The planning of this day was a bit of a gamble. Very large portions were downhill. There were however two large climbs. It also went through areas that are desert-like. Forecast was for hot sunny weather. It will likely be considered one of the fattest and scariest days of cycling I do on thus trip.
Coming out of Manning Park in the morning I had dead legs. It didn’t bid well for the rest of the day. As I went further east the road quality deteriorated. Climbing Sunday Summit there was an ever shrinking shoulder, often covered in gravel. Traffic was fairly busy, and the road were very winding.
My initial relief to have finished climbing turned to stress as I realized the aforementioned conditions which made climbing bad were far worse for descents.
Screaming down twisting mountain roads on small gravelly shoulders often without a guardrail at 40-50kmh while RVs and semis rocket past is terrifying. I should pause to mention however that during all of this I am surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes I have seen in my life.
My support crew made a point of stopping here and there and waiting for me in the mountains to make sure I got through OK and top up my fuel reserves.
After a smooth decent into Princeton and a stop for lunch I struck east towards Osoyoos. Dark clouds had formed all around, and I had forgotten to pack train gear because of a favorable forecast. Despite my best efforts to push past the rain I was caught in intermittent light showers for an hour or two.
The weather cleared somewhere between Hedley and Keremeos and I was able to enjoy the new desert landscape. Where earlier there were lush slopes covered in conifers there were now rocky peaks with little vegetation. The land near the highway was mostly dry looking brush instead of healthy deciduous trees. Signs in the mountains warned of bears and moose crossing, here they warned of staying sheep.
Desert gave way to heavily irrigated farms and vineyards as I approached Osoyoos. Were that I had more time I would have loved to stop and check out some samples. But the hours were ticking on.
At one point after a short but very fast down hill an RCMP car pulled over in front of me and stopped. When I inquired if she has stopped because of me she distractedly said no and proceeded to get out of her truck and dance around trying to get an errant bug out of her trousers. Chuckles ensued.
I poorly estimated how difficult the climb into Osoyoos would be and the day ended with a heavy uphill grind. After an exhilarating downhill into the valley I made it to camp as quickly as possible to find that I had booked us into a massive and densely packed trailer park. Hundreds of recreational vehicles were crammed next to each other. We were lucky enough to get a lakefront spot with a bit of room around it. As well as friendly neighbors. It was quite crowded and noisy though.
Knowing I had a long day, Pete had dinner ready, beer cold and tents set up. After eating and drinking double what I had the night previous I dozed off to the sounds of a trailer park in full swing party mode.
(I wish I had taken more pictures of this segment but was so intent on getting to point b it slipped my mind.)