In this installment we have more mountains, another ferry but the highlight might just be the visit to the world’s largest collection of Brill trolley buses. If that is not enough also the oldest, still in continuous use piece of machinery in Canada. This might be my favorite day out of the whole trip.
The map for the tenth day. Less kilometers today but it includes a ferry ride which slows progress.
The previous night we had camped by the lake in Kelowna. Our company from the previous night had invited us over to their trailer for breakfast but was not yet up so we left a note and prepared to hit the road.
In the morning I noticed that my chain guard was rattling going over the campsite speed bumps. I stopped, investigated and discovered that a bolt holding the guard had dropped off at some point allowing it to flap around a bit. I felt without that bolt it was better to have the guard off so I strapped it to the back of the bike wrapped in a garbage bag to hopefully contain any dirt and grease.
Before leaving Kelowna we stopped for breakfast before heading over to a nearby a mini-mall. My riding partner needed some underwear and t-shirts as he had burnt through all his clean stuff. While he shopped I took a look at the hardware store next door to source a replacement bolt. No such luck as it was more of a woodworking tool oriented place and they did not have any suitable hardware. There was a classic Dodge Charger outside however so that was a nice bonus.
Quite a few grapes and vineyards in this area. Sampling the wares and riding is probably not a good combination so we kept moving.
Thankfully we were off the main highway again and on to some nice winding bits. We came across this fantastic sign at Cherryville next to the golf course. I know that Russian Borscht is a food but with live music below it I want it to be a musical act. Either heavy metal or a polka band seems most suitable somehow. At ten days in I am starting to grow a little bit of a beard which proved annoyingly itchy at times. Another guy on a bike passed by, saw us hamming it up for the camera with this sign and turned around himself to have a go.
In the same parking lot was this very nice condition Suzuki Samurai.
Amazingly this 1947 Studebaker M16 was also in the same location.
It looked nicely restored for a vehicle retired to sign duty.
It has no doubt carried heavier loads than the sign, a barrel of hay and this classic Honda gas tank. Anyone recognize the bike it was sourced from? A dirt bike perhaps?
We rode up and down another high mountain pass full of fantastic road, lakes and views.
There were a few other bikes out enjoying the scenery. Mostly larger groups of Harley style cruisers or smaller groups and singles of adventure bikes.
My Chinese moped bags had started to sag a bit on either side. They obviously were not designed with this sort of trip in mind so I hoped they could complete the whole thing. I had backpack as a plan of last resort in case they failed.
After 10 days and getting a bit wet with rain at certain points my towel did not smell fresh anymore. I strapped it to the back of the bike hoping to air it out. (Spoiler alert – it did not work).
After completing the mountain pass we had another small ferry to travel on to nearby Fauquier.
We lucked out with the timing and did not have long to wait. During the ride a local entertained us with tales of his nearby cottage. Before they retired they had a long term renter that lived there. He paid his bills and was very private. After he moved out and they used it as a weekend cottage they keep getting inquiries at the door to buy drugs.
We continued along the lake until it was time to tackle another smaller mountain pass.
Along the way we came across a sign that said “Tourist Attraction” at a right turn. Uncharacteristically we were not behind on today’s schedule so we went for it. The sign neglected (or we missed it which is more likely) to identify what it was or how far but this is what road trips are all about so we set down the dirt/gravel road.
After what seemed like quite a distance (both my bike and I are not super confident on gravel) we came across an inactive mine. Silver, I believe. Surely this was not it. The road continued so we did as well.
I am glad we persevered as we eventually came to one of my favorite places on the whole trip. The ghost town of Sandon.
There are a few remaining buildings left from the town’s peak but after a flood in 1955 caused it to be mostly abandoned.
There are a handful of residents left however.
The old City Hall was converted to a school when the town went bankrupt. The building is being slowly restored with the lower floors having a gift shop and information center inside currently. The upper floors are still a work in progress.
The whole town was a museum essentially and was to be run by one enthusiastic family. They noted that they do not receive any government funding which is surprising.
This 1951 Chevrolet 1300 pickup truck had been used by one of the long term residents of Sandon. After his passing it joined as an exhibit in the town and ensured that the truck continues to live out its whole life in the local area.
The formal museum had just closed up for the day but the center piece of the town is a power generating station which we could still visit.
We were told that this is the oldest, still in use piece of machinery in Canada. Amazingly the power generator in Sandon, BC is still on its original bearings. Water from the top of the mountain is dropped down chutes to power the turbine. With such a large drop and thus pressure that relatively little water is required.
The caretaker himself was working outside the generator building and we had a good chat with him.
A stationary engine that was used to supplement the power generator at the height of Sandon’s population. No longer in use.
All sorts of vintage items inside such as this Wright saw.
The whole town was built over top of this creek.
There were a few old Kenworths were around as well.
And a train. Built in 1908 at Montreal Locomotive Works.
Sandon is also home to the largest collection of Brill trolley buses in the world. These were built in Canada during the 1940s and 1950s. They were collected from various cities in western Canada including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
The Brill buses and Sandon are worthy of their own write-up but for now more information at their website. http://www.sandonmuseum.ca/
For further reading on Brill see Jim Brophy’s post Bus Stop Classics: Canadian Car and Foundry “C”and “T” Series Urban Transit Coaches – They Outlasted Their American Counterparts
The next installment starts with scenic Kaslo, BC.
The full trip log: