Helen’s Take On…Vancouver to Vegas

Trip Update

5,000km and 3 months since Vancouver and I’m in Vegas.

In neighbouring countries, these cities are worlds apart.

Vancouver is a modern, cosmopolitan city with high-rise offices, chic cafes and a buzzing life on the streets. It has green parks and a laid-back atmosphere.

Vegas stands alone in the desert. High hotels, casinos and bars concentrated on The Strip with their flashing neon signs and 24 hour doors. Beyond that is a sprawl that festers, feeding off this fabrication.

But the best bits of the trip, are the bits in between… In between is rural British Columbia and small town America. In between are thick forest, towering mountains and open plains, winding rivers and barren deserts. A bit of everything and all a whole lot better than either city.

It’s been Indian summer heat in the  Chilcotin, where water runs cold and bears roam free. It’s been wet, waterlogged and muddy in Montana. It’s been endless hills and long valleys in Idaho. And high desert in Nevada where the coyote calls through the night. It’s been snowstorms and freezing nights on Utah’s winding roads through red rock canyons.

Now it’s into southern California and the road to Mexico.

And I can’t wait…

As usual, if you want to read more about thecycle trip, see my website Helen’s Take On…

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Come to Canada and it won’t be long before someone mentions bears. Especially if you plan on cycling while in the country.

Be aware of the bears. Have you got bear spray? and bear bells? You’re not going to be camping in the wild are you?

Er… well, yes.

I do have bear spray. I’ve even removed the cellphone wrapping. But bear bells, no. They would drive me insane long before I actually come across a bear.

I’ve just spent the last 6 days cycling north through Vancouver Island, from Victoria towards Port Hardy. I’ve not seen one yet. Lars, my cycling partner did though. They are here for sure.

So I have my bear spray strapped to the top of my front pannier for easy access on the road. And when we stop to put up camp, I have the bear spray tucked in my shorts pocket. Feeling more like John Wayne with a gun in a holster than a cyclist! But like any good scout it’s all about being prepared.

Right now though, I’ve got a bigger fight on my hands with the mosquitoes!

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