Just keep Pedaling
Yowsers! We did it! It was an awesome and very satisfying day! (Yes, it did start out with some children going swimming early, but they went without their Dad, which was fine with me!)
Today was Myra Canyon Trestle Bridges Day!
A little bit of background for you, so you’ll know why this was so amazing.
Myra Canyon was once part of the infamous Kettle Valley Railway, put in like over 100 years ago to bring goods in and out of BC. It was a crazy route designed by Chief Engineer Andrew McCulloch. Remember, this is like 1885, and he and his team scouted out the route and recommended where the railway should go.
Myra Canyon contains two tunnels and 18 separate trestle bridges in an 11 KM length. But the train had to go through, so they made it work.
Years later the line was abandoned, and slowly grew into disrepair. The last train went through in 1972, and in 1980 the rails were removed. In 1992 a group was formed to restore the trestles and tunnels and build a trail that can be used by pedestrians and bicycles.
Sadly the forest fires of 2003 completely destroyed the trestle bridges, and all was thought to be lost. However, everyone put their heads together and found a way to restore them, although not to the same standards (no longer carrying trains), and in 2008, the trail opened once again.
Okay, so much for the history lesson. Why is this important? Well this morning, after traveling to the trailhead at Myra station, after 8 KM of harrowing forest reserve roads. We pulled our pedal bikes off the truck, and started pedaling. All five of us started at Myra, and crossed all 18 trestle bridges, and two tunnels, spanning 11 KM of trail to Ruth station. We stopped, had some water, and a quick snack, and then rode back up the 11 KM back to Ruth station and had lunch! This three hour journey was totally amazing! The scenery is stunning! The trestle bridges are gorgeous and are very, very high. The trail has some fantastic things to see, and is extremely well taken care of. There was quite a bit of rain in June, and up to last weekend, so in places it was pretty wet, and we ended up going through some nice big puddles. It’s amazing to think that over 100 years ago people surveyed this area, and built it up so they could run trains through. And, because it was meant for trains, the grade is only like 2%, so even though on the way back is all up hill, it’s not a hardship.
So we did 22 KM of bicycling on a mountain trail, crossing canyons and gorgeous hundreds of feet deep, saw incredible vistas, and enjoyed some incredibly mountain air, and visiting with others who walked and rode the trail too. It was spectacular, and everyone managed! Even Josh, who is eight, managed to ride all 22 KM. Of course everyone was tired at the end, but they were excited with their accomplishments. (Sadly it probably took 45 minutes just to load the bikes again – putting five bikes on a bike rack is no small feat!)
This is totally worth bringing your bikes all the way to Kelowna to do. It’s the only thing we used our bikes for all week, and it was GREAT!
So Dad, a challenge for you. This would be awesome to do with the guys, and grandkids. Perhaps next Summer, we could return. You would so love the views, and time spent together would be priceless. All you have to do is be able to ride 22 KM on a relatively flat place. Really, if you could do 22 KM in 2-3 hours in the city, you’d have no trouble doing this trail.
We came back to the condo, hung out for a couple of hours, and then we headed out to the beach, yes, in the evening – it was still 30 degrees. And played in the sand until about dusk. Put the kids in the shower, and heading to bed.
What a fantastic day riding together. No traffic. No sounds of civilization. No worries. We’ll have to do it again!
Last full day is tomorrow. I wonder what will be in store for us?
ps. Got lots of pictures for y’all, but they’re on the big camera. Once we get home we’ll send some out.