Onward North, To Fairbanks We Go!

We're doing something different this month. We're featuring an incredible young lady who is overcoming insurmountable odds against a sick body:

Meet Misty

Attempting to live, laugh, raise her child and accept the myriad of people that love her.

We are asking you, who are part of our journey, wherever you fit on the religious scale, to offer prayers and energy for her well being.

Send Misty a message of love and encouragement.

In general lines, this will be our schedule for the final leg to Alaska. Read it from the bottom up.

It is very possible that we won't have regular internet service while we travel through Canada in the next month. To stay tuned to where we are you can follow us daily on our tracker.

After our arrival in Whittier on July 8th, we continue the journey via the road again.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Today 16 kilometers, Total 8,979 kilometers
(Today 10 miles, Total 5,612 miles)
Campsite: With
Renaat and Krista, Esquimalt - Victoria, Canada
Weather: Rumble and tumble.
Flat tires: 0, Total 21
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

Canada here we come!

Or are we? It's pouring rain. Not today! We're trying to see the rain and the clouds away. To no avail. We're checking the radar. It looks positive. There might be a gap in the clouds in the late morning. That should still give us plenty of time to catch the 12:45 ferry.

We keep eyeing the rain, the clouds. Is it getting a bit brighter? Yes, we believe it does. We start packing up. This way we'll be ready when the rain stops. And it does stop. And we still have time to make it to the ferry. All aboard!

On our way back to the ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island, Canada!

Although not a bright and shiny day, we're keeping it dry so far. We stop once more at the bicycle store in the hopes of finding a tighter chain to replace the main chain between Amarins and Cheyenne. This doesn't work without having to move all the cranks to tighten the other chains.

Amarins and the girls walk to the donut shop, while Bill works on the bicycle.

Donut time in Port Angeles.

We're right on time for the ferry. Amarins goes in to get the tickets. Bill and the girls stay out side. There is quite a turn out to wave us out.

Thanks for coming out to wish us happy sailing!

Cheyenne and Zane are sharing stories.

With our tickets in hand, we follow the path for foot traffic and bicycle traffic. It leads us to the terminal. A bit confusing, considering the length of our bicycle. It also throws the workers for a loop. The ramp to the deck of the boat takes a sharp, narrow 90 degree curve. We won't be able to carry the bicycle around that corner. Taking it apart is not really an option we want to consider.

Bill goes on a quest to figure out what to do. Perhaps we can ride it in to where the cars go? That seems to be an option, but we have to travel together through the ticket check point.

Waiting to get on board the ferry.

Bill takes the bicycle back outside and lines it up with the cars. Then he comes back inside to go with the rest of us through the ticket check point. Then out again, to take the bicycle to the car deck. It all works out. Now we have to see how it's going to work on the Canadian side, where we have to go through immigration.

It's still a gray day, we can't see much from the ferry. It's rather chilly outdoors, so we keep in the belly of the ferry. The girls have some new magazines to read and look at.

On the ferry. The girls are reading and playing with new friends.

Cheyenne is looking ahead. The island is barely visible.

It's quite a tumbling ride across the strait. The girls enjoy walking around, being bounced left and right by the waves. When we're almost to the harbor in Victoria we all go out to the front deck. This is the deck from which we walk down the ramp to immigration.

Awaiting docking. We're the first ones to get off, so we can deal with the bicycle.

Arrival in Victoria.

Being first in line is a priviledge. We don't have a problem with customs. Bill gets to receive the bicycle. One of the workers brings it off the ship. Amarins and the girls wait outside.

'Take a picture of me mom!' yells Jasmine.

We receive some brochures from the ladies of the visitor bureau. Next we do an interview with CHEK news. While we're getting everything back together we meet Renaat, a Belgian native, owner of WannaWaffle. He offers us some waffles and a place to pitch the tent tonight. Great!

Richard, whom we met on our route around Olympic National Park, in Washington, meets us here with his bicycle. Together we ride our first mile (or actually we should start saying 'kilometer') in Canada. We're going for a late lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory.

We're going to have a late lunch with Richard and his wife in downtown Victoria.

We enjoy the time we have together with Richard and his wife. The girls especially enjoy the icecream they receive afterwards.

Jasmine is eating ice cream with chop sticks!

All gone!

The universe has provided for us again. When we got on the ferry this morning, we didn't know where we were going to stay, or what we were going to have for supper. It is a great feeling to be able to let go and see what happens. We're totally blown away by the warm welcome we've received in just our first hours on Vancouver Island. Thanks everyone!

From downtown we ride across the blue bridge to Esquimalt. Richard leads the way. Very convenient with all the one way streets to consider. Eventhough we have barely covered any ground on the bicycle, it's been a very intense day.

Thanks Richard! It was good to see you again.

Once we are across the bridge, Richard turns back. With his directions we'll find it to Renaat and Krista.

It is more hilly then we anticipated, but eventually we get there. The tent is quickly put up. We enjoy the waffles for a before bedtime snack. We agree these are the best waffles we've ever tasted.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today 14 kilometers, Total 8,993 kilometers
(Today 9 miles, Total 5,621 miles)
Campsite: With Ester and Alberto, Fernwood - Victoria, Canada
Weather: Warmish.
Flat tires: 1, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

It rained all night, but stops just after sunrise. With an armload of towels Bill wipes down the moisture on the tent. Today we're heading back for Victoria. It's a town we want to discover. Before we can go, we have one more thing to do.

Antoher flat tire on the trailer. Cause: a thorn in the tire. Perhaps from the trail yesterday, where they were doing briar trim work.

We almost go exactly the same way back. Across the blue bridge. As we're about to ride across we're startled by a lady telling us she needs to talk to us. We meet in a parking lot across the bridge. It's Esther, she is going to give a speech on traveling to work by bicycle for the Bike to Work week. She would like for us to be there too. To make matters simpler, we can stay at her house tonight. They have a room in the backyard. Perfect!

We're going for breakfast to
Wannawaffle on Johnson street, where we treat ourselves to real Belgian waffles.

First we're going for breakfast to WannaWaffle on Johnson street. We can smell it already. We splurge and let the girls have what their bellies demand. For ourselves we add the fruit compote. Yummy!

From Johnson street we ride through downtown, just looking around. We're taking the scenic route, back to the ferry, around the downtown area. Onto Beacon hill. Here is a petting zoo and a play ground. Lots of fun. It's great not to just sit and enjoy. Our home for the night is only a couple of kilometers away.

The petting zoo.

Robin enjoys petting the goats.

Cheyenne with a little black goat.

On the way to the playground.

Three little monkeys...

Robin enjoys the mallard.

The playground.

Driving a car at the playground.

On top the arch. Jasmine made a new friend: Summer!

After several hours of fun, we load up again. Meandering our way to our host family. A day full of fortunate events.

Home sweet home for the night.

The girls enjoy their new friends Soledad and Paloma.

The girls enjoy 'Honeybee cottage'.

Playing with Paloma and Soledad.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Today 3 kilometers, Total 8996 kilometers
(Today 2 miles, Total 5,624 miles)
Campsite: With Ester and Alberto, Fernwood - Victoria, Canada
Weather: The sun came almost out.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

The girls are up early. Sunrise is at 6.30 or so. It isn't long after that when they are up and dressed, ready to play.

Time for a morning swing.

Because the MEC bicycle festival is today, we're staying here tonight as well. Cheyenne and Jasmine go to church with Alberto, Paloma and Soledad. They like that much better then going back into town to listen to a speech. After all, they know the story already.

