Saturday, February 1, 2014

Window Shopping

Much as I love the North Okanagan, it is nice to blow out of the valley for a few days in the winter. Our annual excuse for a break is the Vancouver Motorcycle Show in Abbotsford (I know, technically not Vancouver. Go figure).

The drive to the Lower Mainland takes us through some favourite countryside, the vast stunning ranchland of the Nicola Valley.

Nicola Lake, looking northwest
 It perhaps doesn't look its best in winter … or maybe, if you are a cattleman, it does because the region is also known as The Sea of Grass for the enormous grasslands. This was an overcast, gloomy day, but it is what it is.

Hwy 5A, heading east-ish, where we came from
Highway 5A travels along the south shore of Nicola Lake. As the 'A' designation shows, this is no longer part of the main route. In 1984, the current Highway 5 route was built, known as the Coquihalla Highway.  Can you imagine that volume of traffic occupying this narrow 2-lane road? 

Hwy 5A heading west, towards the clear skies and the Lower Mainland
The old route provides some respite from the heavy frenetic traffic on what is the main road connecting the southern end of this province to the rest of Canada.

See - a hole in the clouds and the promise of sunshine

For that reason, as well as the scenic value, it's one of our favourite motorcycle roads.

Highway 5A 'The Old Highway' is our favorite route, a way to avoid
 the Death Race that is the Coquihalla on a weekend

You can see how the mountains restrict the travelling options

First thing Sunday morning, we were at the January motorcycle mecca.

Lots of eye candy at the Vancouver Motorcycle show - I'm talking about the bikes

The crowds were not too bad at that time of day. Lots more grey hair in this crowd than you'll see Friday and Saturday, especially later in the day. These folks, however, are the serious lookers, the ones (mostly) with disposable income to actually buy some of new stuff.

One of two huge exhibition halls at the Abbotsford Trade & Exhibition Centre

SO many new toys to oogle, to dream over, perchance to budget for.

There were more tempting ride this year than I can remember in the last 6 years
I think there's room in my budget for a new pair of gloves.