Our time of rest in Summerland reached its inevitable demise. We spent the morning of May 7th doing laundry, packing and repacking, soaking in as much of the view as possible.
Thus far the usual time of departure has been about 11am. The determining factors of this include the time we wake up (obviously), what type of breakfast we have (should we make coffee first, so we can linger over camp cups and gradually wake up or should we just get coffee later?), and finally whether we make breakfast and coffee before or after we take down camp. If we switch to a cold breakfast, deny ourselves a hot drink and strike camp first our efficiency from awaking to getting on the bike increases threefold. It’s all about proper process you see. As both Jen and I work(ed) for software companies we appreciate a well thought out process flow and are constantly iterating each day to improve efficiency. It’s a mix of kanban and agile, with a retrospective after each chunk of days (a “sprint” if you will) camping.
So when I describe a rushed morning, where we have all the comforts and conveniences of home, it is a reflection of our adaptation to a new environment and not having to work within rigid constraints.
Of course we left much later than we estimated.
We left. My Canada jersey flapped in the wind and was soon replaced by a Ride to Conquer Cancer jersey that Bryan gave to me enroute, meeting us partway through lower Summerland.
I stopped at Powell beach in trout creek to visit the bench dedicated to Carla. Paul and Joyce had it placed there and had the words “Carla’s Bench” inscribed on it. Carla, Steve, Mike and I would spend so much time on Powell beach in the summers, attempting to climb up the lighthouse and appreciating our okanagan sun.
Jen and I continued on to Penticton, got some information at the…information center. Thus equipped we made our way onto the KVR trail through naramata.
Naramata has a veritable plethora of wineries. I estimate there to be 20,000 in that area. People come the world over to drink, to buy and to steal.
Ruby Blues, Red Rooster and Hillside. One of these wineries is not like the other one.
This fine establishment featured a scottish gentleman who went out of his way to get us some chocolate to match the Shiraz and was completely welcoming to two strangely dressed cyclists. Fantastic wines.
Same as Ruby Blues (except for the Scottish part).
A high tasting fee, relatively bland wine and a bit of aloofness to the feel. Not recommended.
With three bottles safely stowed we ventured along the trail. The views throughout naramata are truly glorious. Northern naramata gives way to farms and vineyards far below the rail bed as we climbed higher above the valley. We passed through a cutting in the rock and stopped, wondering where we might find a spot to camp.
Jen posited that the top of the cutting would be a suitable position to camp. And boy oh boy was she right! *cheesy arm swing*
See the photos below.
The next day proved to be more difficult than we had anticipated. Initially the KVR was a great trail with beautiful views, but it soon turned to difficult patches of soft sand and gravel. It was slow going, and there was no opportunity to turn off trail as we were able to do on our way to Summerland.
Eventually we made it through to Chute Lake Resort. Which was closed. We were able to get some directions and decided to push forward to Kelowna.
The area around chute lake was decimated from the forest fire that went through a few years ago. It felt like an apocalyptic world, random bits of garbage on the road and skeleton trees lining the ridges.
The final approach into Kelowna was down a steep logging road, part of which was washed out. It was maddeningly slow for us, knowing how close we were but being so limited in our speed.
We got onto sweet smooth pavement and to Ryan Lahay’s place just as the light was dying. Beer, pizza, and tech conversation capped a long day.