Kootenay Weekend…..

The July long weekend Kootenay Loop Run started out a bit shaky, but ended with lots of memories of a great weekend with good friends.  It all started out on Saturday morning with a planned ride starting in Langley with a breakfast stop in Hope.  All went well until just past Chilliwack.  My Wing started showing the same trouble signs I had on the previous ride – lack of fuel, stalling, etc.  I didn’t bother telling anybody till we got to Hope.  I managed to limp it in to the first fuel stop.  I was running on the original fuel pump, but kept the new automotive pump in my storage compartment, just in case.  Smooth move!  I had the pumps swapped out and the bike up and running in under 20 minutes.

After fuelling up the bikes and our stomachs, we headed up the Coquihalla towards Merritt.  My old Wing ran smooth and strong all the way and had no problem keeping up with the rest of the group on their newer 1800’s.  The fuel pump problem solved!  We turned onto the connector to Kelowna and stopped at the Cherry Pit Restaurant in West Kelowna for Lunch.

After a nice meal at the Cherry Pit, we headed up the Westside Road towards Vernon.  Lots of twisties and great views of Okanagan Lake.  We stopped in Vernon for fuel before heading east towards Lumby and Cherryville.  For those of you not familiar with the area, the Vernon Slocan Highway has some great twisties and scenery for all bikers to enjoy.  We ended up at the Needles Ferry, which crosses the Lower Arrow Lake.  We then headed up the highway to Nakusp, our destination for the night.

We stayed at the K-2 Lodge. Home to Canadian Mountain Heliskiing and this particular weekend, home to a Porsche Club!

The following morning saw a bit of mist on Arrow Lake – it was as calm as could be and beautiful!

From Nakusp, we headed further east towards Kaslo and then down the shore of Kootenay Lake to Balfor and the Kootenay Lake Ferry which took us over to Crawford Bay.  It was a beautiful warm day, and there were many other biker groups on the ferry, including a Ducatti club.

We had lunch in Creston, after negotiating one of the best biker roads in the province – the Crawford Bay to Creston section of Hiway 3A.  Over 75 Km of scenic twisties along the east shore of Kootenay Lake.  After lunch, we headed over the Kootenay Pass, going west towards our final destination, Grand Forks.

After a hot day on the road, we all settled in to the Ramada in Grand Forks.  The pool was refreshing to say the least.  We had breakfast the next morning at a home of one of the members in Grand Forks.  Then it was off to Osoyoos and the south Okanagan before heading home.

It was Canada Day!  July 1st and extremely hot!  We arrived in Osoyoos just after 11:00 AM.  The city was having their Canada Day parade and the highway was diverted around the parade route.  There we were, a dozen Gold Wing riders in full gear, slowed down to a crawl in 100 deg temperatures.  The Harleys in the lineup didn’t fare as well as us Wingers!  Our fans kicked in and kept the motors from overheating.  This was a true test of my new water pump and the cooling system in my old bike.  It passed with flying colours.  No worries!  Bike got hot, but stayed within operating paramaters the entire hour or more we were stuck in traffic.  Once we got rolling again, it was north to Tickleberries.  This is a neat ice cream shop with dozens of flavours along with a nice souvenir shop.  There is lots of parking and even picnic tables near a stream where you can relax and enjoy your ice cream.

This pretty much marked the end of the ride as we headed across to Keremeos and the Hope-Princeton highway back to Vancouver.  A great weekend of riding with some great people.

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