Summerland Expedition

On Thursday, my dad and I set out on a trip to Summerland,  British Columbia to observe and ride the Kettle Valley steam train. So far, the trip has been enjoyable and quite successful.

A couple of things have stood out so far.  The first was the stop at the spiral tunnels on the way over the Rockies.

The other has been a restaurant we happened on in Summerland.  It is called Santorini’s and it is well worth your while to stop there if you ever find yourself passing through Summerland. It is located in the central business district so it requires navigating off the main highway but that extra effort will pay off. Not only is the service excellent but so is the food, from the regular menu to the daily specials. One particularly interesting (in a good way) item was the southern fried chicken served on a waffle topped with gravy and with maple syrup on the side. You are probably thinking that there is no way that could possibly work but, surprisingly, even with the syrup and gravy mixed on the waffle after eating the chicken it worked quite well. If they happen to be offering that special when you stop by, give it a try.  You will be pleasantly surprised.

Those of you who follow my ramblings know that I rarely review or endorse businesses so you know I was truly impressed.

Of course, Summerland has a great deal more to offer. Make ab expedition of it and view the other attractions in the area like the local mountain or the many wineries. Or just enjoy the spectacular scenery the Okanogan has to offer.


I now return you to your regularly scheduled randomness.









Return Trip Part II

Well, I-90 was still closed this morning but I took a chance that it would be open before I got to the closed portion of it. The gamble paid off and I was on my way. Sure, conditions were a bit ugly but the road was passable and I made it through the storm battered section. There were some significant remnants still at Rapid City where the roadway into the information centre was a single lane dug out of a six foot high snow drift.

I stopped at Mount Rushmore and admired the view through a few snow flakes. That about sums up the excitement for the day unless you count getting turned around in Billings while looking for a place to stay for the night.

The best part, though, has to be the note on top of an old rag in the bathroom of the hotel room at the Days Inn:

I’m nothing but a pile of rags – living a life forlorn…I am old, tattered, torn, but clean…

But Wait!! I can still be put to work…if you dear guest would give me a break.
Use me for heaven’s sake…

Clean your shoes, wipe your windshield or car…
I am tattered but clean and ready to be used in place of a "fluffy" towel.

Come the morn and your windshield is wet with dew and grimy with road dirt – use me instead of the towel.

When I am grimy and beyond your use, throw me on the floor to be cleaned and used again.

The Rag

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s absolutely abominably written but it did give me a chuckle.

Return Trip

The CocoFest was fairly calm. Nothing particularly remarkable occurred. We all enjoyed dinner across the road from the hotel and basically called it a night on Saturday. Sunday was largely a wind-down.

Monday was the first day of my drive home. Unfortunately, due to flooding in Fargo, I ended up taking the southern route to avoid the Red River. The road conditions were good except for a brutal wind much of the way. It had started to rain when I got in to Sioux Falls. Once I got checked into a hotel, I found out that a very big spring storm was clobbering points west and heading east so I checked the road reports. I90 was closed heading west toward Wyoming. This morning, I learned that even more of I90 is closed and I29 north is also closed. Apparently I’m going nowhere.

Looks like I’ll have some time to explore Sioux Falls while I’m waiting for the roads to open.

CocoFest Day 1

Well, I survived the trip here. Travel was okay until about Virden along the TCH. Then I picked up ditch to ditch ice and a cross wind. The second stage (Winnipeg to Elgin) was really fun. I had to alter my route to avoid the flooding in Fargo which meant I ended up taking a less familiar route from Grand Forks to the Twin Cities. Even so, the road conditions were better and I eventually arrived in Elgin very late yesterday.

So far at the ‘fest, there have been presentations, chats, and stuff. It’s been pretty calm, really, but there has been a much fuller schedule than recent years with the topics being more relevant.

Off to the CocoFest

I am about to hit the road on the first leg of the journey to Elgin, Illinois for the 18th Annual Last CocoFest. The current last minute frenzy of forgetting something is underway. No doubt I’ll forget something as I do every time I go somewhere. Still, I packed my car with most of the stuff yesterday so there shouldn’t be anything critical missing.

Here’s hoping that the drive itself is less eventful than last year.

Trip Day 9

Well, I’ve made it home safe and sound. I even got all my stuff unloaded from my car. Seems like it was a good choice to do the return trip from Thunder Bay in two days instead of three given the weather forecast for tomorrow. About all the excitement today was the big between Swift Current and Medicine Hat.

Now I have tomorrow and the weekend to relax before going back to work on Monday. Truth be told, though, I’m kind of looking forward to going back to work, but don’t tell anyone. 🙂

Trip Day 8

I’ve arrived in Brandon without incident. I’d forgotten how boring the road between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg is, mostly because there are very few towns in between. About all the excitement was the rain around Dryden. Frankly, it’s nice to have no excitement on the road for once.

Tomorrow I finish the trek back to Calgary. Here’s hoping tomorrow is as uneventful as today.

Trip Day 7

I got moving at a good time this morning and made it to Grandma and Grandpa’s place exactly when I said I would. I was quite impressed by that. We had a great visit. My Uncle and Cousin stopped in for supper and we had a good visit. Everyone seems to like the book which makes we very happy.

I decided I will be doing just a single stop-over on the way home so this morning I booked a room in Brandon so I have somewhere to stay tomorrow night. That should get me home late on Thursday.

Maybe I’ll take video of the road from Thunder Bay to Calgary. That could be amusing.

Trip Day 6

Well, I have now arrived safely in Thunder Bay. At least today the weather was dry so I didn’t have to fight with bad road conditions. Still, the road from Duluth to Pigeon River is boring. The most excitement on the whole trip had to be passing through Duluth since the highway from there to Thunder Bay is not an expressway. Even crossing the border was painless. I didn’t even have to hand over my passport for checking. I did get the impression, based on the questions I was asked, that the US border folks share information with the Canadian border folks. This is probably a good thing. I feel better now that I’m back in Canada, though, because it means I don’t have to worry about any borders tripping me up.

Anyway, now I just need to relax tonight before visiting with the family types tomorrow. I’ll probably also plan my itinerary for the return to Calgary.