Axel slept in and Kim visited us from Invermere for breakfast. We biked the Northstar paved rail trail from Marysville to Cranbrook, stopped for lunch and resupply then carried onto a beautiful gravel trail through forest and along a canyon – Chief Isadore trail for about 10km, before hitting the single track Mayook trail – very sporty and also our camp spot for the night.
More 🚲!: We’d planned to meet my friend Kim, who lives in Invermere, for breakfast in Kimberley (a 10km bike in from the campground) but this was a rare but precious day where Axel woke us up at 5:30am, had some milk, then went back to sleep till 7. Ahhh. So instead, Kim came to us and hung out with her puppy, Rosie, at the campground. She brought her car camping cook set up and made us bagel eggs benny with bacon, too (after our usual round of oatmeal, which Axel has been crushing in the mornings). We hung out for a few hours at our campsite and the river then loaded our bikes into Kim’s truck for the steep climb out of the campground – worth it! Axel LOVED sitting up front on my lap in the big truck. He wanted mo mo mo mo mo mo.
We ended up skipping going into Kimberley itself, but went through Marysville to join up with the Northstar rail trail – 26km of paved (and mostly downhill) trail to Cranbrook. It followed the St Mary River with beautiful views through Wycliff and long views across high and wide plateaus with big mountains looming on the periphery behind a bit of a combo hazy of heat and smoke. We saw the most cyclists on this section other than out of Penticton. We stopped at a shaded picnic area for a break before heading to Cranbrook for lunch.
The awesome trail that leads into Cranbrook then does a very roundabout detour around Cranbrook – that would’ve been great but we wanted lunch and to resupply, so we ended up on the main roads at a very hot time of day on our way in, and instantly grew a dislike of Cranbrook. We found a cafe for coffee, grain salad and a smoothie. Axel became instantly obsessed with playing with a display box and wanted to carry it around and climb in it; he also crushed about 1/2 of my smoothie with extreme glee. We toodled on in the heat to the grocery store then headed out on the Rotary Trail to Chief Isadore Trail – a quality gravel rail trail with shade (hurray). We’d been anticipating the Mayook Trail – a 17km section of single track put in to link Cranbrook and Wardner, as the rail trail easements had been sold off. We were promised “no more than 5% grade and 1.2m width” which was mostly true. The grades were do-able but the 1.2m was a bit tight for the trailer at times, with trail cut into sidehill, rocks sticking out on the uphill side and drop-offs on the downhill side. 5% up also meant 5% down – and it was pretty rock and roll! And a bit stressful watching the trailer from behind to make sure it stayed rubber side down (it did – good driving, Ryley). We found a flat spot in cow country to camp and spent some of the evening listening to mooing cows and convincing Axel to play with dirt and not cow pies.
Distance: 60.81 km, Elevation Gain: 366m, Moving Time: 4h 31m