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Wednesday, 09 October 2019 00:55

Riding the interior of British Columbia via BC #6 (Vernon to Crescent Valley) Featured

BYB mc dashJoin Lamont (and the BYB) as he travels from Vernon to Crescent Valley, BC

Today, 06 September 2019, I ride a route I have never travelled on and the only information I have go with is what a few friends have shared and a Map Recce via Google Maps.  Actually, when I ride I just pretty much use Goggle Maps and then form my route from there. Oh yes, and my GPS in case you are not aware is simply writing down my route on paper, sliding it into a plastic folder and taping it to my dash.  Honest, I could not even make that up if I tried.

I left Kamloops around 0900 hrs, following some familiar blacktop I have ridden in the past (#1 and #97) towards Vernon.  I do enjoy the #97 (Okanagan Hwy) as it has the twisties of a fun ride, but it has the scenic views which a traveller and photographer enjoys utilizing for inspiration.

It was quiet, not a lot of traffic, somewhat coolish and overcast, all and all a great day to ride in comfort, but then again everyday is a great day to ride.  It is just that some days are a tad better than others…………………right?

Switching it up a bit I would suggest you take a little detour and take Exit 384 (Kipp Rd/Dallas Dr), then scoot on Dallas and then a right onto Barnhartvale Rd which takes you up thru a valley onto the higher area and cross country for a bit, and brings you back to Hwy #97 about 15-20 km into the route vice going all the way down to the #97.  My reason why is simple. It was there and I have not ridden it before. A reason I use a lot in my travels.

However, I got ahead of myself because since this is my first ride in the area I had to break out my trusty GPS and you can see is loaded and mounted in the very first pic.  This is being presented to you because of my friend Jean Guy Myer, and he will understand why. I am not a hugh fan of technology and like a lot of things “old School”. If I can not rely on myself then who or what can I?  Based on my travels in the past my friend Jean-Guy was given a “Lamont or BYB GPS” by his wife for his next adventures. If you look at the pics you will get a better understanding of what I speak of.

On the way down the #97 we pass by the small village of Westwold where the local RCL #236 doubles as the village Post Office.  Kinda cool arrangement if I do say so. Made me smile. It is the simple things in life which are worth stopping and taking a moment to soak in, photo and write about.  Wish it was open, it would be nice to see how it is set up inside. Who knows that could be a wee bit of a story for another time? Time to head on some more, it is going to be a long and I fear a wet day.

Just down the road from there, I came across an interesting place called Route 97 Diner along with Wild Rides Car Restoration.  (https://www.wildrides.ca/97-diner).  A classic 50 diner with the added touches of class and wonderful food.  If you are ever travelling thru here it is worth the stop just to check out the inside and outside with old cars.  Had a chance to speak with both owners of the diner and Wild Rides. Very down to earth folk who seem like they just may have a story or two to share.   PS, I did not know that a REO Speed Wagon was a truck. Go figure.  

Back on the road I headed further along and stopped in Falkland long enough to grab a pic with the famous motorcycle loving Falkland Pub. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Pub/Falkland-Pub-142311019115000/).  It was quiet and closed.  Looking in the windows after wiping off some of the rain from the night before, I could see a lot of history inside, so many stories to hear, but no time to hear them, this time.

Another 10 minutes outside of town I just missed witnessing a car run off the road and into a telephone.  Like it just happened. Maybe fate was on my side to have me stop and take an extra few minuets back in town.  Stopped with a few others to make sure the dude was ok, nothing more than some shock and being a little shaken up.  Preformed a little first aid to check him out and verify he has not physical injuries just as he told me he was stupid for looking at his GPS on his phone and missed the wide sweeping curve and ended up in the far side ditch.  I must say he did a great job of bringing the car to a stop and missing the pole, well mostly missing it. He had enough people there and the BYB had to make up some time.

Just prior to reaching the junction of the #97A, is the famous O’Keefe Ranch, founded in 1867.  Originally it represented the last stop on the Wagon Rd into the Okanagan Valley and was a Stagecoach Depot.  Grabbed a few shots and was back on the BYB heading towards the #6. Ummmmmm, stagecoach and me on the BYB. A lone cowboy making his way thru the modern day West.

