After breakfast our trip continued in pretty much the same fashion we had left it the night before, great weather and little traffic to impede us. While no real surprise it was still hard to swallow gas prices soaring to $1.44 in some places. What was a more pleasant surprise were the improvements in the highway system along the way. There is a major expenditure going on from Kamloops all the way to the Alberta border. Basically it is upgrading the whole stretch to a full 4 lanes. As to be expected this is not an overnight change and there are some…inconveniences along the way. However, this is really long overdue and certainly will be much appreciated when completed not only by the local inhabitants, but also by the hundreds of thousands of tourists.
Just a little west of the (famous) Enchanted Forest we stopped at a little spot called the Crazy Creek. After paying our dues (“because it will be a great photo op!”) and after being warned that a bear had been spotted earlier along the path, we made our way up to see the falls. Ok…photo op not bad after all. Not Niagara mind you, but pretty decent. And…no bear.
Onward because I hear the wine calling! And call it did. Our first official stop was at Gray Monk. This is the oldest family run winery in the Okanagan area and still one of my personal favorites. It was on this, our very first stop, that we found FREE TASTINGS! They had 4 ready to pour and some others they had a small charge for (taken off your total if you bought any wine). But the fact they have brought FREE back was a wonderful start to our wine excursion! And yes…I am driving so I am behaving myself. I still cannot subscribe to ‘catch and release’ idea, but I only try 2 or 3 during the whole day’s tasting experiences. And I flatly refuse to waste any of them.
On we went to a new one (to us)…Ex Nihilo. This turned out to be a most amazing stop that actually had little to do with the wine. Yes, we did find a couple that were surprising and they are coming back with us. 🙂 However, it was the car in the parking lot that caught MY attention. A perfectly restored Shelby Cobra 427. This automobile was stunning. I talked briefly with the owner and his wife. He bought the frame and then rebuilt the rest. I should have asked if he got matching s/n’s all throughout, but I didn’t think of it at the time. However, given the level of detail this vehicle had, I would find it a little hard to believe that it would be anything less than matching numbers.
Down the road to Arrowleaf and another couple of excellent choices found their way into the case in the back of our Venza. Still further along and Quail’s Gate was waving its grape leaves frantically, trying to capture our attention. So…what could we do? We had to stop once again. Two Stewart Family Reserve’s have now left the fold and joined our (very) happy family.
Finally we have arrived in Summerland, our base for the next few days. After finding our B&B and unloading the van, we drove down the road and found a great little restaurant for a small, yet very delicious, dinner. Back to the B&B, unpack a little and enjoy some sit and unwind time.
Tomorrow is the first day of serious wine hunting, but it all had to start somewhere. Gray Monk (and certainly all that followed today) was everything a great beginning should be. A partial day and yet…a full case. 🙂