The cross winds hit with force enough to send me flying off and sprawled on the ground. A repeat performance and it was clear that pushing was the safest choice. Gusts were extreme and unpredictable. I ended up flat on the road at least 4 times. Only flesh wounds resulted. During one of those moments I had stopped to photograph a lake and was blown backwards landing on my back and having my camera sail out of my hands. With 143 km to cover I was wondering how I could possibly reach camp before dark.
After what appeared to be a difficult push for everyone across a flat area we reached the ranger station which provided wind protection and our lunch stop. Wind speeds were posted at 99 km/h. Several had bailed out earlier because of wind and most at the station were calling it a day. Only 9 of the 35 bike-dreamers attempted and completed the entire stage.
It was the longest day yet going from 9 to 7:15. The rest of the way from the station was more of a tailwind and was quite scenic offering views of turquoise lakes fed from glaciers. Well done.
Very tired and somewhat beat up from being blown down I retired to my the tent.