WEEK#19 HOW ARE WE DOING? Hello, Fort St. John.

Yes! When we left Fort Nelson we had a good weather forecast ahead of us; 4 days of sunshine and about 10ºC during the day. At night it’s still freezing with temperatures dropping to -8ºC. So when you’re in your sleeping bag you’re really happy you brought some extra thermo underwear…
We have to start by saying thanks to everyone who helped us in Fort Nelson. The two kind ladies at the Visitors Center: thank you for letting us use the Wi-Fi and for serving us all the coffee. We’re sorry we made a mess on the floor with our muddy shoes…
Thanks to Mike at the ice-skating rink; for safely storing my bicycle while I was waiting for it to get fixed (yes, I had some bad luck).
And a very special thanks goes out to Louis, the owner of CMP Sports in Fort Nelson. Without your help I wouldn’t have been able to keep cycling. Thanks for the late night help, and especially for the generous donation you made to 99%RIDE. Thank your team as well; their, and your kindness overwhelmed us. Please keep following us to see what happens with your donation.

So there was a bit of technical problem with my bicycle. The front sprocket was bent and couldn’t keep the chain running properly, it kept falling off. I didn’t have all the tools to fix this and went to look for someone who could help me out. At the Visitors Center they sent me to CMP Sports, a store specialised in cycling, fishing, hunting and ice hockey (of course, we’re in Canada, eh!). Curing the day they couldn’t help me out, but asked me to come back at 08.00 p.m. that evening (after store hours). Louis was there and he managed to fix the bike up. Within 15 minutes I was cycling again and ready to leave the next morning.
When I told Louis about our foundation he immediately pulled out a chequebook and made his donation. I didn’t even have to pay anything for the repairs…
This is something that left me thinking for a while. Why so kind? Why so generous? We are complete strangers yet these people go a long way to help us out. It must be something about Fort Nelson. I won’t be forgetting Fort Nelson for a long time…

Time to move on. On to Fort St. John. Something special was waiting for us. Wouter had set up a nice Couchsurfing address for us to stay. The hosts had sent an e-mail asking how much Turkey they should buy for Thanksgiving. Yes, we were invited for Thanksgiving Dinner. Again, people that haven’t met us invite us to join them at the family dinner table for an evening of laughter and good food. Canada, you keep surprising us!
Thanksgiving Dinner is about 380km from Fort Nelson. A distance I had to cycle in 4 days. After that time for a rest, I had only taken 1 day off after cycling from Whitehorse to Fort Nelson in 11 consecutive days. This will eventually break you down. So, first time for a good meal and then 2 days of rest. Well deserved if I might add…IMG_5478The road to Fort St. John is, compared to the days before, relatively flat (not Dutch flat, that doesn’t exist here). The Northern Rockies were now behind us and we were going over endless plains and smooth hills. And we had sunshine. That, I can tell you, is a big difference. Sunglasses, only two layers of clothing, maybe shorts (?) and a soft breeze in your back. Life really doesn’t get better than this.
After cycling for three days I made it to Fort St. John. Wouter was a day ahead of me to get some media attention and to set up some interviews.
Our Couchsurfing host, Birgitta, had invited us to her family home to have Thanksgiving dinner. And what a dinner it was… Wow! Everything was there: kind people, laughter (lots of it), great food & wine. The turkey had been perfectly prepared by Ambie, our hosts’ sister-in-law. The stuffing was just phenomenal. Have I mentioned the salads? The three pies (cherry, pumpkin and apple) or the cranberry sauce?IMG_5500
We thank the whole family for all of their kindness and for the generous donation, which was made when we parted. It’s been a while since we’ve really felt ‘at home’ and it’s given us an energetic and positive vibe. An evening we won’t forget any time soon…
The next day we woke up with full bellies. All of us fairly tired from all the delicious food. Shower, breakfast and back to 99%RIDE matters. An interview was planned with a local newspaper and we needed some extra supplies. Also, the bicycle needed some small yet necessary maintenance. Oh yes, we have another Thanksgiving dinner next door to Birgitta. Something Wouter had arranged, but more on that later… First let’s see how the neighbours cooking is!

Our next update will be a bit sooner than the previous ones. We’re making good progress and we’ll be visiting more and more towns and cities along the way. We hope to be arriving in Vancouver in about two weeks.
As many of you have heard or read, the 99%RUN has been postponed due to (very) bad weather conditions and has now moved to October 27th at 01:00 p.m., location remains the same. Let start running for charity!!!

From Fort St. John, with full tummies,

Dirk & Wouter



Share this!

4 Thoughts on “WEEK#19 HOW ARE WE DOING? Hello, Fort St. John.

  1. Great to such lovely and warm hospitality all around the world. Good luck (also with the 2nd turkey tonight) and until next time! Safe & happy travels boys! Warm brotherly regards from the French Beaujolais :) Daan

  2. Robien on October 15, 2013 at 9:15 PM said:

    Het is voor die families ook zooooooooo gezellig als jij komt eten Dirk!! xxxxxxxxx

    • haha, dank je, Robien. We hebben echt twee heerlijke gezellige familie avonden gehad, dat mis je wel als je elke dag ergens anders bent en in een tentje ergens slaapt… Voelde echt goed om bij deze gezinnen aan tafel te zitten!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation