We left Casa de Pflu after a fun-filled couple of days and headed north to Canada. Our drive was an easy one, and we got to the border crossing assuming the worst. We had read and heard that they would board the MoHo and do a very thorough search, not so for us. We answered a few simple questions and were through in only minutes, too easy. Driving through southern BC and the Okanogan Valley we did not realize how many orchard’s and vineyard’s were there, a real surprise. Seemed like there was a fruit stand or winery every kilometer or so, and they were all busy.
We got to Summerland BC, staying at the Summerland Beach RV Park. A college friend of Traci’s parents live there and were able to get us a site in the campground – thanks so much to the entire Webert family! Al and Joan were great hosts, especially when we could not find a place to land because it was their “long weekend,” a three-day holiday we knew nothing about and everywhere was full.
The first night there was a lot of thunder and lightning in the area and two of the strikes actually started small fires across the lake from us, soon put out by the heavy rains that followed. But, interesting to see how simply a fire can start with just one strike. The next day was similar, bit cool and showery, so we decided to stay indoors and do some wine tasting in Naramata, just on the east side of Lake Okanagan. (The entire region we were in from 50 miles north of us and 50 miles south is a huge wine region, for those who want to give this area a try, we would highly recommend). We went to 5-6 wineries and met some very nice people, especially Sal D’Angelo, owner of D’Angelo Winery. A wine maker of some 30 plus years, he was just finishing a Bocce court when we pulled up and he made sure to greet us and take us into his wine shop. After going through the tasting, he brought out a very nice port style desert wine, wanting to share this with us, without his daughter who runs the shop, knowing. I wanted to buy some of the port, but with no label he could not sell it, bummer. We bought our wine and just at the last minute he offered me a bottle of the port and I could not get my cash out fast enough! This area was beautiful and we would like to spend a whole lot more time on the “bench” as it is known, but you can only taste so much wine in one day. The ones we visited were: Therapy, Elephant Island, Black Widow, Ruby Blues, La Frenz and D’Angelo. We finished the day cooking back at the MoHo, and some wine from the days travels.
The next day we thought about some golf, but could not get going early enough, so off for some more wine tasting, this time in Summerland. We had a small map (Bottleneck Drive) and I saw a listing for one that looked like it was right on the lake – Greata Ranch Estate Winery. Located right off highway 97, overlooking Lake Okanagan. Nice little shop, average wine, amazing views. We decided to have a quick bite, and polished off a bottle of wine on the deck with the yellow jackets helping us – bad year for those little nuisances up here. A few more stops, Sumac Ridge and Silk Scarf (the best wine we had), and we ended at a winery called Dirty Laundry. Another great view from this place, and because of the holiday weekend, it was so busy we just bought a couple of glasses and drank them on the deck overlooking the valley. Finished the night down in Penticton for dinner, at the Barking Parrot bar out on their summer patio in the marina with a couple of local guys playing music on the water, very nice ending to a great day!
The following day we got in some golf at the Penticton Golf and Country Club, a shorter local municipal course that everyone seemed to know each other. We were clearly out-of-towners, and several people made note of helping or giving some sort of tips, golf, food or otherwise. It was nice to see how friendly everyone was and how they went out of their way to assist and offer advice. Got home and Al came buy to invite us to dinner at one of their favorite spots and we went with him and Joan and the rest of their family who were visiting. Good food, great wine, and wonderful conversation, all capped by some more wine back at their place in the campground.
Next morning we were off to a small little place in McClure BC, Pinegrove Campground & RV Park, about 40 kilometers north of Kamloops for a few nights till we head to the Canadian Rockies. We got set up after a bit of maneuvering to a very nice pull through site and the owners, Randy and Martina, were very helpful from the beginning. We relaxed most of the afternoon and immediately noticed the bee issue here as well, so I got out my bee trap I had at the old house and set it up off the back of the MoHo. Randy mentioned it was a super bad year for the yellow jackets, and he proceeded to make a few traps the old fashioned way, 2-liter bottle with the top cut off and inverted back into the body and some sugar water to attract the little bastards. Within minutes of my trap going out, it was a hit with the bees and they were swarming the trap instantly. The neighbors, John and Ronna-Lee, and Randy all noticed and suddenly it was a nice topic of conversation for everyone. We started to chat, and an hour later we were all sitting around our propane campfire pit. One thing led to another and someone brought out the Tequila and it was all down hill from there! (We left all of our adult beverages back in the states as we read the amount of duty we would have to pay if it was found on our entrance to Canada, so we did not have anything to share or we all would have been in deep trouble the next morning!) Great campground hosts/owners, wonderful camping neighbors, and better conversation was had till almost 12:45AM. Today, we went into Kamloops to pick up a few supplies (shopping in Canada is expensive: 12 pack of BL Cans = $24; box of Kashi cereal = $7) before we head to Jasper and the Canadian Rockies portion of our adventure!
On our trip to the campground north of Kamloops, we were really searching for some propane. When we get a bit further north, most of the campgrounds we will be staying in we have to boondock (maybe power, or maybe water, but no sewer hook ups.) We run the fridge on propane when driving or when there is no power to hook into. We also use it to cook and occasionally to heat the water for the shower, so it is important to have as much as we can when we get “off the grid” in some of the areas further north. In searching for the propane filling outlets, we could not find anything easy. The propane fill location is on the bottom of the drivers side of the MoHo, so we really have to get close to the supply tank when filling up. About 40 kilometers from Kamloops, we saw a small gas station with a pull through perfect for me to get the needed propane. Well at least I thought it was perfect….. oh *&%$* I did not make the turn wide enough and now the car was blocking the highway behind me and there was a tree 2 feet in front of me! Damn, I have jackknifed the car behind us, can’t move forward or backwards, we are officially stuck. (I did move it forward enough to get out of the highway, but just barely.) We now had to do our first emergency disconnect of the car – on an extreme incline, I am an idiot! Took several stress filled minutes, and we finally got it disconnected, and it left Traci pretty anxious. Lesson, fill your propane at the truck stops with tons of room to maneuver!