A friend familiar with the area helped substantially with my routing
this year (2010) and was on me like a cheap suit about taking the Keremeos /
Merritt route. I may not agree with her enamourment with Loop Loop Pass but
she was beautifully spot on about sticking to her guns about the Merritt route.
Keremeos is situated in a fertile valley and is now wine country in addition to fruit, veg and cattle. These days almost everywhere seems to be wine country but I was surprised to see it thriving this far north.
Like so many Northwestern roads the one (BC 3) to Princeton is a broad sweeper that follows a river - the Similkameen River. Not much traffic and dotted with pull out rest/camping areas that grant access to swimming holes. Brilliant.
At Princeton, one turns north for Merritt and this one mighty fine travel. After 10 minutes I lost count of the numerous lakes along the way. Keremeos to Merritt should have taken about 2 hours with all the stops, it took me 3.
What I find wonderful about the country is the colours and landscapes (September). All the shades of green, gold, blue and hues of red.
And then there is the road. Excellent tarmac, excellent visibility, little LEO presence, minimal traffic and one can easily tour at 70mph (that is slightly exceeding the speed limit) yet take in all the surrounds.
Lunch in Merritt at Coldwater Hotel in Merrit. Besides a decent burger the menu boasts a silly story about a train robber having hidden $350,000 behind the ceiling mirror in the room below the dome. He finally got caught after going through half. In 1900 that was a lot of dosh!