Taking a road trip in pandemic times wasn’t an easy decision. Ultimately we left Vancouver with acute awareness of COVID-19 – face masks, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, lengthy discussion with family in Penticton regarding outdoor social distancing. We booked 4 nights in Penticton, fully prepared to turn tail if safe road trip red flags called for retreat.
Provincial regulations stipulate late check in, early check-out, no in room housekeeping during your stay. No big deal, I can make the bed, use a towel more than once, allow housekeeping extra time to deep clean between guests. Beyond our hotel, restaurants, wineries and businesses were the only ones following provincial health regulations. We chose out of the way restaurants without line-ups, every last one asked for contact information in compliance with B.C. health guidelines. Activity on local streets was a different story.
Penticton is a resort town nestled between Skaha and Okanagan Lake in B.C’s southern interior. My birthplace, home to my father and brother. Despite moving to Vancouver 43 years ago, I still consider it home. Tourists flock to the Okanagan in summer, soaking up sun, water, wine and outdoor sports. It’s said the population of 35 or so thousand doubles in summer. Local businesses rely on tourism to survive. I get it, understand why every motel/hotel is sold out, oblivious partiers pack beaches, campsites and bars.
Festival, an old post describing Penticton summer – https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/festival/
Pandemic road trips require fresh perspective, specifically reminding ones self that road trips are the purest form of travel. Reason why pandemic road trips demand more drive time, less local interaction. Such was our weekend getaway – long way up and back, daily exploration of secondary highways ringing the Okanagan Valley and idle meandering on sleepy roads.
Random images along the way –
Highway 1 near Lytton B.C.
Graveyard adjacent church on Hwy. 1 near Lytton B.C.
Black Sage Road near Oliver B.C.
View of Penticton from lookout on Munson Mtn.
Gerry Fruit and Veg in Keremeos B.C.