Right off the bat I'll apologize - NO pics as my camera has been sent back to Canon to be fixed, and my "pro-level Nikon" is just TOO BULKY, TOO HEAVY
to hang around my neck while riding, especially while riding dirt!
For those who know the BC interior - I rode from home to Vernon (via my 'usual' route along Lk Oganagan), then joined BC 97 and headed W to Westwold where I turned S onto the Douglas Lake Rd, which VERY shortly becomes dirt, w/ some very DEEP gravel sections enroute to the top. It is enroute to the Douglas Ranch, one of the biggest ranches in N America, as well as the BIGGEST in Canada!
. My plan was a bit different, tho', and I was riding ALONE
Near the top as the road levels off, it has a fork in it - straight S ahead to the ranch, but take the left leg (Salmon River FSR [forest service road]) E in a descending route to the N end of Lake Okanagan at Newport Beach/ Parker Cove. At least THAT was MY plan
, and I HAVE ridden it before.
I stopped for a lunch break near the 'fork', then saddled-up and started heading E, the "road" in some-what 'reasonable' condition as the GREEN HORNET TOO began descending. The trail wasn't too bad but it IS twisty, and I saw places where heavy equipment had been used to remove some heavy rock falls from the traveled portions (I would have turned back rather than make my way thru them IF they'd still been on the road...), passed a current logging operation, still heading downwards.
A few miles later the road LOOKED like it was ending
, as there were three recent 'slides' that made largish mounds on the trail, obscuring the remainder of that part, but as I neared the mounds I could see the "two-track" continuing, and rideable... I figured
- once I got past those mounds.
Rode thru there fairly easily, then another mile later I came up on a 'wash-out' from the recent July heavy rains we'd had, so I stopped, put the bike onto its side-stand, then walked over to survey it. It was fairly extensive, but the left side of it had been used by something (ATVs...?) and appeared 'doable' so I saddled-up, onto the 'pegs, and rode thru - easy-peasy
- but looking at the time I realized I'd been riding about an hour since leaving the "fork".
I continued merrily along for another mile (or so), at which time I saw ANOTHER 'wash-out', but THIS one was marked by a boulder in the road spray-painted red, along w/ red 'surveyors- tape' along the left side. Again I put the bike onto its stand, then walked over for a "look-see"....
NO FRIGGING WAY!!!
It was about 30 feet across, sunk about 10 to 15 feet, and there MIGHT have been a way past it IF I was 25 again, and riding a LIGHT-WEIGHT serious dirt bike
, but DEFINITELY not on a 470 pound Versys piloted by an old-crock such as me!!!
I turned the bike thru 180 degrees, realizing that IF it went down I would have one HELLUVA job getting it back up ... IF I could get it up
, and that the walk back would have been a LONG one, as there's little to NO likelihood of another vehicle showing up there! I mentally kicked myself in the butt for putting myself there...!
After I got pointed back W (and uphill) I rode about an hour to get back to that fork, where I turned right (N), and reversed course back home via Westwold, Vernon, the "lake-road" then home.
Totals for the day: 326 kms (202 miles) in just under SEVEN hours, probably 100 kms [60 miles] of dirt
, and when I stopped to fill up I had used 11.9L to go 326.4 kms, for 27.4 kms/L. THAT comes to 77.4 mpgIMPERIAL, 61.9 mpgUS.
THAT might sound exceptional until you realize that I probably averaged 40 km/hr - 25 mph
on those dirt roads. Is there a lesson here? Probably that I was stupid to head out for a ride like that w/out someone else riding w/ me!