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Nick & Tim’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 17 Jun 2003

Location: Grand Forks, Canada

Map1170 km

Here we are in Grand Forks - a nice little town in the Boundary Region of BC. We just had a day off yesterday, and we're on fire today with 50km covered before lunch. Last time we spoke we were in Penticton. That day we climbed and climbed back up to 1200m and Chute Lake. The climb was on a very gradual slope though, and the views of Lake Okanagan the whole way up made it a pleasure. As the altitude increased, we left the wine country and desert and entered sub-alpine kind of stuff again. You can't blink or you'll miss the Canadian desert! Near the top of the hill, the rain started to pur pretty hard. The nice cooling effect getting a bit too cool after a while. Luckily we reached Chute Lake and decided to stop in at the Lodge there. It was fantastic. So cosy. The Apple Pie its famed for was all gone, but rhubarb pie and bran muffins sufficed. With the rain not stopping it was pretty hard to drag ourselves away from there. But we did. We rode through rain, mist and fog to a wild camping spot near the bellevue trestle. Here we camped in a nice place - shame about the swarms of little biting things.

Next day we rode Myra Canyon. We'd been looking forward to this, its where the Kettle Valley Railway engineers just built massive trestles and tunnels in succession all around a canyon to get around it. I guess, they figured brute force engineering was the only way. It was pretty spectacular and a nice ride too with the sun back to shine on us. The riding from there was a little mundane, with a long downlhill through forest. But nice anyway. Eventually we reached Beaverdell. A nice little town with just a few too many mullets for our liking. We stayed the night at Zack's Camping a great little spot and ate burgers for dinner.

Next day we were away again heading to Midway and the Boundary region of BC. Not expecting to see much on this day we came across two surpises. First, the cyclist's rest stop, a shaded area with water and a replica caboose complete with beds for cyclists to stay in - for free. The champion responsible for this was a guy named Paul Lautard. His father had worked for the railway and now he made this place for cyclists to rest and refill their water. Paul came down to see us, and showed us some tricks his dog "Stumpy" could do. Pretty impressive rock tricks. Stumpy was apparently a Blue Dog - Dingo cross. We couldn't see it, but didn't question the man's dog breeding facts out of politness!

Not more than 5 km from Paul's we came across a second surprise - a bear just stting by the side of the trail. Sunning himself happily. We slowed down next to him. He sniffed the air a bit and obviously decided he was far to relaxed in the sun to come and maul us. We took some photos. Check out the photo page, for the bear photo.

That night we got to Midway a little town on the US border. We found a camp site next to the Kettle River that was very nice. To our surprise, the guy running the site, Steve Stewart, was an Ausssie. A top Aussie even. Steve was extremely generous in his hospitality, only 10 bucks per tent and another ten bucks to rent a canoe and go down the river. Steve had moved to Canada in 1965, but he grew up in Manly (just like us) and he's still quite the Aussie (he could be heard telling his dog to "go'on git out of it"). So we decided the next day would be a rest, we stayed in Midway and Steve drive us up the river with a Canoe. We floated back down, barely needing to paddle. Mucho relaxo. That brings us to here. The Kootenays and the Rockies ahead. Things should get even more interesting!