Day 1, Part I (all pics are clickable)
As many who read this blog know first hand our everyday lives can get in the way of our hobbies. Since January 2012 until present day, Cheryl and I have both changed our careers. Leslie joining BC Transplant as an In Hospital Organ Donation Coordinator/Organ Donation Specialist and Cheryl still with the RCMP but now well into her apprenticeship to become a Forensic Expert. With this reality of ours, getting away on the bikes for a long stretch of time is not happening as of late. So….what to do??? Make the best of the time we get off and get away.
That is what I did…me, as in Leslie took off on September 30th for a one night trip to the Okanagan, BC (spelled Okanogan in the USA) to try and get away from the pouring rain we have been experiencing and find some sun. Enjoyed just about 900 KM’s of no work Blackberry, good music and my bike. I headed out towards the Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3).
What can 30 hours do for the soul? Everything. In the short time I was away on my first solo trip I met some really nice people, rode through some incredible scenery, embraced weather patterns that most people in cars would scratch their heads wondering WHY? as they starred at me on two wheels. Started out in showers, then pouring rain, hit snow in the Crows Nest Pass, got pelted by hail, almost blown off the bike sideways by some wicked wind gusts and finally once through the pass I was welcomed to partly sunny skies and cool temps of about 7 C. Got down to 2.5 C in the pass and even cooler on my way home.
I took some video of the rain and snow in the pass will have to get my act together and do some editing…once clear of the mountains I stopped at a very cute orchid where I met Steinar Øyhaugen.
A 70 year man from Norway who is blogging his way across the world in this…
Left his country in August and has all ready been across Canada, up to Alaska including Prudhoe Bay, on his way through BC to California. He will park his van there for a bit, fly home to Norway for Christmas, fly back to the USA and head South to South America and then all over. No end in sight for this highly motivated soloist.
I think he was surprised to see a grrl riding an ADV bike all alone but did not actually say it. Nice guy and if you are reading this Steinar, BE SAFE, have fun and I hope your van stays as healthy as you appear. Nice meeting you.
After a short break, I headed east to Osoyoos, BC. This place rocks in the summer months. Large fresh water lake, usually tons of people partying it up as if it were Spring break all summer long. Off season, when I like to travel the most, it was dead. I mean DOA. Hardly anyone around no less anything open to even window shop. Sort of the way I like it. I actually like riding in the cooler months. Turn on the heated liner, grips and gloves and I really feel like I am in heaven. Rather ride in cold temps than HOT to be honest.
Being able to ride in all sorts of weather requires good gear on all levels. It’s taken us a few years to really get this because it does cost $$ to kit yourself and your bike appropriately to make any trip safe and as comfortable as possible. Even when it comes to our luggage. Having a total 100% waterproof dry bag for your clothes or anything you need to stay dry is imperative.
We use Wolfman dry bags. Size large for our clothes usually. Other than looking grungy it is so durable and stays dry. This bag has been all over Canada and USA with us and so far has not let us down. Same goes for our Jesse Hard panniers.
Heading to Osoyoos it’s like entering the desert. Long winding roads and sage brush hills. I stayed on the pavement for this quick ride but there are tons of back roads that run through the hills to explore.
Having a reliable GPS never hurts and you should always have paper maps as a back up. In this case since I was in Canada I could use my iPhone just in case.
I don’t know why riding a bike makes me feel so good. Must be the challenge with the unpredictable weather or just being part of the environment I am riding in. Riding takes a lot of your attention yet I feel so carefree and relaxed.
My thoughts are not about work or problems, but about what might be around the next curve. I think about wildlife a lot…making sure I avoid any unwelcome surprises but also looking for birds in flight or 4 legged creatures mulling about on the side of the road. This trip the was full of interesting smells at times. I swear I got some strong whiffs of rotting carcasses, but were easily over taken by the fresh smell of rain and just Autumn in the air.
Something about the above picture I really like. Not sure what it is but it seems to express peacefulness and what the interior of BC is all about. Picture this though at 40+ degrees C and it may feel differently to me. But for now…it’s beautiful.
a town in the southern part of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia near the border with Washington state, between Penticton and Omak. The town is also adjacent to the Indian Reserve of the Osoyoos Indian Band.
The town’s population of 4,845 swells in the summer months with visitors from elsewhere in British Columbia and neighboring Alberta, as well as elsewhere in Canada.
Osoyoos Lake, which has a perimeter of 47.9 km (29.8 mi), an elevation of 276 m (906 ft), a maximum depth of 63 m (207 ft) and a mean depth of 14 m (46 ft). The lake’s elevation marks the lowest point in Canada of the Okanagan Valley.
As the sun was setting it got really windy in the town and around the shore. The following are a few pics i took while the sun was setting after I had dinner at this joint called the Shores. Obviously a seniors hang out as I was about a generation younger than anyone else eating the early bird specials. It was food, near my hotel and well…who cares…it was fun watching all the walkers come through the doors and everyone complaining to the owner, “your restaurant sure isn’t disabled friendly is it? Good thing your food is CHEAP”. 😉
After walking around the ghost town, it got pretty cool and I really did not have a heavy jacket or sweater. Took the pics and then retired to my hotel room. The Holiday Inn on the Shores. It was just OK to be real. Mold in the caulking in the shower is always a turn off, the mattress must have had a plastic mattress pad on it because it crinkled every time I turned. 😉 In any case got a great off season rate and all I needed was some rest.
Part II tomorrow….