June 14, 2008

6/14/08 Fintry P.P., BC

88.2km/540km

Last night we had a heck of a wind storm. I was a bit worried with us camping under a lot of trees, thinking my nylon tent wouldn't stop a big branch if it fell. But I survived and it turned out to be a wonderful morning, even if a bit on the cooler side.

We had almost an immediate climb into and through Summerland. Even with the early hour on a Saturday, traffic was pretty heavy as it seemed to take forever for us to reach the top. George says this is the Napa of Canada and I could believe it. On almost every corner, there was a sign for a different winery.

Greata Ranch Vineyards

Just outside of town, we had to bike through a major highway construction area, zipping past hundreds of waiting cars and trucks. Sometimes it pays to be on a bike.

Believe it or not, we're still following the Okanagan Lake. I'm not sure how long it is, but we'll still be riding alongside it tomorrow. Some headwinds along the shoreline but the lake is an amazing sight.

Okanagan Lake

If you ever stop off in Peachland, drop in at the Bliss Bakery 'live-love-laugh-loaf' and try out their cinnamon rolls or pecan rolls. We took a side road along the water to bypass some of the highway, but soon enough we were back to climbing again.

Westbank is a pretty big town and we ended up riding through more heavy traffic along the highway. And with still more headwinds and climbing. Eventually Mike signaled to take a turn onto Westside Road and we left the traffic noise behind.

Instead of following the shoreline, the road took us higher into the forest that covers the mountains lining the lake. I was wrong in thinking the other day was a roller-coaster. Today was fun but a lot of up-and-down-plus-more-up work. We didn't have a shoulder so it was a good thing that we had little traffic.

At about the end of my energy reserves, we finally reached the turn off for Fintry Provisional Park. I groaned aloud when I realized that for as high as we were, the campground was along the lake shore some 660ft below us. I clutched the brakes almost the whole way down, dreading the climb back up in the morning.

Tents up and ready for dinner

This is a large campground but the showers are free. The park ranger suggested we change campsites to one less in the sun among the trees. Still a bit chilly as we get ready to sleep. All in all a good day, sort of.

View from the dock