his own songs and working with only the very best musicians of that era.

So I went down to the river and to watch the Bald Eagles riding the warm air, and to stare yet again at the power of the Similkameen.

I can’t bring myself to apologise for posting another film of it – there’s a sweet little beach at the campground, but were you to venture out into the current a little you wouldn’t have much say as to where you’d end up.

Now, although I’m quite busy right now dealing with some important details concerning my trip…

…I’d be neglecting my friends-of-the-blog if I didn’t try again to show you a slightly better picture of the crazy hilltop Mascot Gold Mine (I’m in the timber building building on the right having my early supper/late lunch and writing this):

(Since I don’t have a proper zoom lens, try zooming in on your device to the area just below & left of the highest peak)

I saw Bill in his shop again today to thank him for his help finding my missing campsite, and he said to pass on his sympathies to everyone I might know caught up in, or affected by, the awful events on London Bridge. So many of us travel through that part of London, with musician colleagues working just up the road at Henry Wood Hall. Friend-of-the-blog Ben Dawson’s advice on Facebook is very pertinent – to tune in our awareness to our surroundings a bit more for our own good to try and help prevent a reoccurrence, perhaps taking our gaze away from our phones more often. I grew up in London in the 60s and 70s, during the long IRA bombing campaign, and we became very vigilant about all unattended bags anywhere on the tube or buses. It became second nature for adults and kids alike. Perhaps we face a similar change of behaviour now. 

There’s not much else for me to pass on about this quiet Sunday in BC, except to say that I’ve now left the coastal mountains behind me, and will over the next few days be heading into the long valley of lakes centred on Okanagan Lake, a famous wine region and also a massive peach-growing area, before launching myself up into the Rockies from Wednesday onwards and then meeting up again with Stewart & Gill in Canmore sometime next weekend if all goes to plan. 

Just one What Is It,Seb? today, spotted in gravel beside the road on my way back from town. Sorry, the gravel is perfectly in focus:

There’s no Signs That Are Funny today, just a Photo That Is Funny. John Mills, friend-of-the-blog, mentioned that my tent roof from the inside looks a bit like a shark swimming overhead, and I agree. Whilst Facebooking earlier today I saw that Jacob’s great friend and fellow Whinlatter band member Arthur Sawyer had posted this photo of Jacob, freely adapted from a terrifying bungee jump he did in, I think, Ecuador (or Peru or Columbia – Jacob?). Great picture Arthur. I may not sleep so soundly tonight.

Songs Stuck In Head Whilst Cycling are on a brief holiday. Back soon.

11 thoughts on “Day 7 – Rest day at River Haven Campground, nr Hedley, BC

  1. Had a glitch with my last message, so hope I don’t repeat. What an excellent first week, and well-earned day off. Bravo!
    BTW, Clark’s nutcracker (nice ID by Sam) has a symbiotic relationship with the whitebark pine, whose nuts it stores in up to 30,000 caches (and drops accidentally), which amazingly it remembers. Without this little bird’s help, the tree would not be propagated so successfully. The moral? Never use the epithet ‘bird brain’ unless you mean it as a compliment.

    Columbian ground squirrels are fearless, and will steal your food, so keep an eye on them!

    Give our love to B&D in Kelowna. Will see you in Alberta Friday or Saturday. I have a plan to get you to Moraine Lake, depending on our schedules.

    Cheers, S

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My moment has arrived to get in first before Seb and Sam – I think it’s the fairy trumpet flower, don’t know it’s Latin name.
    And I’m glad to see you’re eating your salads
    So good to FT yesterday and see you for nearly real.You look very happy. The nearest experience for us was our Pedders Way walking trip with Luka the then dog . A hypnotic rhythm set up, simple and purposeful – and we felt we could go on like that forever. But that was only 30 miles……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant name, and gold medal to you for getting in first! There’s lots of this flower, but just at this one spot. Garden overspill maybe? I remember your Pedders Way trip. I don’t think Luka would’ve liked being spell checked as Luke! Cold this morning – I haven’t left the tent yet, but time to get packing. Great to talk yesterday., and your enthusiasm is inspiring! Bxx


  3. Just listened to wonderful Lonesome Blues. Didn’t you boys have an old Hank Williams record?

    Was telling my physio Nicky about your trip, turns out she’s a cyclist and very envious! She says that at her cycle club it’s the over 50s who have the best speed and stamina. So there you go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You could imagine you’re being pursued by sharks on your next climb! Like those running apps that pipe the sounds of chasing zombies into your headphones.

      Liked by 1 person

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