Robin goes with us. She isn't all convinced. But a waffle certainly does do the trick. Renaat is at the MEC festival with a waffle cart.

Robin enjoys another Belgian waffle.

We arrive just in time to catch the finish of a speech on adventure racing. That sounds like great fun. What an experience that could be for us. Amarins is inspired.

Esther gives a speach on riding to school on your bicycle for the 'Bike to Work' week.

We're given the chance to share about our journey to Alaska. Somewhat also a 'Bike to Work' journey, since we're planning on writing a book when we arrive there.

Back 'home', the girls show us the puppets they've decorated. Robin wants to have one too (of course). Paloma is kind enough to make her a finger puppet.

Robin watches Paloma make her a finger puppet.

In the afternoon there is one more speech to give. This time Amarins stays home with the girls. Bill and Esther can take care of it.

Bill and Esther go once more to the MEC festival to give a speech.

When Bill gets back it is time for us to go on a date. What a treat!

We arrive at
The Fernwood Inn where Mike has offered us a meal.

We're on a date!

The evening we enjoy in the company of Esther and Alberto. The girls enjoy a tv party, watching the movie 'The Lion, the Which and the Wardroom'.

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Send Misty a message of love and encouragement.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Today 29 kilometers, Total 9,025 kilometers
(Today 18 miles, Total 5,642 miles)
Campsite: With Ken and Susan, Mill Bay, Canada
Weather: The sun came almost out.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

All night rain, dry in the morning. We like this trend. We load up, have breakfast and enjoy the final moments surrounded by this warm family.

After an interview with A-news we're on the road again. We're heading to Brentwood Bay, where we're going to catch the ferry to Mill Bay. Taking this route we avoid the narrow, windy, Malahat.

As we're on our way, we meet a fellow bicyclist. She is heading in the same direction we are. She knows a way to avoid several hills between downtown and Brentwood. For several kilometers we ride in the company of Margaret. Robin keeps her eyes open and checks if we're still on Margaret's trail.

Guide Margaret rides us all the way up Interurban, avoiding several hills by doing so.

We're keeping it nice and dry and enjoy the route we're taking. We're already out of the inner city. With 400,000 residents in greater Victoria you would expect the rush of a big city. But there is no rush at all. We're already in a much more rural area.

On the Interurban rails-to-trails trail.

We almost bypass the turn to the ferry. A tiny little sign points us in the right direction. On our way through the developed area we meet Anne. We double check our route and find out we're almost to the ferry dock.

At the Brentwood ferry dock we wait for a little over an hour before our ferry takes us to Mill Bay. While we wait we're surprised by a fresh tomato lunch by Earl (Anne's husband). Delicious! Thanks Earl and Anne!

At the Brentwood ferry dock. Earl surprises us with a delicious tomato sandwich lunch.

The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes. Bill holds on to the bicycle. The girls peek over to rail. Although not Robin. She's found another way to see the sights.

The girls on the ferry.

Front and center.

Robin isn't tall enough to look over the side of the ferry. She's found a hole to look through though.

Robins view.

We feel like we're really on the island now. As if Victoria didn't quite count yet. We're on Mill Bay road, which takes us the couple of kilometers to Mill Bay. We head for the shopping center. Always a good place to gather information.

Distances are in kilometers.

Riding up the little incline prooves to become troublesome. Our cogs in the rear hub are slipping. Which basically doesn't give us power to get up the hill. We get the girls to a safe spot and park the bike for a moment. Time to think strategy.

At the little espresso stand where we're deliberating, we meet lots of people. Among them Lynne and Angela. They offer us a place to stay in -the town of- Swanigan Lake. It's about 8 kilometers inland. A dark raincloud looms on the western horizon, urging us on.

We're almost ready to go when we receive another option. A place to stay, here in town. Due to the trouble we see with the bicycle we decide on staying in Mill Bay.

Bill is working on the hub, in the hope to be able to make it good to go till we get to Nanaimo.

We get to stay in what used to be the bed-and-breakfast suite. A broad living room, a kitchen, washroom (the Canadian way of saying bathroom) and a bedroom. This is great. We're sharing supper with Ken and Susan, on the upper deck, overlooking the strait.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Today 6 kilometers, Total 9,031 kilometers
(Today 4 miles, Total 5,646 miles)
Campsite: In Quapp's Cottage, Mill Bay, Canada
Weather: Overcast but beautiful for riding.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

With the fixed rear hub, we hope we're going to be able to make it to Nanaimo in a couple of days. A new hub will hopefully be waiting for us there. A simple breakfast and a sweet cup of coffee later we're back on Mill Bay road.

Host Ken with dog Sky are sending us on our way, wishing us safe travels.

The slightest incline makes us spin. It doesn't look good. We go on highway 1, the Trans Canadian Highway. Just for a kilometer or two before we turn off on a less travelled road. We're going to take Telegraph road, which parallels the highway, but avoids the noice. As soon as we're on Telegraph the first major hill of the day is in front of us.

We're actually doing real good. Slowly working our way up the hill. Tenderly riding the bicycle. Just before the top the grade increases. This is to much for the cogs. We push, it slips and we're spinning wind. Everybody off.

One hill to far, to steep. We're slipping and spinning. The hub is not holding up to well.

Bill takes the hub apart once more. Let's see what we can do. Perhaps we can roll the bike back to the highway. But what kind of solution is that?

Bill is taking the hub apart to assess the damage.

The girls enjoy playing in the woods, as we're wrecking our brains on what to do next.

The solution comes in the form of Irmgard. She saw us crawling up the hill earlier and is surprised to find us there still. A couple of kilometers from here she has a little cottage we can stay in, while we wait for repair parts for the hub. Thank you Irmgard!

Bill puts the wheel back on. We have no pedal power what so ever. But we're on top of the hill, so we at least get to coast down. At the next hill we get to push the bike though.

With no gears to use, Bill pushes the bike up the hill.

Jasmine and Cheyenne walk along the road. It's all part of the adventure.

One more coast down the hill and we arrive at the cottage. A beautiful location with a view of the bay. We're so fortunate!

Jasmine is creative with what ever nature provides.

Robin enjoys roling the egg back and forth in the bed of the pick-up truck.

Irmgard arrives pretty soon after us. Bill takes charge of the phone. Let's see if the package has shipped already or if we can have it shipped here. By mistake it has been shipped by snail mail US mail. It's going to take a long time for it to arrive here. We can't upgrade the shipment either.

With the help of Kevin we will find a way to find replacement parts and have them shipped quicker. Lots of calling later we've found the solution. Replacement cogs are available in Kansas City. We have them ship it overnight, which should take two nights actually. Thank goodness!

Amarins goes to town with Irmgard. It's time to do some serious shopping. We're going to stay here for a while! Thanks Irmgard and Ron!

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Today 0 kilometers, Total 9,031 kilometers
(Today 0 miles, Total 5,646 miles)
Campsite: In Quapp's Cottage, Mill Bay, Canada
Weather: Rain and shine taking turns.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

Until the new parts for the bicycle arrive, we're staying in the cottage. Enjoying the view, the beach, and the cozyness of a home.

'Our cottage' on the water.

The view from 'our cottage'.

The girls develop their creative side.

Jasmine is building a cardboard house. Complete with person.

Cheyenne is painting the walls of Jasmine's house.

Gone swimming...

Inching closer to the water. The wind makes it pretty cool.

With the feet in the water is as far as they get.


Discoveries on the beach.

Bill and Robin are looking at shells together.

Cheyenne is trying to push a snail shell off the rock, but it's solidly attached.

