Orchards & Vineyards
Penticton, B.C.
June 10 - 13, 2018

The 36th Annual June Tour was held in Penticton, B.C.  It's an area we had toured about 15 years ago, but it was time to visit the scenic Okanagan Valley again.  The tour committee
consisted of four Findlays - Ken, Chris, Peter, & Teresa, with registration help from Bill Trant.  The many phone calls, emails, and pre-trip visits paid off, as it was a terrific tour.

Twenty-eight cars (pre-1928) and 65 people registered for the tour, representing B.C., Alberta, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and even Georgia!  It was a great group of tourists and some beautiful cars.

Sunday ... we arrived at the parking lot to find it full of cars, even though the hotel had promised we could have it all.  Apparently quite a number of people had checked out but left their cars there for the day.  As well, there was a roofing crew working and they'd parked pallets of shingles and other supplies in random spots around the lot.  Ken, Steve Egerton and some South Okanagan volunteers were desperately trying to find ways to squeeze each truck and trailer in as each member arrived.  It was not an easy day.
  At dinner time we all drove over to Main St. and enjoyed a Chinese buffet dinner.  Lots of food for everyone.

Monday ... we left early on a leisurely drive along the east side of Skaha Lake.  There were 28 cars at the start but, sadly, Steve and Judy's model T never made it out.  Ignition problems seemed to have gotten the better of it.  After a coffee stop in Oliver (provided by South Okanagan VCCC volunteers) we made out way to the Osoyoos Desert Model Railway.  This was an amazing place, with miles of miniature railway track winding through an unbelievable European countryside.  Over 20000 tiny people were painted and arranged in little scenes.  Everywhere you looked there were interesting things to discover.

After lunch in Osoyoos we made our way back to Penticton, with a stop at Liquidity Wines along the way.  Many people enjoyed tasting the BC wines and some bought a few bottles to take back home.  Teresa and I had the pleasure of driving Steve and Blanche Gordon for the day.  The Gordons are chapter members who live in Georgia and flew in specially for this tour.  We had a very nice visit while travelling.

The Gregory and Britz grouped looked great in full costume and driving in the Russell-Knight but unfortunately the car had overheating problems and had to ride the trouble truck back after lunch.  It was the only car on the trailer all week.  Back at the hotel, the evening's entertainment included a late afternoon hotel fire drill, complete with smoke, firemen, and and full evacuation.  Maybe the roofers had something to do with it?

Tuesday ... Again we headed south, this time along the Green Mountain Road.  This road climbs about 2000 feet before descending almost as much and joining up with the highway.  But the grades were easy and steady and it was terrific drive.  There was no traffic and the scenery was wonderful, although it was very chilly at the top (maybe 2 degrees?)

Once on the highway, we made our way to Ken Helm’s amazing collection of stuff, near Keremeos.  Some will remember it from our Princeton tour a few years ago, but he has added even more.  Once again, South OK volunteers brought in coffee and donuts and it was a great stop.

Lunch was at the St. Andrews Golf Course, along Twin Lakes Road.  This was another really nice drive although some said they were driving into a head wind that provided some pretty good resistance.   After lunch we drove to Tickleberry’s Ice Cream in Okanagan Falls for more eating and then made our way back to Penticton along the lake.  It was another great day.

Wednesday ... was a short day.  We drove to Shades on Main for breakfast and then made our way to Naramata, about 15 miles total but a lovely drive through more winery country.  We took the old road down into Naramata which was one of the steepest, narrow, twisty, downhills most of us had ever been on.  Fortunately, the drivers were cautious and all brakes performed well.  At the bottom of the hill we regrouped in the park before heading off to the elementary school.

At the school we were greeted by about 60 students and their teachers (the whole school).  They were very excited to see us and spent 40 minutes viewing the cars and asking good questions.  They really enjoyed honking horns and chatting with people in costume.  Some decided that Rachel Gregory must be a princess with her beautiful dress.   Before we left, the whole school sang a thank you song for us.  Everyone agreed it was a wonderful stop.

After lunch in the Naramata Pub we headed back to town for an historic presentation on board the S.S. Sicamous, the restored 1914 paddlewheeler that used to transport people and goods up and down Okanagan Lake.  It was a fitting stop for our group.

Wednesday evening’s banquet was great food and lots of fun.  A highlight was the centerpieces designed by various members of our group and given away after dinner.  They were creative and humourous and added a nice touch to the dinner.  The hard luck trophy was presented to the Russel-Knight (Gregory/Britz) and the People’s Choice award went to the 1910 Kissel Kar (Pat and Marilee Farrell).

It was another very successful tour, thanks largely to Ken and Chris Findlay’s planning and organization.  We are also extremely grateful to the members of the South Okanagan chapter for their help each day of the tour.

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photos courtesy of:
Rachael Gregory, Peter Findlay, Teresa Findlay, Vic Bourne