Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day 13 and 14- Sat/Sun June 7&8 -Elko

Leaving Creston. a tail wind assisted us through the Kootenays to Moyie Lake. It was a wet ride but we were able to get our tents up in between showers.
Leaving Moyie Lake. the weather looked benign. However. this didn't last and we were back to same ol' wind and rain. Pat taught us the efficiency - synergy of a properly executed paceline which we used to cover the distance to Elko. The odometer has now clicked over the 1000K mark. Tomorrow the Alberta border.

Regretably, 2 members of our Sea to Sea group have decided to leave our tour in Cranbrook. We wish them well.

Effective Monday, June 9 a new blog will be used to record our journey. Please save this new blogspot address. Adele and Pat

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 12- Creston 55k

Started riding over rolling hills along the coast line of Kootenay Lake enjoying the amazing views. The climbs became steeper and longer as we approached Creston. The wind and rain picked up pace so we convened at the Dairy Queen and are presently ensconced at the Creston Valley Motel. There is nothing like watching those dark clouds swirling surrounding the Kootenay mountains.
by Adele

Day 11- Thursday, June 5- Castlegar to Boswell- 110K

After an early morning rain, packing up wet tents, we headed downhill into Castlegar where the Kootenay River merges with the Columbia. Highway 3A provided a great vantage point for seeing the Brilliant, the Keenleyside and Bonnington power generating dams. On to quaint Nelson and crossing Kootenay Lake on the Balfour ferry. What a scenic route it was. Many of us wish to return to further explore this region. Avoid the Bayshore RV Resort near Boswell. Bad attitude. Need I say more!!
110 K our longest day so far. TTFN
by Adele

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 10 Wednesday June 4 at Castlegar, 71k

The rain is not only in Spain - also in Christina Lake. Its amazing how much water a tent can hold - packed! Fortunately it stopped annd remained cool and overcast nearly all day - a major benefit for a 34k pre downhill to Paulson Summit at 1535m.

The pass itself was mundane and desolate, and the anticipated rest stop had been removed - presumably to release funding for the Olympics. Resources were available to create bicycle eating rumble strips on the high speed downhill run to Castlegar

Yvonne and Horst kindly went ahead (by about an hour) to set up camp. Dave3 had a flat which provided time for a nutrition break for his supervisory staff (Jim,Ute,Carol,Dave2)

Your humble and obedient blogger, Dave2

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 9, Tuesday, June 3, Christina Lake 90 km today

We were away at 8 a.m. today with clouds overhead. We followed undulating and curving roads through beautiful West Kootenay landscape. Several signs along the way suggested that we could cross the border into the US only between 9 and 5. We followed the Kettle River, then Norwegian Creek after Midway. Like all creeks and rivers we've seen so far they were high and fast-flowing.
The first real town we came to was Greenwood, and apparently it is Canada's smallest city. Greenwood had a booming copper mining industry until the end of WW1. Then its population rose again with an influx of Japanese who were relocated during WW2. At one time Greenwood had a population of only 2000 but surprisingly had 14 hotels and an opera house with 1000 seats. We enjoyed cinnamon buns with cream cheese at the Copper Eagle Cappucino and Bakery. I also bought a butter tart for the upcoming summit. A local resident was eager to tell us that he had cycled solo across Canada and he found BC to be the easiest province!!Silly man!
We continued on with hills and slight downhills and were completely taken by surprise when we saw the Elhot Summit 1028 meters sign. We took the mandatory summit photo and I guiltily ate my butter tart. Then we started a 21.5 km downhill ride into Grand Forks.
In Grand Forks we went our separate ways. Some went to find the bike shop, others went to have borscht local style, I went to the library and then we all met to eat lunch in the municipal park and to trade stories.
Then we started another downhill ride, this time the 21.6 km were not so easy as we had a headwind all the way to Christina Lake. The weather is threatening, the campground is not overcrowded and we're all looking forward to the challenge of the Blueberry Paulson on our way to Castlegar. We'll all be sleeping cozy and comfy and hopefully dry in our tents tonight.
report by Yvonne