Supper with Lynne, Paul and Angela. To increase the appetite, the girls enjoy the playground.

Cheyenne and Jasmine are racing each other down the slide.

Enjoying the company.

Lynne helps Jasmine with the heart shakra bowl. What a sound comes out of it!

Teddy is eyeing Robin carefully as she is folding her blankies.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Today 0 kilometers, Total 9,031 kilometers
(Today 0 miles, Total 5,646 miles)
Campsite: In Quapp's Cottage, Mill Bay, Canada
Weather: Shiny and nice.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

No parts yet. Although it is frustrating, we are blessed to have this beautiful cottage to stay in. Thanks Irmgard and Ron!

We're going down to the beach to see if we can find star fish. The girls have given up the thought of going swimming. Hmm, we wonder why?...

Walking along the beach we arrive on a pier. Let's see if we can find some star fish.

We don't find star fish, but we do find many other things and beings.

Yikes, an inkfish!

Oh hear what do I hear...

Jasmine the crab collector lady.

Jasmine calls herself the 'crab collector lady'. The treasure lays right here.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Today 0 kilometers, Total 9,031 kilometers
(Today 0 miles, Total 5,646 miles)
Campsite: In Quapp's Cottage, Mill Bay, Canada
Weather: Blue sky, light wind.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

Another day on the bay. The part arrived yesterday, but was rejected somehow. Thank goodness it isn't shipped back to the U.S.

The parts finally get delivered mid afternoon. Bill can fix the wheel tonight. It will be a temporary fix until we receive the new hub and can respoke the wheel.

Tomorrow we'll be back on the road again.

Nature's finest.

Nature's work.

Send Misty a message of love and encouragement.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Today 61 kilometers, Total 9,094 kilometers
(Today 38 miles, Total 5,684 miles)
Campsite: With Bruce and Mike, Ladysmith, Canada
Weather: Just right for riding.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

With the new quick-fix in the hub we should be able to make it to Nanaimo. Not in one day of course. It'll take us a bit. We're anxious to get going. We load up, check if we haven't left anything behind, and walk the bike up the steep drive way. We don't want to take any chances.

The Trans Canada Highway goes north on the island, before crossing the strait from Nanaimo to Vancouver where it continues across Canada to the east coast.

Instead of taking the back roads we're going to stay on highway 1. By doing so we hope to avoid steep inclines. This should make the hub last longer. It is a beautiful day to be on the road again. Irmgard finds us along the highway. In good riding conditions this time!

Thanks for letting us stay in your beautiful little cottage Irmgard!

During our time in Mill Bay, we visisted with Lynne and Paul a couple of times near Shawnigan Lake. Today we're going to meet them at the Pioneer House for breakfast. We're ridiing like the wind. It helps that it's in our backs.

Getting a free ride on the highway. A nice downhill ride.

Our journey has given us many new friends. An abundance of experiences. A lot of new insights. An unforgetable adventure. This morning we're sharing life with Lynne, Paul and Angela.

Being silly with Angela.

We're having brunch with Paul, Lynne and Angela.

It's a gorgeous day to be riding. We're not sure where we'll end up tonight. Chemainus perhaps, or maybe even Ladysmith. Daylight hours are very long. Light till almost nine at least. This doesn't mean we want to be riding till then, but it gives us some slack in the afternoon to find a spot to camp.

Distances are in kilometers. Getting really closer to Nanaimo where hopefully our new hub awaits.

We're enjoying the sights tremendously. Eventhough the noise and heavy traffic of the road is truly deafening. The shoulder is very wide. Nice to ride on. It's the wosh-wooshing of all the cars, trucks and rv's that almost drive us bonkers. We're looking forward to the time we can ride the back roads again.

A goldfish picnic on the fluffy grass carpet under a warm sun.

Oh where oh where is mom?

Robin enjoys the flowers. Her hands flutter as if she is directing a play.

We're really close to Ladysmith, where we have a place to stay. We decide to go on and take advantage of this beautiful day. Once we're in the city limits we pull over at a Mcdonalds to see if we can borrow a phone. That works out just fine. Mike is going to meet us here in a little bit. We'll put our trailer in his truck and have an easier few miles.

We're riding all the way to Coffin Point, at the end of Shell Beach road. If we'd had a boat, we could have crossed the bay in Chemainus.

Although late in the afternoon, it's not yet night time by far. Amarins and the girls go to the beach with Bruce and Ziggy, while Bill hauls some wheel barrows of concrete. It's all about making choices...

There is so much to see and do at the beach. There is a rope swing. The water looks tantalizingly good for swimming. There are rocks to climb and star fish to find. We're having a blast!

Cheyenne and Jasmine enjoy the rope swing above the water.

An attempt to swimming...

Going once, going twice...

Bruce points out the starfish to Robin.

We find them mostly in purple. We also spot one orange one.

Cave girls!

The concrete is just right, when we come back from the beach...

Robins hands in the concrete.

Jasmine's hands in the concrete. Dog Ziggy decided to put his paw in it too, covering Jasmine's left hand; thus the reprint.

Cheyenne's hands are barely visible. Her part of the concrete was a little too dry.

We've had another great day. We've come a long way, seen a lot. And the bike did great!

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Today 46 kilometers, Total 9,141 kilometers
(Today 29 miles, Total 5,713 miles)
Campsite: With
Paul and Michelle, Gabriola Island, Canada
Weather: Dry morning with a wet afternoon.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

Such a beautiful place at the beach is hard to leave. Especially with some morning rain. But we feel the urge to go on. It looks like the rain has moved on to dryer pastures. Before we leave we're going to the beach once more. This way Bill can see the starfish too.

Amarins and Robin at the water's edge.

Before loading up we check to see if the concrete has dried. Yes, it's as hard as a rock. The girls names and prints will be remembered a long time!

Checking out the prints with Mike.

On our way off the peninsula we see an eagle in a tree. It's stunning to realize how many eagles we've seen. This one looks especially big. But that's most likely because we're relatively close. When we stop it eyes us suspicouisly. Eventually it graceously flies away.

Taking a break to watch the bold eagle.

So far so good. The rain has moved on. We're riding to Nanaimo under a threatening sky though. We're not staying in town. We're going to the ferry that takes us to Gabriola Island.

On to the ferry terminal.

When we arrive at the ferry terminal, we're riding in a steady drizzle. We've timed our arrival pretty good and don't need to wait long before we can come aboard.

Ready for boarding the ferry to Gabriola Island.

Bill stays with the bicylce on deck. In the now steady rain. Amarins tkaes the girls inside where we can see the scenery from the windows. Too bad it's a rained on view.

Bill on the ferry.

On Gabriola Island the weather isn't much better. All we have to do is to go on. The first part of the road takes us up a steep hill. A very long and steep hill. Of all the hills we've climbed this one certainly deserves to be mentioned. It feels as if there is no end to this one, but of course also here we reach the top. After this it's a gradual rolling and climbing which takes us to the south side of the island.

Dodging the rain.

By the time we reach the south side of the island, the rain has moved on. This time for the rest of the day. With a clearing sky and a weak sun we enter into the final kilometers of the day.

The girls walk the final hill with Paul. Robin is telling who-knows-what stories.

The girls feel right at home. They find two play buddies in Thea and Rosie.

Cheyenne is right at home with the work desk and coloring supplies.

The creation of art.

The table is set!

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Monday+Tuesday, June 7+8, 2010

Today 0 kilometers, Total 9,141 kilometers
(Today 0 miles, Total 5,713 miles)
Campsite: With
Paul and Michelle, Gabriola Island, Canada
Weather: Sunny with drifts of clouds.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

We're staying on Gabriola Island for two days. The replacement hub still has not arrived. Perhaps it'll be there when we leave Gabriola. Perhaps...

