Planning yet another

We have another incredible bike trip planned for August … this time through the spectacular Myra Canyon in Kelowna, BC to Penticton, BC.  CK, myself and possibly a third are traveling on August 12th to Vancouver Island and will be biking the Myra Canyon on August 13th.  The hotel is booked, transport is booked and now working on getting the butt ready for 80km.  I am looking forward to crossing this one off my bucket list.

KM 2.2 – Trestle 18, this is the first railway bridge you will cross on the route. Myra Canyon, the first 11km of the event features 18 bridges and trestles and two tunnels. Original construction took place between 1912-1914.

KM 2.9 – Trestle 11, this bridge is the high point of the ride, the ride is pancake flat from the start to Chute Lake (36.2 km) the noticeable 2.2% descent begins all the way to Penticton.

KM 6.2 – West Fork Canyon Bridge The timber trestle came dangerously close to being blown up in 1923. Several boxcars derailed on the old trestle in July of that year plunging down onto the canyon floor, smashing into pieces. After the crash, work crews discovered that one of the cars contained eight cases of dynamite.

KM 36 Chute Lake Lodge  – Chute Lake Resort features rustic cabins and rustic lodge rooms. Behind the lodge there is the “autique museum”, collection of farm, railway and assorted memorabilia.

KM 48 – Adra Tunnel bypass

KM 60 – Glenfir Loop According to 1927 railway regulations, trains had to stop at Glenfor for 10 minutes to cool their brakes before proceeding to Penticton.

KM 64 – Little Tunnel Here is one of the most stunning views of the day. Actually, two views here, one from the north side of the tunnel and the other from the south side.

KM 67 – Arawana Station

KM 70 – Penticton City Limits

KM 73.2 – Poplar Grove Station – Use caution when crossing Naramata Road.

KM 74.4 – McCulloch Trestle This bridge was completed in March 2002 and named for the Kettle Valley Railway’s chief engineer, the man whose vision, professional aptitude and hard work built this incredible railroad. Andrew McCulloch.

KM 80 – Penticton, BC

Kettle Valley Rail Trail

Myra Canyon map

What a day!!!

I don’t even know where to start!  I guess at the beginning …

Day one! (06.24.2017)

The start to our trip could not come soon enough.   We crossed the US border at Eastport and  were very clear we had bear spray and nothing was questioned.  It was a breeze. We drove through Sandpoint  (very beautiful).  We stopped in at Couer d’Alene at the local Costco …  and I found some tights that are not sold in Canada and bought a few pairs.

After Costco, we continued onto Wallace, ID … tiny little community with a ton of charm. I really liked the town – one of these places that you know everyone.  We stayed at the Wallace RV Park and initially booked a camp site … yes we were camping.  I love camping, my friend CK, not so much but was willing to sacrifice for $15/night.  I was informed the Thursday before we left that a cabin had opened up and it was ours if we wanted it.  Oh I took it!!!  Such a charming little cabin, tiny but so much room.  The inside was just two sets of bunk beds and the bathrooms were just down a little from the cabin.  We really enjoyed it!  We sat outside for two nights meeting people walking by and having wine – pretty close to perfect …

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Day two! (06.25.2017)

So we woke up early, transport was coming at 7:30am to take us to St. Regis, MT to drop off our car and then take us up to the trailhead in Idaho which stradles between Montana and Idaho.  Unfortunately, I purchased tickets online and had to pick them up with our turkey lunches at Lookout Pass, which is the local ski area and not  the trailhead.  A huge shout out to Prime Minister, Rick of the Center of the Universe, Silver Capital of the World for being so accommodating and driving us to Lookout Pass  and back to the trailhead just down the road.  The transport was fantastic, learned a lot and really, just enjoyed the ride.

Finally, we were at the trailhead at East Portal, so named as it’s by the east entrance of the 1.66 mile long St. Paul Pass tunnel.  Prior to starting into the tunnel, there were a couple rules (there were lots but there were two big ones), you must wear a helmet you and must have a light!  Period!  We started later than what we wanted and knew we had to get down the mountain quickly to make the 11:45am transport back to the summit at East Portal, if we couldn’t, that would put us on the 1:15pm shuttle and that was too late.  We were off …

The 15 mile rail trail was amazing, all downhill … honestly, anyone can do this one.  It is a gentle grade down following the Old Milwaukee Road rail trail.  I lost count of all the trestles and tunnels.  The biggest one was the first one, the tunnel is 1.66 miles (2.67 km).  It was long and because it was pitch dark, thank god for lights, it was really hard to see.

