kelowna

Knox Mountain Hill Climb in Kelowna, BC – May 2009

It was a perfect weekend to cruise over the Okanagan mountains to Kelowna, BC and attend my favorite northwest track event – the Knox Mountain Hill Climb. I originally ventured into the great white north seeking this unique, european-style rally two years ago – with my buddy James Walper – and the event was just as excellent as I remembered it. The drive up there, even more so; please bear with all my out-the-window shots as I was completely enthralled by the scenery along the highway, but there was rarely room to pull over and take a proper photo (plus I never would have made it home). 😉

Although I didn’t intend to bring any souvenirs, I did manage to return with a horrendous allergy/cold/flu (swine?) but had a worthwhile trip despite not being able to hear or sleep or breathe for most of it, and managed to confirm a few things for myself:

  • My Z is a fantastic car. Besides being totally sexy, it is just brilliant to drive (finally getting the new suspension settings where they should be surely contributed to that) and the 700 miles I logged this weekend flew by, bringing me home all too soon. I can sit in that driver’s seat for literally hours without even considering a break, and while there are things I’d love to fix, I’m extremely happy with where it’s at right now. I guess it’s just nice to validate that all the hard work and money are worth it – and they are. 🙂
  • I am good at traveling alone. A few weeks in a foreign country with a lonely hotel room and an expense account have taught me that it’s okay (enjoyable, even) to walk into a restaurant and request a table for one, and I’m resourceful and creative in finding ways to entertain myself in a strange town. Of course, I would have loved a roadtrip companion, but I’m pretty experienced at flying solo and it’s something I do well. I like that about me.
  • I’ve got a crush on British Columbia. There’s a lot of it to love: all the rugged, dramatic, sweeping wilderness that I grew up surrounded by in Montana, but on a larger scale; all the lush cascade rain forests of Washington, but with more sunshine; wide open highways and a driving populace that knows how to “stay right except to pass”; the metric system (it’s easier to use, people). Everytime I’m up there I find another reason to go back, and Kelowna is definitely on the short list of places I’d like to “keep an apartment” someday.

The other thing I learned this weekend is how quickly my dual-battery grip is exhausted running the autofocus on AI Servo… so I didn’t shoot as much of the race as I would have liked to. On the bright side, that left me time in the afternoon to actually just enjoy it as a spectator, rather than through the lens (and halfway up a tree). Next year, though, I’ll have battery reserves for the late afternoon, and two working nostrils so I can stay for Sunday’s runs, too.

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