Total Distance Travelled: 53KM
Total Distance Travelled Entire Trip: 475KM
Total Time: 5:41
Moving Time: 4:04
Last night I was sitting with my hosts at the Blue Iris B&B and one of their friends who run a B&B down the road. Brian, the owner of the other B&B said he always gave his guests a ride out to the trailhead to avoid having to cycle through Summerland. He managed to convince my hosts to give me a ride out to the trailhead, something I didn’t even think of asking for. After all the urban cycling I did yesterday, it was very much appreciated though.
Since the Kettle Valley steam railway was running, I decided to take a ride on it before I biked over to Jellicoe station. Although it was a bit smokey out, there were beautiful views of Prairie Valley from the train:
The steam train ran from outside of Summerland to the Trout creek trestle that I had crossed by bike the previous day. They did a good job of keeping everyone entertained, with a banjo player, narration on the scenery and some history on the KVR line.
After the train ride, it was time to get moving to Jellicoe station. Between Summerland and Princeton, there are no towns – not even small ones. Given the distance between Summerland and Princeton is a 100KM, it’s too long to bike in a day without really stretching your endurance. Luckily there are a number of B&B’s along the way, and the one I chose to stay at is located near what was Jellicoe station.The British Columbia Trans Canada trail guide warned of bad conditions leaving the trailhead near the KVR, but luckily since the book was published the trail has been redone for approximately the first 25KM. The trail surface is beautiful – of similar quality to an urban limestone path. Past the first 25KM though, the trail surface gets quite sandy and some sections are severely ATV damaged. ATV’s naturally push the coarse stones to the centre of the trail, and leave the rest of the trail with loose sand and gravel that is difficult to bike through. ATV’s and bikes can share a trail if it’s properly maintained, however if ATV damage isn’t repaired you get a trail that’s only of use to people on ATVs. From talking to the owner of the Jellicoe Station B&B, quite a few cyclists complain about the condition of the trail in the area.
The first part of the trail out of Faulder follows Trout creek, and the valley quickly narrows.
It’s incredible to think such a small creek cut such a deep valley over millions of years. Pictures don’t do justice the feeling of being in such a narrow valley. The vegetation starts to change as you head out of the Okanagan valley, trees start to become more plentiful. Eventually the valley widens and you start to see signs of agriculture:
Eventually the trail reaches the summit near Osprey Lake, the trail has a trestle over part of the lake.
A few more KMs down the trail, I reached Chain Lake near where my B&B was located. Unfortunately the B&B was located up a steep forest road with a 10% grade, as I walked my bike up the steep grade I asked myself why I had to book the place at the top of the hill. It turned out Jellicoe Station B&B was excellent, I had arranged to get dinner and breakfast since I didn’t bring any food with me. The dinner they served was enough for 2 people (or 1 hungry cyclist). It turned out I was the only one staying with them that night, although they have a fairly big property with various cabins. It was also the first time someone has made sweet potatoes for me and I’ve actually liked them, they seasoned them with a cinnamon and nutmeg and put a crunch topping on top. Perhaps the best part though was the property had a hot tub available.