The last few days have been a mix of good and tough. This entry covers just two days covering the section of the route from Kamloops to Blue River, I hope you enjoy it…
Kamloops to Clear Water (25/04/2017)
Today I left Kamloops and headed up to Clearwater, this started with the chaos of trying to find my way out of the city, I have cities they are giant mazes full of cars! I headed over the historic Red Bridge, a nearby tourist sign states:
“Kamloops is a city of bridges. During the early 1880s the growing community of Kamloops needed a bridge to connect with its most important partner, the Kamloops Indian Band. Tenders for Kamloops’ first bridge were called in 1887. The wooden truss structure measured 300 metres and included a swing span to accommodate paddle wheelers. The official name for the bridge was the Government Bridge but it was always colloquially known as the Red Bridge. The Red Bridge was repaired and replaced in 1910 and again in 1937. Nearly a century later, the Red Bridge still stands and continues to serve as a vital link between Kamloops and the KIB. It has withstood floods and fire and is a much-loved landmark in the city and an important monument to the history and heritage of Kamloops.”
Its an impressive structure!
Following the red bridge I worked my way through a mass of industrial area and outlying residential area and trailer parks before crossing into North Kamloops and having to stop to readjust my rear rack which had started coming into contact with the back wheel somehow! Once this was sorted I weaved my way through residential streets to the riverside path so to avoid the road for as long as possible. This is where I bumped into a couple of locals out cycling who turned out to be cycle tourists and have done the route themselves! for about 45mins we cycled together sharing stories and them sharing information for the next few days on places to stay and places to drink beer (they know the important things in life!) once I left them I worked my way up the road on the west shore of the North Thompson river for miles, the road gradually undulating but nothing to bad.
After passing ranches and small holdings I had a choice to make… wait 45 mins for the ferry to cross over the river and back to the main road or follow the dirt service road for about 10 miles… I chose to wait, the ferry looked interesting, I have never been on a “rope” ferry before! While waiting I chatted with the family to let them know I was alive… just as a snake slithered away from me.
Once over the ferry it was onto Route 5 which I followed for the next 80km of rolling ups and down following large sweeping bends in the river. I stopped for a (what seems to be customary) service station lunch and then worked through the miles of hill flanked valley watching the river wind its way through great sweeping turns. This area seems to have a lot of wild life too; today I have seen dear, eagles, what I think may be prairie dogs and some stoat like creature I need to look up to see what it was. No sign of beavers, bears or moose though.
After miles and miles of this terrain I was getting tired, this seems to happen at about the 6.5hr mark! I eventually got to Clearwater having covered about 85miles (135km), got some food and sat next to Dutch Lake listening to the birds and frogs as the sun set and the stars came out. Not a bad way to finish the day!
Clear Water to Blue River (26/o4/2017)
To day has been a tough day, and I knew there would be a number of these! I started of tired after the ride from Kamloops and a bad night sleep and the route was predominantly up hill with my end point being 250m higher than the start, doesn’t sound much but when you take into account that this means in a 6hr day there is relatively little down that’s tough. Most of the morning there wasn’t much to note, I travelled down Route 5 with trees flanking both sides of the road, and no view of the hills (due to clag (hill fog)) and the trees. Between this and the continuous drizzle I wasn’t really enjoying the ride but I got my head down and just plugged on with eating the miles. I even plugged into my music, I rarely do that!
As the day wore on the weather improved and the road came closer to the river so I was able to get some views, this helped but I was also getting more tired. At about 1 I came across some more cycle tourists who were going the same route, we passed a few mins chatting before I headed off leaving them to there lunch.
Sorry, best pic I could do today!
The weather kept improving but the ups were getting harder and “Granny” came into play as I had to just spin up quite a few. Eventually I managed to get to Blue River, gave Eve a quick wash down and get possibly the worst food I have had so far, but the hotel I am in is nice and I am going to take full advantage of the hot tub!
Well diary, that’s me signing off for now. Talk to you soon.