Penticton - Swan Song for the Jetta - CycleBlaze

July 12, 2018

Penticton

With another hot day in store, we once more got an early start.  First though, we spent a few minutes to backtrack along the boardwalk to look again at the elegant white statue we admired yesterday.  I wanted evidence that the sculptor had a dragon arum in mind, but didn’t find any.  I’m still not convinced though.  Here is an example of the ones we saw in Crete this spring.  What do you think?

So perhaps it’s not a dragon arum after all.
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Worth another look in the morning light
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Today’s ride is a continuation of yesterday’s journey south along Okanagan Lake.  Actually, this surprised me this morning when I scoped out the day’s ride - I had thought Kelowna was at the south end of the lake, and today we were following a different one.  It’s all the same lake though, and really is huge - about eighty miles long.

We were worried a bit about today’s ride, and I spent a fair amount of time last night looking for alternatives to Highway 97.  The only other one I could see was the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, but it looked too rough cut for our tastes - especially on a day forecast to be in the 90’s.  So, resigned to generally follow the highway, we focused on taking side roads wherever the option presented itself, and planned to just make the best of the significant stretches where there was no alternative.

We did pretty well, actually.  In the end, we only rode the highway about half of the time by adding several miles on significant diversions in West Kelowna, Peachland and Summerland.  The diversions were all enjoyable,  and the highway itself wasn’t bad either.  A much better day than we’d feared at the outset.

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I’ve been staring at the bridge over Okanagan Lake, hoping it’s bike friendly. It looks pretty scary from the distance.
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Not a problem
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Looking east from the crown of the Bennett Bridge (named for former Premier William Bennett, a native of Kelowna). Wait - what’s that up there on the light standard?
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Osprey
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The bike approaches to the Bennett Bridge are well marked. There are two routes on the west side, by the way: the primary one follows Highway 97, and the alternate takes a much quieter route through West Kelowna and Westbank. Take the alternate.
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The view uplake from the west end of the Bennett Bridge
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The west bank of the lake is lined with vineyards and advertised as a wine route.
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Looking across the lake from Westbank
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The CNR (Canadian National Railway) Wharf in West Kelowna is a reconstruction of the style of wharf that was common on the lake as a cornerstone of commerce before the highway system made them obsolete.
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Showing some class at Bliss Bistro, in Peachland
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Okanagan Lake takes a sharp bend eastward just before it’s end at Penticton.
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There was no escaping Highway 97 for the ten miles between Peachland and Summerland. It looks pretty calm here, but Rachael’s video gives a better sense of it. The Good: a generous shoulder, a useful tailwind, a scenic backdrop; the Bad: its 90+ degrees, with a full sun beating down on our backs; the Ugly: huge trucks, obscenely large campers, the constant roar of traffic noise.
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Apple orchard, Summerland
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Leaving Summerland, we briefly thought we’d have this nice bikelane to follow the rest of the way to Penticton, but it ended after about a half mile and threw us back on the highway. Which was fine - the last five miles were fast, flat and fun as we raced downwind on a broad shoulder.
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We took a snack break in Peachland, enjoying iced coffee and pastries at Bliss Bistro; and another break on the beach in Summerland to break out the ham and Swiss sandwich we picked up at Bliss also.  Even with these interruptions we made good time and arrive in Penticton a bit before three.

Our plan for the rest of the day was similar to yesterday: relax in the room for awhile until dinner; go out for a meal; and then explore the town after the day has cooled down a bit.  It’s a nice routine, which we’ll probably repeat tomorrow after the short jaunt down to Osoyoos.  We can rest up a bit before the three longer days ahead when we turn back north toward Kamloops.

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We’ve gotten to far into this journal without a food photo. Rachael: grilled salmon with pesto, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes; Scott: fettuccini with grilled chicken, olives, tomatoes and garlic. Plus a local Reisling.
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Penticton’s Walking Pier is closed and under renovation from storm damage.
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Perfect form
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Brewer’s blackbird
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Sandy cliffs line the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake
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‘Let’s Go’, by Rabi’a
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Ride stats today: 46 miles, 2,900’; for the tour: 247 miles, 11,900’

Today's ride: 46 miles (74 km)
Total: 210 miles (338 km)

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Ron SuchanekGreat soundtrack choice for the highway 97 madness video. We can relate!
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3 years ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekIt does work well, doesn’t it. Rachael was really pleased with this one - it gives a good sense of the feel of the ride.
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3 years ago