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British Colombia

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

We want to finish this year with the last blog about our cross country adventure in Canada. The link to the video of this crossing can be found at the end of this blog.


After camping in the Rocky Mountains we’re back to knocking on people’s doors again. This makes us happy. We get to see the whole world, but the greatest gift of our journey is meeting all these people.


It’s heartwarming how much hospitality and generosity we receive, every day. Often people thank us for knocking on their door. They say they become happy and get new energy when they hear about our adventure.

The Okanagan

In Kamloops we head east to go to the Okanagan. It’s known for its sunny climate and dry landscapes.

We just call it hot!

After cycling along the beautiful Kalamalka Lake we reach Kelowna, where we get on the Kettle Valley Rail trail (KVR) to Penticton, Princeton and Hope. The Myra Canyon is one of the highlights. A unique ride crossing trestle bridges high up on steep walls in a rugged, mountainous terrain.


Kettle Valley Rail trail

After the busy tourist part of the KVR at the trestles, we are alone for many miles. We notice bear poop quite a few times and have some new bear encounters. This time we manage to safely make some photos.

Bear encounters

We are on the KVR trail. On our left side is a river and on the other side of the river we spot a black bear. He is alone and doesn’t move a lot, so we aren’t really afraid.

But as soon as he starts to move more, we better get going.

The river might seem to be a barrier, but a bear can easily walk or swim through a small shallow river.


Wildcamping

It’s getting dark and we still haven’t seen the campground we are searching for. We end up camping in the woods, just a little bit off the trail. At dusk we first collect all the food and scented items to hide them 100 meters away from our camp. Most of these items are already in our Ursack bear sacks. Bears cannot get through the thick material. We can’t find a branch to hold the sacks high up in the tree, so we decide to tie them to a trunk. Not the ideal situation, but it is the best we can do.

Next we clean the dust off our face, arms and feet. We use some wilderness wipes to save on water.

There’s no more time to have dinner and we don’t want to lure the bears.

We fall asleep beneath a sky full of stars.


Washouts

There has been a flood in November 2021. The bridge on the KVR trail from Princeton to Hope is washed out. Nobody knows whether it is possible to finish the trail. We manage to cross the river on the shallow riverbed. On the other side the trail looks great. Not for long… After 2 km it is blocked by a fence and there is a total washout. We’re stuck and need to go back to the river.

Bear paradise

At that exact moment we notice some branches are moving. Next we see a cub looking at us while holding on to the trunk of a tree. He’s trying to get down. We grap our bear spray and we see a mama bear with two cubs running away. She is fortunately feeling more afraid than threatened.

With bear spray in our hands and increased heart rate we cycle back to the river. Making loud sounds to scare the bears away. We don’t know how many bears are out here. This seems like bear paradise.


Bad decision

It wasn’t a wise idea to try and finish this trail. It isn’t in use because of the missing bridge and the washouts. No wonder we encounter bears in remote and quiet areas. Next time when we see so many bear droppings on the trail we will immediately turn around and look for another way.

Vancouver

After another few cycling days in more inhabited areas we reach Vancouver.

We did it! Canada coast to coast.

It was a beautiful ride. Stunning nature and meeting many wonderful people. This is the video of our cross country adventure.


Sometimes people make some phone calls to get us featured in the newspaper. We appreciate this a lot because it helps us spread the word about our journey. AND it is always fun to tell new people about our trip around the world.

This article was published in the Barriere Star Journal in Barriere (British Columbia). Thank you Lou for contacting the local newspaper.

We catch the ferry to Victoria. We decide not to stay much longer in Canada to beat the fall rain on the west coast in Washington State and Oregon.





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