Sunday on a Saturday and 2 Allison’s to boot!
What a day! I feel like we saw so many different micro climates all in one day. It’s hard to describe how a short 4 hour drive could be so beautiful, yet so different as the day went along.
Richard started off his day looking at the BC Roads app looking at the cameras on the 2 mountain passes we had to go through today. The weather forecast was a balmy +5C at our destination, but at times was forecasted to be -1C in the mountains. Instead of heading out first thing when the roads were still slick and snow covered, we decided to have a leisurely breakfast which for Richard meant eggs, bacon, toast and tomatoes! Note to self...never fry bacon in an RV! We are so gonna get us a Blackstone griddle to cook bacon outdoors in the future!!!
We left Osoyoos and its desert scenery around 10:45am and very quickly were in the mountains. The terrain was very much scrubby and there was no snow....yet.
We entered the Similkameen Country with the Similkameen Valley and were visually stunned at how beautiful the valley was.
Heading into the Similkameen valley.
The Similkameen valley has had its share of gold rushes in the late 1800’s but now mainly has vineyards, orchards and ranch operations. It was really truly a stunning drive through the valley, with the mountains on both sides of the road, framing the valley with the grape vines and fruit trees all around us. We noticed quite a few cideries as well as wineries, so it is something we are going to check out next time we hit a BC liquor store. We both enjoy a glass of cider and I’m sure that the cider from this region would be delightful...and the wine too!
Our first mountain pass of the day was called Sunday Summit at 1282 meters. This was the first time we had ever seen a grade of 9% for the descent on the road signs and Richard at one point had to gear down to 1st gear..... as well as using the engine air brakes!
The roads were very well sanded and we were thankful there was no precipitation as we went through the Sunday Summit.
After we went through the summit we had beautiful mountain streams and rivers along the side of the road that went on forever! We had gorgeous scenery to pass the time, even though it was a bit foggy coming down from the top of the mountain.
Off in the distance I could see a little black and white church as we came out of Princeton. As we got closer I was able to take my favourite shot of the day!
It’s amazing what editing a photograph can do. Here is the original...
We were happy we only had one more mountain pass to go through on this entire journey!! The last pass we had to go through was the Allison Pass at 1342 meters and was the highest pass between Princeton and Hope. Our Allison transmission on our RV was working overtime on the grades coming down into Hope BC. We had one stretch of the road where we had a 7% grade for 5 km! After we got through the last pass and arrived at our destination in Hope, B.C. for 2 nights, Richard looks at me and said “we are NEVER going to go through mountain passes in B.C. in November ever again!”. That was a once in a lifetime experience!! We couldn’t leave any earlier because I was still working...we’ve solved that though, with something called RETIREMENT!!
When you see these flashing lights telling you to slow down, you know its really a steep descent!!
So I hope you have figured it out by now...we went through the Sunday pass on a Saturday...(and when you’re retired every day is a Saturday!) and we had 2 Allisons - the transmission in Newman and our last mountain pass of the journey!! Spending 2 nights here to be able to play tourist in the Hope, B.C. area. Watch for some cool shots tomorrow!