We left Nakusp for the North Okanagan to visit with family. That ride took us through the Monashee Mountains along Hwy 6, through Cherryville, Lumby, and on into Vernon. On the list of great rides from this trip, we’re rating this one at number two just behind the ride along Hwy 31A from Kaslo to Nakusp. Going through the Monashees was a treat! There are some very tight high mountain turns along this road that deserve the reputation it has as one of the best rides in Western Canada. The asphalt relentlessly snakes along sheer mountain cliffs. There is one stretch that is 8km of nothing but curves non-stop. It was a magnificent ride.

The latter half of the ride heading west took us through pastoral valleys and small farming communities. The hot weather kept us moving. We knew that we had more than enough fuel to keep riding until we got into Vernon. This was really an enjoyable ride and if you’re in Western Canada, or are planning to come to Western Canada to ride, you really should take the opportunity to get out and ride Hwy 6 into or out of the Kootenays. We’ll be going back for sure.

The last days of our trip were hot and dry. Campgrounds were dustier as were the roads. The sun was starting to take its toll on our skin as summer made its presence felt. Our hammock insulation started to work too well. Yet we hadn’t heard about any campfire bans… yet.

The day after we got into Vernon the campfire ban was imposed. Hot dry conditions throughout the province, along with a couple of high profile wild fires, prompted the ban. The one fire, right in the middle of Kaleden in the South Okanagan. The fire started in a long neglected orchard, quickly spreading to neighbouring properties and houses. To see, on the tv news, water bombers and helicopters dropping water and retardant on this otherwise quiet community was scary. The fire season had come in with an anger few of us have ever seen.

While we regrouped and visited in Vernon the wildfires were taking hold around the province. Ashcroft, Cache Creek, 103 and 108 Mile House, Williams Lake, and many more communities are under evacuation order. As I write this there are over 200 fires forcing thousands of people from their homes. Fire crew are overwhelmed.

Our ride back to the coast was windy and, around Hope, smokey. With wild fires closing roads near Cache Creek, out of control near Harrison Lake, and burning near Whistler, we decided to make it a straight shot home by riding the Coquihalla, Hwy 5. It’s not particularly wonderful to ride as it’s a freeway but we got home in good time. Plus there were no fires in the area.

Our final ride as a straight shot home but the entire trip was spectacular. We really had a great time. We proved to ourselves that we could be on the road for an extended period of time without taking a large amount of stuff. The kit for this ride became much more minimalist based on our previous trip experiences. Look for our packing lists to change in the coming days or weeks as a result. Also keep an eye out for more comparisons and reviews of gear and equipment. We’ve been living with a lot of this stuff for some time now which means we have a good idea about how it works for us.

Thanks for following along and reading about our rides. We both appreciate the support all of you show us by coming by our blog. Hopefully the upcoming reviews and comparisons will help you a bit with your own motorcycle hammock camping or whatever variation you choose.

DES out.