Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em

10 08 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Miles 309

Today is a driving day.  I am heading west to Oliver.

Trickle Creek Lodge to Oliver, BC - Google Maps-1

You can see that I am making my way towards my final destintion – Whistler – before turning around and heading southeast to meet the boys in Missoula, MT.

This drive is supposed to be spectacular.  It winds through the mountain pass – Selmo/Creston and the views are amazing.  Oh – except that it is even smokier here and I can’t see!  No photos for this post – no need.  All you would see is something like this:

 

 

Great, huh? The drive is long and there is a point where my GPS told me to take a little road off to the south and I found myself staring at the US Border! I was shocked and pulled over to check my map on my phone.  Sure enough this is the route.  I asked the guy at the border and he told me this way was 15 minutes faster than continuing in Canada through another mountain pass.  When he asked if I knew my plate # I reeled off

“GLFGRRL.”  He scratched his head and said that he was sure it stood for something… Dude – get a clue!

us border-1

Actually, that little remote piece of Washington is gorgeous!  Then I had to cross back into Canada and got the third degree from the agent there.  He softened when I explained where I had been etc.  He understood my license plate immediately.

I finally reached Osoyoos and the Okanagan Valley – total wine country.  There are at least 20 vineyards and wine tasting opportunities on this route along with all kinds of produce and fruit stands.  Looks like a great place to ride bicycles.

My digs for the night are at the Vintage Merlot B&B.  This tiny B&B is in a house and has 2 rooms.  Walter met me at the door and we discussed wines of the region.  He is very knowledgeable and chatty – the perfect B&B host.

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Don’t judge a book by its cover – this place is really nice inside!

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Shared common room

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My room (with its own bathroom)

My room is very nice and super clean. Breakfast will be provided in the morning.  Tonight I will have dinner at the restaurant at Tin Horn Winery.  Tin Horn was recommended to me by a Canadian friend in the US.  Walter agrees that it is a great choice.

The winery and restaurant – Miradoro – are just down the road. The restaurant is perched upon a hill overlooking the vineyard and the entire valley.  It is a beautiful building and the patio is packed tonight. Good thing I made reservations.

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Driving in

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There is a little amphitheater down below and some kind of play is going on!

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Nobody seated inside

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The view would be incredible, but…

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The list of wines from this winery is impressive.  I would love to try many of them, but I have to drive back so I must be selective.  I choose to do a flight with small pours of the Pinot Gris, Syrah and Cabernet Franc.

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While I enjoyed all three, I will have to be honest and say that I expected to be blown away.  I wasn’t. Nevertheless, I managed to make my way through all of them.

For dinner I “decided not to decide” just like when Janel and I opt for tasting menus at many places.  Tonight’s 3 courses are Burrata on Eggplant puree with sliced green cauliflower, Pan seared Ling Cod with Peppers and Spicy Beans, and an Apricot Torte with Vanilla Ice Cream.  Sound good?  It was!

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All evening I had been overhearing my server tell tables about the outstanding Rose wine from Tin Horn.  I decided to try a glass with dessert.  Turned out to be my favorite pour of the evening.

Back at the B&B, two French guests are sitting and chatting with our host.  I join them only for a few minutes and then slip away to my room to bed.  Tomorrow is a golf day (good thing too – I was starting to get the shakes from not playing yesterday!).

This was a brief, but good intro to the Okanagan Valley and makes me want to come back for a dedicated wine visit!

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