Friday, November 10, 2017

More on the Shogun...

I first wrote about Jay Leno's Shogun in this April, 2016 post. Grassroots Motorsports just posted this article about Chuck Beck's Shogun. Chuck is the co-creator, along with his friend Rick Titus, and I believe he still owns this car. Follow this link to read the article.

Photo from the article.

Full credit goes to Alan Caesar and Grassroots Motorsports for this great read...

Friday, July 21, 2017

Westiva 2017

What a great day!!!

Our drive out was in surprisingly heavy traffic on the Trans Canada Highway west of Calgary but once we turned onto Highway 40 it got a lot lighter.

Heavy traffic westbound on the Trans-Canada Highway
We were travelling with Jimmy Hawkins who had driven to Calgary from Macon GA. We were joined by Ryan and family just as we turned onto Highway 40 so the last 30km or so ended up being a three car convoy to the Wedge Pond Day Use Area.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Westiva 2017.... today's the day!

Weather has held... the forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 32ºF/90ºF. Our car is ready to go and long distance attendees are getting closer!

All cleaned up and ready for Westiva 2017

Watch this space over the next couple of days for lots of photos and a full report. Also look for #westiva and #westiva2017 on Instagram.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Westiva 2017... hard to believe that it's only seven days away!

Westiva 2017 is shaping up to be an awesome event. The weather forecast calls for temperatures of 35ºC/95ºF, or as Accuweather puts it... "hot with sizzling sunshine"! Bring your sunscreen, bring your camera, wear a hat!

All of these will be at Westiva 2017 except for the red one.

Wondering what you can expect to see when you come to Westiva 2017? Glad you asked! Here's a small sampling:

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Westiva 2017: only 14 days to wait now

The print edition of the on-line article I posted last week was published yesterday in the driving section of the Calgary Herald... apparently we "Festiva aficionados are having a love-in"! The text of the article hasn't changed but we all got a chuckle out of the headline

The weather forecast is looking great with a high of 26ºC (79ºF) and only a slight chance of late day showers; that being said the event is a go rain or shine.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Westiva 2017... three weeks to go!

As Westiva 2017 draws closer things are starting to get more exciting.

Greg Williams is a writer for (among other things) who published an article about our first big road trip back in 2011. I've kept in touch over the years and he has always included Westiva in the 'upcoming events' section of his articles.

His latest article, published on-line just yesterday, features Ben Rogers of Lexington, Kentucky as he prepares his Festiva, named Frito, for an epic 6000 mile road trip that includes a stop at this years edition of Westiva. Ben's route will take him through seventeen states and three provinces.

Ben on his 2016 trip; photo by Ben Rogers
This won't be Ben's first big trip.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Westiva 2017... four weeks and counting.

As I write this post Westiva 2017 is only four weeks away. What is Westiva you ask? Answers to that question can be found by following this link.

Some of the attendees at Westiva 2016

We are getting excited as this year's event is shaping up to be the biggest ever. We have confirmed attendees from Kentucky, Washington State, Georgia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. There is also a possibility of at least one Festiva coming up from Arizona! We have several of our "regulars" coming along with a number of first timers. 

If you have a Festiva, an Aspire, or one of many of the econoboxes from the late '80's and early '90's come and join us. If you don't and are wondering what all the fuss is about please stop by to have a look and ask your questions.

Watch this space for weekly updates!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Falls into spring day five

Tuesday, May 2nd

This is the last day of our little getaway. We had a leisurely start to the day with breakfast at the hotel and a stop at one of our favorite places, Crossway Community Thrift Store. My brother is a railroad enthusiast and I found a book from the fifties about the Pennsylvania Railroad for him.

We decided to take the scenic route home via Highway 1A rather than the busier, albeit faster, Trans Canada Highway. Highway 1A is a two lane road that mostly follows the Bow River as it flows eastward through or past Exshaw, Seebe, Morley, into the Ghost Resevoir and then to Cochrane, Calgary and beyond.

