I rode the Duffey Lake Loop many times last summer, commuting from William’s Lake to Vancouver. To and from the ones I care for deeply, making it all the more heartfelt. If only one thing I take from that summer it is that road.
It was a May morning, the weekend after my truck accident and I was back with him. I was elated to be there and to be alive and nothing else could stop me from feeling so elated; not my neck or my seatbelt bruises or my head trauma- the fact that I was alive and able bodied meant that I could do anything. I slept in a bike shop that night and he came home from work at 2, or 3, or 4 ; at 5, or 6, we were awake when the light was out and we left.
To be following him on his newly rebuilt black monster of a bike I was at a loss for words. Near Porteau Cove I got into the headspace and soon I, too, was swooping and dipping into those curves. I loved watching him ride for he was a demon and sometimes I lost sight of him but he was always somewhere around the bend and I was happy. We stopped in Whistler and we went through Pemberton and each kilometer amounted to something so different, so different than the last. We slowed for cops and we sped through corners and there were no rhymes or reasons, it just was; the way it is when one rides vast distances at fast speeds.
I could have stopped at every god-damned corner, at every turn and swoop to take a picture; be it a shimmery mountain or stark rock formations, or roadside flowers in pinks and purples and yellows…but then we wouldn’t have gotten to the desert, which really, truly, more than anything, blew my mind. I will not ever forget that scene: The May heat and the sheer canyons where I was so happy I could have ridden right off into the dark and Beautiful abyss; there were transport trains covered in graffiti and they were loud and roared with us, and he was so far in front of me that life become as if miniature, like something one would look down upon from the Heavens… It was the most Beautiful thing in the World, at that moment.
Perhaps the rest of it that day was how it was, a dreamy state of mind where time was lost and did not matter. To be alive, to be alive in those mountains with one I loved, that was key, key to it all. That was the first time, the first time I rode that road.
I rode that rode many more times that summer. On Fridays after work, or on early Saturday mornings, or on long weekends. Always I was elated to go back, back to the place from where we left that first morning. I rode that loop four times that summer. There was Nothing like it in the World. I felt so much love.