Day 3 – Nelson, BC to Merritt, BC
Distance: 530 kilometres
Temperature: Low 16 / High 34
Riding Time: 10:15am – 6:30pm
We had a really nice day for riding. It started out really sunny and beautiful in Nelson. We both needed a bit of extra sleep so we didn’t get things going today until after 8am.
We had a delicious breakfast at the Hume Hotel just down the street from our hotel. For 20 bucks we both had the most awesome cheesy, oniony, mix of stuff. People in Nelson are so friendly and so welcoming to tourists. I said to Fiona this morning, if you can make it through an entire weekend without having a chat with a local then you’re doing something wrong. They are genuinely interested in what you’re up to, where you’re from and where you’re going. Such a great place to spend a few days to unwind.
The trip to Merritt was a bit of a long one, but we had fun along the way. We made time for several stops to stay fresh and relax whenever necessary. I made a point of stopping in New Denver as the lady that owns the gas station has a dalmatian who’s more than happy to come visit and hang out with you. I talked with her yesterday while on the group ride and asked if her dog would ‘be at work’ tomorrow – she obliged and brought her in today for the ‘morning shift’. Sasha was such a nice greeter at the station and even shared a pepperoni stick with me.
On the way to the Needles ferry we were even lucky enough to see a black bear. This has been ‘bear summer’ – we’ve seen three black bears this summer. I don’t think I’d seen a bear of any kind for at least 4-5 years.
This was Fiona’s first real ‘twisty’ experience – i.e. riding on roads that require the bike to get to the edge of the tire. She seemed to enjoy it, but I’ll let her comment in her own entry.
We arrived early enough in the evening to have a nice relaxing evening before heading out to Vancouver via Lillooet tomorrow. We’ll have a relatively good ride tomorrow and have time to wander around Vancouver’s west side during the afternoon and evening.
Well, as Mike commented above, I had my first initiation to some real “twisties” today. I can see why he keeps coming out here to ride the road from Nelson to New Denver – there are plenty of turns along the way. Lucky for me, all I had to do was sit still on the back and keep my eyes open. Good thing, too, because on the way to Kaslo you also get a great look at Kootenay Lake. So pretty. Everything was so lush and green and the weather was warm and humid. The whole side of the road was dotted with little flowers (white, purple, even yellow and orange).
In New Denver we stopped to say hello to Sasha the Dalmatian. What a sweet dog. We had a little chat and some pepperoni and then we were back on our way. From there on out it got hotter – by the time we stopped in Kelowna it was 32C and we were both feeling it. The wind was warm, too. I’m usually chilly on the bike but not today! Luckly things cooled considerably once we started for Merritt. The last leg of the ride wasn’t anywhere near as exciting as the first, but it was still interesting to watch the landscape change, and kind of horrifying to see the effects of all the logging along the way.
It was a long day, but nothing that a hot shower and a good sleep won’t cure. I had a great time in Nelson and definitely want to go back again someday, but I’m also looking forward to the next leg of our journey!