Monday, September 15, 2008

Cowboy mountain biking

This weekend we gathered up representatives from (from east to west), Poland, UK, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and BC... to go biking. To be honest we only realised we'd done so well in the geography department around the campfire on Saturday night... but we thought it was pretty good going none the less. Our destination was the cow country of Merritt, famous for country music, cowboys, and floating down the river in a truck innertube drinking beer (apparently). The trails were refreshingly different to what we ride over on the coast... smooth, dusty and winding through sparse trees. There were plenty of cows around and we met a guy on a horse wearing a hat, which is close enough to a cowboy for me.

We camped at Lundbom Lake, where the mooing of cows drifted across the water. The power of suggestion seemed to be working quite well as the number of conversations we had about cows was quite disturbing. Who would have thought we could know so many cow-related anecdotes? Following trails that looked a lot like cow tracks proved a bit tricky at times as we found ourselves on dead-ends which lead to wherever it was the cows were going, and stopped. Where cows want to go and where we wanted to go weren't often the same thing. With a little Trans Rockies style hiking up hills we found our way around and were treated to some fast, dusty riding. On the way back to the campsite, Jacek's trusty (?) rear tire gave up leaving him with a bit of a walk home and a plan to visit Canadian Tire the next morning.

On Sunday, after a lengthy breakfast-faff, coffee stop, and trip to Canadian Tire where Jacek bought the greatest bike tire ever created... for $15, we went riding again. The Coutlee Plateau area had some more well-worn trails (though we did still get lost) including some fabulous squirmy stuff through the trees and down a natural gully. The trails really reminded me of Honrby Island but on the scale of Penticton, which was a fine combination. No doubt we will come back to Merritt again some day for more.

My photos with some of Nikki's are here, and Jacek's are here. Paul's blog entry is here.

Inevitable mucking around on the Orange Bike

Fall colours and mountain bikers

Angie and some nice plants with red leaves