It's a beautiful stretch of road with a sedate speed limit of 80kph for more than half the route. We stopped in Cochrane for a snack then made our way back to Calgary. A short day on the road but enjoyable nonetheless!

Three Sisters

Along the banks of the Bow River

Ghost Reservoir with the dam in the background
Eastward to Cochrane AB

Approaching Calgary

As much as we enjoy our time away it's always nice to get home!  If you have any suggestions for road trips, long or short, close or far, please share them in the comments section below!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Falls into spring: day four

Monday, May 1

Today was to be a day of driving with our next overnight in Canmore, AB. Our route would take us over Kelowna's William R. Bennett Bridge. Opening in 2008 it replaced an older, smaller bridge across the lake providing more traffic lanes and 18m (almost 60ft) of clearance under its navigation span.

Approaching the William R. Bennett Bridge from West Kelowna.
Once we passed through Kelowna we made our way north on Highway 97 along the shores of Wood Lake and Kalamalka Lake.

Passing through Vernon, Armstrong (famous for its cheese), Enderby, then Grindrod; along the eastern shore of Mara Lake to Sicamous where we stopped to top up the gas tank. But before stopping for gas we made one slight detour to one of places we've been meaning to see for a long time. A short 400m (1/4 mile) drive off the main highway to the trailhead and a strenuous 67m (220ft) hike brought us to Sicamous Creek Falls.

Trailhead sign for the Sicamous Creek Falls Trail
Sharon at Sicamous Creek Falls

Turn around 180º and this is the view!
In the traihead parking lot
This little hike is well worth the stop. There are couple of picnic tables and washrooms so it would make a really nice lunch stop.

From Sicamous we headed east through Three Valley Gap and on to Revelstoke where we stopped to pick up a snack.

Through Three Valley Gap

In downtown Revelstoke.

First of the eight snow sheds through Rogers Pass
Made it through Rogers Pass without incident, on to Golden, past Field, over the Kicking House Pass into Alberta, past Banff ending the day's travels in Canmore.

Out of Golden and up Ten Mile Hill and over the Park Bridge

Not much construction to deal with but there was some....

Picturesque Field BC

Always like it when numbers line up.

Past Banff and Rundle Mountain
We spent a relaxing evening in Canmore to end the day's adventure. Tomorrow we head home, but not after a couple of stops in town.... stay tuned.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Falls into spring: day three

Sunday, April 30

Our plan for the third day of our road trip was to hang around Penticton and area. We brought our bicycles with us in order to ride a portion of the Kettle Valley Railway. The beauty of a bike trail on a rail bed is that there is very little slope (except where the trail deviates from the original route). We drove to the access point on Vancouver Place in Penticton and rode north. There were two main things we wanted to see on the ride the first of which was the McCulloch Trestle, named for the Kettle Valley Railway's chief engineer, Andrew McCulloch

Sharon at the McCulloch trestle looking north over Okanagan Lake
From the trestle we continued riding to the Poplar Grove Road parking area where we stopped for a bit of refreshment. It was here that we changed plans a bit. Initially we were going to ride all the way to the "Little Tunnel" above Naramata and then back to Penticton, however we decided that that was a little too ambitious for a first ride of the season. I rode back to the car and drove back to pick up Sharon then on to another access point at the Smethurst Road parking lot which cut out a big chunk of the ride. From there we made our way up the shallow grade 5km to the "Little Tunnel". After a time enjoying the views and having a bit of lunch we turned around and basically coasted back to the parking lot. 

Looking up the trail

One of several viewpoints along the way.
Sharon at the Little Tunnel
Looking south over Okanagan Lake from the Little Tunnel

Loading up the bikes after our ride. Yes they both fit inside!
We drove down into Naramata where Sharon's family had come for summer vacations when she was a child. Tried to find some familiar landmarks but didn't have much luck.

Down Smethurst Road into Naramata.
From Naramata we drove back through Penticton, through Penticton along the beachfront, back onto Highway 97 and north to West Kelowna, our next overnight stop.

