When chewing up tarmac in a Porsche GT3, it’s easy to overlook the beauty of the setting as you focus on your next heel-toe downshift, and what lies beyond the next curve. Not so when you’re in the Similkameen Valley, which is a narrow, 100km long pastoral paradise that extends northwest from the city of Osoyoos, at the US border, through the fruit-growing community of Keremeos, to the town of Princeton. I snapped this photo at the side of a cornfield as a beam of sunlight burst through the heavy cloud-cover late in the afternoon before the sun disappeared over the mountains. I love the contrast of precision performance machine in a timeless, rural setting.
After getting through the valley, the highway takes you up Allison Pass. Here I encountered such dense fog that night, I had to slow down to about half the posted speed limit in order to see where I was going. Visibility in places was no more than ten meters. At one point, the fog cleared just enough to reveal the Skagit River next to me, bathed in a mysterious, fog-filtered twilight. Out of the fog emerged a magnificent bald eagle. I slowed down even further and drove alongside the great bird for about a minute. Sadly, there was no way to photograph that moment to share with you, but it will be forever etched in my mind.
Despite the fog and treacherous driving conditions all the way to the town of Hope beyond Allison Pass, for my money, the road through the Similkameen Valley is the most beautiful, fun road I’ve ever driven. Next time, I may slow it down even further and take my road bike instead.
This is a link that explains a bit more about this magical place.
The Gentleman Backpacker
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