August 1, 2013. Vancouver, British Columbia

 Lions Gate bridge

Lions Gate bridge

I have been in Canada for 10 years, but I never left the Toronto area. Now it was my time to explore this country. I decided not to visit the mile 0 marker of the Trans-Canada Highway in Victoria, I'm headed straight for the mountains.


 Lower Joffre Lake, BC

Lower Joffre Lake, BC

I camped near the train tracks last night, but didn’t find that out until I heard the loud horn at 2am. A few hours later and I learned that if the grass is nice and green, there are sprinklers...

Today I found out what riding the mountains would be like: a 23km climb at an average 15% grade. Vehicles passing me in both directions have that burning smell, either from the engine or if going downhill—from the brakes. The three hours I spent toiling up to this mountain pass made me wonder if this cycling across Canada business is for me...

But on the other hand, I had made it to the top. Mist engulfed the lower Joffre lake and this was an ideal spot for lunch.


“Here. Take that, you may need it.”

A woman came back from her van with an emergency blanket. That tiny silvery square will later save my life. She was in her fifties and had a van filled with what appeared to be all her belongings. A traveling musician, she spent her time between towns and playing piano at various events.

Did I mention that I am terrified of bears?

I had never seen one in my life and while seeing one during the day would be exciting, at night I knew this would be a different story. All wrapped up and comfy in my sleeping bag, I couldn’t help but feel like a human taco.


 Sea to Sky Highway, north of Lillooet, BC

Sea to Sky Highway, north of Lillooet, BC


 Paul from Alaska

Paul from Alaska

Paul had been cycling from Alaska. He gave me a lot of tips but the one that stood out was, “Don’t forget to enjoy the trip.”

And so I did...

I stopped looking at my speed, my distance, and the time. Instead the time was “now”, I woke up when I felt like it and started looking for a place to sleep when the sun turned red.

At Prince George I met Kevin from Ireland, a musician and an inspiration. He has been on the road for 16 months.


 Yellowhead Highway, BC

Yellowhead Highway, BC


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Photo gallery: Day 1-8