March 25, 2013
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
The above quote isn’t entirely relevant in this case – I wasn’t travelling from Calgary to Kelowna strictly to move. People to see, family to visit, “stuff” to pick up. But Daddo had flown out to Calgary to drive back to K-town with me and we figured we should spice up the routine trip somehow. A different highway? A longcut detour through the States? We must have been hungry during our discussion, since we decided to eat out way back to the Okanagan.
Our first stop was for a steaming coffee to satisfy an early morning start zipping through Springbank, tootling past Cochrane, and onto Highway 1A to follow the Bow River. We marvelled at Ghost Lake – who knew such a lovely little thing existed? – swung past Exshaw and popped out at Canmore for a small jaunt along Highway 1 to Banff.
In Banff, we parked on the main street and wandered to find a good breakfast spot. It was shockingly colder than we’d anticipated, so we didn’t make it too far! Lucky for us, Tooloulou’s was sequestered a short way down a sunny side street and the white-and-red checkered table cloth shouted, “Get in here! It’s warm and delicious!” Oh, how right those table cloths were! We snuck into a tiny table right at the window and got to peek out at the mountains every now and again within the walls of that sweet lil b-fast nook.
Dad and I had big plans of what to eat, and more importantly HOW MUCH, and based our number of stops accordingly. Only a very cursory glance to the menu and we both knew our well-laid plans flew right out that aforementioned mountain-view window. My most ridiculous choice was to get Chipmunk French Toast. Like chipmunk cheeks – STUFFED with chocolately-nutty spread and slathered with whipped cream and more chocolately saucy-ness.
Ted stuck with a traditional fave of his – he was purdy stoked to see Corned Beef Hash something-er-other. Along with a pancake, toast, fruit, eggs, potatoes, and on and on and on and on. Our “small meal” did NOT happen at ALL. Golden for coffee and a treat seemed waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy too soon. We hit the road again to reconnect with the Bow Valley Parkway all the way to Lake Louise where it threw us out on to Highway 1 yet again. These photos of the mind-blowing chunk of missing mountain and the way-too-high roadway are the only Golden we managed. We were still significantly overfull to consider even a plain ole coffee.
Even Revelstoke snuck up rather quickly and after this THRILLING discovery of flowers BLOOMING, we lapped the downtown a few times (walking…not driving) before choosing our food location. Conversations Coffee House won out for a superb chunk of sidewalk, sunshine, and scintillating views.
Another bit of a stroll after our Nanaimo bar and deliciously soft cookie, and we were back in the car willing our stomachs to be ready for our pre-determined lunch stop along the Malakwa Superhighway. The Burner. An old beehive burner from a sawmill to burn up the waste. Yep, a sawmill toilet. And yet, someone thought it a good idea to eat inside it. In fact, it was quite a delicious idea. New owners in the last couple years have changed up the menu and WOOOOO WEEEEE lunch was TASTY!
Our turkey, avocado, bacon wrap with ranch and all sorts of other delectableness thrown together was good enough for us to bring up how flavourful it was repeatedly during our conversation. Yes, a wrap. How boring, and yet, magnificent. The fries and gravy were drool-worthy also. Yum Yum.
Sicamous came and went. The glass surface of Mara Lake was definitely begging for attention.
From Armstrong, we searched out Otter Lake Road to take us south past Otter Lake (fancy that!) until we met up with Westside Road to travel along the west side of Okanagan Lake (again, how logical!). The north end of the lake has this nifty split in it. It’s a clearly recognizable feature to distinguish the lake on maps and in photos.
The niftiest thing is that we drove right by it and got to witness it in real life! Whoo!
Okanagan Lake was also fantastically reflective and mirror like all the way along.
We caught a slight glimpse of The Grand and downtown Kelowna over the logs hanging out in the lake for the mills before continuing south on the west side of the lake all zee way to Peachland. Our tasty tour came to an end with a crockpot full of stew awaiting us and a cookie and tea before bed. What could be better.
An overly rich feast for the eyes and stomach on a beautiful early spring day.