Category: bc road trip (page 1 of 2)

road trip – day eleven (peachland to surrey)

this was our last day in the Okanagan Valley. i definitely wasn’t ready to leave.

we decided to go south again and take the scenic hwy 3 route west. that would allow us to stop at the sister winery to Sumac Ridge, called Hawthorne Mtn Winery in Okanagan Falls. the thing that sold us was the promise that they were very dog-friendly. 🙂

On the way there, we planned to stop at a winery called Poplar Grove in the Naramata Bench area on the east side of Lake Okanagan. they make artisan cheeses and everyone that mentioned it to us was practically drooling. unfortunately, they were closed when we got there. 🙁 next time we’re going to stop there for certain!

Next door was Red Rooster Winery, so we decided to go there instead. They have an art gallery, too. It turned out to be pretty good and we did buy a couple bottles.

we made it to Hawthorne Mountain Vineyard and their Barking Lot. Here are some photos from there:

Pedestrian/Dog Crossing:


Barking Lot – for some reason Lola didn’t think the Barking Lot was that great.


The drive on Hwy 3 was nice and scenic, as promised. We didn’t stop to take photos, though. We stayed in Surrey that night at the Sheraton. It was very nice as well as dog-friendly, and we had a great view from our room:


I also enjoyed seeing the maple leaf on the McDonalds sign (this was not our dinner, by the way– we ended up getting a very expensive room service dinner so we could have a decent meal and the doggies wouldn’t have to be left alone):


road trip – day ten (penticton to kelowna)

this was our wine tasting day! first we stopped at the Wine Country Visitor Centre in

Penticton, which incidentally is the largest one and worth stopping at. They had a couple wines for tasting. We enjoyed the Thornhaven 2005 Gewurztraminer so that was our first winery stop (in Summerland).

View of Lake Okanagan and the vineyards from Thornhaven Estates Winery:


The next winery stop was for lunch and tasting at Sumac Ridge Estate Winery just north of Summerland. I had a really good artisan cheese plate paired with their excellent 2002 Black Sage Vineyards Merlot. I absolutely loved that wine. We also had our first taste of ice wine here. I didn’t expect to like it since I normally don’t like sweet dessert wines, but the ice wine was very nice! Guess I’m a true Canadian, eh? We bought several bottles of wine here.

We found a B&B in Peachland that allowed dogs. the hosts were wonderful and had their own bernese mountain dogs. they also had a wonderful walking trail right outside their home. i was very happy to have found this place! incidentally, there are bed and breakfasts *everywhere* in the Okanagan Valley, which i think is nice.

Here’s what the B&B looks like. Cute!


This is one of the views of Lake Okanagan from the road to the bed & breakfast:


We had overcast skies most of the time we were there, but for us that was very fortunate because it was warm out and the clouds kept the dogs cooler. Didn’t help us get gorgeous blue lake photos, though. Next time!

Our next stop was the Mission Hill Winery in Westbank. This is a gorgeous (and very large) winery. We didn’t buy any wine there (this time) but did take lots of photos.

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Don sitting in the grass amphitheatre:

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The next two wineries we went to were in Kelowna (west of the lake):

Quail’s Gate Estate Winery – very beautiful, small winery

Mount Boucherie Estate Winery – of all the wines we tasted on this trip, we were perhaps most impressed with the wines from this small establishment.

Next we crossed the floating bridge into downtown Kelowna, stopping for a walk at City Park. Little did we know that dogs weren’t allowed on the grass or the water– good thing we didn’t get caught!

Don with Lola, and Christine with Sport– posing with part of the Ogopogo monster. 🙂

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A statue of sails:


For dinner, we made the “mistake” of trying a sushi restaurant in Kelowna. I was craving sushi, but you really don’t want to get sushi that far inland. Don warned me, but I didn’t listen. 🙁 It actually wasn’t that bad. just not much of a selection.

road trip – day nine (winthrop to penticton)

we spent much of the morning at the cabin in winthrop, so got a late start on the drive to British Columbia. the drive was very pretty– we passed through many small towns and wondered what the people that live there do for a living. a lot of the houses had grass growing on the roof for insulation.

we passed through a town called Omak which seemed to have every single fast food chain known to man. the sight of all of them together made me feel somewhat ill.

we finally got to the canadian border where we waited about 20 min to get through customs. there definitely wasn’t a lot of traffic that day. btw, never wear sunglasses while you’re talking to a border guard.

our first stop once we crossed into B.C. was Osoyoos. We went slightly out of the way to get this panorama shot:


Here’s a sign that shows some of the wineries in the Okanagan Valley:


We had a late lunch and wine tasting at the Burrowing Owl Winery in Oliver, B.C. Lunch was fantastic, as was the wine.

