Saturday was the perfect autumn day for an outing, so we loaded the bicycles on the truck and drove up to Myra Station to begin our adventure. A very popular hiking/cycling trail along the once Kettle Valley Railway is the section around Myra canyon which was built between 1912-1914, and remained in service as passenger service until 1964, and the last scheduled freight train went through in 1973.
With a blue, sunny sky above us and a chilly nip in the breeze, we cycled the 12 Km section from Myra Station to Ruth Station, over 18 trestles and through 2 tunnels, then turned around and returned by the same route. It was a busy day for hikers and cyclists who were making the most of the beautiful afternoon. There were many scenic vistas alternating with shady areas lined with trees and huge rock bluffs. The canyon took on a whole new look in August 2003 when a forest fire swept through the area destroying 12 of the 18 wooden trestles, turned the canyon into a carnage of charred matchsticks. In 2007 the restoration of the trestles was completed and once again locals and tourists from around the world enjoy this historic place.
The 12 Km of squiggly trail around Myra Canyon.
We are so glad that the trestles have safe railings and solid boards over the wooden ties. Years ago we had to walk very cautiously over the trestles and many a faint hearted person, afraid of heights would have to be coaxed to venture across. Sorry, to all our friends and relatives that we challenged back then.
The tunnels are very dark right in the middle and I was fearing for my sense of balance on the bicycle, but I was following my honey who reassured me it was okay. There really was 'light at the end of the tunnel'
The Myra Station end of the trail has the largest concentration of the trestles and the tunnels.
A good place to enjoy an echo.
A popular activity we observed in our travels this summer seemed to be the building of inukshuks, quite likely because it is the mascot logo for the upcoming 2010 Olympics. The dozens of inukshuks along this trail reinforce the traditional meaning of inukshuks as, "someone was here" or "you are on the right path." ( from www.unukshuk gallery.com )
The charred trees stand as a reminder of the power of fire. Already the forest floor is regenerating new growth. It absolutely amazed me that the immediate line of trees beside the rail bed were mostly unscathed by the flames, giving most travelers the sense that nothing disastrous ever happened.
The valley floor lies 3000 feet below the rail trail. We could almost see our house in the distance.
One of the vistas of Okanagan Lake.
The longest and highest trestle rises
180 feet above the canyon.
A good lesson in trust!