Monday, June 2, 2008

June 2, 2008 .Latest newsl

Day 4, Thursday, May 29, Mule Deer Campsite, Manning Park 56.5 km

After a great breakfast in both lodgings we set off into the fog heading east. We could not see the hills ahead of us which might have been a good thing. The shoulders had rumble strips and gravel left over from the winter so we cycled in the traffic lane and moved over when necessary. Fortunately there was not much traffic and finally the sun came out after two short climbs. We followed the Skagit River as it crossed the highway several times. Most of us saw a black bear just across the highway (which reminds me that two black bears visited the premises of the B & B during the previous evening). We also started to see snow in the woods beside the road.
We reached the Allison Pass Summit (1342 meters) 37.5 km into the day’s ride. It was a challenge and we congratulated ourselves at the top. We now started to follow the Similkameen River as it wound its way down the mountains. It seemed to be downhill, but not really, for 10 km into Manning Park Lodge area where we had a lunch in the sunshine. We were entertained by Columbian ground squirrels (according to Dave 2) and cowbirds (according to Brenda). We had a relaxed visit, then headed for a further relaxing 10 km downhill to Mule Deer campsite.
At our nightly fireside chat led by Pat M. we discussed perhaps heading as far as Hedley tomorrow. All possibly attractive to bear things were put in the RV and then we headed to our tents.
Report by Yvonne

Day 5, Friday, May 30, Gold Mountain RV Park, Hedley 92/5 km

After a breakfast with hot chocolate but no coffee we set out in crisp but sunny weather. The ride didn’t seem as difficult as yesterday’s; we regrouped to shed clothing at the base of the climb and arrived at Sunday Summit (1282 meters) after 24 km of cycling. The downhill started gently then became crazy with 2 km of 8% grade…Adele and I reached a maximum speed of 60.1 kph. From the summit to the bottom of the first downhill was 20 km, then we had another long and scary downhill right into Princeton. Our arthritic hands were hurting from grasping the brakes.
Brenda had found a laundromat for us; while our clothes washed we ate our lunches on the sidewalk in front, trying to get some shade. I had my first coffee of the day.
We arrived in Hedley just after 4 p.m. after a long flat but slightly downhill stretch of almost 40 km. Of course Brenda was there ahead of us and had put out the orange cones.
The highlight of the day was that Adele had to buy everyone a beer because she got the first flat of the day.

Day 6, Saturday, May 31, Osoyoos at the private home of Adele Moeller’s uncle Dennis Bissonnette and his wife, Carole (reported by Carol)

The ride into Hedley from Princeton was absolutely gentle downhill along the Similkameen River. This morning, leaving Hedley, we immediately got into rolling hills and the day had promise of considerable heat. We stopped to see the old gold mining facilities stuck onto the side of the mountain just past Hedley. It sounded amazing, but not all of us could make out the old buildings far up the mountain.

We rode into Keremeos where we saw the unusual sight of a horse and rider on the sidewalk – though the scene seemed not to be so unusual to the residents of the small town. Brenda had located some neck things with crystals in them that one soaks in water so the crystals swell up and get soft and retain the sense of coolness on the neck. This was supposed to help in the heat. Several of us bought one – including me. Unfortunately, as it turned out, we didn’t have the water available to soak them just there and then.

Further on along the road we were looking for a shady spot for lunch. Since we were in a desert, this was hard to find. Lo and behold, a few picnic tables and umbrellas showed up at the end of a lane leading from the road. Some people even noticed it was a small local winery called Seven Stones. Well, lunch turned into a wine tasting session and most of the cyclists bought bottles of what they called fine wine. You get the picture.

By now the heat was blazing down, no shade, a desert, and increasingly sharp hills with a mountain pass (Richter) coming up. Don’t forget those wine bottles in the panniers. Needless to say, this ride turned into perhaps the hardest so far, though the last bit downhill into Osoyoos was pleasant.