Bill takes the opportunity to do some home remodelling. Amarins gets a chance to see the workings of a stone bakery. The girls are having a great time playing and enjoying the sunny days.

Monday --- Children at play!

Enjoying the back yard. Cheyenne on the swing. Robin and Jasmine on the trampoline in the back.

Time for a break.

Time for supper.

The making of bread. At Slow Rise Bakery on Gabriola Island.

It is 4.30 am. The lights in the bakery are on.

Flowering the baskets to put the pre-shaped dough in.

The bread is in the oven.

The bread is ready for market.

Tuesday --- Children at play.

Cheyenne and Robin enjoy a fresh chocolate panini.

Robin is in deep thought. What to draw?

Jasmine found a tiara.

A fresh baked lunch. Yummy!

Being pampered at the hairdresser: At Brent G Hair and Spa

Jasmine is enjoying a massage.

Cheyenne and Robin enjoy the company of Micah.

Bill decides whether or not to go for the mohawk.

Thank you Brent and April!

Amarins: before and after the haircut.

We've taken many more pictures!

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Send Misty a message of love and encouragement.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Today 22 kilometers, Total 9,163 kilometers
(Today 14 miles, Total 5,727 miles)
Campsite: With Ben and Charlene, Nanaimo, Canada
Weather: Rainy morning with an off-and-on nice afternoon.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

Jasmine colored the flowers, clipped them out and glued them to the paper. Her gift to Michelle and Paul.

After a magical stay, we're going to leave Gabriola Island. We're going for Nanaimo today. Just a short distance. No news of the hub yet.

We're out of luck with the weather. It's another drizzly day. On our way back to the ferry we seek shelter at Brent's hairsalon. The rain has decided to stay, so we have to go with what we get.

We arrive at the ferry just as they get ready to load. Bill again stays with the bicycle. Amarins and the girls seek shelter inside.

When we reach Nanaimo the rain has stopped. Only the clouds remain.

Close encounter with the A-channel, as we're ready to dock in Nanaimo.

On the way to the Pirate Chip for a quick snack, we're accompanied by SHAW news, a cable network. Our break works out just fine to do the interview.

Waiting for the train.

There it is!

Another two kilometers, straight up the hill and we arrive at the door of Ben and Charlene. Our first question: Has the hub arrived? No it hasn't. Well, we've got to keep hoping.

The girls take to the toys of baby Noah. They use the porch for painting. Amarins gets a ride into town to the local market. A nice break from the hustle and bustle.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Today 14 kilometers, Total 9,178 kilometers
(Today 9 miles, Total 5,736 miles)
Campsite: With Frederic and Faith, Nanaimo, Canada
Weather: Lazy afternoon ride.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

We're not leaving till late in the afternoon today. We're only going about 10 miles to the northern part of Nanaimo. This makes one of Cheyenne's dreams come true.

Cheyenne first saw an advertisement of Wildplay on the ferry from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria. Children in climbing harnesses, a zipline here and there. Yes, that's exactly what she'd like to do. It is going to work out here in Nanaimo.

Greta, a friend of Charlene and Ben, is willing to take Amarins and Cheyenne to the park. What an adventure we're on.

Cheyenne is excited about her WildPlay adventure.

The guide makes sure Cheyenne's harness is tight and secure.

And off she is! Up the climbing wall, making sure her lifelines are secure.

Roughy 20 feet above the ground, walking on swinging logs. Phew she made it.

Without hands across the cable bridge.

Zipping on the zipline.

Mission complete!

There is still no news about the hub. We have a decision to make. We can't just linger and stay put. It could be another week before it gets here. Ben is willing to bring it to us. He's also the one who knows how to respoke the wheel. This would work out terrific. That's the way we're willing to go.

Jasmine helps in the kitchen. She's grating cheese for the pizza.

It is after three when we're ready to go. It's very strange to be leaving this late in the day. Still we don't feel rushed, we're not going very far.

It is odd to be leaving late in the afternoon. Thanks Ben and Charlene! Nice to meet you Greta (en Tot Ziens!).

In a couple of turns we're riding on the highway. We're taking the shortest route this time. If you can think away the noise of the road it's a beautiful route.

On the shoulder of the 19. Beautiful flowers on the right. Whoosh whoosh on the left.

Robin on the road.

Before we know it we're already to the exit. We're earlier then expected so we take a little detour which takes us right to a little bakery. It looks very inviting. Everybody off!

Enjoying some 'day-olds' at the Uplands bakery.

Bill gives Frederic a call to find the exact address. It's just around the corner. Frederic walks over while we're loading up. He's not walking back though.

Robin is telling Frederic what to do, while Cheyenne and Jasmine are definitely caught in the act of freeloading!

The girls finish the day with a stuffed crust pizza and a Starwars movie. We stay up a little longer in the company of Frederic and Faith.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Today 22 kilometers, Total 9,200 kilometers
(Today 14 miles, Total 5,750 miles)
Campsite: With Gary and Shaula, Rathtrevor, Parksville, Canada
Weather: Is it the sun we're seeing?
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

From Nanaimo there is no other way but to go on the main highway. We're quite amazed with the traffic on the road. Somehow we'd figured traffic would level off once we got north of Nanaimo. But we're sorely mistaken. The narrow shoulder also doesn't add to the fun.

An intense ride on the narrow shoulder along the highway.

What does add to the fun is the bright and warm sun! That just feels wonderful! The temperature is also up a bit. Highly enjoyable.

The girls are anticipating being squirted with water.

The road splits just before Parksville. When it does, we're ready to get off. At the visitor center in Parksville we're taking another sunny break. It feels so good to be able to take pcinics along the road side again. We certainly could get used to this (again).


The Rathtrevor campground is not far from the visitor center. We're going to camp with a home school group from Nanaimo tonight. They've been staying at the camp ground for about a week.

We're camping with the homeschool group from Nanaimo.

It's been a short ride today. We're already at the campground by 1pm. The girls take off to the playground. Lots of kids to play with. Even bicycles to ride; can you imagine.

Cheyenne has found a friend in Marcella.

Jasmine has found a friend to build castles with.

Camp Pedouin.

As we're sitting around, enjoying the warmth and the goings on in the campground, we have a surprise visitor. It's Ben. He's been able to track us down. He brings great news. The hub has arrived! And he's here to fix our wheel! Thank you Ben!

The new hub is here!

Ben is geared up to work.

Putting the wheel back together again.

The new hub is on!

It takes Ben several hours. It's not an easy task. After all we'd like to have a round wheel and not an oval one. It's amazing to see how much work goes into respoking a wheel. Thanks for all the effort Ben. We truly appreciate it!

Taking the bike for a test drive. This time Bill is the stoker! Ben knows how to ride a tandem.

The girls are having a ball playing with their friends, building sand castles, riding the bicycles, playing sword fight and going to the beach. This makes for hungry bellies.

Supper is served!

After supper Cheyenne urges Amarins and Jasmine on to see the sunset at the beach. Stunning beauty.

Sunset celebration.

The kids stay up as late as the adults do. By 9.30 they finally gear down a bit. We clean them up one after the other before we all head for the tent. We know we'll sleep well.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Today 69 kilometers, Total 9,269 kilometers
(Today 43 miles, Total 5,793 miles)
Campsite: With Sharon and Sig, Royston, Canada
Weather: Sun sun and sun with a tailwind.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

The girls don't budge until the sun is already high in the sky. The first three hours of the day have passed with all of us sleeping. It helps that the sun rises at a little past five o'clock.

