If you read my Thursday post last week, you know I was in British Columbia for the Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC13). Even though I got in really late Thursday night, I still got up early for a run. I my mind, there is no better way to get to know a place better than a run. So Friday morning was a run around the small downtown. We started along the lakefront, eventually running out of sidewalk, then headed up into some very steep trails, many un-runnable due to the steepness of the terrain. Hiking was a worthwhile alternative, so I didn’t mind. After we retraced our steps, we continued through the downtown to get some more ideas of where we might have breakfast. We discovered The Bench Market, a very cool cafe that bakes their own breads, roasts their own coffee and, near and dear to my heart, support other locals to the fullest extent possible. Oddly enough, it was the ONLY place I got a decent soy latte — not sure why Canadians struggle with that.
On Friday, I found out about The Kettle Valley Rail Trail from one of the wine tour drivers. The start was just a half mile or so from the Penticton Lakeside Resort where we stayed. This crushed gravel trail is the former rail corridor for the Kettle Valley Railway and was used by differing train companies, eventually abandoned by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Saturday morning we headed up that way for some easier trail running. The trail wends through the dry scrub of this desert area and slowly rises to amazing views of Okanagan Lake stretching forever. Parts of the trail also run between vineyards and other agricultural properties — the lavender and other plants add to the incredible clean feeling air. Since the trail is a former railroad path, it goes on and on, so pretty much any distance is available.
While the downtown area is attractive and definitely not a bad place to run, especially along the lakefront, if you find yourself in the Okanagan (and you really should go up there, it is a veritable Eden of good food, good wine, and good people), head over to the trail and run to your heart’s content.
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