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I have to tell you, CK and I had a conversation about intelligence and smarts … not sure we figured it out but here is an example.  The first tunnel was of course long and looked kinda scary, there were other people which made it easier to go through.  The second tunnel was shortly after, and not as long.  As I started going through it, I said to myself ‘geez, it’s really hard to see.  Is my light working?  I’m really starting to freak out!  Why?’. It was then I realized I didn’t take my sunglasses off.  Like holy!

I like to think of myself as semi-intelligent, clearly I am not smart – although I did realize my mistake.

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The rest of the trip down was fantastic, the trail is indeed a gentle downhill grade as it meandered through the Rocky Mountains of Idaho, I burnt maybe three calories.  Got to the bottom about 11:15 and waited for the 11:45 shuttle.  The shuttle was late, why you ask, well some idiot boy (not sure his age), climbed up to the top of the tunnel … I mean, he climbed up to the top of the tunnel and was sitting right at the top.  The shuttle was late because they had to get him down.  Question?, if he was a young adult, what was he on and if he was a boy, where was his parents?

I lost count as to how many tunnels and bridges we went through … the views were absolutely stunning

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We got on the shuttle, no problems at about 12:30.  The trip was about 30min so when we arrived at the top, we stopped for food, bathroom breaks and getting bikes ready for part two.  We were on the road by 2:30 … before we left, I asked the people at the top (selling Hiawatha trail tickets) about the Olympian and if in fact we could bike it all … I was told that one of the trestles was private property and we might have to walk down and up again as the trestle was in need of  serious repairs.  Hmmm, wasn’t interested in that but too late to turn back now.

We started from East Portal and now headed East and decided to deal with it when we arrived there if that was an issue.

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The road was pretty good, like the Hiawatha, the Route of the Olympian was a downhill grade and a good trail .

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We got to the Dominion Bridge and noticed it was closed to traffic … seriously???  Like a locked gate will stop us.

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We crossed the bridge.  Behind us was the Dominion Tunnel that we crossed which was another great one.

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You know, it was a nice ride, the grade was awesome, basically enjoying it … until we got to the sketchy bridge.  At first I don’t know what is was until we crossed it (no warnings otherwise), I saw the gaps on the bridge and I was like ‘Holy Smokes’.  There are no pics because, well, I wasn’t stopping long enough to take one of the many sink holes along the bridge.  Note – don’t stand under the bridge either!

As we traveled the trail (which is also used as a road), what seemed like such a great ride, turned into a nightmare,  The trail leveled out and the roadbed got soft, like sinking soft.  The ATVers that drive this part of the trail really are doing a great job of destroying it.  We didn’t see any bikers at all on this trail, only ATVs, a few of them … one guy drove so fast around a bend he almost took us out – but the rest of  the tem slowed down and offered a friendly wave and one stopped to chat.

You can tell by the pic how bad the trail was, really hard to bike on.

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We biked parallel the I90 and the St Regis River.

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We ended up coming to a fork in the road (our first).  A road crossed our path and there was a big arrow pointing down the road to our left.  I asked CK that perhaps we were to go down there.  He said that no, the rail would not have gone way as the train would not be able to make a turn like that without tipping.  We were to go straight, on this terrible road – the sign on one of the trees said ‘private property’.

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The road ended up washed out (near Two Mile Creek) and we had to cut across (to the left, there is a small trail, down and up) to the road we should have actually been on.  It took us around the washed out area and back onto the trail.

The road didn’t improve

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Eventually we came across a bride, the I90.

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The end was close, I could taste it.

As we traveled along, we came upon the second washed out trail.  This one was a little more clear on where to go (I guess the arrow wasn’t a clear indication), as there was another trail that kinda indicated ‘you go here!’.

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We followed along the trail, a little up, a little down until we came to a road.  Nothing indicated that we should go left, but given where we figure the trail was, it was pretty good choice.

Then of course, another fork in the road.

