Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Okanagan Sunshine

I have a perfectly capable performance car which has been gathering dust over the past few years, preferring to maintain my stance on 2 wheels during the heat of summer. I ride my maxi-scooter (Kymco Xciting 500 Ri) around 10K kms per year. On vacations I put on over 20K kms on my Honda EX coupe, while my hobby car is usually parked in the garage. It is my second 'Vette and during the past 5 years I have only used it for 15K kms and this included a trip to Montana in 2004. Last week we packed up and left Friday morning for Pentiction


Penticton is a resort town in the Okanagan area of British Columbia where temperatures were a scorching 32C, as compared to Vancouver which averages around 20C. If you have been following my travels you will know that I often travel the backroads of the Pacific Northwest so I often encounter . . . "Cattleguards"


We are in free range cattle country where cattleguards are use to keep the cows in their own pasture(s). Often these roads wind their way through private property where the owners give their permission for you to travel provided you respect their privacy and do not take up even temporary residence on their property. (ie: camping is not allowed) . These roads are maintained by the government and used to access public areas not otherwise accessible.


I stopped on one of these cattleguards to give you an idea of what they look like. There are flat bars welded to the top of steel tubes where you align your wheels as you drive over. Often city folks don't know what to do when they encounter these and "miss" the flat areas and roll over the tubes. Cows and horses can't get a firm footing on these grids so do not venture "out of their zone" . We had to cross a few of these to finally get to the end of the road: Kentucky-Alleyne Lake, southeast of Merritt, BC

(Kentucky-Alleyne Lake, Merritt, BC)

The water is a very pleasing "Blue" colour, probably because the water is so pure that it casts the reflection of the blue skies (same as with Crater Lake). It is a peaceful place to spend some time fishing and just enjoying nature.


We travelled to Penticton for their big car show, the Peachcitybeachcruise.com It is a 3 day event. I am a car guy (just like Orin) <-- click link


Penticton is on the banks of Okanagan Lake (home of Ogopogo, the sea serpent). Lakeshore Drive is a one miles stretch of road along the beach which is used to park the collector cars. You will see all types, makes and style of cars, trucks and motorcycles.


There is nearly continuous live entertainment in the Gyro Park Bandstand, and also along the "strip" . This year they also had a collector car auction

(one mile of parked muscle cars, along the strip)

It takes a long time to walk the strip which extends from the Sternwheeler and ends on the east side at the Penticton Lakeside Casino Resort. There are thousands of people walking around and many have come from Alberta, Oregon, Washington and Vancouver Island.


Shelbys, Hot Rods, Customs, Vintage, Vettes . . . you name it and it will be here.


This is definitely a Tourist destination and the Chamber of Commerce make you feel so welcomed.


The Lakeside Resort is an upscale hotel (premium pricing) and they have dedicated parking for motorcycles. I have actually noticed an increase in advertising by other hotels chains for "motorcycle friendly" accommodations. I would suppose that in this economy they need all the business they can muster.


Yes, there are lots of interesting things to look at.

Friday evening was also the night of the Graduating class of 2009 and there was a dance at the Casino, preceeded by a parade of the Grads who where allowed to drive anything that moves to the ceremonies.

(4 seat chesterfield trailer being towed by an ATV)


They came in convertibles, tractors . . . Push, pull or drag . . .


in the event that your car happened to stall and would not start. Some spectators helped to "push" that car into the parking lot. I considered helping but decided that it was more prudent to record the event with my camera

I should also mention that Penticton is in the heart of wine country. The Okanagan valley is the Napa Valley of British Columbia. Many boutique wineries have tasting rooms and have award winning blends. We decided to stop at SUMAC RIDGE


(wine tasting)

(Sumac Ridge has won many awards, see top shelf)

(Vineyards basking in the warm Okanagan sunshine)

This was also the same weekend as the Elvis International festival


Many Elvis impersonators were in town vying for the "Best Elvis" title. We managed to catch some performances on Saturday evening.


The Okanagan is a beautiful place to spend a few days. Warmer weather than on the south coast, very little rain, hot temperatures and lots of white sand beaches.

(Westbank, BC - Mission Hill Winery on the hill in the background)

Another view of an upscale subdivison with water lots along Lake Okanagan


If you look closely you will see two pontoon airplanes beached in the lagoon. It is an area not unlike KW, FL .


  1. Looks like beautiful country. I had a little trouble finding Penticton on the map, but eventually did.
    Was that Vette of yours in the lineup?

  2. Wow, they did build those condos on the Lakefront in Penticton. They were battling zoning restrictions and public resistance when we moved south in 2001.
    My brother lives in Kelowna and I understand they have built a new bridge to replace the famous floating bridge. I hope you make it North through Kelowna up to Vernon, Okanagan Lake is a big lake and offers some beautiful scenery.
    Thanks for the pics, I have to get up there again soon.

  3. Dear Bobskoot:

    Once again the mad scramble for work has gotten the best of me and a while week has nearly gone by without allowing me the opportunity to read my friend's blogs, and to comment accordingly.

    I like your "Vette." I must say Bob, you are some thing of an enigma. You present yourself as a scooter-bum at heart... But then it turns out you ride a muscle scooter. Then the gentle reader discovers you have a real motorcycle to scratch the two-wheel itch properly, when it manifests itself.

