When this tour was being planned (realistically somewhat pieced together!) to suit all of our different schedules (which are basically insane mid-summer) I told Teresa not to expect an itinerary like any on our website – if she wanted to come along it would have to be a bit of a “take it as it comes” kind of a tour…
She was in!
So, Day 2 of this excellent adventure has dawned and another brilliant sunny day – a chilly start at 7 this morning eating my toast and downing a hot cup of tea, but these cool mornings tend to lead to hot days and that is expected today.
Not one for the heat! Frauke of the Little Dipper, would rather we started at about 5 AM, but I draw the line! so headed now to Litlte Dipper to pick up her and Teresa – we’re forming a pack now!
Pick up time is 8 AM and it’s 7:50 – nearly there…so this is not one of our typical tour days, but it can be done on a custom tour (just don’t look for it in the itineraries!) and to suit schedules for both of us working wolves, and to beat the heat – we are shuttling up to Arlington Lakes Forestry campground – from there we will cycle downhill 55 km’s back to Little Dipper.
Just arriving Little Dipper so I’ll be back later to let you know how it goes!
After about an hour cooling down in our local swimming hole, I may be sufficiently cooled down to continue on here! It was a fabulous day though – probably one of my favourite rides is between Carmi and Arlington – going up or down! so getting to do downhill today was quite the treat -for all of us!
The lake when we arrived was perfectly still and a loon called – of course – quintessential Canadian setting. It was chilly – the elevation quite a bit higher. I skipped the extra layer, wishing I hadn’t as soon as we set off! But within minutes we stopped – another beautiful setting of the wetlands with reflections of the trees – we watched a larger bird of prey (hawk?) being heckled by smaller birds across the water – too far to distinguish.
Off again cruising downhill – still chilly with lots of shade from the trees. We followed a canyon along one side of us with some fabulous views out across – such a beautiful ride – did I say how much I love this section of the KVR?? And Frauke’s first time riding here – she loved it!
Of course it began to warm up, our first encounter was with a young man from Germany (near Frauke’s hometown there) and he was WALKING! the trail – amazing…
Next we came across this wonderful family from Washington State. They have been cycle touring for about 5 years and the young boys initially were “towed” along with this great bungee system, but they are getting big enough to pedal themselves – now they are just on “pedal assist”!
They were headed uphill to Arlington Lakes from Beaverdell (most people ride this section from east to west and this is what our regular tours do as well – lots of good reasons, but again, this is a different kind of tour and we are headed in the opposite direction from most today.
The trail is a mix today – some tricky rocky areas demand attention – just keep the pedals turning around though and you are generally fine – but it’s always a good idea to ride to your ability. Obstacles are generally easier heading downhill as you keep the momentum going.
A big washout from a “tree avalanche” in the spring is now dried up and we walk across – just past Wilkinson Creek (snack stop on the bridge!) (TIP: if you are following the old guidebook – Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway – do NOT detour to the highway – there is a perfectly good bridge here that has been in place for many years now! I am always frustrated when I hear people missing this fabulous section due to old information – the guidebook is fabulous for history and a lot of good information – just please note some of it is outdated).
From Carmi to Beaverdell, the trail is in very rough shape – manageable, but soft, sandy, lots of potholes and just outside Beaverdell some freshly poured gravel – not sure why, very deep and soft but we all rode through and came out in one piece – yay!
We didn’t stop in Beaverdell but continued on deciding to push on to Taurus Canyon for lunch – nearly the end of the day for us, but a perfect picnic stop!
We crossed a number of creek washouts around Goat Creek – possibly rideable but getting tired and hot I thought it was time for a couple of short walks!
Finally! 50 km’s later, super hot, we make it to Taurus – scramble our way down to the river – beautiful swimming hole! and cool off then dive into our lunches – yum! Frauke’s watermelon had turned into watermelon soup but everything tasted pretty divine at 2 PM.
Just 5 kilometres to go – beautiful finish through the canyon and back to Little Dipper. Teresa was tasked to take some Lodge photos and hopefully we will get them added in here somehow soon! (she has a “real” camera and takes amazing photos!)
Frauke had steelhead trout, mango salsa, rice pilaf, asparagus on the menu followed by fresh picked wild blueberries and ice cream – YUM!!!
See you on Day 3 as we head back to Arlington Lakes – this time headed UPHILL! we lose a wolf tomorrow as Frauke is back to work at her B&B and campground and we’ll be looking for more cyclists along the way to chat with! Wish us luck!