Monday, the 11th of June, had a GREAT weather forecast (+29C and CAFB - about 80F, and 'Clear As a Frigging Bell' as we used to say in the Airforce...), so what could I do..., but "saddle-up" and go riding.
I left my home in the northern part of Kelowna about 8:30, then rode along Lake Okanagan on some nice, twisty paved roads past the Grey Monks Winery, then a few kms of dirt, to Vernon, to continue towards Kamloops for awhile on 97. FORTUNATELY I stopped at the cycle shop at the north end of Vernon (NEVER pass an opportunity to see what's new and exciting...!) to find they were having a 50% OFF sale on AGV helmets. I checked them out and arranged to ride back yesterday (12th) and bought TWO.
Westwold, 55 kms up 97 from Vernon, is the start point for the Douglas Lake Road, and my planned start point into the interior. This road follows the Salmon River to Douglas Lake, turning to dirt shortly after it starts, climbing up to the interior plateau which is home to Canada's LARGEST ranch, the "Douglas Lake Cattle Company" with over HALF A MILLION acres! Very neat to come around a curve and see the red roofs reflected in a pond. Place even has its own chapel.
My large scale set of maps indicated that I could proceed southeasterly from there, on more dirt via Pennask Lake, then join the "Connector", Hwy 97C, back to home, so, off I went. (BTW, the Green Hornet is shod with ContiMotion tires, NOT DS ones!)
My GPS indicated I was travelling along the Douglas Lake Road till a crossroads where I turned at the Pennask Lake sign, then said I was following the Pennask Lake Road, so all was good. Followed this for probably an hour, then my GPS changed to just indicating my direction - NO road name. Looked at the large scale maps again, figured I was still "good-to-go", so I programmed the GPS to take me home, figuring it would hook me up to the "Connector". I continued for 30 minutes till I saw a mud-hole across the whole road, then, as the GPS was still NOT "locked-on", figured, as I was riding alone, that maybe discretion 'suggested' I turn back and retrace till I got to someplace recognizable. On the way back on that un-named road I viewed a bull moose in velvet and a medium sized black bear, but was not able to take any pictures.
Finally my GPS showed a road name, then started giving me directions "home", as I continued west. Finally pavement arrived and I could see Nicola Lake and Hwy 5A ahead, with a sign saying Kelowna was about 150 kms.
An hour and a half later (5:30PM) I pulled into my driveway, after riding 460 kms (368 miles) of which pretty close to 200 kms (120 miles) was dirt road. When I gassed up I had used 19.3L for 23.8 kms/L, 67.2 mpgImperial or 53.8 mpgUS.
GREAT ride, although going "solo" was NOT the brightest thing I've ever done....
Hope you enjoy my pictures of the ride.