Day 9 – Okanagan Lake to Kelowna. A shorter day today to link up in Kelowna with Brant & Dagmar, family friends of Stewart and Gill’s who have very kindly offered to host me tonight. Right from the start the day felt like it was going to be a hot one, after a still, warm night. I loved being right beside the lake, with occasional visits from duck families and various bold birds. Last night the bats were out in force in the bright moonlight, swooping across the lake like a flock of swallows. I stood on the picnic table to see the lake better, and felt them swerve flawlessly and silently around me over and over again.
- Today’s Distance (miles): 36
- Time in saddle: 3h 22
- Max/min temp (°c): 40°/14°
- Climb/descend (feet) : 2,286 / 1,620
- Calories used: 1,742
- Cafe time:5h 55
I cycled a few miles over to Peachland where I got a big breakfast, lots of coffee, and wrote, emailed, and called home. This part of the lake has suffered badly from flooding caused by the extraordinarily high rainfall this winter/spring. Docks were underwater and house after house was being pumped out. These benches won’t be useable for a while.
I then rode around the lake in as the temperature soared. Once I got back up on the freeway it hit 40 degrees and after just one long drag uphill I was gasping. Two hills later, having poured most of my water over my head, I stopped again at a Dairy Queen to refuel and to cool off again. Refreshed, I did the next stretch to the bridge quickly, then rode across the bike lane to the other side of the lake where my hosts Brant & Dagmar live.
As I got off the bridge I found myself in leafy downtown Kelowna, with nice wide bike paths. I only had 8 or 9 more miles to go, but I hadn’t anticipated the gradient of the hills up to the Golf Resort where Brant & Dagmar live, combined with the shadeless afternoon heat, and found the last bit of this “short” day as tough as many much longer days on this trip. It’s the effect of heat, of course, and being off the freeway gradients and back into steeper local roads.
I finally arrived at my poor hosts’ house in a sweaty heap, but got the warmest possible welcome from Brant who was reading in the shade of his beautiful front garden, I guess keeping half an eye out for my arrival. Within only a few minutes I had showered, been plied with cold beer, and was getting pummelled by a wonderful hot tub on the terrace with views over the golf course(s) below. I failed to even think about getting a picture. Bliss. We chatted for a while inside their elegant house about Dagmar’s native Switzerland, Brant’s very varied careers in journalism (he was for a while a colleague of Gill’s father Brian on the Vancouver Sun)and making films for CN Railways and our mutual friends Gill & Stewart. Dagmar cooked a wonderful huge meal and we ate out on the terrace listening to the distant “click” of golfers teeing off in the evening sunlight. They were wonderful hosts and made me feel so welcome, despite the fact that I’d be off so early again in the morning.
This one, which I’m imaginatively calling “Tepee”, is just my continuing fixation with the mesh patterns inside my tent. First sign of a weakening grasp on reason.
In a radical development, FOTB John Mills has started suggesting songs to get stuck in your head. This could be a game changer. Anyway, his choice today is a belter, and I didn’t know it (feel free to pitch in with your own suggestions, however cheesy, relevant or achingly tasteful): Arcade Fire – Nejghbourhood #1