Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kettle Valley Rewind

Is it possible to do the Kettle Valley Railway in reverse?  My cycling partner for the last nine years, Roy made the suggestion the other night.  Both of us have done a loop that includes Penticton, Osoyoos, Rock Creek, Beaverdell, Mc Cullogh and Chute Lake.  The whole trip is about 400 kilometers - remembering of course that we do have six days to do it.
The Kettle Valley Railway

His proposal is that we start in Rock Creek - one of our favourite places.  We're fond of that spot for a few good reasons - one of them being the kindness that was shown us the first time we camped there.  A large group of  cyclists supported by a van that carried all their gear was set up at the other end of the campground.  Roy, being the social animal that he is,  was keen to go over and visit.  Me?  We had just spent 6 1/2 hours climbing in the lowest gear (and peddling as hard as we could) just to reach the summit of a mountain west of town.  We had had another two hours in the saddle riding past dumps like Bridesville and negotiating a steep switchback into Rock Creek itself.

My nervy partner hit an easy 50 kilometers and hour going down that switchback while I paused to put on my cycling jacket.  Being exhausted, I didn't trust my judgement at high speeds so I zipped up the jacket just enough that it would act like a parachute and slow me down as I descended.  Luckily there was no traffic to complicate matters further.

Upon entering town, we stopped at the Petro Canada station which appeared to be the liveliest place in this tiny burg.  It wasn't until we were in the back of the grocery department looking for hooch that we came across the reason for all the traffic.  A wooden display rack held bags of freshly baked cheese buns.  And they were flying off the rack.  Being half starved after cycling all day, we didn't hesitate to jump into the fray and grab a couple of bags of those appealing baked baked goods before they disappeared as well.
Get your cheese buns!

We were outside only for seconds before we tore one of the bags apart and stuffed our faces with the delectable treats.  Sharp cheese taste mixed with a little green onion and a soft but chewy bun put us both in heaven.  Cheese bun heaven!

It was later, after we had eaten our supper (and all the buns), that the tour leader from the group of cyclists came over to our camp carrying a cooking pot the size of a garbage can.  Its insides were filled with a mixture of hot chili and rice which he offered to us.  Roy and I had burned 5,000 calories just climbing Anarchist Mountain so we were more than happy to eat the still warm chili and replace those missing calories.  The only condition was that we clean the pot when finished.  It was the least we could do.

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