Wines, snakes and desert


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North America » Canada » British Columbia » Osoyoos
May 9th 2008
Published: May 9th 2008
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Hello, hello!

We are working very hard, continuously, to obtain our experiential degree of leisure arts and travel. It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it!

So, we left off at Revelstoke. We said good bye to Loreli and Brant and continued our journey back down the #23 south back to the Ferry crossing, connected to Hwy #6 west and crossed Lower Arrow Lake via another ferry from Fauqier to Needles.

Our campsite was again quiet at McDonald Creek Provincial Park. Wow. Spectacular view with the lake and mountains. Lots of beautiful cedar trees in this part of the country. Beautiful western red cedar. The air was nice and fresh in the morning and we strolled along the deserted beach, the water was like glass, good for photos.

We could see patches of tree removal on the mountains here, mostly from the salvage project to save trees from the pine bark beetle. Quite significant. I’m sure some other patches are actual clear cutting for the many lumber yards around BC.

Driving towards Vernon we drove thru some small towns, hitting a Flea market in Lumby where we bought organic basil and oregano for our many
Sutherland FallsSutherland FallsSutherland Falls

In Blanket Creek Prov.Park
yummy meals on the road, and a lady gave me 2 organic apples for free because we were only buying two of them, nice. We also hit a yard sale in Coldstream where we found a plastic box to fit between our seats for holding pamphlets and brochures--for the places we will be seeing!

Now we were in the Okanagan Valley where everything was in full bloom, the heat was on, and the air dry. We did a hike at the Kalamalka Prov.Park in Vernon where people were at the beach already. The Fauna here is amazingly different once again! Semi arid, grasslands, ponderosa pines, rattlesnakes (still didn’t see any). As there was still snow patches on the mountain tops, the winds were cool, but you could easily get sunburnt. We wore sandals and sunscreen! We ran into some people we had met at the hot springs (from England, visiting with friends in Vernon, and traveling to Vancouver).

From Vernon we took a secondary hwy to Fintry Prov. Park (towards Kelowna) where we stopped for the night. The campsite was the busiest we’ve seen. It was a Sat night and people here are already camping for the season. There was a boy scout group in group camping which was a tad rowdy but died down before dark. An unlikely character hung out with us during our supper....a marmot. Larger than a squrrel, perhaps smaller than a beaver. We were so looking forward to a shower after our hot walk that day....they were supposed to be hot.....they were not....the evening air was warmer than my shower! ooh, aah, ooh, aaah!....was all you could here from my stall and a bit of ____$%^^%$##@@@!!!! A pretty set of waterfalls was at the end of a short but lots-of-stairs hike, with a heritage site down below. Some dude had engineered an ingenious way to harness the water to generate power for his house and community via a suspended du-hicky-thingy! Cool, eh? We also got the bikes out and explored the campground. The lake was calm and relaxing as we stopped to take in the view.

On our way towards Osoyoos the next day, we winded our way south from Kelowna using the #33 hwy (the quieter route). When we arrived in Osoyoos, the valley opens up to an amazingly pretty site. Rolling desert-like hills full of sage-brush and grassland, with a lake in the middle. The town is built all around the lake. Canada’s only pocket desert. We parked up at Hayne’s Point Provincial Park which is a peninsula that jots out into the lake, full of birdlife, squirrels, and no mosquitos! California Quail are only found in this area of Canada.

In the late 1800’s this desert land was converted into orchards of fruit. Just add water! Many wineries dot the entire Okanagan Valley from here and north thru Penticton. The aboriginal Okanagan people also have a lovely reservation with a cultural centre and winery. They also own many acres just north of here in Oliver where more grape orchards are grown for some of the finest wines in our country. A very interesting gem of history exists here in Osoyoos when in the mid 1900’s, there was a non-residential school that embraced their native culture into the students’ learning. There was no suppression of their culture during the time of the special teacher’s (Walsh, I think) employment there. How refreshing to hear such a thing. This teacher even sent his students’ drawings of the good life on the reserve to competitions in London, England where they always won
Pink sunset coloursPink sunset coloursPink sunset colours

at Mcdonald Creek Prov.Park
awards. Some of these drawings still are on display at the Cultural Centre here in Osoyoos.

That evening was very windy. We played yatzee in the van and Dave kicked my butt. I blame it on the wine-tasting we did at the two wineries we visited. (boo-frickety-hoo, right?)

So we drove up to Penticton on the 97 North where we are staying right now. A big thank you to Kathy and Dale for having us and all the great food, hospitality, especially the visit to the Chocolate Shop!!! yum!!!! I even learned how to dragon-boat! Very good for the upper body! and a fun time with all the ladies! Thank you sooooo much, Kathy and Dale!!!! You guys are awesome!

We'll be in the Okanagan another few days and then we are off to the coast! Well, thanks for all your comments and messages! We enjoy hearing from all of you!

Gotta go and work on my assignment of exploring more desert in Penticton. Professor Dave can mark my progress!
Heehee!

Takin' it easy and may the force be with you all.
T and D



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our Marmot friendour Marmot friend
our Marmot friend

Fintry Prov. Park
Spotted LakeSpotted Lake
Spotted Lake

in Osoyoos. This lake is sacred land to the aboriginal people and has medicinal purposes for healing. It is one of the most strangest things we've seen.


10th May 2008

Theresa: Great blog day ! I remember Oosooyoos - loved it - have a picture of me in our rec room (on a rock overlookikng the valley) I've got NEWS ! Just landed a job with Stevens, the medical supplies company ! I start Thursday May 29th by flying to Calgary for a few days ! 60k, all expenses paid + bonus and commission ! Whoooooooooo friggin' hoooooooooooooo, baby ! My Mom and sister coming for a visit from May 22-29th, so I'm really looking forward to that ! Sad to leave the funeral business and U of M, but it's time to focus on one job. I also get to travel to Thompson 2-3 x per year, so we have to chat re: Churchill in fall etc. I'M SO PUMPED and relieved ! I"m going to email my friend Rheona in Salt Spring re: are you planning on going there ? Let me know and I'll see if she can hook up with you ! She has a bachelor apartment attached to a house, so I know she cannot accomodate; but I'm sure she'd love to meet you and show you around (I'd really like her to take you to her friend who is an artist - she's awesome !) Actually every 2nd person is an artist there..... I'll keep in touch ! Be safe ! Have fun ! Maureen :)

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