Wednesday, July 27—Christina Lake, BC to Kamloops, BC
It was a beautiful morning on Christina Lake, with the smell of last night’s thundershowers exuding freshness into the morning ride.
The weather was cool and overcast with high clouds, into which I soon found myself riding as I started up the first mountain pass of the day. The weather radar hadn’t indicated any storms in the area, so I pushed forward into the clouds. I stopped for coffee at Oso Negro in Greenwood, and was served by a couple of very nice young people who seemed happy to be part of this mountain hamlet, in spite of very cool temperatures in the winter.
I took Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W on and up to the summit of Anarchist Mountain at 4,892 feet. The road drops suddenly and swiftly though a series of switchbacks into the Okanagan Valley at the town of Osoyoos at just 928 feet elevation. I rode north through this beautiful valley past a series of lakes that seemed to go on forever (Osoyoos, Tuc-El-Nuit, Vasseux, Skaha, Okanagan, Wood, and Kalamaka Lakes).
I followed the highway through the town of Oliver, the apparent wine capital of Canada, and had a sense I could easily be in Napa. Glaciers cut out the valley, so Okanagan Lake had the feel of Yosemite National Park. The surrounding mountains, clear lakes, and lots of recreational activity seemed to provide the best the Lake Tahoe has to offer. And then I hit the fairly large town of Kelowna and found myself in a traffic jam that makes getting around in Tahoe City on July 4th seem like a walk in the park. It is so busy in the summer that the main street has an HOV lane!
The Okanagan Valley is really spectacular, and the traffic is a testament to its popularity as a summer vacation destination.
While A&W Root Beer seems to have nearly disappeared in the US, the separately owned chain of 850 stores in Canada is second in size only to McDonalds at 1,400 stores. I’ve been frequenting them mid-afternoon when the temperature rises. I noticed advertising for a new menu item at several locations, Maple Chipotle Burger, and finally decided to try one this evening. Honestly, the combination of flavors is better than I anticipated.
Getting a full tank of gas at every stop is critical. I have noticed over the years that the tank seems full to the brim, then gurgles and the level drops about an inch below the top. I accidentally shoived the bike to one side, and heard the gurgling noise again. So I rocked the bike and found out I could get nearly a full liter more into the tank by rocking the bike side-to-side when the tank was nearly full. Who knew?
I’ve been trying to stay up on the 2016 election season while on the road, and would be happy to get a balance of perspective by watching both CNN and Fox News. Unfortunately, Fox News doesn’t seem to be broadcast in Canada. Clearly the Canadian citizenry is getting a rather biased perspective of the election season south in The States.
Route: H3, H3A, H97, C3
Miles Today: 283
Time Today: 7:40
Total Trip Miles: 1,932
Weather: Cool at 65°F in the morning with high clouds, hot at 95°F in the afternoon with clear skies.
Lunch: Route 97 Diner
Lodging: Best Western Plus Kamloops
Dinner: A&W Restaurant