Breakfast, breaking up camp, it all takes a while. It's after nine when we're geared up to ride. The Nanaimo Rides group rides with us today. Next weekend they are going to ride from Vancouver to Seattle - in two days. They bring a present:

Jasmine places our new flag in the trailer. Our last flag blew off somewhere in Washington.

Thank you homeschoolers for letting us camp with you! We had a great time! We look forward to seeing you again.

Home schoolers group shot!

As we ride to the entrance of the park we await the final member of our team. Cheyenne got a bit carried away riding another bicycle. Eventually she's also aboard and we can head up the road. On our side rides Zachary. Perhaps the new Lance Armstrong. Only four and going strong already!

Zachary is escorting us out of Rathtrevor park.

We can barely believe it. Another sunny day. And a slight tailwind to go with it. Going up the hills the riders have a hayday with us. Going down the hills we're like a bullet once we get going. It's a beautiful ride.

We're reflected in Gary's glasses.

Just before Qualicum Beach a sign catches our eyes. "Pedouin Welcome" it says. We need to investigate this further. The sign points to a gravel road. Amarins decides to walk down the road to see what she can find. She finds a beautiful ocean estate. On the property lives John with his wife. John has biked across Canada and heard about our story. If we want we can stay with them tonight.

We have to decline this beautiful offer. We're so glad to finally be riding again with our new hub. It's just to soon in the day to be stopping already. John brings Amarins back up to the road to meet the rest of the crew.

Bicyclist John with the Nanaimo Rides group.

The riders ride with us until past Qualicum Beach. We have a stunning view of the beach and the strait. Lots of people are outside to enjoy the sunny weather. The girls are ready for ice cream.

Time for icecream.

From here we're on our own again. The road is easy to find. Just keep the 19A. It takes us in and out. A little further or closer to the water. We're thoroughly enjoying it. We're not quite sure where we'll go tonight. Courtenay seems a bit to far, but we're willing to give it a try.

Port Hardy is on the radar!

In Bowser we have another picnic. A wide spot in the road, place for the girls to play. The sun to shiny in our faces. What more do we want.

Cheyenne performs a balancing act.

And on we go again. Bowser, Fanny Bay, Buckley Bay. Let's take another break. The ferry to Denman Island is a nice thing to look at. It is almost ready to load when we get there. Now we can just sit and look at it from the road.

Taking a break at Buckley Bay ferry

It's so nice and warm we can actually take our long sleeve shirts off. Soon our winter skin will find out its tenderness. As we ride further towards Courtenay two riders come alongside. The talk quickly leads to where we're going to stay tonight. It's soon decided it's going to be their back yard. We write down the address and thank the universe once more for providing for our needs.

Sharon and Sig are riding ahead of us. We're continuing in our normal speed. Bit by bit getting closer. Taking little pitstops to enjoy the views.

Enjoying the view of the snow capped mountains.

Robin is the most comfortable of all.

Pretty soon we pull up in their drive way. Where to camp is quickly decided. In the backyard... at the ocean/strait. Wow, now this is a beautiful campspot.

Camp Pedouin in the making.

Enjoying the ocean view.

Camp Pedouin on the ocean.

Thank you Sharon and Sig for your hospitality!

P.s. If you're interested at permanently 'camping' and enjoying this beautiful view, their house is for sale! Check it out!

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Today 53 kilometers, Total 9,322 kilometers
(Today 33 miles, Total 5,826 miles)
Campsite: With Niels and Kelly, Campbell River, Canada
Weather: Ohh, the sun again. Today with a fierce headwind.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

Another place we have to pull ourselves away from. Bill is quickly checking some e-mail, while Amarins breaks up camp. The girls are playing with the available toys. As we're breaking up camp we have visitors. A neighbor stops by. He's been following our journey and found to his surprise we're almost camping in his backyard. He's going for a ride with a friend today and they're deciding to ride with us for a bit.

Today is a different story. The sun is shining, but the wind is fiercly blowing from the north. Exactly where we're going. Dan and Richard are taking us the bicycle paths and the inland roads, but windwise it doesn't help. The wind keeps on blowing. We do get the benefit of a beautiful ride through the country.

Enjoying a donut break with Richard and Dan.

View of Mt Washington.

Fields of flowers.

Warm enough for icecream.

In Merville they turn back. We keep on going up the road. There are still some hills to climb before it levels out a bit after Black Creek. We've done so many hills, one more doesn't bother us. But still it's nice to have some flatness from time to time.

We've done 80 km towards Port Hardy since yesterday!

When we get past Black Creek we come to Oyster Bay. It didn't get its name without a reason. Oysters are aplenty in the bay. We're taking a break at the bay, enjoying the views. The mountains of the Coastal Range are clearly visible in the distance.

Mountains all around.

The wind is bucking us back, but we keep on going. Not as fast as we were yesterday, but steadily for sure. Eventually we reach the city limits of Campbell River. Also here they like their wide city limits. It's another 10 km to downtown. Our destination is just before downtown.

On the way into town we stop at an explorers exhibit. It tells about the tides, the names the mountains were given and lots more. Cheyenne enjoys finding the mountains in the distance and finding their proper name. It's great now it's so clear.

Cheyenne is reading about the early explorers of the area.

We're almost there when we arrive in road construction. We decided not to take the detour, but are not so sure now. Gravel wears our tires out even quicker. But since we're here we just as well finish.

We've ended up in road construction.

Taking this route gives us a pleasant surprise. We come across the sign for the 50th parallel. For comparison: Mount Vernon, Kentucky is on the 37th; Lake Okeechobee on the 27th; and San Diego on the 33rd. Fairbanks, Alaska though is on the 65th. We still have a couple of parallels to cross!

We're at the 50th parallel! Five more degrees north since Salem, Oregon.

One more hill stands between us and our host family. Cheyenne and Jasmine get to walk up. And push the trailer too! It really makes a big difference.

Jasmine and Cheyenne help push us up the hill.

We're pretty whooped when we finally arrive. Here we arrive in the warm welcome of Niels and Kelly. We met them at the Fernwood Inn in Victoria over two weeks ago.

The evening is so pretty, it is great for roasting hotdogs and sausages over the campfire. After that it's time for smores. Yummy.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Today 0 kilometers, Total 9,322 kilometers
(Today 0 miles, Total 5,826 miles)
Campsite: With Niels and Kelly, Campbell River, Canada
Weather: The sun is out. It feels like summer is here! That is until the rain blows in in the late afternoon.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7

We stay today in Campbell River. Gearing up for the stretch of wilderness between here and Port Hardy. Several little towns will be on our way so we can re-supply. On the way there we look forward to seeing Amarins' parents. They are on vacation in Alberta and British Columbia and are going to meet us up island!

The day starts with a beautiful sunny morning.

Enjoying the sunny weather.

Jasmine and Robin are ready to plant some flower seeds. The cups will go in their cupholders on the bicycle.

Jasmine and Robin are waiting patiently till Kelly has the soil ready for their flower cups.

Kelly fills their cups with soil.

With the seeds planted, all they have to do is wait. And hope for sunshine.

Other activities of the day:

Jasmine helps in the garden.

Amarins at work on cropping pictures to upload on the website.

Jarred teaches Cheyenne a video game.