    You speak of your fuel-efficient Honda as if you were chairman of the local "Save The Dinosaur Squeezings Club. And then it turns out you have a Corvette for those moments when the savage in you must run wild.

    I am very impressed, Bob. It appears you are a man for all occasions.

    Nice pictures. Good story.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack "r" Toad

  4. Great pictures Bobskoot!! Takes me back to when we lived there. Looks like it has changed quite a bit, would be interesting to see the 'ol town again. I agree it is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there again. I grew up in Keremeos and unless you took the Coquihalla you probably drove through there. If you blinked you missed it. One day we'll have to venture north again and visit, but until then keep the pictures coming, they are beautiful and appreciated.

  5. Bob, great post! Like you, I am a fan of things on wheels - your Corvette looks fanatastic. I also like the grads being pulled chariot style. Lastly, I didn't realize till now how much of an impact the King had on the Okanogan!

  6. Ignore him, the man's drunk- nothing like Key West at all. We don't have to pay to see our Elvis impersonators. they drive scooters up and down Duval Street.

  7. Great pictures as always Bob, whenever I visit yours or Johns (Scooter in Turkey) blogs I come away with the thoughts of buying myself a modern camera, mines 11 years old and moody.

    Linda should be getting her bike in a week or so, the phone haggaling has gone rather well, infact it may even be possible to squeez a camera out of the deal for me!!

    Wish we had Elvis impersonators here..



  8. Really beautiful landscapes and people captures. The weather looked perfect. Those cattle guards? How is it for two wheels travel?

    I guess I'm a car person too as I stop at every antique car show I encounter and take tons of pictures, much to my husband's delight. He used to have an MGTD? and still talks about it and totally regrets ever selling it.

  9. cpa3485 Jim:

    The Okanagan valley is known for some of BC's finest wines (like Napa Valley in CA). It is a tourist destination, warm weather and lots of beaches along the lake. My 'Vette is the red one on the cattleguard


    Yes, those condos in Penticton are right on Lakeshore, across from the park & Casino. Last year I rode over the new bridge. I will be riding to Kelowna next week, most likely on my SV unless the weather turns bad, as the scooter has better weather protection. We plan to ride around the Lake on Westside Road

    Jack rEEP:

    What can I say, I just love anything on wheels that is self propelled. I have trimmed my fleet a little. I am down to 2 cars and 2 bikes, and Mrs Skoot also has a WRX and a scooter in the garage which gets used perhaps, once per year.

    Whilst I have the capability to go fast, I prefer the slower pace of +5 mph, with power "on tap" for emergencies

    We were just in Keremeos a couple of weeks ago. We really don't like the Coquihalla --> too boring and no pullouts. I keep thinking that Bradley must have gotten intimate with the road from Kelowna to be visiting you all the time. Do you still have family in Keremeos ? was just wondering


    Penticton is a great place to spend a day or so. There are some great motorcycle roads in the area. You will have to come up here some time. Hope you are enjoying your trip to the UK. Perhaps see you when you get back. I will be in Bellingham the last weekend of July for the Hamster RUN (Scooter rally), if you are back in time

    Mr Conchscooter:

    I wouldn't be surprised if you had an Elvis suit and a moped and ride up and down Duval in disguise


    great that Linda is getting a pink scooter, pink jacket, and pink shoes to match. Modern cameras are much faster, hope you haggle a new one soon.
    I don't think that I will ever get caught up with my reading and posting. We went away to Oregon for a week and have been busy with car related activities ever since, and next week I will be riding to Kelowna for the Rally.


    I'm sort of getting "car'd out". I guess belonging to too many car clubs and attending all the show and shines. I plan on doing more riding and have been looking around for another for longer distances. There are lots of Corvette events nearly every weekend, so there is not much time for posting. I used to have MGB's, Alfa Romeos, Mustang Convertible, actually lots of convertibles too many to list, plus lots of motorcycles since 1965.

    About those cattleguards, I was wondering about them myself, about how I would travel over one. The flat bars are narrower than the tires and those rollers would be slippery in the rain. I would imagine that you could just ride over them at 30 mph and cross your fingers.

    As for the landscapes, they are taken with the G10, and I purchased another small camera for my pocket Canon SD780is, also has 720p HD video mode. If you want any photo on here, just ask and i will send you the the "full" file.

  10. I just wish I had a 'Vette to park in the garage and ignore. I must not be living right.

    Great photos. A person could spend hours being absorbed in them.


  11. Mr Irondad Dan:

    Many years ago when I first got my first M/C (Yamaha), then gravitated to many machines over the years until I reached the mighty Suzuki GS1100 which was the super bike of 1981. Then I took a Hiatus because of the young family syndrome and perceived risks. I gravitated to convertibles. MGB's, Alfa Romeos, Mustang convertible . . . same feeling, wind in your hair, trunk, radio etc. I have nearly always had a hobby car. After nearly 2 decades away from 2 wheels I returned back to bikes but I still had convertibles. (Le Baron (2x), Sebring, Jeep YJ). While I am still embraced in the Corvette lifestyle, I prefer to ride my bike(s) so it is the bike that gets the most use, and the "vette usually sits during all that good weather. I have a friend who also rides a Buel in preference to his 'vette, so I am not alone in my thinking