Friday, August 16, 2013

1-12 on the I20

I was the passenger in the cab.
"There are  huckleberries just over the hill."

I accompanied Glen, Connor, Dave Wood (Sir Dave), and David Pilling (DL) on the ride of three of them who would be biking the trail system that cover the lower half of the Larch Hills.

 ... Dave Pilling in the side view mirror ...
I left David Doral (DD) at home in bed.

"This helmet has saved my life more than once."
The morning was early and the trail for too long for him.

“Second logging road to the left,” Glen told Sir Dave, once we turned off of Bernie Road to the Trans Canada Highway.

“I haven’t been up this road on the mountain for years.

Larch Hills Cross Country Ski Trails Welcome Sign
"I wish I had brought my maps but we will manage without," he continued.

As an afterthought he added, "I have an app on my IPod -- $10 which GPS references any map I pdf."

"Look at the size of that trunk!," Glen exclaims.  "Marvellous!"
Clearly worth it. Just forgot it.”

I kept questioning Glen about the trails we were seeing as we climbed the mountain.

.... a tree has fallen over the road ... we drive under it ...
The side paths were clearly marked and named, ie, Rubber Head, Lichen Trail, Veggie Delight.

Whose road were we on.

That was my first question – the road was carved out by Federated Coop who has a contract to log with the government who owns the land.

 “One of 12 on the I-20,”he said into a transmitter.

“I am telling people we are going up the logging road and are at kilometer one,” he said, “just to let truckers now where we are on the road so that they can tell us when to pull over as they pass by.”

The last time I road to the Large Hills Cross Country Ski Hills, Rebecca dropping Glen and Connor off that time, we had a lesson on cut-blocks.

“Small, medium or large,” he would query us.

 ... Glen in his sunglasses on the dashboard ...
This time the story was about building roads: the specs for wilderness roads as opposed to industrial roads, the cross ditching, cross drains, water bridges, the crown of the road, the material on the road – so coarse that it shreds bike and truck tires.

I had my camera, taking pictures of Dave and Connor in the back of the truck with their bikes, taking pictures of signs (Cows Grazing), noting warnings to poachers, “Area Patrolled by Federation of Wild Life Animals”.

 ... Teague and Nathanial join the group ...
I wondered how the Shuswap Trails Association finds funding for the extensive system of hiking and biking system that they have in place. “Volunteer labour, some B.C. government funding, contributions for local businesses (Skookum, SASCU).

Go to their website and you will see that they give information and ask users for contributions as well.”

... one last look at the trail before we begin ...
We left the house at 6:30 a.m. and didn’t reach the summit of the hill from where they were going to begin their drive until 7:40 a.m.

The road is old – hasn’t been brushed at the upper part of the hill for about 15 years.

Trees hung at 45 degree angles over the road.

 ... Nathanial ready to set off ...
The truck could only turn around when we found an old logging landing, the ground white, covered with daisies and everlastings.

The speed of the truck was slow – we were thrown from side to side of the cab on the way up – reminiscent to me of the time Dave and I took a dune buggy road to a Bedouin village in Egypt.

Glen points to a perfect specimen
White Pine Cone
On the way down, in order to stay away from riding his brake he stayed in first gear, eyes always on the road, dodging the potholes.

We got home at 9 am and I wondered how anything could get better than that in the day – my gratitude list already started with a once-in-lifetime excursion.



  1. Arta, I had to read this post twice to be sure that you weren't part of the crew that actaully rode their bikes down the mountain path.

  2. I let the idea cross my mind that I should buy a mountain bike for next year. Then I remembered that I am not even good on a regular bike and thought better of concentrating my efforts on mountain biking as a new hobby. But I continued to think of how much fun it would be for kids 13 + to have mountain bikes out here. So many fantastic trails. As far as I can tell, you have to have a bike and then a bike course on how to fix anything that might possibly go wrong. No matter how big your tool kit is, you will end up not having the wrench or the size of screw driver that you really need.

    For the people I was travelling with, that didn't really matter. If something was broken, they just took that part off of their bike, threw it into the truck and continued on.