a couple of days doing nothing…perfect! my old school friend, ron, joined me for a few days of campfire smoke, free range cooking and marshmallows. we had intended to camp in manning park but a fire ban for the region came into effect one day before departure, so with a little research i found that the kamloop’s fire district was still allowing campfires (it’s not camping without a campfire).
over the years i had noticed the kentucky-alleyne park but had never ventured in, which was too bad as it turned out to be a beautiful spot. located on high semi-arid hills about 40 kilometres east from merritt and 60 kilometres north of princeton, it is situated amongst 3 smallish lakes, with old pine forest and prairie grasses. the lakes are known for excellent fishing, however our neighbour and his small daughter had no luck while we were there.
we did a bit of exploring down the kettle valley to princeton and back via the old coalmont kettle valley route through coalmont, tulameen and otter lake. on the way we spotted a road? pointing towards brookmere, a small village 10 km off the coquihalla highway at the coldstream exit and only 30 kilometres to the coalmont road, 20 of which are rough gravel (must have a 4 wheel drive vehicle) which connects to aspen grove and another 20 km to kentucky-alleyne park. we took this on the way home and though much shorter, it is a slow drive! the road should only be used if you have a a 4×4 and nerves of steel as the single track has some severe switchbacks, deep potholes and drops off into a deep canyon at many points. meeting another vehicle can mean backing up until you find a wide spot. once on the paved section you are in the small village with quaint houses, relics of the old kettle valley railway and majestic scenery.
we had a good time!