Posted by: Silver | April 12, 2011

Osoyoos to Rock Creek

Distance: 61 km
Ascent: 1165 m
Cycling time: 4 hours 37 minutes

All the way down the Okanagan valley, people kept saying, “you do know about the mountain at the bottom – don’t you…?!”. Well, I do now. And I have to say, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the Coquihalla. But maybe that’s just because the sun was shining this time. Or perhaps because I wasn’t trying to do this mountain pass on my first day back after several weeks of sitting on buses… In any case, Anarchist Mountain is slightly shorter than the Coquihalla in both height and horizontal distance, and the road is so much quieter that I was able to dance my way up a good part of the ascent 🙂 (Climbing hills on a trike is such a leisurely and relaxed affair that it’s safe to take your hands off the handlebars for much of the time; I always held on again if a car went past, of course, but that was mainly just so they wouldn’t wonder what the heck I was doing… ;-)) I also added a shade to my personal speed record coming down the other side, finally breaking the 65 km/h barrier 🙂 Ranger would have happily gone faster, but even with the fairing, the wind chill at that speed was pretty brutal, and I suspect my instinct for self-preservation may prevent any vast advances on that record now…

My time in Rock Creek was basically planned as a rest stop after so many presentations and interviews all the way down the Okanagan, and the Kettle Valley, in which Rock Creek is nestled, is certainly an extremely attractive place to catch some R&R. Exactly like the Rock Creek I visited in the Yukon, however, this Rock Creek is also in ‘gold rush’ territory, so, in between well-earned naps, I got to try my hand at gold panning. I reckoned a nice-sized nugget would go a long way towards laying the foundation of a new SOS Children’s Village, but of course, we didn’t find even a single flake. It did, however, still provide a fascinating insight into another important aspect of Canada’s western history – and man’s greed-fuelled disrespect for the environment…

So close! As I pedalled out of the valley, the blossom was so very nearly blossoming...

Ranger admiring the view of the Coastal Mountains from the lookout on Anarchist Mountain

There were a lot of chipmunks in the rest area at the top of Anarchist Mountain

The area around Osoyoos really is a 'pocket desert': by the time you get up the mountain, you're back into pine forest again...

... and when you finally get to the summit (note the signpost in the background!), it's rangelands again

The Kettle River: not a bad place to relax


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