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It is kind of hard to tell but there was the straight away, a left and right turn.  The straight part lead to the interstate, we couldn’t go left as that is where we were with the wash out so the only choice was to go right.  There is not one sign anywhere on where to go.  Yes, it isn’t a well traveled road, but it is a trail and it should have at least one or two signs.  Regardless, we went right and that was the correct decision.

Shortly after, we ended up at another road … this one was different as it was paved.  I was told by CK that if we continue straight down the trail, we would pass the town of St Regis and then have to back track to the Visitors Centre where the car was (maybe a couple of miles).  Or instead, we could travel down the paved road, turn right and head straight to the car (about a mile).  At this point, my butt and wrists were sore, I was super tired and I couldn’t ride anymore on this trail …  plus, the trail looked to be over grown.  I really wanted to take the paved road to the car.  CK agreed and that is where we went.  Maybe if it wasn’t so late, I could have sucked up up but it was already coming up to 6:30pm and I didn’t want to get suck out there after dark.

Finally, we made it to the car!

After the long day and reflecting back … I can say that I did enjoy the ride and believe, with some work (and signs), this will be an incredible ride – similar to the Hiawatha.  It does need a little TLC.  For those of you planning on this route, do your research, check out the google maps and make sure you know where you are going.  I happened to be traveling with a train buff and he knows his stuff.  If anyone does have questions, drop me a line and we will help as best as we can.

Day three! (06.26.2017)

Trip home was great.  We discovered that the Road to the Sun was still closed in places so we decided to go straight back up.  On our way, we stopped at the bridge in Saltese to snap a few pics, to show how bad this bridge was.  You can see the gaps in the bridge.

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While traveling on the interstate, we ran into Bert (Roberta), she was quite vocal about being left on the road.

img_6813img_6816img_6817Other than some issues at the Canadian border … they took our seven bottle of extra wine because I didn’t want to pay the $103 duty and taxes (which was more than double what the wine cost) – however, the guy beside me was able to bring bullets into Canada.   How is that fair?

We made it home … a little lighter of wine but made it home non-the-less.  It was a great trip!

Coming up

The rides are over and back home … service was iffy at best so it was hard to post anything – there were a lot of areas that were dead zones.  We are back home and getting ready to post something tomorrow with pics … stay tuned!

The start of another great year!

It’s been a while!

Didn’t do much over the winter, I realized as I am getting older, I am not as adventurous as I used to be.  I think it’s time to trade in my skis for something a little less bone breaking … like knitting!

This year will be another great biking season, maybe not a lot of multi-day rides but still exciting none the less.  Maybe this year we won’t be attacked by dogs – ahh memories!

We will start the season on the June 24th weekend, making it into a long one.  This time we will be travelling out to the Montana/Idaho border .. the trail is called the Hiawatha (starts at the border and moves into Idaho).  This one was a recommendation by a co-worker who has done it with his family (wife and young kids … I guess if they can do it, so can I).  I need to dust off the passport!

The campsite we are staying at (yes, I said camping or rather glamping) is at the town of Wallace, about 20 mins or so from the Hiawatha trail-head at East Portal.  Apparently, there is some sort of ‘thing’ going on that weekend, celebrating a historical event.  I googled and found this …

Wallace

I don’t think we will be around to see this as we are driving out that day and I don’t think we will be there by 1pm.  I do hear that the campground is booked solid and we got the last campsite available.

I have attached some information on the two trails that we are looking to do …

The Hiawatha … (http://www.ridethehiawatha.com/)

There is a cost to bike the trail, a nominal fee and a cost to use the shuttle service from the bottom of the trail at Pearson back up to Roland where we bike back to the car.  Again, it isn’t a lot.  I have attached the map …

Hiawatha trail map

Route of the Olympian … (https://friendsofcdatrails.org/route-of-the-olympian/)

About the Trail
The 31 mile Route of the Olympian is located just over the Idaho State line and is, separate but a continuation, of the Hiawatha Trail on the old Milwaukee rail bed. The first five miles is human powered sports in summer crossing through tunnels and over the very scenic Dominion trestle. The Olympian from there on is multiple-use on into St. Regis. The trail follows the St. Regis River which also separates the trail from Interstate 90 that parallels much of this underused trail. Unlike the Hiawatha there is no cost to use the Olympian. Even if you don’t ride the entire trail peddle out to the old Dominion trestle and enjoy the sense of awe with the spectacular view from the “top of the world.” The Olympian represents part of the larger trans American trail system which in Washington State is the Iron Horse and John Wayne trail and in Idaho under the Friends of the Coeur d’ Alene Trails is reestablished as the Milwaukee and the Milwaukee scenic Alternate Route. Under the US Forest Service then as the Hiawatha.

