Okanagan was so nice and sunny on our Victoria day trip, that we were eager to come back again in early June. On Friday night, we drove to Kelowna, and – surpise – the weather here was actually worse than in Vancouver! In fact, the low menacing clouds looked like there was a storm on the way. Undeterred, we drove to the Okanagan Lake Provincial Park, the South campground. In all of 17 years in BC, I never had a chance to camp there, because it’s such a popular park. Our site was actually really nice – shaded and with good privacy. Others, nearer to the lake, were not so lucky.
Weather is different in the Okanagan – more localized. It may rain in a spot 5 km away, but be fine where you are. Believe or not, despite all this cloud cover, it never actually rained at our campground!
The next morning, I wanted to check out the Saturday Farmers’ Market in Penticton. It was huge! In fact, it was the biggest market I’ve seen in BC, even comparable to the one in Portland’s University District. This is very impressive for such a small town as Penticton! I’m growing more and more fond of this place 🙂
They had lots of fresh seasonal produce (which I was mainly interested in), but also a good selection of artisan arts and crafts, and not the crappy kind, but actually some pretty interesting items. For example, there was a stall that sold hand-crafted steampunk-style goggles for people who plan to go to the Burning Man festival. I was blown away 🙂
The main reason for this trip was to continue exploring the Kettle Valley Railway trail by bike. We rented the bikes in Penticton at Penticton Bike Rentals. It’s a good place, the people are pretty laid back and friendly. The KVR trailhead can be easily biked to from Penticton – just ask the folks at the shop. The KVR trail to Naramata runs high above the east shore of the Okanagan Lake past beautiful vineyards, so it’s good to stop once or twice and do some wine tasting.
After returning from the KVR, we visited Highway 97 Brewery as a reward for good efforts 🙂 It is one of 4(!) breweries in Penticton, which is amazing for a town of just 32,000! Like I said, I’m in love with this place!
On Sunday, we went to Kelowna and did the Paul’s Tomb trail in Knox Mountain Park. I have to say, it required almost zero effort because you can drive up to the top of the mountain (which we did), and then there is only 100 m of elevation to go! The views were good though.