By Bryce Borlick
Saturday 9:07 a.m. Craigellachie
Our road-trip was off to a smashing start, literally. Just a short ways out of Revelstoke I was T-boned hard and sent careening into the grass. I shook off my daze and rolled back onto the pavement, trying to catch up with the hit-and-run driver. Just a few corners ahead, I returned the favour, running him into a barricade to take the checkered flag. Shake and bake!
The grins on our faces confirmed that making the Shuswap Speedway go-karts the first stop on our road-trip to Sun Peaks was a good call. Although our main goal for the trip was to get our mountain bikes dirty on some interior trails, we decided that this would be the time when we’d hit all the attractions that have always been on the ‘maybe next time’ list. With long fast straightaways and easy access directly off Hwy 1, the Speedway is worth a 30-minute stop.
10:17 a.m. Tappen
Our next stop is one that has likely piqued the interest of many passing car enthusiasts — the White Post Auto Museum in Tappen. Their distinct sign — a 1930s coupe mounted high on a pole — marks the spot of their outdoor collection and their indoor museum. We got lost in the rows of ‘Cudas, Chargers, and Bel-Airs and had to tear ourselves away when we started to discuss actually buying one of them. That’s what’s really cool — most of the amazing classics on display are for sale and the swap meets are killer.
11:32 a.m. Sorrento
Can 11 a.m. pass as beer ‘o’ clock? It certainly can when you’re on vacation. A short jaunt down the highway brought us to Sorrento, home of the fully organic Crannog Ales brewery and Left Fields Farm where they grow the hops. Brian and Rebecca have been honing their craft for over 15 years, one handcrafted batch at a time, and their expertise is reflected in the popularity of their Backhand of God Ale. We opted for a Rory is a Redhead Irish Ale and an insurrection IPA and hit the tarmac but we’ll be back on July 1 because Vancouver punk rock legends D.O.A. will be playing at Crannog.
2:17 p.m. Sun Peaks
Although the Sun Peaks Bike Park doesn’t garner the media attention that the Whistler Bike Park does, Sun Peaks was one of the first resorts to offer lift-accessed biking and, for a very reasonable $36, you can pick up an afternoon lift pass (2 p.m. onward) and lap the trails until 7 p.m. We started our afternoon on the new alpine XC trail running out to Tod Lake and, after that fantastic warm-up, we lapped our favourites — Sugar, Sweet One, Honeydrop, and Arm Pump — until it was time to roll back to the chill vibe of the village and a killer dinner at Mountain High Pizza. Hot tip: check out the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel — their rates are very competitive for such posh digs.
Sunday 10:04 a.m. Lac Du Bois
We started our Sabbath with coffee and pastries from Bolacco Caffe before backtracking to the Lac Du Bois Grasslands just north of Kamloops. The grasslands offer fast-paced XC mountain biking through high desert terrain that contrasts the technical challenges and descent-oriented riding at Sun Peaks. The loops are relatively short but the nearby Dewdrop trails offer more distance. We felt that a short loop still earned us a good brunch.
11:41 a.m. Tranquille
Tranquille Farm has an unexpectedly colorful history. Originally established in 1911 as a tuberculosis sanatorium on the northern outskirts of Kamloops, this sprawling 500-acre property expanded over the next four decades into an independent agrarian settlement, complete with its own fire hall and waterfront. We stopped in to explore the various medical buildings have fallen into fascinatingly eerie disrepair but our growling stomachs quickly shuffled us toward brunch.
12:54 p.m. Kamloops
Normally we‘d hit up Hello Toast for some eggs bennie but, alas, no seats were available on a sunny Sunday so we headed to Blue, just one block over. Their weekend brunch is no slouch and the upscale ambiance was a welcome change from our normal dirtbaggin’ style. Kamloops, the Tournament Capital of Canada, has a vibrant downtown and we took a short stroll to let the huge portions settle.
3:02 p.m. Valleyview
Although the Kamloops Bike Ranch is relatively small, it packs a punch as a skills park. Kamloops has produced some top name pro mountain bikers over the years and the Ranch reflects the ‘go big or go home’ culture behind this. Even the kids at the park are little shredders. We ended up doing fun laps on the easy jump trails and took a blazing fast ridgeline descent back to the base area.
5:41 p.m. Sicamous
Watch the clock and be sure you don’t miss the opening hours for the famous D Dutchmen Dairy in Sicamous. Operating since 1978, this family-owned dairy farm produces fantastic cheeses and milk and offers tours of their operation, but it’s the ice cream that everyone stops for. Although our dinner was less than an hour away, we grabbed cones of Chocolate Chili Pepper and Holstein Cow. As if we‘d pass that up!
6:07 p.m. Malakwa
What is the deal with the Burner Grille? You know the one — the old beehive burner on the side of Highway 1 that’s been converted into a restaurant. This structure used to incinerate sawdust and other wood waste from nearby sawmills until public concerns about air pollution forced its closure. I’m not going to spoil its aire of windowless mystery by telling you what’s inside — you’ll just have to see for yourself. While you’re there, try their great Reuben sandwich or an over-the-top Burner Blue Cheese Bacon Burger. Yes, even after ice cream.
7:32 p.m. Taft
Crazy Creek offers lodging, scenic waterfalls, and a suspension bridge for family oriented vacations but it’s the $9.50 hot mineral baths that make this our final pit stop for the weekend. The expansive pools of varying temperature are a fantastic way to soothe tired muscles and wind down from a fast paced weekend of road-tripping. We melted into the heat and watched the sunset cast golden hues across the hillsides around us as we reflected on the success of our road trip. In 36 hours, we did a lot and saw a lot and home was sounding pretty good.