Send Misty a message of love and encouragement.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Today 69 kilometers, Total 9,391 kilometers
(Today 43 miles, Total 5,869 miles)
Campsite: At Sayward Junction, Canada
Weather: Marvelous blue sky.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7
Bear Count: 0, Total 0
Elk Count: 0, Total 0

Well, we're off on the northern half on Vancouver Island. The Wilderness half. Warnings of bears and elk, and a narrow road ahead are ringing in our ears. We'll find out soon.

We're heading into the wilderness. Onto Port Hardy. Under a bright blue sky.

We're aiming high. We want to be in Port Hardy in four days. That is an average of 60 kilometer a day. Quite challenging. But the weather looks good. And... We're going to meet Amarins' parents in the tail end of these days. The further we are, the more time we can spend together.

Still 236 kilometers to Port Hardy. Today's destination is Sayward.

We're so fortunate it is a beautiful day. The sky is blue. The sun warms us. The wind we'll forget about. It's still rather busy on the roads. Quite to our surprise. Somehow we'd figured that traffic would somewhat stop, but for the lumber trucks. Sofar no wilderness yet that way.

After about 20 kilometers it is time for a break. The trail head of the Ripple Rock Trail is the perfect place. A patch of gravel, salmonberries everywhere, panniers with plenty to eat and some snacks. Then it's time to go on the trail.

On the trail.

Robin is deciding on which berries to pick.

Salmonberries in all colors.

Unbeknown to us we picked the bottom of a very long hill to take a break. Back on the road, the real job starts. Kilometer after kilometer, we climb and we climb. We can see the Strait of Georgia over the trees behind us. We're climbing over 800 feet in the next 10 kilometers.

Pedal pedal pedal, one kilometer after another.

Phew. We're almost to the top of this mountain.

Then we find an oasis on the mountain. Sue's luncheon. Is it true? Time to find out. The smells of grilled cheese and hotdogs proove it.

Robin's world is upside down.

Picture by Robin.

This was a great break. It's already in the middle of the afternoon. We're not even halfway to where we want to be. It's still is a beautiful day though! We're getting back on and see where the road will take us.

The mountains on Vancouver Island are tall enough to still have snow on them!

We take a break on every occasion we can. Whether it's at a beautiful lake, or just a wide spot along the road. Somehow we're breaking our way through the next 30 kilometers. We get several nice downhill rides. The sun keeps on shinig bright.

Lake side picnic.

Quite a handful...

The sun is entering the horizon region. Still a couple of hands over it. We're glad to see more housing. A nice farm setting. A junction. A filling station. And a restaurant. Did we really make it to Sayward Junction? Yes we did! Boy are we hungry!

With the sun in our faces we arrive at Sayward junction.

We have supper at the restaurant before heading for the campground where we're allowed to stay. We set up camp in less then 30 minutes. The girls are playing on the empty campground. We have a beautiful spot with a pretty mountain behind us.

Setting up camp.

Playing tag as the sun is setting.

When we settle down for the night we can barely believe we really made it here. What a journey.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today 66 kilometers, Total 9,457 kilometers
(Today 41 miles, Total 5,910 miles)
Campsite: Rogue in Woss, Canada
Weather: Dry with front, side and tailwinds.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7
Bear Count: 0, Total 0
Elk Count: 0, Total 0

Clouds hover over the mountains when we wake up. So much for the sun waking us up with its rays on our tent. We sure slept great though.

Morning over Sayward Junction.

We have breakfast at our site. Then it's loading time. It's a bit cool this morning. Hat's on. Gloves not necessary though. Is it really June?

Still chilly. The hat works great.

We're off to a tough start this morning. Uphill. And a tough one too. A steep grade, causing lots of stops and goes. We're glad it's not as long as the uphill climb yesterday. Traffic comes in little waves, due to roadwork behind us. It's great to hear the silence from time to time. This is what we'd envisioned.

When we finish the climb we have a great downhill ride. We have to keep pedalling though. The wind is trying to push us back up the hill. With 15 kilometers behind us, it's time for a break. There are not a lot of pull offs. No spots to enjoy the scenery. A soft looking grassy spot will have to do.

It's great to have a roadside picnic again.

Although it's a soft spot to sit, it's a windy one too. Eventhough we're warm from riding, the wind has quite the chill factor. Coats on is advised.

We ride just a couple more kilometers when we see the rest area we've been looking for. It excists after all. Located on a little lake, it's quite a pretty spot. We ride a lot, but we also want to enjoy a lot, thus it's time for another break.

Ciao Bella.

Well, that was nice. A real refreshing break. Fun to meet the Italians too. The sun is adding to the fun as well. It's warming up nicely. If we could just whisk the wind away... Always wanting more, better, different. Will it ever stop?

After the rest area we climb some more. We're heading further inland. More south and west. We haven't climbed enough today yet. It rolls a bit for the a while. Crossing Adam river, enjoying the view through the trees.

Getting ready to cross Adam river. Thinking of you Adam!

No salmon in Adam river today!

We're really getting closer and closer to the snow. When we see the 7% grade sign downhill we think we've crested for the day.

Let 'r buck!

Weeha. Here we go. It's a beautiful roll. It's as if we head straight into the snow capped mountains. A gorgeous sight.

Upclose with the snow caps.

Too soon the hill bottoms out. We could go on forever like this. It's always easier to take the easy path. But it's the struggle that makes us stronger.

We're aiming for Woss. It's a little after 1pm. Still an entire afternoon to go.

Thus we struggle on. Up, and up again. If we just reach our hand out a little further, perhaps we can reach the snow. It's so close! We climb and climb in the hopes of reaching the snow line.

Enjoying a break in the gravel.

It's so warm, Robin has found herself a spot in the shade.

We don't make it to the snow line. The road crests before we reach it. How many more feet to climb before we'd reached it? 300? 500 maybe? It would have been fun.

The scenery keeps amazing us.

The clouds are moving out for a while. Enough to make a crisp shadow print on the road. Cheyenne takes the opportunity to make shadow animals.

The sun is bright enough for Cheyenne to make a dog with the shadow of her hand.

It's downhill from here. The elevation drops. Our fatigue rises. Slowly rolling rolling rolling. Another amazing day. We reach Woss. The exit to it really. The Kiwasa Cafe sign draws us in. We pushed ourselves another day. We're tired and cranky and certainly not the nicest customers. Still we get a warm welcome and a delicious warm meal. Thanks for putting up with us!

Now the next step of the day. Finding a place to camp. The school is a good idea. But after several downhill blocks, and no school in sight, we choose to return to a grassy area near a telephone antenna.

Rogue in Woss.

Jasmine and Cheyenne are building a home for a strawberry plant, while Robin is 'meditating'.


Also this works out.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Today 67 kilometers, Total 9,524 kilometers
(Today 42 miles, Total 5,952 miles)
Campsite: Broughton Campground, Port McNeill, Canada
Weather: Overcast but dry once again!
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 1, Total 8
Bear Count: 0, Total 0
Elk Count: 0, Total 0

Phew, we can feel the previous two days in our legs. Two more days like this and we'll be at the ferry terminal in Port Hardy. Again we're fortunate with the weather. It looks like another dry day. We quickly pack up camp. Not wanting to overstay our welcome. Then we head to the filling station for some additional breakfast.

Breakfast on top of a giant burr.

It'll do. We're ready to get on the road. Today we're looking forward to riding along Lake Nimpkish. A prominent lake on the map. But what we're looking forward most is the arrival of Pake en Beppe, Amarins' parents. We're totally out of cell phone reception, but know they made it to Vancouver Island earlier this week. Since there is only one road that takes us up island, there is no chance they'll be missing us!

Say 'Hello Pake en Beppe!' We look forward to meeting you!

