Posted by: Silver | April 8, 2011

Penticton to Okanagan Falls to Oliver

Distance: 25 km & 23 km
Ascent: 173 m & 115 m
Cycling time: 1 hour 28 minutes & 1 hour 21 minutes

A short hop that got broken down into two even shorter hops on account of two people in the area wanting to host me!

One of the people I spoke to in Williams Lake recommended his town because of its sunny winters: ‘unlike the Okanagan’, he said, ‘where the clouds can get trapped in the valley for days’. I now feel I can vouch for this assessment. The Okanagan is famous for its fruit blossom-filled springs, and its blisteringly hot, sunny summers, but I am evidently a little early for either 😦 I had hoped I might at least catch a few blossoms, but as everyone keeps telling me, spring is very late here this year…

My time in the area was still very pleasant though: even the cloudiest weather can’t hide the majestic rocky bluffs that characterize this part of the valley, and a far more generous time slot for my presentation here gave me the opportunity to do more justice to the wonderful work that SOS Children’s Villages does around the world, as well as introduce my audience to Silver the goat 😉

There is a bike path that starts around 8km north of Oliver, so I was able to complete the last part of my journey in the company of the gently-flowing Okanagan River, rather than the speedily-flowing traffic of highway 97 🙂 Admittedly, the highway was no longer as unpleasant as it had been further north anyway (lighter traffic, wider shoulder), but it was still very nice indeed to have a ‘road’ all to myself.

The town of Oliver has a very informative self-guided heritage walking tour, very obviously written by someone with a keen interest in architecture. The ‘western’ settlement here only dates back to the inter-war years, when an irrigation project brought engineers and others to the area; the ‘Ditch’ that they built still keeps the valley from being a desert. From its beginnings in the Great Depression, the town has apparently continued to struggle, but I do hope it finds its niche as it did strike me as a place with a lot of attractive potential.

Back by popular demand: I give you Ranger! Here he is, enjoying the view of Skaha Lake from the east side road (much quieter and flatter than the highway)

I'd already stopped to take a photo of some bluffs before I even noticed these bighorn sheep grazing at the foot of them!

And here's Ranger again, on the way to Oliver, with Vaseux Lake and McIntyre Bluff in the background

'The Ditch': lifeblood of the valley and the reason for Oliver's existence



  1. Though it is lovely to see a picture of Ranger, this blog sorely lacks pictures of you, Silver…. Sil te plaît?…


  2. But you know what I look like! 😉 Besides, I’m generally the only one around to take the picture, so I’m behind the camera not in front of it, where I prefer to be! I promise I’ll post any *nice* photos of me – but you know perfectly well how often I think a photo of me is nice…. 😉

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