Saturday, July 11, 2015

Penticton, BC

Trip Date: June 2015

We started the summer of 2015 by taking a 3,000km road-trip through British Columbia.  The first stop on our trip was Penticton, located approximately 670km southwest of Calgary, for Ryan and Ashley's wedding.  Christine and I left Calgary on a Friday morning and drove straight to Penticton, with only a couple of stops for food.  We rented Tougas Farm, situated high along the west bank above Penticton, with Dan and Nath, Ben and Jess, and their little ones.  The property sits on 2.5 acres of land and features a swimming pool, hot tub, covered decks, propane fireplace, and an apple orchard.  With amenities like that it wasn't hard to call the place home for the three nights we were there.  

Tougas Farm with Lake Okanagan in the background
This is where we spent a great deal of time!
Ryan and Ashley had a beautiful wedding ceremony overlooking Skaha Lake, just south of Penticton in the town of Kaleden. The wedding took place in the morning, followed by a delicious brunch for those in attendance.  The location was extremely picturesque with the lake and mountains providing the backdrop and the historic Kaleden Hotel right next door.  The hotel was originally built in 1912, but was stripped of all it's metal components during World War I when the country needed metal to make armaments.  Today all that remains is the concrete outer shell, slowly being covered by vines and other vegetation.  

Ryan and Ashley just after the ceremony
Dan and I relaxing before brunch
Nath, Dan, and Devin; Ben, Jess, and Gabe; Christine and I
The skeletal remains of the Kaledon Hotel
Slowly being overgrown with vines
Originally built in 1912, making it over 100 years old today!
Our main reason for being in Penticton was obviously the wedding, but that didn't stop us from getting out and experiencing what else the town had to offer.  One morning I headed out along the eastern shore of Skaha Lake in search of a large pictograph panel, locally known as the Braeside site.  It took a lot of searching, but I finally found it, about 15 feet above the road and partially hidden behind some trees.  The panel was much bigger than I originally expected.  A Penticton local, who pointed me in the direction of Braeside, seems to think that the painting depicts a successful hunt or hunts.  The site could have been added to by many different individuals over many years.  It's not hard to imagine that stretch of Skaha Lake being prime hunting territory and after a successful hunt it was common to stop at Braeside and add to the painting.  There could also be an element of magic where painting a picture of a successful hunt could help ensure a successful hunt would happen.  Whatever's its true meaning it is one of the best preserved and largest pictograph sites I have visited.

The large panels of artwork at the Braeside site
A close-up of some of the best preserved pictographs
Smaller pictographs to the left of the larger panel
You can read more about the pictograph sites I have visited by visiting my Western Canadian Rock Art section on the Bradshaw Foundation's webpage.

In addition to my pictograph exploration we also took time to visit some of the local wineries, the off-leash dog beaches, as well as several local pubs and restaurants.

The off-leash dog beach at Lake Okanagan
Red-Winged Blackbird
Wine Tasting
We had such a great time that we have already started talking about a potential winter trip where we can experience Apex Mountain Resort, Big White Ski Resort, and Silver Star Mountain Resort.  It's hard to say just what the winter will bring, but before anything like that happens it was time to get back in the truck and head for Victoria.  

Christine and I on the Coquihalla en route to Victoria

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