We're surprised at the down hill rides we're getting. Did we climb that much yesterday? We sure did! It's a great ride. A bit cool, the wind freshly blowing in our faces.

Day 320 on the road!

We pass the turn off to Zeballos, we should be at the lake soon. We're looking forward to a picnic overlooking the lake. That'll be so pretty.

We ride some more, see the lake appear between the trees. There are no rest areas, wide spots in the road, or anything else overlooking the lake. For that matter, there are no openings in the thick forest to even see the lake. What a shame. It would have been pretty to overlook the lake. We're ready for lunch, we're settling for a spot between the bushes and the tall grass at a turn-off.

Picnic with an evergreen as back rest and wind breaker.

Cheyenne made a nest in the tall grass.

'How would you like me, honey?'...

We're taking our time eating our lunch. Pasta choca sandwiches, cheese, summer sausage and water. When all have had their fill, we're loading up again. As Amarins is securing the girls in their seats, a campervan comes up from behind with blinking lights! What a timing!

The wait for Pake en Beppe is over! They're here!

We relocate to a lot across the street where we have more space to gather. Beppe puts the kettle on for a cup-a-soup. Pake starts the party with sprinkles. Eventhough we just finished lunch, there is always space for muisjes!

With the arrival of Pake and Beppe, so have the muisjes! Time for sprinkles on bread!

Here we sit, in British Columbia. A family from The Netherlands and a family from Kentucky. And yet it is so normal to be together here.

No way, we're going to get the girls back on the bicycle! They're riding in the van! Bill and Amarins are on their own. It's rather strange to ride without the girls on. They are on their way to find a camping spot in Port McNeill.

We keep on riding. Taking a break at a little pond, closed off by a beaver dam. We enjoy a game of throwing rocks in a bath tub. This proves to be very hard. And a lot of fun. With 30 more kilometers to ride we have to let it go after one possible hit.

To our surprise it isn't long when we see the now familiar campervan appear. It is time for an ice cream break! Oh the joy of having a follow car! The camp ground has been arranged. Easy to find as it is the only one in Port Mcneill. The ice cream is delicious. Another welcome break. Wat smullen we weer lekker.

We're breaking away from the mountains, more openness ahead.

The road has taken us back to the edge of the island. We've left the mountains of the interior behind us. We're back in the coastal hills. Town is less then 10 kilometers ahead. It'll be nice to setttle down, set up camp and spend time together.

Bill with one of the many totem poles we see in the area.

Port McNeill is at the foot of the hill, at the edge of the water. The final kilometers roll us quickly into town. The campground is easily found. Just a 300 meter walk up a gravel path will take us there. It's a quaint little campground, with all the facilities we can use. Showers, laundry and a playground for the girls.

We set up camp and show Pake en Beppe how we've been living the past 10 months. The size of our tent is always a surprise. It's very spacious. When we're ready and refreshed, we're going into town for supper. But not before Beppe dips into the bag labeled 'presents'!

Presents! Me first, me first!

New tights! They'll come in handy during this cold summer.

Supper in town is nice and uncomplicated. Back at the tent it's time for a story. We're already halfway into Inkheart. Beppe joins us in the tent. The girls quickly fill her in on all the intricate details of the story. Then it's time for them to sleep and for grown-up time.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Today 40 kilometers, Total 9,564 kilometers
(Today 25 miles, Total 5,977 miles)
Campsite: Ferry campground, Port Hardy, Canada
Weather: Almost warm.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 8
Bear Count: 2, Total 2
Elk Count: 0, Total 0

Up with sprinkles on bread. Hot tea to go with it. We pile around the picnic table. Robin has found a good place under Pake's arm. Peek-a-boo!

What's for breakfast? Muisjes!


We have a short day today, compared to the previious three days. About 40 kilometers will take us to Port Hardy. No need to pack up quickly and rush on out. We still have time for coffee. While the coffee is in the making we take down camp. The heavy things we pile in the campervan.

Camp Pedouin in Port McNeill.

The girls are riding with us again. But not until we've made it back up the hill to the main road. They ride up the hill in the campervan. With this little weight it doesn't take us too long to get there. What a warming up. Pake en Beppe go ahead to check out the ferry.

The final stretch until we start taking the ferries into the Inside Passage to Juneau, Alaska!

Can you believe it? The last day on Vancouver Island. Tonight we will be in Port Hardy. If there is space available, we will take the ferry tomorrow to Prince Rupert, on the mainland of British Columbia. That will be an adventure all by itself.

A great day for a ride. The flowers are blooming; daisies, broom, lupine. A beautiful sight. When we take a roadside break, we certainly need a picture of the tall lupines. They're even taller then Jasmine.

Flowergirl Jasmine.

Up and down between the trees. Gentle hills abound. There is not a lot of traffic. We dwell in the moments of silence. The birds are singing their songs. Talking to each other. Once again we hear the shrill whistle of a bird. A sound we heard before, when we biked through Prairie Creek in California. Off in the distance comes the response. What kind of bird it is we don't know.

Which bears?

Another sign warning for bears. So far we have not seen any evidence of their excistence. Why would they wander around the roads if there are so many acres of forest and mountains to explore? Berries are plentiful on the roadside. That could be an appealing treat perhaps.

As soon as we discard the thought of seeing bears, we see something dark moving on the shoulder of the road. We're still 100 yards away or so, but it is clearly a bear. The wind is in our face, so he (or she) hasn't smelled us yet. We're not travelling very fast, it's just a hair uphill. We decide to pedal by and see if we can sneak a picture. The bear is on the opposite shoulder. He doesn't budge when cars pass by. As soon as he gets wind of us he dissappears into the woods. But not after standing on his hind legs. We've never seen a sight like this in our lives. Pure natural beauty.

We roll down the hill when we see a car parked oddly on the side of the road. We expect car trouble, but it isn't. Another bear! On our side of the road this time. Sniffing his way around the berry bushes. Another sight to absorb as we roll down the hill and past the bear. Okay, we believe it now, there are bears here!

These bears!

We keep our eyes out for more bears, and for Pake en Beppe. It'd be great if they could see the bear too. We don't see another bear, but we do see the camervan approaching. A turn around spot in the road is quickly found this time. We pull over and wait for them to join us. The spot proves just perfect for lunch. Hot corn dogs and egg rolls, happily delivered along the road. What a luxury.

Road service! A warm snack. Yummy.

Adventurous pake.

The ferry is a go! There is space for all of us to travel to Prince Rupert tomorrow! Yes, this is working out great. With this knowledge and and this great lunch break, we're getting ready for the last 15 kilometers. Perhaps Beppe would like to ride for a little while?

Beppe aboard!

Amarins hops in the van. We're going to check out the ferry terminal area and the campground. Let's see what we can find out. By car it's a really short distance. The terminal is actually not in Port Hardy. There is a bay that separates the two. The campground is on the road to the terminal, only three kilometers away. We have to gather at the ferry at 5.30am tomorrow morning. It'll be daylight by then, so that is no problem for us to ride there. The girls will go in the campervan, perhaps continuing their sleep until we board.

We arrive at Port Hardy. The end of the line on Vancouver Island.

Let's see where the bikers are. There were not a lot of hills, so they shouldn't be so far away. We turn out of the campground, when we can see them already in the distance, not a kilometer away. Wow, they've been cooking. Keep it up, your'e almost there!

The last meters to the campground.

We found a spot that is big enough for the tent and the campervan. The sun shines through the trees, providing us a nice spot to hang out. We're thinking about going into Port Hardy, but we're quite content where we are and never really get around to doing so.

