About a year ago I rode with a friend, Ray, he on a KLR, me on the Green Hornet (and wrote a thread on it), from Peachland, BC, via dirt and some pavement, to Princeton, then Hedley - site of a famous gold mine hanging near-vertically from the mountain - then up one of the twistiest roads ANYWHERE, the Hedley Nickel Plate Road, named after a huge mine on top of the mountain, the road dirt and gravel WITH ABOUT A THOUSAND TURNS AND SWITCHBACKS
rising from about 1500' ASL (sorry, but I neglected to check what exactly the altitude was at the bottom) to 6,349' at the top.
Ray has made plans to move from this area back to the "Big Smoke" - Toronto - so we made plans to do the ride again (so I could get some GPS waypoints for future rides on it) before his leaving. Then he sold his KLR BEFORE we could ride it again
So WHAT would any self-respecting 'Versatile' V-rider do...?
Yup - get out the maps and try it solo, which I did yesterday. Forecast was to get close to 100F again so my 100oz 'Platypus' was filled-up while I put mesh pants on along with a NON-mesh jacket, the better to delay evaporation while enhancing it, as I could soak my t-shirt for cooling. Left here at 0900, and started up the Princeton Road in Peachland at 1000hrs. It turns to dirt pretty quickly, so I was busy watching for "familiar" dirt trails cutting off it to the south, occasionally stopping to re-check my maps, then making a waypoint prior to turning off the main road IN CASE I'd found the right trail.
I tried a few trails, but all of them petered out within a mile or so, so it was back to the gravel road, eliminating the waypoints I'd made for them.
There's lots of logging in BC so I wasn't surprised to feel, then see, a huge logging truck coming up in my 6. Pulled well over to let him pass, waiting for the dust to subside at least a LITTLE before starting up, then within minutes saw a FULL one coming towards me in HIS cloud of dust! Luck was with me and these were the only two I saw, as I turned southerly onto another gravel road which did NOT have dust
all over the bushes and trees along the sides, presumably because no logging was happening in that area.
About 1100hrs my GPS began indicating that the Summerland-Princeton dirt road was paralleling me, just south of my position, and I came upon the KVR (Kettle Valley Railway) right-of-way, now a hiking/ biking/ motorized trail heading west, MY direction, so I joined onto it for the next 30 minutes till it joined into the Summerland-Princeton dirt road, near a creek. Looked like a good lunch site as well as 'water-for-my-teeshirt' site, so I put the Green Hornet onto its stand, pulled out my tripod and camera for a picture, then took my lunch-break. Afterwards, pulling the soaking tee over my head was definitely a "WHO-O-O THAT'S COLD!" moment, but it settled down to very comforting as it cooled me.
After another 20 to 30 minutes the road became paved, so I turned up 'the wick', passing many cottages, and soon was passing Princeton, headed east on the "Old Hedley Highway", staying off the main east-west highway and its attendant traffic. Soon I rode through Hedley, stopping only for a couple of pics, then east to that twisty road I mentioned earlier - the Hedley Nickel Plate Road - (but first I stopped at a culvert to re-soak my t-shirt) and some more pics as I rode up above 6,300'.
(I apologize for the pic of the "Hedley Nickel Plate Road" on my GPS being out-of-focus.)
From the top, that dirt road passes through MANY more switch-backs till it joins the Apex Mountain ski-hill road back down to Highway 97 in Penticton, and about 45 minutes of paved 97 to Kelowna where I live. The Apex road is LONG and a JOY to ride, but you need to be mindful of gravel thrown onto the travel portion in switch-backs and turns, probably by pickups going wide.
That's possibly a 30 minute ride JUST down to 97 at the speed limit of 60 KPH (36 mph), but I MIGHT have made it a BIT sooner...
When I filled up in Kelowna for my second time yesterday (11L of gas) I had achieved 73.6 mpgImperial (58.8 mpgUS), not too bad considering that of that 286 kms, probably 100 to 120 was on gravel (on ContiMotion tires, which are NOT DS rubber!), and as you can see from my GPS pics at the end, my average speed, and max, weren't excessive.
A good day was had, even IF I have to wash the bike sometime soon!
PS - I'm hoping that Ray can tell me exactly where the trails I missed start, for NEXT time!!!