The teacher in The Truman Show, who stated “Oh, you’re too late. There’s really nothing left to explore,” was incorrect. There is always something new to be discovered. Exploration can be as simple as visiting a place you’ve never been—perhaps venturing across the US-Canada border, as I did, and discovering a city you never knew existed. In my case, that was Penticton, BC, a city surrounded by lakes and mountains, with beaches, shimmering water, and a cool vibe. It’s a place that makes you want to return.
Situated on a finger of land separating massive Okanagan and Skaha Lakes, Penticton is an intriguing mix of history, blue-collar community, action sports mecca, and postcard-worthy environments of the Okanagan Valley. Resplendent hotels and restaurants line the waterfront area. Walking the streets a short distance from the manicured lakefront reveals a community of homes and businesses, with small herds of deer interrupting things occasionally. Just outside this bucolic launching point, adventure awaits.
Meeting up with Thom Tischik, of Travel Penticton, I’m presented with a motorcycle-specific route map titled “Undiscovered Touring.” One of the five loops was plotted based on maps and flyovers but had not been ridden yet. In keeping with the community slogan, “Undiscovered Penticton,” we would set out to ride this untested loop, as well as three others, plus a few extra-credit options. Electing first to connect roads south to Osoyoos near the US-Canada border, Thom and I leave Penticton and begin climbing BC Highway 97, with views of Skaha Lake below and the Skaha Bluffs rock climbing area on the opposite shore. As the highway begins to turn west away from the lake, we veer off onto White Lake Road, where undiscovered takes on greater meaning.