These trails seem like a great way to get our feet wet for the 2017 biking season.  This year I want to bike Myra Canyon which we hope to do in August.  There is also the Salmo to Nelson (Great Northern Rail Trail) that is a little more aggressive so perhaps will do that later in the season.  Lastly, the Kimberley to Cranbrook  (North Star Rails to Trails) looks interesting as well.  Not to mention the weekend rides in Kananaskis and the ride out to Chestermere, which is also on my bucket list.

There is a lot to do this year!

 

 

 

Day Two … Grand Forks to Midway, BC

What another incredible day.  We got up about 6am and by the time we got ready and had breakfast, we were on the trail for 9:30ish.

I knew this first part was going to be the killer as it was supposed to be 23km up a 2% grade.  It started out relatively level for a few km or so biking through Grand Forks.  We ran into a lady (not literally) who told us we were on the right trail.


As we reached the start of the trail, I was ready to beat this 23km of steady uphill.  The trail itself was horrible, it was indeed a gentle grade up, the only issue I had was the trail was very difficult to bike on.  It was either way to rocky or way too soft.  We biked a great deal of time and walked a few spots here and there … honestly; this didn’t take away from the sheer beauty of it all.

As we were climbing up the grade to the summit at Eholt, we came to a retaining wall with fencing … this can be seen from the highway below and I remember CK telling me (from below), ‘that is where we will be biking’.  That was a long way up … as I stood looking down, I was thinking, geez, that is a long way down.


The road did improve in sections and then when you thought you were good, it turned bad again.  We ended up at a crossroads were we took a bit of a break.


We continued biking up and up and up until we got to the first tunnel.  There was a shack of sorts that we stopped at for a break; a little food, a little water.  By this time, it was getting really hot out.  We were covered in suntan lotion and bug spray.  The mosquitoes were terrible while biking in the bush … for whatever reason, they really liked my blood.  I didn’t like walking as they could grab on and suck.

The tunnel was pretty cool, not long enough to really scare me but just enough to make it really dark.  I turned on the GoPro and recorded the trek up and through the tunnel.  The lighting in the tunnel was reflecting some pretty cool images.


 

As we travelled, the road seemed to get better.  We ended up on a logging road so now it was super easy to bike.  I had a nice rhythm going.  We didn’t realize it then, but we only had a few kms to go before reaching the top (Eholt).

And then, there it was … the Summit.  You have no idea how happy I was to reach this.  My legs were tired, my butt sore.  We took a few moments for some pics, a little bit of a rest and off we were again –  leaving Eholt behind, it was all downhill from here.


It was an easy ride until we hit the field.  That was a little tough to bike through, the area here was level but the ground was soft.  The distance wasn’t that great so with a little umpf, we managed to make it through.

Now, we did do some research on what to expect on the trail and one thing that was mentioned was a locked gate (not sure why it’s locked but there was mention of dogs that can be aggressive to some bikers).  There were many gates on the trail, it would seem every couple 100 feet or so, there was a gate.  It took time to stop, open the gate, go through and lock it back up again.  As we came up to this one gate (which I thought was the locked gate), we noticed it wasn’t locked, but just difficult to open.  There was a gap between the fencing and the trees, enough for us to get our bikes through.  As we biked the couple 100 feet to the next gate, I noticed the farm on my right – they had beautiful horses and I could hear dogs barking but nothing that startled me.  As we approached the next gate, this one was locked and I freaked out.  I didn’t want to jump it as I was afraid of the dogs on the other side.  CK told me that it was going to be ok and he got our bikes over.  I was really nervous.  There was a Llama that came running over to us (I think looking for food), he was hissing at me but was right at the fencing.  If I had remembered I picked apples from the apple tree, I would have totally given him one.