Along the Penticton beachfront

Northbound on BC Highway 97

Two more days to go on this trip! It's been a very relaxing time and the weather has cooperated. Would love to here your thoughts and comments...  please leave them in the box below!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Falls into spring: day two

Saturday, April 29

The itinerary has us backtracking up highway 97 just a bit so we could take the scenic route down the west side Lake Okanagan down the appropriately named West Side Road. First stop... Fintry Provincial Park! The main attraction here is a triple water fall on Shorts Creek. The hike up is definitely that... up. There are more than 300 stairs leading to the uppermost viewing spot, but it is well worth the climb.

No shortage of stunning views along the way.
Some of the Fintry Estates' out buildings including an eight sided barn.
One of the three falls with a rainbow.
View from the top
Just another view
One of the unrestored buildings on site
Parts of this provincial park was originally the estate of Capt. James C. Dun-Waters. You can find out a bit more about the history of the property by following this link. The manor house has been substantially restored but unfortunately for us wasn't open for visitors yet. That is one drawback of traveling at this time of year... a lot of things aren't open until later in May or early June.

The Manor House

The Manor House

Waiting patiently for its passengers to return.
We drove back up the hill to the main road and turned to continue south. Next stop... Bear Creek Provincial Park, 27km (17 miles) down the road.  

The Festiva in its natural habitat.
A short stretch of construction... they're widening the road a bit.

We had a few stops planned for the day so our stop at Bear Creek was a short one and we elected to stretch our legs on the very short loop adjacent to the parking lot. When we were leaving a little boy, probably about six or so, told me he liked our car! Made us both smile.

Bridge over Bear Creek.

Sharon on the same bridge. Water was running quite high... you can see here!

Westside Road winds for another 7 km or so south from Bear Creek. The whole length of this road is a lot of fun to drive, even with the relatively low speed limits: a highly recommended detour if you have a bit of extra time.

One advantage of taking the Westside Road is that you miss the drive through Kelowna. We rejoined Highway 97 just west of the City and proceeded south to our next stop... Peachland here we come!

Back into traffic.
What a contrast in traffic! Highway 97 is THE major route through the Okanagan Valley so it was considerably busier than Westside Road. Our overnight stop was to be in Penticton but we had a couple of stops along the way. First stop was at the visitor center in Peachland via another, albeit short, detour off the main highway. We stopped in to ask directions to our next stopping point, Hardy Falls, to tour the galllery, and to sit by the lake with a coffee and a snack. We also had the opportunity to take part in an ongoing Canada 150 event... painting a square in a large "paint by numbers" picture of a local scene.

At the Peachland Visitor Information Center

Canada 150 event.
Looking north up the lake from Peachland.

With directions in hand we were on our way to Hardy Falls. It's a very short detour off the highway with a very pleasurable 10 minute stroll across eight foot bridges to almost the base of the falls.  If you visit in September/October there is a salmon run up this creek.

Up the path to the falls.

Hardy Falls from the viewpoint.

Our next stop was Penticton. We were a little earlier than expected so we looked up the location of a couple of thrift stores and paid them a visit. Also hit up a local car wash. We had purchased a Groupon for a local burger place, Burger 55, so drove by it get our bearings. We knew our hotel was reasonably close and had already decided to walk both ways. Checked in and got freshened up then walked along the lakefront to our dining destination. It was a little cool but the rain held off. We both commented that in a few weeks this place would be hopping with people. A number of establishments were not yet open for their season. Burger 55 was a great experience. Our Groupon gave us basic cheeseburgers and fries. We were able to upgrade and add without any problems. The atmosphere was very casual with rustic wooden benches and tables. Being located in a former garage there was a larger overhead door that in warmer and busier times could be opened up to the patio. All in all we enjoyed it and would recommend it! 

Burger 55 exterior. Photo from
After supper we strolled back to the hotel and settled in for the evening to watch a couple of our favorite shows and read a little.

Tomorrow will find us on two wheels! We brought bikes and we will be heading to a portion of the Kettle Valley Road.... more on that in the next post coming soon!

We'd love to hear of your experiences in this area in the comment section below.