The Okanagan Valley of British Columbia is frequently compared to Napa Valley. My experience was more complex.
The southern part reminded me of Highway 101 coming north toward San Jose about 50 years ago. Busy, two lane, pleasant but windy road, lined with vineyards and orchards, and fruit and produce stands everywhere.
As we approached the central part of the valley near Kelowna, however, smoke from a series of forest fires cast a pallor of smokey, brown pallidness over the sky, the fields, even the normally beautiful lake. Visibility was limited, and what you could see reminded me of nothing so much as the San Fernando Valley on a smoggy day. I am not including any photos from our first two days here (just google “Van Nuys smoggy day photos” and you’ll get the idea).
We were planning to leave yesterday, but the dawn broke clear and blue and I arranged to stay another day. And it was a spectacular day.
The Okanagan is famous for its wines, and the view from Cedar Creek Winery showed why the comparison to Napa Valley was fitting. That is, if Napa had a lake the size of Tahoe next to it:
We spent the afternoon people-watching at a coffee house downtown and walking around Kelowna’s downtown waterfront area where, in the evening, I came upon a free outdoor jazz concert:
A continuing series: What is art? Is this art?
Today, the winds have changed, the smoke is back, it feels like Fresno, and we are out-a-here.