Princeton July 18, 2010
I wanted to do a Sunday ride to Merritt to take in the Moto-GP race at the Middlesboro pub, but the various other interested parties were unable to join me because of family and mechanical problems, so I found myself on the road alone. I actually quite enjoy this because (aside from the risk of overcooking it into a corner and plunging off into the wilderness, never to be found) this gives me an opportunity to ride 'new' (to me) roads, and to stop and take photos whenever the urge strikes me. The latter activity, I'm sure, would drive a riding partner batty, so it's best done solo.
I got away in a crisp morning and enjoyed light, quick-moving traffic and cool temps up thru the familiar landscape and enjoyable riding of Manning Park and down into the mid-day heat of Princeton. After a nice break at Cowboy Coffee, I set off to explore Copper Mtn Rd, south of town. This is very nice, especially the lower sections winding up thru the grasslands, but it turns to loose-surfaced gravel after only 12km, so it's a bit hard to recommend unless you're REALLY looking had for someplace to kill a half hour. I did see two other sportbikes on their way up while I was returning, so I guess a few other motorcyclists also come this way. And speaking of overcooking into corners on remote roads, there's a tight northbound lefthander about 4km south of town where you crest a rise and suddenly face (a) the corner or (b) the meadows - a very sudden, dramatic choice! A BIG handful of brake got me down to tipping-in speed, but be forewarned if you go up there...
Copper Mtn Rd: lovely curves in the grasslands;
Back in Princeton, I headed north up the main street, crossed the old bridge, and turned left onto Tulameen Ave, which later becomes Coalmont Rd. This leads thru the nearly deserted town of Coalmont (wherein I think the old Coalmont Hotel still serves as a popular weekender's stopping place) to Tulameen (30km from Princeton). The road features plenty of very tight bends, but I've never ridden it when there wasn't a spew of gravel onto the pavement in almost all of them, so this has never been a favorite road of mine. Still, the scenery is nice.
The view west from Tulameen - (bike facing opposite direction of travel...)
The pavement continues 5km past Tulameen past the cabin-lined shores of Otter Lake before turning to excellent hardpacked gravel up Otter Valley Rd.
Along Otter Valley Rd
Flowered meadows in the grasslands at the north end of Otter Valley Rd
After only 27km of gravel, and after climbing up out of Otter Creek valley onto the grasslands south of Aspen Grove, the pavement reappears for the final 13km to the junction with Hwy 5A. Then it's just a quick blast thru the lovely countryside around Aspen Grove to the connector, and in 20 minutes you're in Merritt.
The wonderful countryside at the junction of Otter Valley Rd and Hwy 5A
Hwy 5A offers wonderful riding, of course, so it's a shame to bypass it, but for those of you looking for alternatives, Otter Valley is certainly a scenic byway.
More photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/donserl...th/4818983380/
I'll get a map up when I regain enuf patience to deal with frikkin google maps!
OK, here're the maps, not that they're very complicated at all:
Copper Mtn Rd: http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&...b5e616632&z=12
Otter Valley: http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&...9cce7fee8&z=10
Last edited by doser; 01-02-2016 at 04:07 PM.
Reason: CHIA: removed powerlines :) doser: added map links
How to ride
Some nice photos there. (with or without the power lines.)
Looks good Don, wishing I was there right now......
What power lines?
very artful indeed! thanks...
Originally Posted by CHIA
Nice read and pics. I always wanted to try the coppermine road but unsure what conditions I might encounter....Will check out that coppermine road! Thanks for sharing!