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.

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