Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tues, Sept 22: On the road, working our way to the US border.

Glory be, it is a beautiful morning! The sky is clear and blue!We are rolling by 9AM. Again we didn’t have to unhook last night. We continue down Hwy 97 past several roadhouses the sprang up in the 1860's to service the travelers on the original wagon road. We see another black bear having a drink at one of the many small lakes along the road, but there is no way to stop for a picture. There is road construction off and on today. The road is being made into a four lane highway. The truck traffic is heavy again.

At Cache Creek we leave Hwy 97 and pick up the TransCanadian for a few miles heading south still. The landscape is changing; it is drying out very fast.There are orchards on the hill sides and along the river beds now. We stop at one of the road side stands and buy some fresh tomatoes. Since we will cross the border soon we can’t buy apples or peaches.

Unfortunately, at Spences Bridge, we leave the good TransCanadian and turn onto Hwy 8 heading southeast. It is very scenic,but very narrow and crooked. It follows a small river through a canyon like area. After an hour, we change highways again and are now on the beautiful four lane divided Hwy 97C. The landscape changes once again too and we are in forested mountains. In fact, the road climbs for half its distance then decends at a rapid rate for the other half.
We get to Kelowna about 2:30PM. It has the first really nice shopping we have seen since Anchorage. So we stop at a grocery store and spend the last of our Canadian cash. At Spences Bridge, we leave the good TransCanadian.

We now turn South onto Hwy 97. We are now maybe 60-70 miles from the border. This is a nice drive. We are driving down the western shore of Okanagan Lake.
This a wine producing region and reminds us a little of Italy. We follow this lake for about 20 miles. Just south of Penticton we see a really nice campground on the shores of Skaha Lake.It is almost 4PM so we decide to stop. We get a great site right on the lake shore.After relaxing about an hour on the edge of the lake, we decide to stay another night enjoy the lakeand check out the wines of the area. We can see the vineyards on the hillsides across the lake and noticed a wine center as we came through town.

Dick grills a steak and we have a relaxing evening after three days of driving and 1000 miles.

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