Friday, July 6, 2012

Summerland 2012! Happy Canada Day, and Happy Independence Day for our neighbours down south.

Makes me want to break out into singing Wil Smith's classic 'Summertime'!

This past Canada Day long weekend and into mid-week I was fortunate enough to be able to go on a little break. A small getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life...  destination - Summerland British Columbia, and all the surrounding areas of Lake Okanagan.  It was a well deserved break and I have been waiting for this for months!
I drove out packing my bike and camping gear in my car. I stayed with friends at a lakeside property and as expected, the same as with the previous two years I have visited, it was amazing and the scenery can't be beat.  Although a space for me inside the cabin was available, this time around I took the opportunity to 'camp' it out using the new tent I just bought.  This year's visit is to put in some 'practice' camping and cycling to prepare for some future cyclocamping trips.  To be able to experience multiple days and nights being in a tent, experiencing the cold nights, the strong winds and the rain. And I was lucky enough to experience all three and the tent and sleeping bag/pad performed admirably..  I've never slept so well in 50+kph winds and loud splashing of water along the beach.
My tent, my bike and my new best friend Buford the bulldog.

Toby, my other best friend that kept me company every morning at 6am

My first view of the sunrise as I peek out right from my tent
Each morning I would wake up at 6am to a beautiful sunrise overlooking Lake Okanagan.  I would have a few hours of 'alone' time before everyone else woke up (or stepped out of their comfortable bedrooms ;) ) and I would just sit at the dock and absorb some of the heat the sun was giving.  During this time I would get on my bike for a short bike ride before breakfast.  Again, practicing waking up early and being able to ride a bike barely being awake.  The bike ride out of the property also starts off with a killer climb going up a hill that probably hits close to 20 degree incline in some areas for nearly a kilometer.  My first morning ride was very discouraging as I had absolutely nothing in the tank.  A one hour bike ride was enough.
The killer hill seen at the bottom.
A truly magnificent view.  Some of the best bike rides I've been on.

As the day went on and I got some food in me, my friend Matt and I went for a ride out to Peachland and I felt so much stronger.  The hills coming home didn't seem to faze me,  I just love that feeling of a 'second wind' when you feel like you can keep going and going without breaking a sweat.  It has brought my confidence back up that I can ride these inclines and not die doing them.  The remaining days of my stay felt like this while riding.  I don't know what it was, maybe it was just getting used to the higher elevation, maybe it's just the change in scenery, but I felt very strong on my bike.  It was a good feeling.

As all good things must come to an end, unfortunately, my time away also came to an end.  Work calls and I am needed.  These kinds of getaways are always short lived.  However, it was still a great and wonderful little  break.  I am anxiously awaiting for my next 'trip'.  I think the next one will be strictly by bike.

Early morning sunrise

Perfect campground.  Can't get any better than this.

I wish this wouldn't end

Perfect way to end my mini-vacation

Bye Doggies!  See you next time!

Check out this video I made of my stay at Summerland!  Enjoy!

A Quick Addition The drive to Summerland also gave me the opportunity to do some scouting of the possible terrain that I plan on riding through in the future with my bike.  Taking the Crow's Nest hwy instead of the Coquihalla gave me an idea of what I will be faced with as far as road conditions go and degrees of inclines.  I have to admit that fear struck a little as I drove through Allison Pass and moreso the Sunday Summit as those climbs are quite scary looking... definitely nothing I've ever done before.  I am a little concerned about my physical abilities to be able to ride up these mountain passes fully loaded with gear.  I guess time will tell if I can do it.  And when the time comes for that 'long' bike ride, I will let you all know.

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