This view is along the KVR trail from Princeton to Coalmont. The riders went for a dip in the Tulameen River just steps below.

Biking the KVR from Princeton to Coalmont

Water...we knew we were going to need lots of water. The temperature was 36 degrees Celcius when last we looked and it was not yet noon. Anita and I re-examined our packs before heading west.

  • Sep. 13, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Water…we knew we were going to need lots of water.  The temperature was 36 degrees Celcius when last we looked and it was not yet noon.  Anita and I re-examined our packs before heading west.

Waves of heat bounced off the pavement.  We had parked my SUV out at Coalmont, so we were ready.  Anita and I had been planning this excursion since June, so no hot day was going to deter us from our destination.  We both hopped on our mountain bikes and biked away from the Spotlight office up past the Princeton Arena towards the Bridge of Dreams.

As a member of the Vermilion Trails Society, this first part of the bike trip was a checklist of pride.  The Bridge of Dreams was our baby.  The pavement was ours.  We cycled on, under Highway #3 past the Weyerhaeuser Roundhouse, another VTS project, past Phifer’s Fountain which VTS was instrumental in bringing to town and towards the outskirts of town past trees and bushes we had planted.  It was a nice feeling knowing that Princeton was a little better because of the group I was involved with.

We came to the Princeton Tunnel.  It is long, dark and cool inside.  The reprieve from the heat is brief but welcomed.  We stop at the trestle.  I show Anita where we jump off into the Tulameen River.  “No way,” she says looking down.  “You could not get me to do that.  I would rather jump out of a plane.”

I laugh at my friend.  I used those same words a week ago.  Anita and I head away from town.

The bike trip itself is 18.9 kilometers from the Princeton Gateway at Irly Bird.  Parts of it are deep with unpacked surface material.  It is a bit of a slug to push through.  By the time, we bike out past the red bluffs, the hoodoos and the Thomas farm, Anita and I are needing a break.  We pass our lunch destination by accident and find ourselves at the gazebo, another VTS project.  Sitting under the shade of the roof, we soak up the scenery.  The river roars quietly below us.  Another tunnel lies just ahead.  We agree we have burned off the calories from our mochas with whipped cream from CoCos earlier in the day as we munch on trail mix and sandwiches.  Both Anita and I are feeling good still.  “What a beautiful trail,” she exclaims looking around.  “I know…we are lucky,” I reply.

My friend Anita is from Hope.  She has done bits of the Trans Canada Trail and is delighted with our trip so far today.  Anita had heard about the Kettle Valley Rail Trail last winter on a trip to China RIdge showshoeing.

The Tulameen River is calling our name.  We look down at it longingly.  We are hot…very hot.  “What do you think the temperature is now?” Anita asks.  “It feels like 38…maybe 40,” I reply.  “We need to swim.”

Anita and I bike through the second tunnel keeping one eye firmly on the road and one eye darting back and forth to the river.  We are scouting for a swimming hole.  The bank is too steep where we are, but we are not discouraged.

For a half hour, we cycle on.  Then, victory.  Just before the second trestle, there is a spot to climb down to the river.  We kick down our kick stands and carefully descend down a rocky trail.  Runners off and we are in.

The river is cold, but heavenly.  This is Anita’s first time in the river this year.  “It’s freezing,” she states.  “It’s awesome,” I reply.  I swim around in a deep pool made for swimmers.  Anita dips under again.

Cooled off, we ascend to our bikes.  Another cyclists whizs by as we drink deep from our water bottles.  He is heavily packed down…obviously camping along the way to somewhere much farther than we are going.

Anita and I bike into Coalmont just before 3 in the afternoon.  The trip was exhilerating, but more than enough in the heat.  We load our bikes into my SUV and head into town and the Brown Bridge Pub.  Time for a reward.  A cool drink and something salty should fit the bill…

 

Just Posted

Wildfire sparks beside Highway 3 west of Keremeos

A wildfire on the side of Highway 3 just west of Keremeos… Continue reading

Cyclist in distress prompts Hwy 3A closure

BC Air Ambulance transported the male, believed to be in his 50s, to a nearby hospital

Rain in the forecast for much of the Southern Interior

Rain for much of the day in most areas clearing in the evening

Warmer fall weather could extend wildfire season: AccuWeather

Above seasonal temperatures are expected throughout September, October and November

Town experiments with protecting eroding brown bridge deck

Unusual wear and tear on the decking of Princeton’s brown bridge has… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. Mountie killed by drunk driver honoured by memorial playground

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Renter of torched Okanagan home a British Army veteran, new Canadian

Owen Wilson was just beginning to settle into life in Canada when the blaze occurred

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Meet the Okanagan’s newest homeless outreach team

The Vernon Homeless Outreach Team makes its first formal appearance Aug. 28 at Upper Room Mission

Most Read