I had run out of travel food the night before and ate a vending machine dinner of Doritos and fruit snacks, so by the time I hit the road in the morning, I was starving. I stopped in at a little diner for a massive stack of pancakes and sausage.
The other diners were very friendly and were asking about my trip. I had my map spread out and told them I planned to take the Crow’s Nest West to Vancouver.
“No, no” a man in overalls interrupted “That road winds through the mountains and a bunch of little towns, what you want to do is take the interstate. It’s straight and flat and much faster.”
I laughed to myself, smiled and thanked him for telling me what I needed to know.
The Crow’s Nest did indeed wind through the mountains and the weather was very erratic. I would be getting drenched for miles and then dip into a valley where I would be overheating in just my mesh armor. I didn’t get as many pictures as I would like due to the rain.
Some kind of concrete monument with flags of the world
I laughed so hard at this sign and just had to stop and buy some fruit. We call my friend Aaron “Pringle” and I thought it complimented this old picture I took of him:
The road entering Osoyoos was absurdly twisty.
It was a very pretty place and warm, with a beach that reminded me of Mexico, but unfortunately it was very popular and all the campsites were full, so I moved on down the road to a place called Keremeos.
I found some very affordable tent sites at the Grist Mill Gardens and settled in for the day.
I went out for a walk around the eerily quiet little town.
The place has very bizarre mountains.
All over town there were signs with big red letters saying “NO NATIONAL PARK!” I asked some locals about it and they told me that the government wanted to turn their town into a National Park and they were all adamantly against it.
The Gardens had given me a little brochure which featured a map of the town and some surrounding attractions, including some natural rock formations called the Keremeos Kolumns. I thought it might be cool to check out, so I stopped at a fruit stand in the morning and asked about it.
“Yeah” the man at the fruitstand said “It’s about a four mile hike to get to the columns”
“Oh. Dang, I don’t think I have time for that. Too bad, they looked really neat.”
He thought for a second, looked at me and then at my bike. “I bet you could take this thing up there, it’s a dirt bike right?”
“Yep!” I wished I still had my knobbies instead of switching to the trail wings, but heck, I’d give it a try.
I got directions to the unmarked site. Turn right after the cemetery and make a right, then take the dirt road up the mountain to your left. Got it.
The road started out decent, but there were large sections of loose rock and my tires were having trouble gripping. Being loaded to the gills wasn’t helping.
I pulled over at this smoother spot and removed most of my luggage, stashing my bags behind a tree. I got back on and had a great ride up the rest of the mountain. The bike handled a million times better.
View of the town
The dirt road narrowed to a horse path and randomly forked and branched off several times. I began to wonder if I would ever find the columns and my heart sunk when I hit a dead end. But just as I started to turn the bike around, I spotted them through some trees.
They were incredible.
I was so thankful at that moment for my bike and for this place not being a National Park. There wasn’t another soul in sight, no cheesy giftshops, just me and my bike and a little piece of paradise. I sat for a long time eating blueberries and admiring my surroundings.
I wandered back down the mountain, collected my luggage and rode out of town smiling.
The rest of the Crow’s Nest was insanely foggy and wet. I only got one photo the whole way to Vancouver.
Note the color of the sky…
I rolled into Vancouver cold, wet and exhausted. The traffic was overwhelming. Despite Vancouver being a city I have always wanted to visit, I just didn’t feel up to chaos of the big city. This trip for me was about seeing the beauty of nature and I decided it was time to check out the Western US coast and turned immeditaely south to, waving Canada goodbye…