This photo was taken at lunch:


By this time it was late in the afternoon, and we had yet to get a place to stay. We ended up driving to Penticton which is on the southern tip of Lake Okanagan and north of Skaha Lake.

Here’s Skaha Lake– there were a lot of people out doing water sports:


Dinner that night was at a Greek restaurant in Penticton called Theo’s Restaurant. Their website is . 🙂

We stayed at the Penticton Lakeside Resort that night. It was a nice hotel, but not so great to stay in if you have dogs because we had to get a room on the “dog floor” which had a view of the hotel roof. Sigh. The grounds were nice, though, complete with a huge expanse of lawn as well as a fenced-in dog park on the beach.

The town of Oliver has the largest concentration of wineries in the Okanagan Valley, so if I were to do this trip over again we would have stayed in Oliver that night. We had planned to return the following day but didn’t have enough time to do it.

road trip – day eight (tacoma to winthrop)

don and i left tacoma with the intention of driving straight to canada, but decided on the drive up that the north cascades were not to be missed. we stopped at the north cascades ranger station in Sedro Woolley which is to the west of the national park. they were so friendly and a wealth of information.

We only had a few hours to drive through on Hwy 20, so the rangers advice was to stop at all the lookout points as well as the visitor center.

Here are our stops and some of the photos we took:

  • North Cascades Information Center. Check out the current view from their webcam. Behind the center there is a boardwalk called the Sterling Munro that takes you to this nice view:SterlingMunroView

    Lola is very happy to be on this trip with me:


  • Gorge Overlook Trail – this was a short walk on a loop that takes you past some impressive views of the Gorge High Dam.GorgeHighDam1 GorgeHighDam2

    Lola the mountain dog!


  • Diablo Lake OverlookDiabloLake2

    I took this next photo that shows all the veins through the rock because my Dad (a geologist) would probably have appreciated it:


  • Washington Pass Overlook – this was closed due to snow, but we parked before the road block and walked in a bit to enjoy the area and let the dogs stretch their legs.WashingtonPass

    Don with Lola:


    Shall we dance?


    Sporty goes wild! “Finally I’m in the snow again!!” (she’s from Canada)


    Lola is still very happy:


The town to the east of the North Cascades is Winthrop, where we spent the night. Warning: if you ever go to Winthrop and need to eat dinner out, be sure to do it by 8pm because everything closes early. We were starving and had to drive 9 miles to Twisp. Fortunately the little bar/grill there had terrific food.

We stayed at a wonderful place in Winthrop called ‘River Run Inn‘. Had a little cottage all to ourselves with an expanse of lawn and the river behind it. We could have stayed a couple extra days there!

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Don and his trusty travel guitar:


bc road trip – resources

Travel Books:

Let’s Go! Pacific Northwest Adventure Guide – This book was perfect for a road trip and I used it a lot to figure out the “don’t miss” items for each area.

British Columbia Adventure Guide – This is not only a good travel book, but fun to read! The authors have a great sense of humor and I used this book a lot. Without it we would have missed our Lake Osoyoos panorama shot and some good wineries.

Discovering the Okanagan – I bought this book long ago, because it’s written by someone who moved to the Okanagan after a lot of research into the area. He goes into depth about each of the towns there.

British Columbia Wine Country – This book is sold at almost every winery in the Okanagan Valley and every wine info shop. It’s supposed to be “the” definitive book to their wine country. I bought it there so haven’t read it yet but I will before going back again.

The Wineries of British Columbia – Another book by the same author that lists each winery individually. If I had a bigger budget I would have purchased this one too.

Dog Travel Books:

Traveling With Your Pet – The AAA PetBook – This book was great, and it includes the U.S. and Canada. I used this all the time to find the dog-friendly hotels. It was always accurate in terms of dog fees, etc.

Doin’ the Northwest With Your Pooch – Terrific book. I used it a lot for finding out which hikes or beaches would be better to go with the dogs.

Best Hikes With Dogs in Western Washington – These were mostly hikes that take at least a day, so I didn’t do any of them but hope to get a chance to someday.

On the Road Again With Man’s Best Friend (West Coast/British Columbia) – I had an older version of this so it wasn’t as useful, but this link is for a more current version.

The Dog Lover’s Companion to the Pacific Northwest: The Inside Scoop on Where to Take Your Dog – I didn’t have this book, but it looks like a good one. I have the California version.

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