The morning started in Kelowna with my dad returning to me a map of Okanagan backroads, which I'd apparently loaned to him a decade ago. I thought nothing of it, and tucked it away in my tank bag with a few other out-of-use maps underneath the map pocket.
Two hours later, I was sure glad to have it! I'd pre-planned a detailed route across the hills west of the lake via Forest Service Roads to Douglas Lake Ranch and Merritt. However, for the first time in awhile, I got properly lost.
I made one U-turn, after passing a loaded logging truck travelling in the opposite direction, at a location where I was confident that a loaded truck would only be heading out of the hills, and therefore I should be travelling in the same direction. I was just starting to feel proud of myself for escaping adventure when I came across my first closed cattle gate of the day. I checked it out, looking to open it on the left, but found it fenced solidly and proceeded to explore the woods further to the left for a way through. Nope. Returned to the gate. Looked at it again. Consulted the recently-reacquired map. Thought, "Gee, this looks like a gate." Found the opening mechanism on the right (!), then passed the gate and the subsequent horizontal-log gate on the other side of a creek-crossing bridge. I thought, "Who needs ferries, I just navigated a rancher's cattle gate, now I'm going somewhere!"
My excitement was short-lived, as not one minute later, I came across a much more substantial steel gate, intimidatingly bearing a sign reading, "No Trespassing!," with a phone number. Hm. Consulted map. Thought I knew where I was. Hm, no backtrack route other than a full backtrack. (Which would mean no chance of achieving destination goal today. At this point, I'd done 82 km in 2h00m.) I pulled out my phone and tried calling, to explain my dilemma and plea for permission to pass the gate. Uh.. no phone coverage. OK. I had a moment of self-examination, having to choose between my introverted fear of inconveniencing anyone, which makes trespassing a horrifying prospect, and the not-unsubstantial reality that to completely backtrack back into the logging hills and around the long way represented a long route with solo-muddy-uphill and fuel range risk. Weighing the options, I decided to be badass, and zipped around the gate.
Three-quarters of an hour later, after multiple missed turns and a lot of respectful first-gear putting, The Incredible Purple Line (copyright and credit to Garmin) led me out to Douglas Lake Road - my original objective - and on my way north and west.
Departing the private property, I saw a team of four cowboys, sitting and taking a break from their work as I passed, and I just kept my head down and cruised straight through past their surprised stares. I wove through construction and fresh twisty pavement, and dumped out at an impromptu RCMP checkpoint just before reaching Merritt on the 5A.
After a burger-and-milkshake-and-fuel pitstop, I wound the 8 to Spences Bridge, the TransCanada down to Lytton, and the 12 up to Lillooet, BC. From there, it was westbound on the magnificent 99 through renowned outdoor playgrounds Pemberton and Whistler, and arriving in a rainy dusk, into Squamish for the night.
Day total: 543 km, 10h20m
Trip total: 3,271 km
Start: Kelowna, BC. End: Squamish, BC.
Soundtrack: Cash's "Ghost Riders In The Sky" in the lonely cattle fields.