Friday, August 26, 2011


I'm back in the land of Bob Ross and happy little trees.  

Ma Support Staff and I flew into Spokane Wednesday, drove to Penticton, BC, Canada, Thursday morning, and then drove the 1-lap bike course that afternoon.  Thanks to spending lots of time sitting and staring out a variety of windows, I got to see a whole heck of a lot of a part of the country and continent I've never really had the opportunity to see before.  Let me tell you, it's beautiful.  And not only that, it's green, sometimes in places where it's supposed to be green.  After the last five months, I will never take "supposed to be green" = "actually green" for granted again.

Here is a photographic tour of GEG - KOMK - YYF - IMCAN:

Heading west from Spokane

Officially in wheat country

One seriously big pile of gluten

Not a tree for MILES.  Do they measure the crop by loaves/acre?

Leaving the rolling plains for river-carved valleys and bluffs

Can't leave well enough alone

Happy little trees!!

In the high desert...Rocky Mountains HO!

Rough, rugged, beautiful, high desert country

Good Bye, USA...

Hello, Canada!

Vineyards and fruit groves of every variety

Further up the valley we come upon the 'burg of Penticton

Heading south out of Penticton on the bike and run course

Well, hello there.

Tight curves, close quarters, and chip seal

Exploring some farm land west of Okanagan Falls

Back along the lake(s)

Starting the 11km, 4 stage climb up to Ritcher Pass

Coming down off Ritcher...the descents are as epic as the climbs

The rollers on the back side of the course

The top of the next big climb, Yellow Lake Pass

The whole trip was one big mind-bend, the type of mountain travel where everything looks close enough to touch, but takes hours to reach.  I hate to be a lacking in originality, but the course reminds me so much of IM Lake Placid: big climbs, big descents, tree-covered mountains, lots of water, undeniably challenging but not impossible.  And most of all, something gorgeous to look at the entire length of 140.6 miles.

The notable difference is the sheer openness of the course.  Where the roads in Lake Placid are closely lined by trees, the roads near Penticton are almost entirely un-lined...unless you count flanked by mountains miles away.  A good (read: bad) wind and the day gets even more epic.  Either way, it's going to be a memorable time.  And green.

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