BCB MayJune 2022_LR

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1468031

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Page 55 of 83

D E S T IN AT I O N B C/H U B ER T K A N G THOMPSON/OKANAGAN later handing the keys to investors who had backed the revival. Today, the lodge on narrow Chute Lake is a jumping-off point for cyclists, boaters, hikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers—and a favourite of small wedding parties, we're told. Accessible by dirt road, it's also a village of sorts. Besides the two-storey lodge, an ascetic log structure that houses a restaurant, there are cabins, yurts, campsites and glamping tents. We're staying in the main building, where guests share bathrooms. The beds in our small, second-floor rooms keep us cozy, but be warned: the walls are thinner than the plump, white duvets. Good thing the downstairs restaurant closes early. We soon leave those comforts behind as we hit the trail on an overcast day, with smoke still lingering above the tall pines like fog. The gravel beneath our tires feels mostly stable, but this ride has its uh-oh moments, especially when the shoulder drops away to the right. Gliding downhill on a gentle incline, we follow the Z-shaped route that the KVR's builders blasted through the rocky terrain from 1910 to 1915. Although the tracks are long gone, other signs of the past remain—like the cluster of stone ovens that railway labourers once fired up to feed themselves. About a quarter of the way down, we dismount and tiptoe into closed-off Adra Tunnel, whose dark mouth could be a gate to the underworld. From lookouts along the way, smoke obscures what is usually a spectacularly colourful view of Okanagan Lake. But we soon reach Little Tunnel, a busy pit stop that sits on a paved section of the car- friendly trail, and make our way to the Naramata Bench. Departing Yosemite Sam country, we find ourselves in an alternate version of Provence. We skirt banks of vineyards that roll down to the lake. Why are we obsessed with waterproof hiking boots even when we know there'll be zero moisture on certain treks (ahem, Canada's desert)? The sustainably-minded Erem ($189) proudly makes boots for the desert—and these stylish European-made boots not only have a lifetime guarantee on workmanship, they're actually water resistant should you run into one of those occasional flash floods. eremlife.com THE 'IT' GEAR Barrel through an apple orchard, its fallen red fruit scattered on the ground. Zip past stands of pale green sagebrush as delicate as coral. At a lakefront park in Penticton, everyone devours a packed lunch of hearty sandwiches provided by the lodge, washing it down with a bottle of bubbly rosé we picked up the day before at Mocojo Winery and Vineyard in Naramata. Then, with nightfall on its way, it's back on the bikes for what turns out to be a gruelling uphill battle. The KVR Trail's easygoing 2.2-percent grade should make the climb to home base a snap, right? Not so fast. Once we're on the mountain again, watching breathlessly for distance markers becomes a ritual. E-bikes don't pedal themselves, I remind myself while downing the last of my water. And they still may pack plenty of battery power, but fear of running out of juice keeps us frugal until we spot the Mile 107 sign near Chute Lake Lodge. That beer plucked from the cooler doesn't disappoint. After drinks in the garden, we move inside for a dinner of what's billed as Canadiana lodge food—think burgers, grilled salmon and mac and cheese, with a vegan curry thrown in for good measure. Whatever works after a long day on the trail. Lake Placid The KVR offers prime views of Christina Lake; the cozy digs at the lodge. 56 BCBUSINESS MAY/JUNE 2022

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