Adele’s aunt and uncle live right on Osoyoos Lake so we ended up enjoying the heat that was such a problem earlier.

Day 7 Sunday, June 1 Rest day at the Bissonnette’s in Osoyoos – reported by Carol

This report will be shorter than my first, as all we did was eat and sleep and lie around all day. It was not without its excitement, however, when overnight a wind and rainstorm blew through the area. Our tents were absolutely drenched and the occupants were universally happy that we had decided to take the day off before tackling Anarchist Mountain. I won’t mention the food, except to say that it did include cheesecake brought from Kelowna by Dave and Brenda’s RCMP daughter, Clover, who was passing through on her way to Chilliwack to take a work-related course.

Day 8 Monday, June 2 – Kettle River RV Park - Reported by Carol

Well folks, we came, we saw and we conquered the mythic Anarchist Mountain today. Jerry Porter, you will be so proud of us! After that what more is there to say. Here are some of the details. As almost everyone knows, Anarchist is about 30 kms of more or less straight up, culminating in a summit at 1233 metres. It is reputed to separate the sheep from the goats, so to speak. We left Osoyoos at about 8:30 on a cool and threatening morning, which was a good thing. Although the climb was relentless, we took it in stride and reached the summit after 3 and a half hours. We then put on warm clothes and began our descent into Rock Creek. By now the weather was really threatening with dark clouds all around us. The wind rose and we almost froze on the way down. Dave Johns went so far as to say he enjoyed the climb more than the descent. I don’t know how many people agreed with him, however.

By Rock Creek, a storm was imminent. Most of us decided to make for the RV park just 8 km away. We must confess we got somewhat wet and put out tents up in the rain. A few decided to stay in Rock Creek, drink coffee and then come on. I was in the “make for it” group, so naturally the “wait it out” group had sunshine all the way for their ride and they put their tents up in sunshine, too.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 3, Sunshine Valley (May 28)

After gentle wild rabbits and noisy trains during the night at Agassiz we discovered that our power source for the RV was not working. We did not was our problem, not just Dave's. So after a diligent search Dave went in the RV with Brenda to find help. Meanwhile, in gorgeous and in gorgeous scenery we cycled through the valley to Hope. On the way we heard the great news from Dave that he had connected with a mechanic from Hope who met them, led them to his house (on his day off!) where they started to go through a check list. Meanwhile our intrepid Brenda began to think some more and said "Has anyone checked the master switch?" Needless to say the power was back on and lucky Dave was able to cycle from Hope with us. After coffee at Rolly's Restaurant (a hunk for a waiter!)we started out towards Highway 3. Now we were in the mountains and the timing for 16 kms was way off! We did well, considering...had a wind behind our backs to aid us and to cool us off. Jim and Ute saw a black bear by the road (Ute makes a good lookout)that the rest of us with our heads down didn't see. We arrived in Sunshine Valley mid-afternoon. Four of us are staying at Mountain View B & B (Tony and Joyce are our wonderful hosts...they remembered Carol from her trip 5 years ago). The rest of the gang cycled up, up the mountain to the Billabong Lodge. We socialized in the lodge, revisiting the day's events and finding out that we had climbed about 690 meters. Dinner of pork chops amd scalloped potatoes prepared by Horst and Patricia was well-received....great to have an oven. Tony and Joyce have allowed us to do a wash and use the computer for this update. On another note I did get my latest granddaughter; read an email from my son Rob that baby Samantha was born at 6:59 pm on Monday and mom and baby are doing well. Now I only have the cycling to worry about. We are heading to bed early, feeling satisfied with our day. Probably won't be a posting for a few days as we will be at Mule Deer campsite im Manning Park tomorrow.
hello from Yvonne
p.s. (Want to add a thank you to Patti and Hugh who also came out to Swartz Bay to see us off on Monday.