Day 4 – Washed Out
Start: Blue Lake
Finish: Elkford Motor Inn
Today’s miles: 12.4
Total miles: 109.4
Divide crossings: 0
Wildlife: rain, 2.5 divide riders
Today stared off pleasant enough – overcast and chilly. As I took my time breaking camp, it started to sprinkle. I started packing triple speed, threw on the rain jacket and rode off. The sprinkle soon became a steady, hard, and cold rain. With temps in the low 40′s it wasn’t too long before I was feeling a little chilly. I had about one days worth of food left and spent the first several miles contemplating whether to stop in the closer Elkford, about 13 miles from camp), or push on to Sparwood, a bit over 40 miles. I was leaning toward Sparwood, but was gradually getting colder. Then came the flooding. All of a sudden, there was a fairly raging ‘stream’ along side the road. It eventually overtook the road and I had no choice but to trudge through water up to my knees. You can see video here.
The moving water quickly sapped my body heat so when I came across the second, bigger flood, the decision to make the stop in Elkford was pretty much sealed. As I walked into the motel, two other divide riders, the first I’ve met, were on their way out. They had spent the last two nights here and were heading out to brave the rain and book it to another room in Sparwood.
I’m glad I made the decision to stay here and feel lucky that this town was on route and close to where I was. Had it not been here, or had I tried to push on to Sparwood, I think I would have gotten in maybe another hour of riding before I’d have had to set up ‘emergency camp’ and climbed in my sleeping bag for the rest of the day. To the girl with cold feet that I met on the first day, I shared your pain this morning.
The motel room here is nice, and the building also houses a restaurant, liquor store, and a pub. I think I’ve eaten too much at the restaurant to make use of the remaining amenities. There is another divide rider here, but I’ve not yet been able to locate him. All the talk here and on the news seems to be about the rain so I don’t feel too wimpy about hiding out here. It’s supposed to taper off in the morning so I’ll try to get off Sparwood to resupply for the next stretch which will bring me into the US. Unfortunately, I probably can’t make it into Sparwood with enough time to get to the grocery store and out of town to camp. I may just happen to find myself at a bed and breakfast there. Just my luck, eh?!