We unloaded some supplies with Darren and then began are long slow ascent up Anarchist Mountain. I felt refreshed and ready to take on the challenge of the Osoyoos switchbacks. I’ve always wanted to bike this area. Now that I’ve done it, I’m good, I don’t need to bike it again!
About a quarter of the way up the switchbacks, an older gentleman, Larry, biked past us and said it was only about 17 km to the viewpoint. On his way down, he stopped and said we still had about 4 kilometres to go. He gave BB the most valuable advice, “Put your bike into the granny gear so it makes the climbs easier.” For the rest of the day she kept saying how grateful she was to Larry for giving her that tip. (Thank you Larry!)
The area is similar to the desert so it was a hot slow climb. However, it’s a beautiful climb overlooking Osoyoos. After leaving the area we honestly had no idea how far the summit was. At one point we thought we reached the summit, which was exciting because we were running low on water…and energy. Around 2:30 p.m. we stopped to use the washroom at a place called Osoyoos Mountain Estates. The sales associate, Jody, was very kind to let us use the washroom and she gave us fresh bottles of water. She also helped us fill our water bags from a well pump. There was a downhill stretch after this stop, which convinced us we must have missed the summit sign. This was our last happy moment of the day.
As the day moved on, and the climb continued, it began to rain. The problem with biking is there are not enough signs on the side of the road to give you any idea where you are. Maps also suck for bicyclists. In a car, signs seem to be every mile or so, but on a bike, it can be hours before you see another marker. And our phones are always out of service when we want to check our location on a digital map.
We finally found a house so we could ask if there was a town coming up soon. It was raining hard so we were hoping the person would let us camp on her lawn, but she wouldn’t. She was leery of us; understandable since we were dirty, smelly, and miserable looking. However, she did tell us the summit was a couple miles away. WHAT?!! We thought we hit the summit hours ago!
It stopped raining around the time we had limped the last couple of miles to Anarchist Summit (1233 m). We still didn’t know how far we were from a town so we rode down the hill until we came across a creepy little village. I won’t name it, but I will say it had a feel like the movies The Hills Have Eyes (reference for the younger generation) and Deliverance (reference for my generation). The main street seemed abandoned but we could feel eyes on us as we slowly biked down the street. All the places were rundown trailers with mini-gravel driveways filled with beat-up vehicles. One place was covered in recycling/junk…so much so we couldn’t even see the trailer. I asked a toothless woman how far Rock Creek was and she said it wasn’t far and it was mostly downhill.
We made it to Rock Creek around 6:30 p.m. There was nowhere to camp in town so we rented a crappy motel room from the Husky station. This was the second most filthiest motel room I have ever seen in my life. I never once walked in bare feet on that floor! The inner princess in me was not happy. We actually slept in our sleeping bags on the beds for fear of what we would find under the covers. The bathroom had so many different strains of hair we lost count.
Today we travelled mostly uphill for approximately 50.5 km.