One night at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver. Spent the late afternoon and evening just wandering downtown Vancouver We actually haven't stopped downtown for a few years now.
The views from the Crooked Tree guest house outside Penticton were great. It was only about a ten minute drive from downtown but that was mostly going uphill so you ended up well up the side of the hills. The suite had two large balconies on the west side giving one ample space to enjoy the views.
26 September 2017
Naramata Bench. The KVR trail along the Naramata Bench is such a great trail - whether to hike or ride a bike. We walked a few Kim's and then stopped at Hillside winery. What is not to like about being able to walk from winery to winery??
Dirty Laundry Vineyards. We always like to stop at the Laundry to have lunch. They have a great view from the patio and you can buy stuff there to make a picnic lunch.
Mission Hill Winery. Besides the wine, this place has one of the best views of the Okanagan around. H
They really have made the best use of their hilltop location.
25 September 2017
BC Wine Tasting. A few images from a bit of wine tasting in BC - mostly between Osoyoos and Penticton.
It struck us really how different the wineries are - while they are each looking to attract the same market. Some adopt a high end approach with their wine quality and their facilities while others will use their staff's personality to make sure it is a very fun experience or some other edge to distinguish themselves. At the end of the day, the quality of the wine is only part of the full experience.
Desert Centre, Osoyoos. We walked through the desert centre near Osoyoos. Very nice to see this non-profit protecting this part of the desert ecosystem. We weren't lucky enough to see much wildlife but we did see the signs with holes in the ground, tracks etc. The sun shone and it was warm so a very nice walk.
24 September 2017
Glacier Park. We stopped in Glacier Park for a bit of a hike - viewing some of Canada's railway history. At one point in the early 1900's, an extensive loop system was built into the train track here. The train turned in a couple loops through the valley in order to avoid the common/preferred avalanche zones and reduce the grade for the train. The documentation indicated it saved a half million dollars a year even at that time.
We walked with a very interesting couple from Perth, Australia. They bought a van in Vegas and did a little self conversion to camperize it. They are now touring Canada and the US and will return to the southwestern US many months from now - given the price difference in such vehicles, they may ship it home for resale.
23 September 2017
Spiral Tunnels. It will be hard to see in the photo but we managed to capture a train going through the spiral tunnels. You can see the body of the train still going into the upper tunnel in the upper left while the engine of the train is exiting the tunnel near the bottom right. The tunnels were built in the early 1900's to lowered the grade. The trains make a figure eight in the valley with the two big circles of the figure 8 going under the mountains on either side of the valley.
Larches. It is fall here in the Rockies and time for trees to change colours. The changing colours of the larches are now a big thing here. People wait in line two hours to catch a bus ... so they can then hike 10 km into larch valley from Moraine Lake. Such a crowd of people.
We saw many larches on our hike up to Agnes Lake and the Beehive. Pretty nice view of the hillsides as part of our walk.
Lake Agnes Tea House. While at Lake Louise, we did the hike up to Lake Agnes Tea House. Lynn and I have done this one twice in the past and guess we should keep trying to do it every five years. As part of the hike, we also visited the Little Beehive. On the hike across from the Tea House to the beehive is where you get the best views of Lake Louise and the chateau far below you.
The total hike was about 10 km with about a 2500 foot vertical gain. My Fitbit counted it as 190 floors.
Lake Louise is always worth a visit. New to us, there is now a shuttle bus system to take you there as there is limited parking and so many visitors. We had about a thirty minute wait for the bus which wasn't too bad.
Lots of canoe and even stand up paddle board activity on the lake and at least three weddings underway on land.
22 September 2017
Moraine Lake was fabulous for us. The sun came out a bit and the water was very quiet.
The surprising thing we're the crowds. Even in late September, they have shuttle buses running and restricted access to the road in. The place was so busy. We saw licenses from many American states as well as other Canadian provinces. And, there were many international visitors.
The last image shows Jim and Andra by a sign warning hiking past this point, one needs to travel in groups of four and be very bear aware.
We hiked up to the second falls at Johnston Canyon - about 6 km return. The sun came out sometimes as we walked. Some mud on the trail after the rain/snow but nothing one couldn't mostly avoid.
21 September 2017
Some beautiful scenes around Lake Minnewanka but the ceiling was quite low so now mountains to be seen. Snow on ground some places but not too much.
Visited the Cave and Basin national historic site. They have done a good job on this display of the early history of Banff but also of the national parks system.
Most surprising was that the parking lot was likely three quarters full. This is on a snowy day in late September. I can't imagine what this was like in mid summer this year.
20 September 2017
The Elbow River provides a nice walk along the Mission district in Calgary.
We had dinner at an Italian place - the Mercato. Even though it was Wednesday night, we only just got in. Very authentic food. The highlight was likely the gnocchi. Hand rolled in premises and cooked with a great amount of garlic. Excellent. I noted they have the Florentine steak here at just over $100. As part of a meal, you could share that with three or four people probably.
Day one started with a drive to Calgary under cloudy and rainy skies. Quite cool but we didn't see any snow. Looking forward to that tomorrow before the weather turns around and warms up.
Stopped at a nice gallery and for a coffee in the Mission district. A nice place to walk around with many restaurants.