Home > Day to Day > 146 km…and almost every one of them a treat!

146 km…and almost every one of them a treat!

“What a difference a day makes…” (helped by a wonderful campsite, free wifi and warm dry weather).

You might not guess how big a deal it is to wake up in the dry — with not even dew on the rain fly! Layer on the blue sky, warm air, raucous rushing river and majestic rockface backdrop and you have the makings of a perfect day. And so it nearly was! Why ‘nearly’? There were some hard climbs. It got hot. Some stretches had narrow shoulders. The map instructions were not perfect. And yet…we moved at a good pace and it seemed almost too easy to reach Penticton.

We visited the restaurant where Ric’s daughter, Kaitlin, works. She had a day off, so we crossed the road to A&W, for their well-reviewed burgers. When I placed my order I explained the Cycle4SchoolBOX to the nervous, ‘first day on the job’ server. An older couple standing behind me made eye contact: “Are you really riding all the way to St. John’s? And  what is this charity?’ After a short conversation the woman asked: “Do you accept cash?” Then her husband pulled out his wallet and handed me a $5 bill. And they both wished me luck!

More riding, a few hair-raising moments on Hwy 97 North, overflowing with an amazing amount of traffic. We swooped downhill towards the stunning bridge, when someone shouted that bikes were not allowed! We stopped, stunned for a moment. Then we reviewed the instructions and realized that there was a bike and pedestrian lane, accessible via a side route. It was a quick and lovely crossing of the lake, and then my GPS saved us from making a wrong turn. Within minutes we arrived at the Royal Anne Hotel.

After four days of camping, almost any hotel would look great. But this is truly a lovely place: big rooms, two king-sized beds, very generous Continental Breakfast, central location… with the digital sign across the street flashing “24C”. I spun up the AC and collapsed on the first bed and stayed immobile for about half an hour. Then – basically what you would expect: shower, laundry, boxes in from the truck, a pint of Stella compliments of Graeme, dinner arrangements at the Italian restaurant next door. Seven of us are seated around a table.

A flash of turquoise and baby blue streaks across the sidewalk, bumps into the restaurant’s door, swings it open and glides in. Ric. On rollerblades. Deep tan, broad smile. Our own EverReady Bunny is at it again, making everyone smile. He is remarkably ‘on’ 24/7 and at the same time sensitive and astute, with deeply held values.

The luxury of a wonderful bed clothed in clean, crisp, luxurious linens. Sleep came quickly.

Tuesday. Our first rest day. Woke up early. Luxuriated in bed.

Wonderful buffet Continental Breakfast: fruit slices, cereals, breads and baked goods, eggs, … Continental is a misnomer here. Had a very productive coaching call with two clients and my partner Keren. Rang a local radio station for my first interview. Repacked my boxes for better functionality. Donned a Cycle4 SchoolBOX jersey and went to the lobby to meet Andrea from the Kelowna Daily Courier. Excellent questions and a good interview. Excellent lunch at “Bread” across the street. Back to the hotel for the 2:00 pm interview. No one is at the station, just voicemail. A flurry of exchanges with Jon and Rachael. Did we make an error? Should we try to reschedule? The call comes in an hour late: he was called out urgently to cover the near-crash of a plane at the Vernon airport. Apologies accepted. Another good interview.

Walked around looking for a few items, including zip-ties, the plastic strips that form one-way tightening loops. For the map case. Kelowna downtown has no hardware, automotive, paint or construction stores. I enter a small mall and ask the elderly security man about such s store. There isn’t one…and he goes out to his truck and returns with one tie, a gift. This is such a new experience for me: smiling at strangers, asking for help, being open to their generosity.

I get a curious sensation: Kelowna is a premier retirement destination, while also attracting numerous young people. So on the street I see large groups of the grey rinse set, and not too far from them are couples and small groups and larger mobs of skimpily dressed, vaguely hippie-ish, heavily tatooed young people. True contrast, and little open contact or conflict.

Dinner with four others at a Thai restaurant across the street and down the block. Recommended by the hotel concierge and another person. Some of the best Thai food I ever had. And very appreciative for the extra care re my allergy.

Back to the room. Isabel came over and reciprocated for me cleaning and oiling her chain and help her with tires’ air pressure: she gave Jim (with whom I am sharing the room) and I lovely massages. Excellent technique and superb strength in a 71 year old body.

Expect another lovely day tomorrow: dry, hot, only about 106 km. An interview and a photo op on the way to Mara. And there I will meet Shirley Case’s parents. Another full and exciting day. GOOD LUCK everyone!

Fueled by Equator Coffee

image

River Haven Campground, Hedley. Possibly the nicest camp ever: right by the river; nice grading; amazing showers and washer-dryers…
imageRiver Haven Campground, Hedley. What you can’t see is the rushing river just a couple of meters beyond the tents. But the rock face is very visible!
imageFisherman’s dream lake, near Osoyoos. Massive rock blasting just beyond — about a half hour wait before they let us through.
imageLooking north upon Skana Lake, onto the Penticton airport. Stunning views every moment.
imageLooking south upon Skana Lake
imageClimbing out of Summerland
imageThe backs of Owen, Bill and Landen
image

The fronts of Owen, Bill and Landen

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Categories: Day to Day
  1. Avi
    June 22, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Wonderful to read your experiences. Happy to see you have nice experiences with your fellow riders….. Praying for continued good weather for all of you…:-)) Cheers, Avi.

  2. June 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    What a ride Ilan; the paradox of synchronicity and obstacles and beauty and gloom. Be well. We are waiting. Dox

  3. June 21, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Beautiful pix! Hope you’re having fun!!!!!

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