Live the adventures of Dan Walker's travels through reading his travel journal. The travel journals are listed below in descending order of date. To search the travel journals, use the keyword search at the bottom of the page.
|Thursday, September 21, 2017 16:11:56|
ROLLS ROYCE TOUR IN BC - SEPTEMBER 2017
On Monday, September 4 my 1957 Rolls and I caught BC Ferries 9 AM sailing for Tsawassen from Victoria, meeting friend Hank Leis at the Cactus Club for lunch. The following nights were at the Renaissance Hotel in Richmond, while the days were filled with lunches and dinners with clients, partners and friends. Marilynn arrived at the airport via ferry and bus on Friday, Sept 8, where I picked her up. We stayed at the Holiday Inn near the Deas Tunnel to be close to friend Chi Pham's place where she and Hank live. We were invited for dinner with her sister we call Chi Chi as they are both named Chi. It was a good night with loads of food and drink.
Saturday, September 9, 2017
We checked out of the hotel at noon and drove over the Lion's Gate Bridge to get to the Pinnacle Hotel in North Vancouver, the meeting point for the Rolls tour. Our room was ready, so we parked the car in the designated area and met up with other participants in the bar. Most of us went for dinner across the street to the Tap & Barrel Pub, where they managed to find seats for about 40 of us and where drinks flowed freely.
There are about 60 participants and 27 Rolls Royce and Bentley cars. Two drove from Texas, several from California, Oregon, Washington and two from Alaska. The farthest Canadian participants were from Ontario. Those from the USA definitely outnumbered the Canadians! The cars ranged from a 1924 two seat Bentley to 2016 Bentley, with a variety of years and styles in between.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
We all moved our cars to designated spots in Shipbuilder's Square in front of the hotel for a showing of the cars. After walking around admiring other cars and meeting the owners, we met Antonio Arreaga, the Costa Rican Consul, and his wife at The Cheddar Cheese Pub in Lonsdale Quay market. After lunch we walked through the cars with them before the cars were tucked away in the hotel's underground parking lot. We then rode with John & Marney Pierson back to their house for wine and snacks, returning in their electric car – the first I've been in.
Dinner was at the Pier 7 Restaurant, where we had a very good feed and lots to drink with old and new friends.
Monday, September 11, 2017
After an 8:45 AM drivers meeting, something that was to be a daily event, we checked out and drove for Whistler. A scheduled stop at Shannon Falls was skipped due to the drought in BC reducing it to a trickle, but a stop at the Squamish Railway Museum with a guided tour and a ride on the smallest train imaginable was worth while. This was followed by a horrible lunch on our own in Squamish.
On arrival at Whistler we rode the 3.1 mi long Whistler Village Gondola up Whistler Mountain to an altitude of 6,015 ft (1,832 m), and then the Peak 2 Peak gondola to Blackcomb Mountain. This has the worlds longest unsupported span, 2 mi (3 km) between towers, and is the highest from the ground of any in the world at 1,270 ft (436 m). It was a very smooth, comfortable ride - even Marilynn wasn't terrified!
We then drove back to the Nita Lake Lodge, where we had a very nice suite. The hotel is built on the bank of the quiet lake. After an average dinner at the Lodge Kurt Bittner (from Victoria), Marilynn and I went next door to a fun pub for more drinks.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Today's drive was 42 miles to the home of the Los Family, who had built by hand a power generating plant at a waterfall on their property that not only supplies their house and buildings but allows them to sell 80% of the power to BC Hydro. They also raise llamas and alpacas for fur. A very good sandwich lunch with juice and desert was provided on the grass in front of their log home. Next was the tiny Pemberton Distillery, where we had a tour and lecture on the distilling business followed by a sampling of their vodka, gin and whiskey.
Nita Lodge ran a shuttle into Whistler Village, about 4 miles away, so we all used it to go for a fabulous dinner at the Keg. On arrival back at the lodge Kurt, Marilynn and I once again headed for the pub next door. We were the only tour participants to drink there!
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
We gassed up at Pemberton before crossing the mountains to Lillooet. Climbing into the mountains we were stuck behind a motor home whose driver consistently ignored the line of a dozen and a half cars he was holding up. At the summit he finally pulled over, and I got into the lead car position so had a wonderful, fast run for over an hour on the mountainous, twisting road on good pavement. It was amazing to watch the 1924 Bentley behind me flying through the curves right with me. It turned out that Dick, the owner of the Bentley, raced it.
As it was a bright sunny day we decided to open the sun roof, but when we climbed into the mountains we were in the shade, and by the time we stopped my hands were almost frozen on the wheel and I was chilled through, having on only a polo shirt. It was far too much fun driving to stop and close the roof though!
