I’m almost too tired to blog, but I don’t want to disappoint my 3 fans, so here goes. . . . . 😊
Mother Nature decided that Blair should babysit me for one more day by sending rain to the Olympic Peninsula. Hwy 2 was expecting snow overnight and Hwy 20 was closed, and any other route back west looked like it was going to dog me with significant rain. So the route home seemed clear – follow Blair up Hwy 82 and 97 and stay over in Osoyoos. Then take the Hope-Princeton through to Vancouver to catch the ferry to Victoria.
We left Yakima about 7:45 a.m. and booked outta there – so successfully that we got pulled over for speeding. I don’t know if it was our polite Canadian persona or just dumb luck to get a generous officer, but we got away with a warning. Spirits un-dampened, we cruised through the Yakima Canyon (picture by E. Hanson from the internet). With a desert-like landscape, the scenery was stunning and we enjoyed perfect weather on our way through. While the locals would probably tell us it’s not the most exciting ride, we certainly appreciated the changing geography and striking landscapes. Every once in awhile, we'd get a glimpse of the river or some pretty little scene would present itself in the small towns we passed through. Aside from a pit stop here and there for a washroom or drink of water or to top up with gas, we pushed through to Omak before stopping for a quick lunch at McGak's. Jumping back on the bikes, we headed for the Canadian border. We wondered if we should stop at the duty-free to avoid being searched when we realized we had been south of the border for 4 days and had nothing to declare! However, like a couple of horses headed for the barn at the end of a long ride we rode on up to the gate. I guess they figured we didn’t have enough room on those bikes for anything to worry about and they let us on through with no hassles anyway.
Arriving in Osoyoos about 2:00 p.m., we parted ways – Blair heading on home and me to the Tim Horton’s to check the weather and see if I could get a couple more hours under my belt before calling it a day. I pulled into the Tim’s parking lot and as I turned off the bike, a friend from Kelowna comes walking up. He said he recognized the bike and then looked at the little boots and figured it must be me! So we had a quick chit-chat before he carried on to his next job site.
I sat down with a cup of tea and google and no rain was showing so I decided I would shoot to get as far as Hope. I was on the road about 20 minutes when it started to rain. . . . Pulled over and threw on my rain shell and kept going. Rain didn’t get too serious and the ride over that highway is just beautiful. As tempted as I was to stop at the West Hedley Mall (picture from the internet), I gave it a miss, stopping only to take a photo here and there along the road and ensuring I had to pass the same damn semi one more time. Hedley, being the site of the old Mascot mine is actually quite a neat little place. I've been there before. If you look closely at the 7th photo below and can zoom in, you might see the old mine structures way up at the top of the mountain.
Stopped for a stretch at Princeton and was just back on the road before hitting some pretty tedious construction and a smattering of rain. Construction and traffic turned a 3 hour ride into 4 and by now it was starting to feel like work. Traffic eased up around Manning Park though and I almost had the road to myself. The curves and some rough road surfaces commanded the majority of my attention and the stunning scenery commanded the rest.
Got through to Hope and knew an 8.5-hour day in the saddle was enough – no point in trying to make the last 2 hours to the Tsawwassen ferry through lower mainland traffic. Checked into the Royal Hotel which is a great little place – very friendly and well kept, with great Wifi for blogging! There's a Chevron station, White Spot, an Italian restaurant and a Save-on Foods right across the road. Went for some seafood fettucini at the Italian place and am ready for a hot shower and a good sleep. Last leg of a successful adventure tomorrow!