Cheech and Chong

When most people think of Cheech and Chong, they think of being “Up In Smoke.” Ironically, this year is the 40th anniversary for that movie. After three days of riding in the smoke I was coughing and a nasal headache was becoming more intense so I decided to pick up a rental car in the next town I could – Campbell River. I had to take my bike apart to fit everything in the car, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.

From the campground I was staying at, I had to pedal about 50 miles to get to the car. I must be getting used to the climbs because they no longer pose a threat. They are just part of the journey, the price that must be paid to reach the top, to coast down the other side. Right as I reached the highest point for yesterday morning’s ride, I looked to my right and saw something very strange… a young eagle that wasn’t going anywhere ever again. He was a crispy critter. Apparently he was in the wrong place at the right time and was zapped by a lightening bolt. I’m assuming this because he was stiff as a board in a moving position. What are the odds of finding an eagle that was zapped by Mother Nature? Probably slimmer than me or another cyclist getting zapped!

Other than being able to breathe clean air, the ride south was very disappointing. The smoke grew thicker as I drove. I arrived in Victoria this morning to find it less smoky than any of the towns I drove through. I sure was glad I didn’t try to pedal my way down.

Victoria seems like a nice, scenic, touristy town so I’m going to rest here at the Victoria hostel before hopping on the ferry Friday morning. That ferry will take me across the Canadian/USA international border and leave me in Washington state. I’m counting on the ocean breezes keeping the fire smoke away from Highway 101 and 1. If the smoke persists, I’m considering catching a flight back to Southern California and then doing the Baja leg of the trip after swapping bear spray for snorkeling gear. We’ll see what happens. It’s all part of the adventure!

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