Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May 2 – Biking Kettle Valley Rail Trail

A perfect day! A high in the low 20s, no wind and lots of sun and a truly amazing view at our destination.

Today we did our first bike ride of the year. There are hundreds of kilometers to the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. We did a small section from just north of Penticton to a place 13 km farther north called The Little Tunnel.

Screenshot (1)

As you can see from the elevation profile, the trail climbs up about 300 m (980 feet) in elevation at a constant 2.2%. There are no flat spots or even dips, just a constant climb. What this meant that even thought our total trip was about 26 km, it is really hard to count the return trip because it was 13 km of not having to pedal at all. We went up at a plodding 11 kph and came back at a pretty constant 25 kph. Sometimes we had to pedal a bit just to keep our legs from cramping.

We parked our car and first went about 1 km south to check out the only trestle for the day.


Jennie waited while I went across. Anybody have an idea what these plants are?


Is putting locks on the bridge called “Love Locks”?



Heading back north through the vineyards.


Through some rock cuts.


Parts of this section of the trail did not have much of a view.



At one point, as we were crossing a road, this sign was blocking the entrance to the rest of the trail.


There had been a large washout and the trail was closed. Two ladies happened to be walking towards us and said that some friends had made it passed the washout by carrying their bikes but had got a bit muddy. We decided to continue and give it a try.

It turns out that the repairs were almost complete. The guys waved us through.


In the section above Naramata we passed by a lot of very nice houses, high up on the side of the valley overlooking the lake. Lots of windows and lots of retaining walls.


I think this person had a roll off roof observatory for their telescope.


The trail also went right by the top of Naramata Falls, that we had hiked to on Sunday. You couldn’t see much of it from up here and I didn’t see a trail down (not that I would have taken it).



After Naramata the trail got spectacular. We are now high up enough to get those really long distance views.



A photosphere from near here.

We found a nice shady spot for lunch.



Just across the lake was the town of Summerland, where we hiked up Giants Head on Monday.



Another viewpoint / rest stop. By now the constant uphill was getting to us a bit.



We crossed a few of these filled in valleys with steep slopes on each side. I kept to the middle of the trail.


The end is in sight.


The Little Tunnel.


I tried to combine a picture of the dark interior with another of the bright opening. It looks a bit weird.


Strangely the path through the tunnel and a little way passed it was paved.

Looking north, towards Kelowna.


And south, towards Penticton.


And south, from a bit farther along.


We just stood and stared here for a long time.

The photosphere. I am going to be coming back to this one very often. A new “happy place” to add to the list.

Heading back we stopped on the other side of the tunnel for a snack and another long stare.



And a photosphere from here.

And then the long, glorious 13 km coast back to the car. The only way to bike!


Getting lower.


Our butts were pretty sore at the end but it sure was a great first ride.

1 comment:

  1. 13k up a 2.2% grade is not trivial. Well done and it's so nice to enjoy the free ride back down!!! Love the tunnel pics!!!