It seems like anytime you really want to get going circumstances always make it difficult to get going. Today was no different. I won't get into the events but needless to say my 9:00 am departure did not happen until 11:00 am. Not to bad I guess but Big Valley is a couple of hours of straight riding and well....I never straight ride. The afternoon before I had done a bunch of work on my Versys. It got fresh oil, hand guards, a super thorough cleaning and a new windshield. I have been experimenting with different designs as I am not a windscreen guy so I want something that gives me clean air around the helmet and keeps wind off my chest. The Versys is a very upright bike and wind on the chest makes you want to go over the back end. Off I went with saddlebags stuffed with rain gear and a desire to test my changes to the bike. I am very pleased with how things worked out on the bike. It was like a new bike.
I rode down into a wonderful valley with a river at the bottom of it and a sign that says Edberg 5kms to the right. I looked at the winding road and decided that I needed to visit Edberg. Up the valley around two long sweepers and into Edberg I went. Very nice little community. Homes were neat and tidy but overall not much going on in Edberg. The stores had closed sometime ago and aging faded "For Sale" signs hung in the windows. It's really to bad to see so many people leaving this communities to seek cash in the oil fields or the major centers. It really is the Klondike all over in Alberta. With a little sadness I left Edberg and heading back to the highway to continue my journey south.
A kilometer marking sign was coming my way, its familiar green and white face becoming clearer as I get closer telling me how far to the next batch of civilization. On this sign It said "Meeting Creek 14kms". Meeting Creek....what is this? It sounds like a lovely place. Who wouldn't want to visit a place called Meeting Creek. So with a new drive I sped up and headed for Meeting Creek. Within 10 minutes I was making the right hand turn and the bottom of a Valley and heading up a tiny creek to the town sight. Right away I was intrigued as i could see two beautiful old grain elevators in the town. These old ones are rare now so seeing them once may be the only or last time you see them.
Anyway....I stood on the bank and looked down at the town. What I saw mad me smile. The little village of 326 people was a nest of activity. Each house was nicely kept with people walking on the streets. The little downtown had a theme to it and had activity. The historical society was busy putting placards up to celebrate the communities 100th anniversary. The locals had ribbons and pins on stating it was the 100th anniversary. There were volunteers everywhere running the museums and driving vintage cars around. Today was a train day so there was activity everywhere. The local fiddle band was practicing Hand Snow tunes in the town hall and the music could be heard all down the street. People where in period dress ready to greet the steam train full of tourists. It was obvious this town thrives on its tourists and train days are big days.
At the bottom of Main Street is the train station and all of the rail history you can cram into one little town. The Station is also a museum and worth the visit and whatever donation you drop in the box. Across the street is a fantastic garage that was turned into a car museum. They had two Valiant's in there and that started up the conversation with one of the volunteers who I think just liked to meet people. I love that aspect of my trips, the meeting people. I was happy to sit there for 40 minutes to listen to him tell me stories about all his cars and hijinx in Penticton where as luck would have it was where I was born and raised. Small town folk are just like that. Its refreshing to get a handshake instead of being ignored or a hand on the shoulder then they are telling you something meaningful to them. Its wonderful that this old timer would share something of meaning to someone who was a total stranger to him. Good people.
Oh yeah...I did get to see that little antique shop. Nice little shop with a nice lady at the front desk. I found a few cigar boxes I liked but because I was on the bike I left them. I will be back again to Big Valley with my other Ghost Riders. They and any other rider looking for a destination for the day should visit Big Valley.