Today was our first group travel day. After days of preparing, half a dozen meetings, and fifteen calls to Greyhound (in three different countries), we were finally ready to set out. The departure was highly anticipated and rather emotional, but I’ve narrowed a whole day of awesome into five highlights.
1. Reaching the Alberni Summit
The toughest part of the ride was the very beginning. We actually started halfway up the hill, so there was no opportunity to gain momentum. Fully loaded with gear it was tough. We did it.
2. Cathedral Grove
Tremendous old growth surrounding the Island Highway. I took so many pictures of moss.
3. Goats on the Roof
Well, the whole of Coombs market was pretty cool, but Goats on the Roof is the heart of it. This grocery/deli houses a plethora of local and high-quality foods. The selection is mouthwatering, and the display is eye-popping. I bought a focaccia loaf with rosemary, melted asiago, and whole cloves of garlic (they must have used at least two full heads) to share with the group when we arrived in Nanaimo. In the summer this market has – wait for it – goats on the roof. Dope.
4. Watching Doug repair a tire
We were bike buddies for most of today’s eighty kilometer voyage, so I was only feet behind him when his tire was sliced. We were, of course, on a tiny shoulder of a major highway with a concrete barrier beside us. Once we made it to a safer spot, I got to eat tortillas and watch Doug replace the tube inside his twenty four year-old back tire.
5. Breathtaking views
So tempting to stop and take photographs every five minutes. I had to make some sacrifices to preserve momentum and not irritate my bike buddy, but I still got some good shots.
Tonight we’re sleeping in the backyard of a new acquaintance in Nanaimo. It turns out Steve is also a musician. Here’s his music page