Home sweet home

rollin' in the Wurtele mobile

Well, here we are. Back in the land of igloos, bear skin rugs, and hockey rinks in every backyard! Ha ha, not quite…We try to tell people that the Okanagan is actually semi-desert, that their are vineyards and fruit orchards all over the place, beautiful lakes warm enough to  swim in comfortably all summer, temperatures that soar over 40 oC (100 F !), but we often get a “whaaa? In Canada?”.  So we’ll stick to the snowshoe, living in an igloo, story.  At least different coloured money makes sense, and the beer is definitely better!

Seriously, we loved our time down in California and Utah and we’ve been lucky to hang out in some amazing areas of North America, but it sure is sweet to be home. Trev and I both grew up at the north end of Okanagan Lake – in Vernon – and we were buddies back in the day (in the same 1997 High School Grad class at Clarence Fulton Secondary!)  Seems like just yesterday, but ages ago at the same time. The smell of Ponderosa pine, sagebrush, and bluebunch wheatgrass on a hot day is the smell of home, and I can’t wait to swim in the turquoise waters of Kalamalka Lake…

First though, a re-cap of our travels. We picked up our sweet new Blue Full Carbon XC2 mountain bikes where they were being held for us at the SBR triathlon store in Orem Utah and my off-road skills improved exponentially riding the trails above Provo. Then we  drove north and had a great visit with Robert (from First Endurance) and family in Salt Lake. He lives a stones-throw from a great community centre with 50m outdoor pool so we had fun getting our backs burnt and then training in his house – sweet workout room with a spin bike, treadmill etc. – watching the Giro d’Italia. Definitely our idea of a good time.

Hiawatha rail-trail

From there we drove for a long stretch up through Montana to get to the Idaho border where we had plans to mountain bike on the Trail of the Hiawatha. It was a little um, early in the season, and there was some snow by the entrance to the first tunnel – a 1.7 mile long monster that had us both frozen and scared by the end! We had a headlamp but the absolute darkness just seemed to swallow the light right up. It didn’t help that we had one headlamp between the two of us. Being second sucked – blindly following the light way in front while mud kicked up and drips from the ceiling froze the back of my neck (I got this honor, given my far superior night-vision). The pinpoint of light in the distance took a loooong time to grow, and by the time we emerged we were wishing for about 3 more layers of clothes. Still, pretty cool!

light at the end of the tunnel

We joked about how great it was that we didn’t run into any hibernating bears or anything. Heh. A few trestles and a tunnel later we started to ride in but the hair stood up on our necks so we stopped and strained to see something moving. Just then a large deer came screaming out running full tilt right at us. Heart attack!!   Seemed like this one tunnel was a bit of an ungulate highway. From that point on we decided to ditch the rail-trail and hit up the logging roads, which were steeper and more fun anyway…

Oh dear

The next day we were back on our tri bikes for a 100k ride on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes – a fabulous paved trail that almost spans the Idaho Panhandle, and then we went to visit another one of our adopted families, the Kozaks in Coeur d’Alene. Kathleen left us with a freshly baked strawberry rhurbarb pie – it was still hot and we had to put it in our oven for the road! Needless to say it didn’t last long…

We are happy to be back home and back into some more structured training. It is going to be a fun summer!


nice climb up the logging rd

great coffee/pastry stop at the Mullan end of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes

adventure cat

~ by trevorandheather on May 19, 2010.

3 Responses to “Home sweet home”

  1. What wonderful adventures you too have had!!!! You know I live vicariously through you, don’t you?? The smells you mentioned, Ponderosa pine, sagebrush, and bluebunch wheatgrass, to me is the smell of the Mtns. outside Boulder, Colorado….those high western deserts are home.
    Much love to you and everyone!!!

  2. The cat needs more attention on here… perhaps a blog on the adventures of the cat would work 😀

  3. Do I detect some sarcasm? We live in an RV so have to live up to the crazy cat-people thing, right!? Our cat does rule btw…

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