• Brian Rawson

O Canada - U.S. 360 Day 70 from Blaine WA to Vancouver BC

My cycling journey around the American perimeter

50 miles – Total so far: 3662 miles

Woke up to the feeling of great anticipation as a key milestone on my journey around the American perimeter was about to bite the dust, so to speak. That milestone is the completion of the entire Pacific Coast of the United States, from Tijuana Mexico to Vancouver Canada. But first I had to navigate nearly 50 miles of mostly suburban and urban riding to seek my ultimate destination at Vanier Park in Vancouver British Columbia. After a short distance through Blaine WA, I entered Canadian customs and was whisked through the process rather easily.

The early part of the day was mostly spent in a suburban setting, albeit hilly region around Surrey B.C. Of interesting note, as I pedaled along River Road, a rather long thoroughfare which parallels one of the many estuaries and inlets in the area, I was struck at the movement of huge amounts of timber on those waterways. Tugboats were everywhere, pushing what seemed like miles of logs end-to-end, up and down the waterway. While probably a common sight here, it was a sight to behold for this Texas boy. Later, as I approached the outskirts of Vancouver, the complexity of the routing began to take hold. After a few erroneous twists and turns, I got into the city's grid. Luckily, I ran into a friendly local guy on a mountain bike who was interested in my trip and offered to accompany me all the way to my final destination, inquiring along the way with questions about my adventure. I was more than happy to oblige him.

Once I made it to the end of the line and this particular adventure, I sat alone on an urban park bench and immediately crafted the following text message to my wife Carol: "Just wanted to tell you I made it to the end of the line! Beautiful setting just like Ladybird Lake in Austin with a striking bridge and the city of Vancouver in the background. Celebratory pics, a few tears, lots of smiles, and my Pacific Dreams Fulfilled. I love you."

Always a bit melancholy at the end of these trips, my heart was mostly full with a sense of accomplishment, but also filled with the love of those important people in my life. I spent the rest of the afternoon spinning easily in downtown Vancouver on a massive paved trail system along the English Bay, marveling at the diversity, the vibrancy, the beauty, the culture, the liberal way of life, and most importantly the nice-ness that make this such an attractive place.

Today I learned that, as the old adage says, life is indeed a journey and not a destination. Still, this is a pretty attractive destination.

It's All Good.

Photo of the Day: Celebratory bike raise at the end of the tour in Vancouver BC.

Click Here to read my daily tour journal entry on crazyguyonabike.com

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