Camping at Nk’Mip, Osoyoos, BC

October 15-18, 2018

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Back in April, we made a reservation at Nk’Mip (pronounced: ink-a-meep) for October 15-November 15 because we needed somewhere mild to settle before heading south. However, we no longer needed the reservation. Nk’Mip wouldn’t allow us to transfer our reservation to a friend and we couldn’t cancel and get our $100 deposit back. We love that campground, so we decided to head out in the Chinook and use up the $100. We got a site right on Lake Osoyoos. The weather was grand and the view was spectacular. We got in some hiking and biking and had a visit with Len and Marj, friends from our Airstream club.  Len and Marj are from Moose Jaw, SK, but they stay in Oliver, BC for the winter.  They took us out for a delicious dinner in town.

Paul de-oxidized and polished the Chinook:

Enjoying beautiful autumn weather at Lake Osoyoos:

Walking the trail in the park:

Little Joe:

We saw this tiny fiberglass egg with Saskatchewan plates in April when we were here, and it was here again!  It is significantly smaller than our boler.  Here is a link to factory website: Weis Craft Trailers

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Fall Colors on the Similkameen Rail Trail

October 2018

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The Similkameen walking and biking trail starts just west of Keremeos and extends east to Cawston. It used to be an old rail line but was converted into a trail. We started walking this trail regularly since October 5, the day after Daisy died. It gives us a private area to walk and talk about how much we miss our dear girl.

(Please click on a photo to enlarge.)

Lots of color

Finding geocaches and a llama

Happy Poppy

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More Day-Tripping

Late September 2018

We’ve spent quite a few days driving through the valley. We like investigating the provincial park campgrounds and walking trails. We also liked to give Daisy different views and chances to sniff new areas since we knew her time with us was ending.

If we leave our RV park and head west on Highway 3, the next town is Hedley. Beyond Hedley is Doug’s Homestead. Everyone raves about Doug’s pepperoni and jerky. We were disappointed to learn that the pepperoni is really pepperettes. However, it is very tasty. So, we asked Doug to make us dollar-sized pepperoni. Oh yeah! Perfect! Our pizza oven is back in business. We’ve made pizzas down at the fire pit in our RV park for anyone who showed up. One night, we made 6 pizzas! What fun!

Near Doug’s is the turn off to Old Hedley Rd. There are several provincial campgrounds there, so we often pack a picnic and head to a campground to watch the Similkameen River and let Poppy get out some zoomies and Daisy got to sniff.

Between Hedley and Princeton is Bromley Rock P.P. It has a nice beach and picnic facilities, but no camping.

After all the sniffing, the girls got pretty tuckered out.

The Similkameen Valley

Rugged. Rustic. Real.
This is the motto of the valley.

Here are some beautiful views of the valley that we now call our basecamp. (Does this make me a Valley Girl?) We have taken day trips along the Similkameen River, up the Old Hedley highway, along the Ashnola River, and up Apex Mountain. All of these are close by.

Along the Old Hedley Highway:

Near our RV park, along Highway 3

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Apex Mountain

A Taste of the Valleys

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Panoramic picture by Rick

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After we had settled into our park for a couple of days, our friends, Rick and Lynne, dropped by for a visit, so we had 2 atomic pods on our site! We had a fun time touring the local wineries and cideries in the Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys. Most of the wineries did not charge a tasting fee. Lynne and I were so happy that Paul and Rick took turns being designated drivers (or as my friend Brenda says, “devastated drivers”). Let the tastings begin!

View of Okanagan Lake from Naramata (NE of Penticton)

Of course, it wasn’t all about the wine and cider. We also visited a historic site in Keremeos: The Grist Mill. The miller was so passionate and animated. He is actually an architect who moved here to reconstruct the mill from bits and pieces. He studied other mills of the period and talked to every expert he could find. He was full of interesting stories about how they acquired parts for the mill. There were so many series of events that took place and they found actual parts from this original mill at local farms.

