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
(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 .