The Yellowhead, part III: The North Coast
We set out early from Terrace for the last leg of our coast-to-coast route. What a beautiful day for it, too; clear skies and a tailwind made for superb riding.
The Skeena widened still further. We could see fishing parties along the shore. Smoke rose from little fires where I imagine fresh fish were being roasted.
The Yellowhead snaked along towards the Pacific. On our right, the Trans-Canada rail; on our left, the Skeena.
A bald eagle circled above. I stopped. It circumscribed us slowly with its eyes always trained on the river. These were his fishing grounds before all.
We spotted numerous icefields and glaciers in the North Coast mountains. Although the icefields in Jasper and Banff are famous, the icefields all along the Yellowhead are equally or more beautiful. Their glacial waters pour into the Skeena and, like us, race Westward toward the Pacific.
45 miles into our 90-mile day we encountered a strong headwind coming off the ocean. The wind brought the smell of salt water and seaweed with it, though, and in our excitement, we leaned into the wind and raced on.
Kite-surfers skipped over the river. They were undoubtedly keen on the strong winds.
We closed in on Prince Rupert in the evening. People driving the Yellowhead honked, yelled and cheered. Given our ragged appearance and hefty gear, they must’ve known we were attempting a continental crossing.
And then there it was: The Pacific Ocean. 4,217 miles, and 62 days later, we arrived.
The support and generosity of both our relatives back home and many along the way made our crossing possible. It took hundreds of hours of cycling, sweat, blood, bruises and even a few tears to make our way here.
We’re ecstatic to have completed the East to Northwest chapter of our trip. We now turn south down the coast toward our final destination: San Francisco.
We ate a hearty salmon dinner to celebrate, which was no doubt caught in the Alaskan Gulf upon which we gazed through the window.
We got up before sunrise and boarded the Northern Expedition ferry to Vancouver Island.