What I realised after (a light bulb went off) was that we were on the wrong side of the locked fence and I wanted to stay on the side where the dogs were not realising that we were coming from the opposite direction.  I felt like an idiot.  I am directionaly challenged and the first one to admit that.

We just had to motor along.  The trail was pretty good; going downhill is so much easier.  We arrive at the Tunnel of Flags; here is some more information on it … http://basementgeographer.com/the-tunnel-of-flags/.


After crossing the highway (again), we had a little uphill before the trail leveled out and started back down again.  We eventually made our way to Greenwood and jumped off the trail for a bit for water and icecream and spent some time talking to the town folk.  Once we were fed and watered, we began once again.  Back on the trail, we were biking side by side and came up on the last farmhouse on the right (going West on the TCT).  Two larger dogs got through the fence and charged us on the trail … for a few minutes, it was frightening.

After the trip, we stopped in at Wild Ways and told Len and Josh what happened.  They got the Kooteney Boundary Animal Control on the phone and Sean wanted me to send in an email describing what happened … apparently we are the second to complain about the dogs.

Here is the email I sent to them … for the blog purposes; I changed the name of my friend to CK.

Dear Sir

My friend and I were biking the TransCanada Trail on Sunday, July 24th, 2016.  We had just stopped at Greenwood (My Udder Store) for a quick break.  We started the trail again at approx 4:30pm.  As we were biking, we came upon the last farmstead on the right as we were travel west along the trail.  Two dogs started barking aggressively and ran from the property onto the trail.  They aggressively chased us, barking, growling and running alongside of us for approx 100+ feet.  One of the dogs bit me but because I was biking at a fast rate, he/she was not able to grab on and slide his/her teeth along my calf.  At this point, the dog that was on me turned his attention to CK (so both were on him).  I screamed loudly, reached for my bear spray (I was afraid for him), but then they suddenly stopped.  I told CK I had been bitten and he wanted to stop but I just wanted to get away as quickly as I could.  Once we bike a fair distance did we stop to assess any damage.  The skin on my calf was not broken.

There were two dogs, one was black, the other was a beige/white dog, both looked to be some sort of Shepard mixes (longer fur), estimating at 75ish lbs.

What was scary is if we had fallen off our bikes, we could have been seriously hurt or mauled.  These dogs should not be allowed to run loose as they are dangerous.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

We did bike up a bit further and I saw another dog on the trail.  I screamed ‘stop’ and grabbed my bear spray, but he just turned and ran away.  Those two dogs really spooked me and I had my guard up the rest of the bike ride.

Further up we saw a deer on the trail (which initially freaked me out – you know, the dogs).  It took off for a bit down the trail, stopped and turned to watch us.  I managed to get my GoPro working so I started recording and biking down very slowly … I got pretty close before it turned and took off.  The video is a bit grainy and you really need to zoom in to see the deer.


The rest of the ride was great, nothing exciting … no bear or cougar attacks.  We arrived at the outskirts of town and biked the trail alongside the highway.


CK wanted to see the museum that was about 1km up the road past the motel we were staying at.  They were not open so we snapped a few pics of the CP relicts out in the yard.


We then headed back, crossed the highway and made it to our motel.

We spend the evening recuperating and discussing who was sorer.  I won that!!!  Hands down!!!

Check out the rest of the photos … https://www.flickr.com/photos/selenakh/albums/72157670818742642

Until next time!

Day one … Paulson to Grand Forks, BC

So we are currently sitting in the hotel room, just finished pizza and having wine.  Wow, what a day, long day but an amazing day!

Out transport arrive right on time and (of course) we were ready … I am always ready!  We were transported from Grand Forks, BC to the Paulson Summit.  Len (our driver) from Wild Ways (http://wildways.com) was simply phenomenal.  He told lots of stories; made sure we knew where we were going and answered all our questions.  Seriously, if you ever need a transport, call them and ask for Len!

We were dropped off at the summit and once we had all our gear organised and where we wanted it, we were in our way.


The first part to the Paulson Bridge we had done before in May when we biked from the Summit to Castlegar, BC.  At that time, CK wanted to take pics of the bridge so we back tracked a bit.  We ended up back at the bridge and took more pics.  The stonework just below the bridge on the trail was quite impressive.


