(If you are new to my blog or you haven’t read The Little Brudders of Miséricorde — Thierry, who appears below, is a bilingual Québécois mouse. He is a central character in the novel.)
“You lost your mojo or what?”
“No Thierry. I think my mojo is just fine.”
“So ‘ow come you is cheatin’?”
“It’s not cheating. It’s my ride. I make the decisions. You’re not the one doing the pedalling, pal.”
Last Friday, my brother Ken and his partner, Linda, picked us up in Kamloops and drove us up to his place in 150 Mile House for a visit.
“You sure ‘e is your little brudder. ‘Cause ‘e is a bit bigger around de middle den you is.”
“I said my younger brother. I didn’t say anything about his size.”
On Monday, after a visit that included a jaunt on their all-terrain vehicle and an afternoon of boating on Horsefly Lake, Ken and Linda dropped us off at Cache Creek. From there, my old friend Mavourneen met us, loaded my bike and gear into her truck, and drove us farther south to Spences Bridge.
“You says you is a cyclist but you is gettin’ a lot of rides lately.”
“Well, Thierry, I haven’t seen my brother or my friends, Mavourneen and Jim, in more than four years. If we are going to manage a visit, we need to accept a lift.”
I had originally planned to ride from Spences Bridge down Highway 8 to Merritt and then take Highway 97C to Kelowna. Maybe swing by Penticton. Eventually take Highway 3 to Hope. But Highway 8 is still impassable because of flooding and, anyway, it would involve backtracking and would add several hundred kilometres to our trip.
Instead, I’ve accepted an offer from Mavourneen and Jim to transport us as far as Boston Bar on the Trans Canada through a portion of the Fraser Canyon.
“We is goin’ to miss de scenery!”
“Thierry, we are going to miss all the debris near Lytton from those landslides and we’ll get past the single lane bridge across where the the road was washed out at the foot of Jackass Mountain. We can still visit Hell’s Gate. And we have seven tunnels we have to to get through. Plenty of good scenery and challenges before we get to Hope.”
Last November, catastrophic rainfall from an atmospheric river created havoc in much of BC - destroying homes and farms and highways. August in BC is tricky for travellers at the best of times - extreme heat, wildfires, new highway construction. And to tell the truth, my back hurts, my neck is feeling stiff, and I’m just a wee bit tired after more than 4000 kilometres.
“I knew it! You has lost your mojo, brudder!”
“Thierry! We are skipping 200 kilometres! That’s, ultimately, a very tiny portion of the total distance of our ride. When we get back to Montréal we can cycle around the island a couple of times to make it up.”
“Can we stop for ice cream?”
“Yes, Thierry. Ice cream. Poutine. Moonbeams. Whatever you like.”
“So when we gonna get to Vancouver?”
“Saturday, if all goes well.”
“That’s right, Thierry.”
“Okay! When we get dere I is gonna buy you a big glass of mojo!”