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The Grist Mill, Keremeos

One story was particularly interesting to me. A friend of the miller is a local artist. She had a desk that she had planned to use in her studio, but decided against it. She asked the miller if he would be interested since it was probably of the same vintage as the mill. He brought it back to the mill and the wood pieces of the desktop were the same size as the wood on the walls. OK. That was a nice coincidence . . . or so he thought. Then he considered where the original miller would have placed a desk. He could only fit it behind the door. When he put it in place, the water marks on the wall matched the shape of the desk! This was the original desk! This is just one of the many stories he told us.

You can buy flour milled here because it is fully operational. Of course, dogs aren’t allowed inside the mill, but they did allow us to sneak them onto the grounds.

 

From Prairie to Rockies to Valleys

September 1-6, 2018

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Back in April, we toured 2 RV parks in the Similkameen Valley (west of the Okanagan). We were looking to purchase an RV lot to satisfy the residency requirements in Canada. On the day we arrived back in Saskatoon, we got a call. A couple was selling their lot at one of the parks. They sent pictures and we bought it sight unseen. So, we’ve owned an RV lot in the Similkameen Valley since April, but we had never visited it until now (September). We are still officially Saskatchewan residents. We will decide next year if we want to officially become BC residents.

On Labor Day weekend, we started our trek west – Paul drove the truck and Airstream with Daisy, and I drove the Jeep with Poppy. We chose the northern route (through Edmonton) in order to visit our friends, Mary and Tony.

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Jasper National Park

This was the furthest I have ever driven. I have been known to nod off at the wheel (highway hypnosis – “you’re getting sleepy”), so I keep my trips to under 3 hours. Driving in the mountains with trees lining the highways is very hypnotic, but I kept that shiny atomic pod in my sight.

We knew that forest fires were still burning in BC, but didn’t expect them to be so close to our RV park. As soon as we turned onto Hwy 3 towards Keremeos, we could see flames and so much smoke!

What a warm welcome!

 

The Qu’Appelle Valley

August 24 & 25, 2018

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This scenic valley is located in southern Saskatchewan. It features rolling hills, the Qu’Appelle River and many lakes that the river feeds. It is a must-see for travellers to Saskatchewan. We stayed at Crooked Lake Provincial Park on Friday night. We were fortunate to get site 33, which is right on the lake and has little steps leading to the rocky shore. In true retriever fashion, Poppy bolted for the water as soon as we had parked the Chinook.

We arrived at noon, so we had all day to explore and relax. The smoke from the BC forest fires was still strong, but the lake was beautiful. We gathered wood for a fire, but Mother Nature had something else planned. While we were preparing dinner, the winds picked up and then the lightning, thunder, and rain came, so we hunkered down in the Chinook to eat and pass the evening.

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The next morning, we were greeted with much cooler temperatures. It was like autumn came during the night, which took us by surprise. Was it our imagination that leaves turned color overnight? Was it heat stress or cooler temperatures? Brrr.

We continued our scenic drive to Fort Qu’Appelle, which had been a Hudson’s Bay trading post.

We thought we would investigate the Lion’s campground in town, but when we arrived, police were down at the beach stringing up Caution tape. The beach and campground were crawling with police and paramedics. It did not look good. Sure enough, a woman had been found dead on the beach. No foul play is suspected. If she drowned, it wouldn’t be surprising because of the storm the night before and the windy conditions that day. The distressing situation is that the police cannot locate her 7-year-old son who had been with her. This happened on Saturday, and as of today (Friday), they still can’t find him. The family is frantic.

We continued on to Katepwa Provincial Park. We passed through the picturesque town of Lebret before reaching the park. Sadly, the park is day-use only. We walked the girls on the beach and saw a job posting for Poppy:

Lebret:

For the night, we ended up staying at an overpriced Regional park before reaching our basecamp in Wakaw on Sunday.

Big Quill Lake, on the way to Wakaw:

Now we will spend a few days winterizing our motorhome and securing everything in our shipping container. Then, we will head to our autumn basecamp in British Columbia.  What a summer it has been!