I was also loving the gentle 2% downhill grade, biking this was so much better than going up.  We met a lovely little lizard on some of the rocks on a retaining wall; he hung around long enough for us to get some great pics.  I think he was enjoying the heat as much as we were.


We came upon the first tunnel, the Paulson tunnel.  It is a 365 foot (111 metre) and built in 1943.  The distance threw was pretty good, a little dark in areas, but not nearly as scary as the Bulldog tunnel.  We also met Dennis, a gentleman travelling down the rail trail but going in a different direction after Fife Road.


The trail itself was OK, some spots were really bad and I almost wiped out a couple of times, the rocks make it slippery to bike on if you were not careful.


We stopped to take some pics of how high we were up … through the trees we could see the highway.


We were told by Len of a wash out along the trail.  A bridge was built to help bikers get past this area.  The bridge wasn’t wide enough to let ATVers get through so not sure what they did, unless they were really careful getting by the washed out part of the road.  I don’t know, I wouldn’t have risked it.


As we were biking, I spotted a snake and of course, had to catch it.  It did poop all over me (hahaha, that’s what I get), but did get a chance to spend some quality time with this cutie.


Eventually, we made it to the Fife station and ran into Dennis again.  We all chatted for a bit, quick pee break and took more pics.


This pic was inside the shack showing what the area used to look like … I thought it pretty cool.  The water tower isn’t there any longer, but the shack still stands.


We stopped at Fife road (which will take you down to Christina Lake) to have some lunch.  We debated going down to Christina Lake for lunch but the road going down is quite steep.  I didn’t have issues going down the road; it was the way up that was a concern.  I have read other blogs and the road was so steep, they took other ways to get back to the trail.

After deciding to continue on our way and having a nice dinner in Grand Forks, we came to a large bridge.  I don’t have any information on it but the view was quite lovely.


Once we got past the bridge, the trail changed from a rocky rail bed to hard packed gravel (due to the installation of a gas pipeline).  If biking down on the rail bed was hard in sections, this was worse.  There were sections where it was like quicksand.  Now, this is where I started to burn some calories.  Lots of ups and downs and it was hot so I was sweating.  I was running out of steam!


We paralleled along the highway all the way to Grand Forks.  We stopped at an old bridge base that was left.  We saw a couple hiking below.  Further up was fast moving river.


Then another bridge and another fast moving river.


We ran into a few people that were jumping off a bridge into the river.


Haha, have you ever told someone to ‘go jump off a bridge’ … well these people were.  We stopped to say hi and watched.  Once we were done, we continued along.  We reached Grand Forks and pedalled through the town to reach our hotel.  I saw a couple of little baby dear sunning themselves.


We ordered pizza, had some wine and after a shower, we spent some time recovering for tomorrow.

Was asleep by 8:30pm … tomorrows the big day! 

Paulson to Midway, BC (overnight in Grand Forks, BC)

So, we are planning on biking the other side now … biking from the Paulson Summit to Midway, BC with an overnight in Grand Forks, BC.  Both days will be around 50km each – give or take a few kms.  Information is very difficult to find and you have to browse many sites to find what you are looking for.  This is what I have gathered so far, some I found and some my friend found.  This epic adventure will begin on July 23rd (early) and end the evening of July 24th.

Trail descends from the Paulson bridge to Christina Lake and is a great half-day cycle or full day hike.  Families love this route!  Downhill grade is 2%, passing through forest, a tunnel and an old trestle.  Mount Gladstone and Rossland Range are visible as well as Christina Lake, town views and old cave systems.

Source:  http://www.trailpeak.com/trail-TCT-Paulson-to-Christina-Lak-near-Grand-Forks-BC-11557

This is the bike ride from Fife (near Christina Lake) to Grand Forks …

Fife to GF map

As you can see, after Fife, it is pretty much straight, a few ups and downs right to Grand Forks.  From there, we rest overnight.

The next day is the tough one.  This shows a now uphill grade (I was told 2% but this looks speciously more) …

GF to Midway map

Needless to say, I am not too happy … I am not a strong biker – I get to where I am going (the distance isn’t the issue), but I have very little muscle mass and I struggle when it’s uphill.  Regardless, if I have to walk my bike, I will make it.

