Kootenay Boundary, Canada - Polarsteps

Trip total: 1071km (my odometer completely stopped working 8km short of 1000, so whatever, no cute odometer photos for us and we'll just have to google the distances unless/until we replace it down the line. In the last photo here I'm trying and failing to get it working). This was a 30km day of nonstop climbing; we finished at Anarchist Summit, 1236m, our third of six summits on our way through BC (I would argue more like fourth of eight based on how the climb toward Osoyoos felt, as well as the elevation profile of a climb coming up before we start up Mount Paulson). We started with tight switchbacks up the Osoyoos-facing side (that's where the lookout photos are from), and then crossing over the mountain the trees came back, as did the moisture in the air, and the road straightened out for longer sections. We hit the summit late in the day and found that the summit sign was missing (it apparently was hanging sideways for a while and then someone stole it). There's a very quiet RV park right at the summit, and we popped in to ask what they would charge us to camp for the night; the sweet couple who owns it offered us a good rate, so we stayed to avoid having to go any further on the road or into the evening. We've had hot showers two nights in a row now and are trying not to get too used to this life of luxury. Towards the end of the day we passed the Kootenay boundary sign, which is really exciting because it means soon we'll be with Grace in Winlaw and then with Julie and Dylan in Krestova. We still have the Mount Paulson pass coming up first, but we also have about 100km of Trans Canada Trail that we get to start on tomorrow, which is an amazing distance to spend off the highway. Make sure you look closely at the photo of the eagle statue; Kini spotted this friend along the way, and you'll know when you see it. -Sara Having a night in a cheap hotel was such a treat; The Spanish Fiesta Resort was definitely past its heyday but honestly I like the charm that worn down places (that are still clean, comfy and safe) have. Having had a proper, full night of sleep after a night where I didn't get nearly enough after such a huge climb from Keremeos. I can really feel the fatigue from when we stealth camp vs when we have a place to set up and relax. Sara's bike rim was a bit more of a project then I had expected; the second flat she got that day came on suddenly and she fish tailed while she stopped. This made the rim a bit wonky, but moreso it seemed to make the rubber tire itself wonky. Which was a bit confusing, especially when trying to true a rim on a bike without my shop tools. I got the rim as straight as possible in the end; when I put the tire back on it and inflated it it had some slight wobble again. Once I have shop acess again I'll go through the whole truing gambit with it. I was feeling uneasy not knowing the spoke tension so I walked it down to the one bike shop in town and left a little unimpressed. Some shops don't use tensiometers to calibrate spoke tension but rather a method of feel and plucking the spokes to listen to pitch. There is no way those methods are as accurate as using tools, maybe good for in a pinch (like truing your own rim on a tour after a fishtailing incident) but not in a shop. Especially a high end one where people were buying bikes that were at least 3000$. I half expected this going in, I had been warned by my instructor Smokey at Bicycle University. The mechanic I talked to also explained that his truing method was tightening spokes off the bat and that's kind of the opposite of what you do. Anyways, not to belly ache too long or talk down another mechanic but what I was basically doing, truing without proper equipment, was the same way this shop operated. So I looked up truing by feel and pitch and applied what I could to Sara's rim. So far so good :) Anyways, back to the cheap hotel; what a treat to have a cozy bed to slug out in, a hot shower and a place I could just walk around naked for hours without the authorities being called. I even did some bike repair naked, what a goddam delight. It's the little things that make life wonderful, folks. It was also such a luxury to order a pizza and watch netflix. We (more like Sara, I feel asleep about 10 minutes in) watched "Pedal the World", a documentrary about some German guy who bike toured for a year. I slept like a rock and got up the next morning with a misson of cycling to Tim Hortons for coffee (creeeeaaaammm and sugar!) and bagels. With cream cheese ( I am so not vegan on this trip). I also do not really drink coffee much at all and the hit of caffiene put me on turbo mode, so packing up our stuff was quick and easy. The climb up Anarchist Mounatin wasn't the worst steepness-wise but it was looooong. The climb out of Osoyoos, up to the look out, was the toughest part. That and the sketchy corners where there wasn't much shoulder at times. When we reached the lookout a posse of four bikers rolled in wih Blondie playing; I was delighted to see it was an all-female posse, 3 of them middle aged, just having a rip and talking motorcycles. Sweet! In the end, because of the climbing, it took us 7 hours to do 30km. It felt like so much more distance than that. It was ironic how the Anarchist Mountain area was just poppin' with huge, extravagant houses all along the mounatin sides; unless these homes are teeming with that rare breed of anarchocapitalists. The rest areas along the route were also apparently under video surveillance. The irony is just too funny. We reached the summit at the end of our day, which was kind of a guess because we once again had no summit signage to confirm that. Turns out the roadside pole we took photos with was where the sign was. #3!!! . We saw there was an RV park right down the road so we rolled in to ask about the rate. They gave us a deal so we found a great place for the night. The owners opened the RV park in 2019, so they have had a rough go with covid and wildfire affecting the business thus far. They have great visons for the place; on top of an rv park they are going to build an aquaculture greenhouse, all solar-powered. Awesome. I never would have guessed I would be happy with staying in an rv park, but the two we have stayed in have been wonderful. It all really depends on who is running it of course, but there has been the flexibility and kindness to accomdate us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. - Kini
  1. derailed
  2. 🚲 Bike Jaunt 🚲
  3. Kootenay Boundary