Nissans in the Okanagan
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY KOLYN RADBOURNE
I think that calling yourself a fourwheeler sets you apart from the norm. I mean plenty of people enjoy the outdoors by hiking and biking, and others purchase specialized equipment such as UTVs for motorized exploration. But it is a rare person who chooses to take their daily driver, you know the vehicle you will need on Monday morning to take the kids to school, out into the woods on the weekend to explore and challenge their driving skills.
Among these people you get groups usually associated around a particular brand of vehicle. Most notably Jeeps and Toyotas. Well in late September of 2018, a smaller even more eclectic group met for a Sunday trail ride. The Okanagan chapter of the BCNissan4WD group. With a whopping four people committed to coming out on the groups Facebook page, one of them from the lower mainland (edroughly the area from Chilliwack to White Rock to Vancouver), it was a rare group indeed.
We met at 11 o’clock at a quaint country gas station outside Kelowna, the kinda place that serves as the ‘emergency everything’ store for the locals when they can’t make it into town. Unfortunately, when we arrived we received news that the event organizer had a family medical emergency and wouldn’t be able to come. So once we were all accounted for we had a 2013 Frontier Pro4-x, a 2014 Xterrra Pro4-x, and a classic D21 Hardbody. Having a copy of the BC Backroads mapbook and some area maps downloaded onto the Gaia GPS, I was elected to be navigator.
The first track we headed for appeared to be a very old loop road off the Goudie Main. Unfortunately, the track we were looking for seemed to have been swallowed by the forest, and the next road over was being reclaimed by nature with travel along it uncomfortably tight.
Back out on the main we reevaluated and decided to link some less rustic routes on the map and make for Postill Lake. Postill Lake is one of many lakes in the high plateau above Okanagan Lake. It is a very
popular fishing lake in the area with both brook and rainbow trout. There are several other quality lakes in the area, so if you fancy wetting a line, don’t forget your rod and reel. There is also a trail around the lake for bikers, hikers and skiers.
By this point cell service was intermittent and I had only downloaded the maps for the more southerly areas we had planned to explore. The road north ended at a gate as the lake is also a reservoir, but another track continued to the east. We were getting into some interesting travel now. Coming around a corner, we saw the remains of what we assumed to be a stolen Ford Explorer rolled over on the side of the road, riddled with shotgun pellet holes. We stopped to ponder how they rolled the truck on this straight bit of track. As one member of our group noted “There is really no limit to what drunkin’ stupidity can accomplish.” The road continued north becoming very narrow, most likely popular with dirt bikes and UTVs, nothing to technical but much more enjoyable than the wide washboard mains. We stopped and enjoyed the lake for a bit as the threat of rain passed overhead.
We started down the Postill main from the lake. We bid farewell to the D21, and the remaining two trucks continued to explore. Finding a new track heading north of the main road we came across a huge washout, which if properly equipped would be an adventure. Having two mostly stock rigs and no winch, we opted to take a route that led onto a multi use section of the Okanagan High Rim trail. Primarily a long distance hiking trip connecting Vernon to Kelowna. This section provided the most entertaining driving of the day with a couple of good mud holes. The first hid some big rocks and the second was deeper than expected. The road deposited us at an incredible view of the Okanagan valley, from Lake Country to Kelowna. It was getting late so we decided to call it a day here, with the road continuing up the hill waiting to be explored another day.
Jarrod getting some wheel hop.