Blame it on the Rain
Cuba Summary

June 30, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes:So I got the early start that I wanted today, AND I got chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast too! Yum-yum! I had a plan; get to Summerland, arrange for a Warmshowers or Couchsurfing host, and then get ready to relax for a day or two. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, blah blah, it was going to be a great day I was certain!

As I arrived back at the KVR trailhead, I was astonished to see a bicycle tour company on site. There were half a dozen, definitely not regular cyclists, not wearing helmets, who were going to ride down the last 20km of the Kettle Valley Railway, and then spend the afternoon visiting a bunch of wineries. Amanda thinks it’s a great way to encourage people to get out on their bikes. I dunno, I think they should have been forced to wear helmets; it’s the law?!?

I gave the day-trippers about a five minute head start and then cut into the trail. The first section of today was definitely a fun-filled downhill romp in the classic sense. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a touch because I’ve definitely romped harder on a full-suspension mountain bike. Still, this 170kg of pure-energy rolled smooth and fast, and blew past the group ahead in short order. Amanda was right behind, and I could tell by the smile on her face that she was enjoying the pace today.

It’s weird..the original Kettle Valley Railway trail peters out close to Summerland, because the real Kettle Valley Railway is still in operation, for tourists. As a result, the nice flat trail gets replaced with an uppy-downy-twisty-turny bike path for the last few kilometres into town. It was kind of a drag. Then the trail just ends and spits you out on a road, at the bottom of a hill. Ugh.

We found our way into “downtown” Summerland and setup at a coffee house where I hatched my plan for a roof over our heads tonight. Amanda kept busy yakking with locals who were all agog at our loaded touring bikes. It’s always the same opening question, some variation of “Where you going?”. I’ve found that people don’t respond very well to the truth. If we reply “Around the World”, the conversation ends pretty quickly..”Oh, that’s nice, good luck!” seems pretty popular. If we provide answers a little bit shorter in distance, like Jasper, this seems to then steer the conversation into more familiar territory for everyone. We’ll sometimes throw out that we’re heading to Argentina after, but people just gloss over this too. It’s weird.

Back to my plan…it went nowhere. I spent 4 hours in coffee houses this afternoon trying in vain to find a place to sleep, I did find a place in Kelowna which we’ll head to in the next few days. As the dinner hour approached, we cut our losses and headed back for the KVR towards Penticton. We didn’t go very far, just far enough out of town that we wouldn’t see anyone, and more importantly no one would see us.

We heard talk of it raining again tonight. As I look out of the tent, across Okanagan Lake, I can see lightning streaking across the clouds. It looks really beautiful. I wish you were here to see it with me. Maybe next time…


Today’s Photographs

Blame it on the Rain
Cuba Summary