Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway - take TWO

As far as I'm concerned, one of the best ways to experience British Columbia is while riding on a bicycle. The sights, the smells and the sounds that you can experience in nature are so much easier to enjoy when you aren't racing by at 100 clicks/hour! Fortunately for all us who love our bikes, British Columbia is a mecca for trail riders. Whether you are a hard core mountain biker, risking all your limbs for that adrenaline rush... or you have a cruising bike that belongs in a Mary Poppins movie...BC has the bike trail for you!

Our latest adventure into BC involved my friends, me and, once again, our bikes! Last year we experienced a small portion of the Kettle Valley Railway between Princeton and Tulameen. Because we enjoyed that experience so much we decided to go back and explore more of this historic trail.

The first day of our trip we reserved for cycling in Myra Canyon. Myra Canyon, just east of Kelowna, is one of the most astonishing sections of the KVR. Tourists come from all over the world to experience this place (honestly, we heard more German spoken than English). Eighteen trestles cling to the canyon walls and can only be described as an incredible feat of engineering. It would be hard to accomplish this with today's modern equipment, I can't imagine what it would have been like to build this almost a century ago.

Myra Canyon

Today we reap the fruits of all that hard labour. You can enjoy the incredible vistas of Myra Canyon with ease since most of the KVR is no more than a 2.2% grade. We suggest that you park at the Myra Canyon FSR parking lot. If you don't own a bike or you're not able to bring it with you, you can rent a bike in the parking lot. Just make sure to book it ahead of time since they don't do last minute rentals. The round trip from Myra Station to Ruth Station and back again is 12km. For those of you who want to bike and cache there are at least 20 caches for you to search for. This cache was our favourite.

The next day of our trip we decided to tackle another section of the KVR...Okanagan Falls to Penticton. This section is not near as spectacular or as famous as Myra Canyon but I enjoyed it almost as much. I just loved traversing through the ponderosa pines with cliff walls on one side of me and lake on the other. The trail is definitely not as well maintained as other sections of the KVR but it is still doable.We started at OK Falls, home of the must-visit Tickleberries, and after cycling about 6 kms we stopped for lunch at the Frog City Cafe in Naramata. After a terrific lunch on the outside patio we continued on, about another 7 kms to Penticton. Beautiful picturesque ride.

Wine Glass GeoArt
Our last day took us to Naramata. One of my caching partners, Lillooet Lady, and I noticed that there was this geo-art in the middle of Okanagan Lake. Hmmmm... wine and geocaching together? Count us in! Since the final for each cache is listed on its corresponding cache page, it's no spoiler to tell you that this series of caches starts at Naramata and ends at Hillside Winery....all you have to do is enter the correct coords into your GPS. This was a great series that took us through vineyards and orchards and past the most amazing views. After the last cache of the series we parked our bikes at the Hillside Winery and had lunch on their outdoor patio Bistro. I've never been to Tuscany before but I can imagine that it is a lot like this. Just Perfect.
Hillside Winery
Here's to good friends!
We spent five days enjoying so much of what the Okanagan has to offer. We found about 50 caches and biked about 50km but we know we've only scratched the surface, exploring this incredible place. Pretty sure we need to go back!

1 comment:

Eddie said...

Another one of the things on my to-do list...glad to see you got to experience the Myra section of the KVR