We left the house at 5am, stopping in Hope, about an hour and a half outside of Vancouver for breakfast and coffee. On our way back to the highway we, of course, stopped to take requisite photos of ourselves in the Rambo face cut out thing.
We were dropped off in the middle of nowhere, aka Arlington Lakes, and it was raining. We holed up, bikes packed and ready to go, and decided to wait it out under a very small sign awning until 2pm. At two it was raining harder, so we pressed onwards! I took it as a good sign that not even two mins into our ride we came across a handful of cows munching on grass on the trail.
My camera, usually in my basket, was tucked away in a waterproof pannier, but when we came across this bizare and ominous skeleton I obviously had to take a photo.
It rained and rained until about the time we arrived at our first camp destination, Hydraulic Lake, where we eagerly dumped a precooked meal into a pot and devoured it. I was soaked through, but changed and spent the rest of the night drying my wet clothes by the fire. In the morning we woke to this:
We pressed on, excited and dry, despite the fact that it had poured all night. The trail was rough. Really bumpy and quite wet but it was so fun to pedal along. I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face. Mostly covered by trees, we occasionally came across an opening and views of Kelowna, where we would stop to eat a handful of wine gums and take it all in.
Most of the area had been badly attacked by forest fires so the scenery alternated between lush greens, yellows, oranges, and black or brown patches and remaining trunks.
A very exciting part of the trail was the Myra Canyon, where you ride through tunnels and over trestle bridges for several kilometers.
We saw a handful of wildlife (other than the cows, obviously!). Many many chipmunks, female and male grouse (interupted them mating, actually!), a pika, beautiful colourful birds of which we don't know the name, and squirrels.
The ground continued to be rough and wet, just in a different way.
We rode past a bull that was making very distressing sounds.
After riding 50k on the second day we arrived at Chute Lake! There is a radical old lodge here that you can stay at, or there is free camping. We opted for free, but went in to the lodge to have a couple beers and some french fries. This place is like Twin Peaks and I had pretty much died and gone to heaven.
Onwards! Towards Adra and through the Rock Ovens Regional Park.
And then we rolled into Penticton. And I mean it when I say rolled. This part of the trip is a slight downhill and for 45km we hardly had to pedal at all. Once you hit Penticton the trail becomes smooth and you can glide through the vinyards. It's like being in Italy and we were blown away by how beautiful the views were.