Just past Lillooet we stopped at the Fort Berens Estate Winery for a tour and sampling. They provided a not great lunch at tables on the lawn, but we happily drank glasses of their very acceptable Pinot Gris.
The day ended at the very nice South Thompson Inn, where a less than remarkable dinner was provided - the highlight was the potato salad. On the other hand the desert treats were fabulous but it was not a gourmet day! We ended up in the lobby where Marney played the piano and we drank and sang. Jackie Baron ended the evening singing a capella – she competes intentionally and has a beautiful voice.
Sadly, one car had to drop out today because a water pump seized up, doing considerable damage.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Marilynn was in serious pain today from too much sitting yesterday – she has fibromyalgia, so we chose not to participate in today's numerous options. I had been to all but one of them, so it didn't concern me. We stopped frequently to allow Marilynn to stretch, including an A & W for lunch in Vernon.
Although we arrived at the beautiful Predator Ridge Resort early, they had a gorgeous two bedroom 2 bathroom view suite ready for us. It has a full kitchenette, living room, gas fireplace, balcony, Jacuzzi and many other extras. There was a coin op laundry, so now I'm back to all clean cloths again. We passed the afternoon catching up of emails, relaxing and enjoying the view over the golf course to the surrounding hills. The one mistake we made was shopping at the tiny convenience store, where 3 small juice, a fruit salad and a yogurt cost $32. It turned out the yogurt was bad, the fruit salad fermenting and I didn't like the juice!
A school bus arrived to take us all to the Marten Brew Pub in Vernon. We fit, although the seat spacing was for elementary school aged kids. Once at the pub they had the mezzanine area blocked off for us, but only assigned two waitresses to serve almost 60 thirsty people. They missed a real sales opportunity – we had ordered a pitcher of beer and bottle of wine for our table of 4 and it was over 30 minutes before it arrived. Self serve pizza was planned, but the quantity didn't serve a quarter of our group. Additional amounts tricked in throughout the evening, even though the organizers agreed to pay for double the original order. At 9:30 the bus left to take us back to the resort where a group of us made a night of it in the bar.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Today David, whose car had the seized water pump, rejoined us driving a U-Haul truck. His car had been transported to a repair shop in Kamloops recommended by a member who lives there. He'd planned to rent a car to rejoin the group, but apparently it is not possible for a US citizen to rent a car in Canada and drive it across the border and back, but a U-Haul truck is quite OK. We now have 25 Rolls and Bentley cars and a U-Haul truck.
We did the Five Lakes Tour, starting with a drive to Kelowna for the hill climb up Knox Mountain. We were first there and found the road closed. When Dave Barron, the organizer, arrived it was decided we would head for the second option, the 19 Greens Golf Course. It was a fun course, with 18 varied holes all grassed, and played with a putter. My recovering knee didn't like the up and down hills, but it was a lot of fun.
Lunch was at the Indigenous World Winery Red Fox Club. It was great, with bannock and meat, a superb soup and other items. Pinot Gris wine seems excellent in this area so we purchased a couple of bottles for our table. As has been the case at all Native Indian owned projects and businesses I have visited, all staff were non-native.
The return drive was to be along the twisting West Shore lake road, then back to Predator Ridge Resort through Vernon again. Marilynn and I decided to retrace our steps by the shorter route though Kelowna, where we crawled through heavy traffic until getting out of town.
Once back at the hotel we had some people to our suite for wine before heading for a very good BBQ dinner at the hotel. That was followed by the now normal drinks in the bar with a group of participants.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Today the drive had a surprise destination, the purposed of which was not revealed until we arrived. It turned out to be Area 27 Motorsports Park, a private race track, where high powered Porch and other fast cars were racing. The track was then cleared, and we were divided into three optional groups – slow, medium and fast. Each group then lined up to followed a chase car around the 3.2 mile course three times, each time faster than the last. I drove in the medium group - the fast group was going to hit 100 mph, faster than my car. It was an exhilarating experience. Marilynn was in considerable pain once we were finished, as she was thrown all over the front seat even with her seat belt on as we sped through the curves.
That was followed by a quite reasonable lunch with wine at the Burrowing Owl Winery before checking in at the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos. Before tucking away the cars in the covered parking area we all drove down a footpath along the lake shore to park them on the lawn in front of the hotel for a photo. It was very cold out – winter is on its way.
Dinner was on the patio outside the hotel. There were a lot of heaters above the open eating area, but it was not effective against a freezing wind blowing in from the lake. We were in all the heavy cloths and jackets we could muster, and some in blankets. Karl and I drank hot rums to ease the chill. After dinner Karl, Vivien, David and I were the last in the bar when it closed. We are unlikely to see most of the group again until another even is held, but they were a super group to travel with.
We'll meet with a partner for dinner in Abottsford, BC, tomorrow night, stay overnight and they take the ferry back to Victoria.