Two Summerland Secondary School teachers have found a unique way to get to school during the closure of Highway 97 north of Summerland.
On Aug. 28, a rock slide blocked all lanes of the highway, resulting in lengthy detours which add hours to travel time.
However, art teacher Aleita Lloyd and learning support teacher Taylor Holubetz, who both live north of the road closure, have put together a solution which will add between 45 minutes and one hour to their travel time.
Their solution involves two cars and two bicycles.
To get to work, the teachers drive to Antler Beach, just south of Peachland, but north of the highway closure. From there, they unload bicycles from a car rack and follow the Fur Brigade Trail to Garnet Lake in Summerland. This is a 10-kilometre trail and connects Summerland and Peachland without using the highway.
In Summerland, at Garnet Lake, they load their bicycles on a second car and drive down to the high school.
Holubetz describes the method as “a good short-term solution.”
He said Lloyd did much of the planning to find a workable bicycle route to get past the road closure.
The two had to get one vehicle parked south of the closure. Without the second closure, the 15-kilometre ride from Garnet Lake to the high school would take more than 40 minutes and the return to Garnet Lake would involve a ride of close to an hour.
Holubetz said the Fur Brigade Trail is a challenging ride. The loose surface trail has 500 metres of elevation gain and has boulders and steep sections.
There are other detour routes in place, but they are considerably longer than the route Holubetz and Lloyd are using. In addition, while a forest service road is in place as a detour, that commute will be difficult by the end of September as a result of cold weather and the potential for snow at higher elevations.
When the weather is bad, Holubetz said the teachers will be able to stay in Summerland or with colleagues or friends.
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