Thursday, July 18, 2013

Peachland Road Trip

In the previous blog I mentioned a planned road trip to Peachland in the BC Okanagan Valley.  We returned from that road trip last evening.

It was a great ride along Highway 3 (the Hope/ Princeton highway, as some refer to it), and our specific intention was to visit with our very close and long time friends.
Heading east on the BC southern route - Highway 3.  Great route; great road; great scenery; great weather!
With great weather in the forecast, we left home at 8:00 am, Tuesday morning.  With light traffic, clear blue skies, and endless mountain views, we were in for an awesome ride.
Wonderful bakery/deli in Princeton.
The small town of Princeton - on the extreme west side of the Similkameen Valley - offers all of the well known fast food joints but Jeanette and I prefer to find those wonderful gems that offer great coffee, service and wholesome foods.  We found this spot (photo above) that we will patronize whenever we are in the area.  Talk about superb food - reasonably priced - with coffee prepared  and served in a French press.
We both love great coffee and this place did not disappoint.
Eating at Thomasina's Bakery cost the same as eating at a greasy fast food burger joint.  The food is fresh, healthy and exquisitely prepared. 
The Similkameen River shoulders Highway 3 for several miles.
The elevation changes - coupled with twisty turns - makes this highway a delight for motorcyclists. We took our time and made several stops along the way.  We have traveled this route countless times and it never ever disapoints.
 Lake Okanagan - a 100 mile long lake - is a huge draw for Western Canadian tourists during the summer months.
We rode through Keremeos - a popular fruit growing area in the eastern Similkameen valley - before turning north towards the city of Penticton.  From there, we rode north toward the large city of Kelowna.  Our destination was the lovely lakeside town of Peachland, about 20 minutes, or so, south from Kelowna. It's here that we rode into the yard of our life long friends; Garry and Aline.
They have a beautiful home that looks down on Okanagan Lake.
We had not seen our friends since they last visited with us in Langley, last November.  Following the customary photos, we began catching up in earnest.  While sitting in the shade - enjoying a well earned libation - we chatted and chatted and chatted some more. 
Garry had a good look at our new ride and gave it the two thumbs up!
We have shared 30+ years of friendship with this couple.  Our children and theirs are all friends. They grew up together; were involved in similar activities; attended the same schools; hung out; attended each others events (weddings included); and continue to keep in touch.  We shared so many joint family activities and dinners, over the years.

When Garry and Aline retired, they moved to their dream home in Peachland.  It is a beautiful home; surrounded by trees, various plants, shrubs and a garden that would be the envy for novice and expert gardeners.
Garry is soon to celebrate his birthday and we were thrilled to be there to start the early celebration.
Their daughter, Tamara, along with husband John and their two children, were instrumental getting the celebrations going.
John with little son, Aiden
L-R  Tamara, Aline and Simone
 Aline's sister, Simone, was visiting from the Province of Saskatchewan.  Our son in law's mom and her husband were invited too. 
Seldom short for words....Garry was thrilled with the attention. And why not?????  He loves rhubarb....and this crisp was baked specifically for the celebration.
Tamara, Aline and Simone got busy with the food preparation and I looked after the skewers on the barbecue.  My job was simple!  Place the skewers on the hot grate and let them cook.  The other foods are what demanded so much time and effort.
Our son in law's mom (Sandi) and her husband (Bob).
Sandi and Bob (who also reside in Peachland) brought a scrumptious salad plate along and, once the barbecued skewers were ready, we sat down to enjoy a most rewarding meal,  in the company of wonderful friends, while overlooking the beautiful Lake Okanagan, on a flawlessly gorgeous evening.  I should mention that the world famous BC Okanagan wines tasted equally great. 
Beautiful Okanagan Valley
Once nightfall dawned, we said our 'au revoir' (French for 'see you later') and followed Sandi and Bob to their home - our overnight accommodation.  Back at their home, we enjoyed more chat while enjoying a bit more of the Okanagan valley's fine wine.  That was enjoyed on one of their outdoor decks that overlook the lake.

Yesterday morning presented some ominous looking dark grey skies.....but weather doesn't deter us from riding and, following a nice breakfast with Sandi and Bob, we packed our ride and headed for a mid-morning coffee and visit with Garry and Aline before heading back for home.

By 1:30 pm, we said our bye byes and, once the hugs and laughter concluded, Jeanette and I rode off.  "Thank you for a wonderful visit and a great evening dinner over Lake Okanagan."

Heading south towards Penticton we could see some mean looking clouds on the horizon.  We were heading straight into some nasty weather.
Hoping we might avoid the impending rain, we suited up in case.  Good thing we did!
Just south of the City of Penticton the clouds burst open and we rode through an incredibly hard and stinging rainfall. It lasted about ten minutes. Visibility was minimal. Mixed in with rain were some light hailstones.  We persisted at half speed and, once through the wet stuff, the sun shone brightly and we were rain free for the balance of the 4.5 hour ride back to the coast.  Good thing for good riding clothes and helmets!!!!
Shortly after the rainfall.
We were surprised by the light tourist traffic and the high volume of empty camping and RV'ing spots we saw along our route.
This little river is appealing - certainly to me - as a place to ride the downstream flow in our Sea Eagle kayak.  I should plan on this!
We chose to stop in Princeton for fuel and a short rest before taking the twisty ride up the high mountain drive toward Manning Park.
With steep, nine degree inclines, it's normal to slow right down when following large semi trailer trucks.  Once passing lanes come into view, drivers make quick work of getting past the trucks.
Jeanette and I drove into our garage, just past 6:30 pm, following a leisurely ride back from Peachland.

Once I post this blog, I plan to wash and detail the motorcycle.  It is riddled with splattered bugs and with residue from the short but furious rain storm we rode through.

That's all for now.

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. our favorite road to travel! glad that you had a nice trip and a very happy birthday to your friend, Gary!!

  2. Looks like you had a great visit. We got caught in the same storm while we were up on Mt. Boucherie. It was quite the storm, and we got quite wet. We didn't melt though ;)

  3. Looks like a great trip. How come so short though.

    I was never one for riding in the rain. On anything lol

    Take Care

  4. What more could one want--a great ride, fabulous food with great friends! And don't forget the wine, too!

  5. Another great road trip featuring great scenery, food and friends. One can't ask for much more than that.

    We haven't driven the Hope-Princeton hiway for years so it was nice to see your photos to remind us how beautiful it is.

    Glad you only had a short burst of rain and good weather the rest of the time.

  6. Gotta love those visit with , family, friends and good food.