BYB gps kit

BYB kit


Not being familiar with this route, it was time to top up on the Go-Go juice before making the start of this newest page to read in the book of life and adventure.  Vernon fuel was available for the low cost of $1.32. Now time to get “Sexy on the Six” (my term, no, I do not own this copywrite term - yet). Most of the traffic here now seemed local, no big vehicles or trailer to be seen, at least for now.  What I did see was plenty of gas stations along the way with the longest time between them less that 100 kms so fuel should not be anyone’s problem. I think there was even some higher octane fuel which many of my HD friends will be happy to know.  My first stop was in the town of Lumby who won the 2016 Hockeyville. What I did not do is visit the area of Shuswap Falls which was just out of my way a little (This time). But something I will check out next. I hate not having time to see a lot of things which seem interesting, but it does make for a great reason to come back and visit again, and this time to ride the route is the opposite direction.


Scooting along I almost ran right past the cutest little eatery on the #6.  It is called the Cherryville Roadhouse. Rated 4.5 on Trip Advisor it should make your stomach very happy.  Again, an older type of place that oozes character. Located in the Cherryville area of the North Okanagan/Shuswap River.  Almost missed it as there is no real advertisement for it until you are right on it. But the civic address is #1361, if you need that sort of thing.


From here the road takes on a character of its own.  Up and down, twisties and the like. The air was thick with the smell of the woods.  It brought me right back to my youth in Newfoundland when I rode my old Elan Ski-doo in the back woods.  By now the only thing I note on the roads are camper vehicles, motorcycles and heading towards you North/West, logging truck after logging truck filled to the brim.  What I did like about this was the smell the entire way was like Christmas. Christmas, only another 11 weeks or so away, how that sounds so bad.  

Not a lot of passing area’s, so keep your head in the game.  Hardly a road snake as most of the road is either original or lately chip sealed which made things a little rough but no issues.  Some clear areas with solid lines still provided you the opportunity to pass safely. It is hard seeing around those large camper vehicles at times.

Oh yes, since I am on the #6 and we will be making a lake crossing I doubled checked to make sure that they were not on strike and running, and yippee they were running.  Onwards to the Needles Ferry (my first cable driven ferry), a wee bit of a wait, and no motorcycle priority loading, but all good I got on. Did I mention free, as it is part of the highway system.  Got to love free.

The #6 from here on in is pretty good, more room and easier to ride even wider in spots.  No logging trucks and just a great ride all the way up to Nakusp. This area is known for Arrow Lake and it is breathtaking, really none of my pictures or video will ever do it justice and this entire area is something which is needed to be seen firsthand.  Yes, I am definitely going to be coming back this way and I do hope sooner than later.

Gas and go in Nakusp ($1.36) but not before I found the Rider’s Retreat (https://ridersretreat.ca/), and after speaking with some friends it is “The” place to stay if you are in the area on bike and not looking for that 5 star type of place.  I do like finding these things on the fly. Makes for an adventure not knowing what lays behind the next corner or over the next hill.

The #6 follows the shores of Slocan Lake with every viewpoint something to take in.  Just a raw beauty of the lake and mountains. And I leaned this area is called the West Koot Route, and it is a “hoot” to ride.  Met up with a few old car drivers on the way to Castlegar to partake in a party of some sort. Nice rides indeed, and more money than I can afford.  I really need to get my Go Pro Knock Off up and running to capture some of these things. Something to work on over the fall and into the winter I am thinking.

Prior to leaving the #6 and making a final run for Osoyoos, I had to stop, circle back and take a peek at a place that caught my eye.  This unique and fun looking eatery was called the Frog Peak Café located in Crescent Valley. Grabbed some pics and spoke to a local or two about this place.  They said without a doubt that if you are hungry this is the place to check out for homemade food and treats, oh gosh what nice looking treats. If a local tells you this then it must be right, right?  Unless of course the local is either the owner or manager of the place. (no, they were not). I stopped and turned around to check it out so yes there is something magical about it and worth checking out. Again 4.5 stars reported, so yummy stops all around this area.


This now ends the ride of the #6 and I am now onwards to get my ass in gear and get to Osoyoos before it gets way too late.  I want to thank my friends who told me to ride this ride and to all those neat and interesting folks I met along the way. Thank you all for putting a smile on my face, a song in my heart, and words in my hands to be able to share this little adventure with you all.

Big Yellow Bike 



Lamont French

Victoria, BC, Canada

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Lamont French is a retired Canadian Armed Forces Veteran of 30 years service (Military Police) who rides a 1991 Yellow Honda GL 1800 Goldwing, aka the Big Yellow Bike, currently has over 266,000 kms.  Originally from Lewisporte, Newfoundland, he now calls Victoria, British Columbia home where he stages all his adventures from.



Last modified on Friday, 11 October 2019 01:24

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