DAY 5 SPENCES BRIDGE TO MERRITT
DISTANCE TRAVELLED 66 km RUNNING TIME 3 hrs 20 mins
AVERAGE SPEED 19.7 km/hr
DISTANCE PLANNED 66kms TOTAL TIME 3 hrs 45 min
Another gorgeous day - hot - a reported 38- 40 degrees. A strong head wind and very hilly country. Again followed another river (Nicola Valley) east to Merritt. The whole valley is ranching country, with hay production important for winter feed for the cattle. Many aboriginal lands & reservations along the route - also prevalent all the way along the Fraser Valley .
The highlight of the day was about 10am after two hours of almost contstant climbing ( all the rivers we have followed are flowing downstream from the mountains) , we just reached the top of two very long climbs when we saw a van parked on the isde of the riad with the tail gate open with a large coller offering cold drinks - I thought "a real entreprenuer". It was a Tour du Canada 2005 participant from Vancouver that was doing business in Kelowna (150 kms to the SE) and remembered these climbs and had taken a ½ day to meet us & offer us free drinks & Power Bars what a saint! Extremely well appreciated by all.
Arrived in Merritt about noon after a nice ride. Merritt is the Country Music Capital of Canada - for the last 13 years they have hosted the Merritt Mountain Music Festival , which has had such famous C&W stars as Johnny Cash, Paul Brant, Tim McGraw, Randy Travis Toby Keith & many more. The town has caught some of the action in murals on various town buildings. It is a party so big ... only a mountain can hold it. This years Festival is13-16 July -aah too bad that I will miss it....
A truly fabulous area that you could spend weeks exploring (scenery, large ranches, native culture, mountain biking, ranch and historic western tours, rodeo and more.
Thursday is a rest day, my brother Rick from Kamloops picked me up and the I will spend the rest period with him & Anne and they will deliver me back in Merritt early Friday.
Supper at Rick's was red meat steaks and delicious baked potatoes..