Day 7: Beaverdell to Midway 76km.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014.
Sunny and hot. 30C.
Today was another amazing ride on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail (KVR). Although we left the Last Resort in Beaverdell just after 9 o’clock this morning we didn’t arrive in Midway until 7pm.
We ate our watermelon as we packed up our stuff and then rejoined the KVR at the end of a quiet paved road near a farm. We passed through a couple of farm gates which we closed behind us and an interesting barrier intended to keep ATVs off if the trail. The scenery was spectacular in the morning sun.
We planned to stop after 10km to eat our yogurt and granola and there was a shady patch up ahead that we agreed would be the spot. All of a sudden a moose and her calf bolted across the trail just in front of us. We decided to keep pedaling for a little bit further in case something was chasing them. Just around the bend there was a footpath down to the river so we stopped there.
After eating we got back on the bikes and carried on. It seemed like it was getting hotter every minute and because the trail was rough in spots we stopped a lot to drink water. At one of those stops I spotted a large outcropping of rock in the river and couldn’t help but think of swimming. So I jumped in and Mom got wet too.
Shortly after our dip we passed by a beautiful little canyon. There are too many scenic spots to stop and see all of them so we kept on going.
We rode on trying to cover some more distance before lunch, but although the trail looked good at this point it had a significant washboard effect to it. We bumped and jostled along as best we could. Within a few kilometers the trail was in better shape and eventually we came across the Rhone Cyclist rest stop.
This is a shelter and an old caboose that someone maintains as a self service rest area and there were two women already there eating lunch. We sat at a table beside them and started chatting about the KVR, where they were heading and where they were from. “Oregon” and “Edmonton” we called them and we chatted as we ate for way too long. It was great sharing cycling stories and taking shelter from the midday sun. They left before us and after we looked in the caboose and signed our names we were off in the opposite direction.
As soon as we hit the trail again all we could think about was swimming in the river again, but we really needed to cover some distance with over 30km still to pedal. So we put our heads down and rode. So much so that we missed a sign and ended up riding to a dead end at the back of a farm. A quick turnaround had us going back on the road for a bit before we picked up the good again. A little further on we noticed a sign in time not to make the same mistake again.
Again we were directed on to the road and then onto highway 33 which we followed until we reached the Kettle River Provincial Park. Before continuing on the KVR we needed to swim again. Down by the water and the bridge there were a lot of people swimming. We found our own spot and got into the chilly water again.
It was just what we needed.
After cooling off we followed the trail out if the park heading towards Rock Creek. When we got there we stopped in town to book our motel room for Saturday night and then had a snack on the steps by the gas station. Both of us were running low on energy by this point.
It was five O’clock now and we had just under 20km to go. We managed to pedal on in the late afternoon heat. Our guidebook indicated that there were several impassable sections of the trail coming up whether from private property issues or trail conditions is not important. What is, is that we spent almost an hour here and there trying to find where we were supposed to be. On the trail or side road? Side road or trail? We even ended up back on the highway crossing on a bridge when we spotted the trail below us again.
We hiked down and under the bridge and followed it once more. Right after we saw several deer out for their evening activities. This last stretch if the trail heading into Midway had us going through at least ten farm gates. At each one we had to dismount, unchain the gate, wheel each bike through, chain the gate again and then get back on the bikes. We would ride a hundred meters or so and do it all again. It was kind of neat passing by animals and such, but at the end of a long hot ride we just wanted to be done.
Eventually we got to Midway and found a room for the night. The grocery store was closed already but the Mile 0 Restaurant was open for another hour. Mom had a shower first and I rode to get a couple bottles of beer. The food at the restaurant was very good and we had homemade peach pie for dessert.
Tomorrow should be another scorcher but will be a shorter ride for us. Until then…