The girls have found sticks and flowers and moss and branches to play with. Natural art is in the making. Cheyenne helps Beppe fix supper. Robin is eager to set the table.

Jasmine is spelling with sticks.

Robin helps set the table.

Cheyenne is having a private supper with beppe.

Tomorrow we're going on the ferry through the Inside Passage. It's time to go to sleep girls. Daylight comes early tomorrow.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Today 5 kilometers, Total 9,569 kilometers
(Today 3 miles, Total 5,980 miles)
Campsite: Prince Rupert campground, Prince Rupert, Canada
Weather: Hazy morning into a bright and sunny afternoon.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 8
Bear Count: 0, Total 2
Elk Count: 0, Total 0

The alarm goes at 5am. Time to get up. One after the other we arouse the girls. Bill carries them into the back of the campervan. We put our gear in the van, take down the tent, and put that one in the van as well. By 5.30 we're ready to roll. It's overcast but dry. It is plenty light to ride the bicycle.

There she is! Our transportation through the inside passage.

It takes a while before everyone is checked in. Bill waits with the bicycle at the check in. Since we all go together he has to wait until we pass through the line too. It seems to take an eternity, but eventually we're all ready to roll. With everyone in their designated lines, the boarding goes pretty fast. By 6.30am we're ready to sail.

And we're off! Good bye Vancouver Island! Thanks for the unique experience.

The ship is really big. Several decks high, with lounges and cabins and sundecks abound. It takes us quite a while to get the hang of it. First we find the play area. This will be our headquarters for now. One flight up is the cafetaria, our second command post. We alternate being with the girls, so all of the grown ups have a chance to roam and relax.

The Pedouin headquarter: at the play area aboard the Northern Expedition.

The sky is clearing up. The sun is working it's way through the hazy cloud cover. Very inviting to go outside. We're not the only ones. And with this many eyes, there are bound to be some whale sightings!

Orca sightings!

Two of them.

This is the way to travel the inside passage. It's getting clearer and clearer, the sun increasing in strength. We're trying to be outside as much as we can. The girls though, are totally happy with being inside at the play area. Only for whale sightings they can be aroused out of the play zone.

The scenery is picturesque. We snap away. Waterfalls, snowcapped mountains, abandoned villages. Very pretty.

Taking a picture of the picture taker!


and views.

Sailing past an abandoned village.

We get together at the cafetaria. Beppe has more surprises...

More presents! What can it be?

Frysian flag socks!

The girls are taking a break from playing. Cheyenne has an animal sudoku game to play. Jasmine a sticker and color book.

Here we are sailing the inside passage. What an incredible gift we're getting from the weather. This is the way to experience this journey. We're treated even more. There are several whale sightings. Once we see a humpback whale. We catch it at the front of the ship. As we sail by it breaches several times. Is this for real? Isn't this what you see in movies?

Wat fijn dat jullie hier bij ons waren om dit met ons mee te maken. Het was een hele speciale dag die we niet snel zullen vergeten.

With so many things to see and do, the journey on the ship doesn't seem very long. The total daylight is very long. By 9pm it's still light outside. We're gaining daylight quickly. Monday it will be the Summer Solstice. It's the tipping point to where the days are getting shorter again. It's the sign that winter is ahead of us.

Evening falls. It's 9.30pm. The moon is already high in the sky.

The sun is setting slowly.

It is time to say goodbye to new friends. We've met people from Europe to Oceania to North America. Traveling is an eye opening experience.

Goodnight everyone!

The boat is going to dock in Prince Rupert in an hour. Eventhough it is late in the evening, Cheyenne and Jasmine are still playing hard. Robin is taking a nap on the ground in the cafetaria. When we arrive, the girls and Amarins will travel to the campground in the campervan with Pake en Beppe. It's less then a mile from the ferry terminal. Bill will ride the bicycle over. It is actually getting a little dark now.

Waiting to unload.

The boat opens up.

The campground is a hustle and bustle of busyness. It is as if everyone rolls off the ferry and into the campground. Everyone finds a spot, then the hustle and bustle quickly deminishes as everyone settles down.

We did the Inside Passage. What an experience.

Click here for more pictures of today.

Sunday+Monday, June 20+21, 2010

Today 0 kilometers, Total 9,569 kilometers
(Today 0 miles, Total 5,980 miles)
Campsite: Prince Rupert campground, Prince Rupert, Canada
Weather: Doubtful mornings with sunny afternoons.
Flat tires: 0, Total 22
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 8
Bear Count: 0, Total 2
Elk Count: 0, Total 0


Instead of traveling around the area, we're staying these days at the campground in Prince Rupert. Spending quality time together. The weather is great for playing outdoors, eating at the picnic table and enjoying ourselves. Cheyenne makes a friend in Lexi, who happens to take the same ferry as we're planning on taking on Wednesday. That'll be great!

Sunshine over camp Pedouin.

Time for breakfast!

A family breakfast.

Beppe has been working hard on knitting a scarf for Robin. It has peaked Jasmine's interest in learning it too. We find a couple of unused stakes and Beppe gets her started.

Beppe teaches Jasmine how to knit. Beppe is working on a scarf for Robin.

The new scarf for Robin.

What is more fun then playing on the playground?

Cheyenne with friend Lexy at the playground.

Yeehaa down the slide.

Robin and Bill are taking a nap in the afternoon. Amarins, Cheyenne and Jasmine are going into town with Pake en Beppe. We take the campervan, so we can pick up some groceries too. Tonight we're going to eat at the campground. A nice warm home cooked meal.

Monday - Happy Summer Solstice

Another leisure morning on the campground. The biggest plan for today is to buy tickets for the ferry to Alaska tomorrow!

We have our tickets to sail to Alaska on Wednesday June 22nd!

The girls enjoy working with sticks. A ... they have enjoyed all the way across the country.

Robin is playing with sticks. Jasmine build a house of sticks and towels.

We now know how close we are to the town of Prince Rupert. It is easy to walk. Cheyenne prefers to stay on the campground to play with her friend Lexy. Robin would rather go to town, but we prefer for her to take a nap. Thus Bill stays home with her as Jasmine and Amarins go to town with Pake en Beppe. What a special treat for Jasmine.

Jasmine is going into town with Pake en Beppe.

Pake has been to town earlier today and discovered that today is National Aboriginal Day. A day to celebrate the aboriginal people of the area. There is a jumping pillow set up for the kids to play on. That's worth checking out.

Walking the train tracks to the water where National Aboriginal Day is celebrated.

Jasmine enjoys the slide.

At a bean bag tossing game Jasmine earns two little windmills. One for her and one for Robin.

After the festival we continue the loop through town before heading back to the campground.

A canoe, like used by the natives.

Also this night we eat our meal at the campground. We are enjoying these home cooked meals tremendously. When the kids are in bed we play cards in the campervan. It does get a little chilly outside and the mosquitoes are obnoxious.

The Journey Continues.

From Prince Rupert we're catching the ferry to Juneau. We stay in Juneau till July 6th. That's when we're catching the ferry to Whittier, near Anchorage. From Anchorage we are going to ride the homestretch to Fairbanks, in the interior of Alaska.

Throughout this month you have been sending messages of encouragement to Misty. We are glad to say that this has lifted her spirits tremendously and has helped her over the dip she has been in. She still has a long journey ahead of her, but she'll be able to cope with it better. Knowing that there is a world of love out there. Misty has asked us to let you know that her life has been touched by you. Thank you very much!

You can keep sending Misty messages of love and encouragement. Just click here.

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