Breakfast on the Lake
In my cozy van bed by the lake, I had been dreaming for some time that I was in Denver at my grandson’s rock band concert. The music was not very good and the bass and drum were too heavy. In my dream, I kept worrying how I would tell my grandson about this after the concert. About 4 AM I awoke realizing the music was real and not a dream. From the window by my bed I could see a pickup with a paddleboard overhanging the tailgate. I did not recognize the music, I think it might have been a recording of the driver’s garage band. I decided to get up and out of the van. Shortly after that, the pickup decided to leave. It was as if once he decided he had awakened at least one person, his work there was done.
I dawdled at the rest stop I had used as a campground enjoying the view. No one else commented on the music. When I was packing up to leave around 8 AM, the same truck returned. The driver unloaded his paddleboard and headed for the lake. He was approaching 50 years old-old enough to be mature enough to know better. Maybe he works nights.
I drove into the charming lakeside town of Peachland. I could stay here for a month of summer! There was a very good art show of local talent.
The gallery worker had been born and raised in the Denver area. After working in the oil fields of Texas and Calgary, they retired to Peachland. She misses the blue skies of Colorado. From November until May, the skies are overcast; the sun sets at 4:30 and does not peek over the mountains again until 8:30.
Summer Wild Flowers Everywhere
But, oh, the water of the Okanagan Valley
! This is such beautiful country. I don’t think I took enough good pictures of the fields, produce farms, vineyards, mountains, and lakes.
Perhaps because shortly after leaving Peachland you get in a stream of traffic stop and going at traffic lights. Imagine South Colorado Boulevard stretching for about 30 miles (or any LA street at rush hour for the same distance). Then have 25% of the traffic be motor homes and big RVs
I had planned on stopping and enjoying the small city of Kelowna, but strip malls are not on my list. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. The lady at the Peachland Visitor Center told me there would be similar traffic enroute to Banff and that Banff would be quite crowded with tour buses.
At Vernon, decided to head away from the crowds and take a cable ferry across Lower Arrow Lake at Needles.
In Line for Another Ferry
Waiting on Another Ferry
After leaving the ferry, there are Osprey nests on the power poles. At one point, I saw three fledglings’ heads sticking up out of the nest. There was no place to stop and take a picture. At the first pull-off, I confirmed the sighting on an information sign and with a carload of traveling retirees from Calgary.
We studied the upcoming events board at some length. I kept pondering what the activity of slopitch might be and thought I would stop and try to find out. Then, I decided it must be slow pitch softball! Which I now discover is called slo-pitch in Canada. What a difference a hyphen makes.
I'm Coming for the SlopItch
I decided to keep driving and just enjoy the scenery.
Hope I Can Find a Place to Camp on This Lake
I saw a small sign for Box Lake Recreation
area along the road. I pulled in and drove a narrow dirt road down the mountain side for about three miles.
Maybe Down This Road
I'll Take This Spot
This primitive campground was a true find. I hear the plaintive call of a loon. I only saw one and don’t think I hear one respond. The camp host told me there was a family of four that lived on the lake.
This is Where I Fill My Kettle
This is Where I Fix Breakfast
This is Where I Go
This is Where I Wash
Everyone in the campsite slept VERY late – except me. I had to wait a long time until someone woke up and opened my jar of peanut butter for me.
A Visit to New Denver
I spotted a dot on the map labeled New Denver
with a biking/hiking trail. I knew I had to stop here.
I was not disappointed. The original Caucasians of the area dubbed the town New Denver in 1891 because they were convinced it would prosper to be greater than Denver. Today, it has fewer than 1000 residents.
1896 Catholic Church
Sew Much More
Time To Do Some Laundry
sold a pamphlet that had been compiled by the 7th and 8th grade classes in 1944. It was interesting to see how they described the changes in their town and to see the changes that have occurred in my lifetime. It is only now that I am looking up these sites that I learn there is a Japanese Internment Memorial
in New Denver. Sorry, I missed that. When the pamphlet was written, it described the "accommodations with the attractive view" the relocated Japanese had been given, how industrious they were, how they respected education and set up a school within the compound for their children, etc. Of course, this was written midway through their internment.
Several visitors I met had been raised in New Denver and returned for their vacation each summer to visit family, swim, and enjoy catching up with old friends who did not move.
That's Canadian Dollars
Most residents' homes are in the 100-250 K. Some homes were listed for up to 700K, but I am sure those were vacation homes. I don't think many folks who live and work here can afford that for housing.
A Special Show Tonight
After hiking, biking, and enjoying the town all day, you could have attended a special show in town just for the night.
This was a magician and assistant traveling in a modified rig that is home and billboard. As small and messy as my van gets, I will take it any day over living in this rig with a python, rodents (both for magic purposes and as a food supply I imagine), and other Houdini-type regalia.
I thought about sticking around for the show, but decided to get out on the trail.
Rails to Trails
I soon discovered the Galena trail
was not at all like the Galloping Goose or the Lochside on Vancouver Island. This was a serious mountain biking trail. I decided to take a little hike instead of a bike ride.
It's A Mountain Bike Trail
This had been a narrow gauge track for trains supporting the mining in the area. At many times it was now about 18” of crushed rock hanging to the side of the cliff. I was glad I had I left my bike with the van.
That's a Raging River Down There
Tripped on That Root
I stumbled over a root in the path. Fortunately, it was in a wide place in the trail.
As lay there stunned and unable to move, I thought of a passage I had recently read in a book Bazil gave me for my birthday:
….One reason that some elderly can’t get up after a fall is that they actually been down on a floor for years! Another Day in the Frontal Lobe
, Katrina Firlik
As my arthritic knees and hips have stopped moving over the last two years, I keep limiting the yoga, Pilates, and other exercises. I vowed to start in again. I also recommend if you don’t exercise, at least practice getting up off the ground at least once a day.
The only thing broken was my new MP3 player that I had purchased the same day I bought my new camera to replace the one I dropped in Victoria, which, fortunately, was still in working order.
My whole right side was bruised and sore. My wrist and arm were slightly sprained from trying to stop the fall 1## pounds.
I had walked only about a mile, so returned to the van.
My right arm was so sore, I could barely turn the steering wheel.
I drove about 30 miles to take another ferry ride – as part of the Canada transportation system, this is the longest fee ferry ride in the world.
Little Ferry on the Longest Free Route
Guess I'll Just Stay Here Tonight
I struggled with the van until dusk started to descend and I found a marina on another beautiful lake or river where I spent the night with only two deer and a small flock of Canada geese.
Doe and Adolescent