Below describes the route from the opposite direction of where we are going (Grand Forks to Midway), which is day two …

About the Route: 

The Columbia & Western Railway from Midway to Grand Forks begins as a pleasant stretch of trail with decent surface conditions along most of the route uphill to Eholt – and be sure to take a moment to check out the town of Greenwood when passing through. Large bell-shaped coal slag heaps (called “Hell’s Bells” by the locals) are one of many attractions. Also, a stroll down Greenwood’s main drag is a trip back in time!

The Tunnel of Flags is located north of Greenwood at the highway crossing. Watch for traffic at this, as well as the other highway crossing just west of Eholt. Though little to nothing remains of Eholt Station, it once rested at the summit of the pass – and northernmost point between Greenwood and Grand Forks. Eholt became the CPR’s divisional point and ore hauling headquarters. Due south and higher still was the growing city of Phoenix with its rich copper and gold mines; a branch line with spurs was built to carry Phoenix ores to local smelters. Eholt yards included a roundhouse, and powerful Shay locomotives which made daily trips to Phoenix. By 1920, an amazing 15 million tons of ores had been shipped, but the mines soon closed, and Eholt like Phoenix was abandoned.

Further east from Eholt, the north-facing forested area between to Granby tunnel can be a dark and perhaps gloomy place, but after turning south and passing through the tunnel, views of the Granby river valley below will lift your spirits! An emergency shelter is located immediately south of the tunnel with bunks and tables.

The Columbia & Western runs downhill from the flanks of Thimble Mountain at the Granby Tunnel, through the streets of Grand Forks.

Trail Highlights and Developments: 

  • Hell’s Bells in Greenwood
  • Downtown Greenwood
  • Granby Tunnel (11 km east of Eholt Station)
  • Emergency Shelter (bunks and tables) immediately south of Granby Tunnel – with fantastic views of the Granby River

Important: You will almost certainly encounter motorized vehicles along the route, particularly ATVs and dirt bikes, which could be travelling at high speeds. Over the years, unregulated motorized use has degraded the trail surface along the Columbia & Western, making many areas quite challenging for hikers and cyclists. Users should come prepared for sandy conditions. Please see our equipment recommendations on the Boundary main page or even more detail on our “Equipment Tips” page of our Travel Tips.

Important: You may encounter ticks in the tall grasses along the trail in the Eholt area. You may wish to wear long pants, tucking the bottoms into your socks while avoiding the foliage at the edges of the trail.

Also important: You will encounter many gates along the TCT in the Boundary region. These gates are in place for a reason, and users should ensure to CLOSE the gates behind themselves. Closing the gates will ensure that livestock do not escape – preventing them from wandering to areas (such as the highways) which would be unsafe for them as well as drivers. The gates also prevent access of the trail by unauthorized motorized users. They are a small inconvenience to trail users, but they are necessary and should be respected.

Trail Operator: 

Trail Stewards and Volunteers: 

  • Trails to the Boundary Society (McCulloch to Eholt) Contact: website forthcoming, visit their Facebook page
  • Midway Trails (portions of trail close to Midway and Rock Creek)

And apparently …

Warning: Locked Gate near Eholt

Ongoing since 2011 — Confirmed April 3, 2016 (Gate is indeed locked) — There is a locked gate about 2km north of Greenwood. We know that some users hop the fence, but be aware there are dogs at this property that feel threatening to some trail users. To avoid the locked gate completely, when you are at Greenwood continue on Hwy 3 and turn right down the FSR Providence Creek Rd to access the trail (on the right after climbing the first hill on Hwy 3). If you are travelling east to west, look for the Providence Creek Rd to the right before the locked gate. For the latest conditions on the ground, contact the “Trails to the Boundary Society” trail coordinator at 250-444-7547 or email trailstotheboundary@gmail.com. Trail users are encouraged to call 1-844-676-8477 (Ministry of Forests) if you want to report an infraction on any section of the trail.

Source: http://trailsbc.ca/tct/boundary/greenwood

The hotel in Midway (two nights … July 22nd and 24th) is booked as is the Transport from Midway to Paulson summit .. found a place in Grand Forks and also booked that (one night … July 23rd).

So exciting … can’t wait!!!