Press pause: And all the family…

We spent a week in Naramata camping with 42 of my cousins, siblings, aunts, and uncles, and one dog.

We swam in the lake, toured the local wineries, cooked our meals together, and applied sunscreen generously to our (mostly) pale bodies.

And I spent two days working (not pictured).

The weather was beautiful but it was hazy because of the nearby wildfires.

Everyone gets a turn cooking on this trip. I made barbecued corn, potatoes and kabobs. Then barbecued local peaches for dessert.

The leftovers were great with oatmeal for breakfast the next day.

My aunt and uncle took us out on their zodiac boat to visit a rainbow trout hatchery across the lake.

Rewind Day 1: On the Kettle Valley line

We packed up all our things and left Vancouver early in the morning. But our summer adventure wasn’t quite over yet.

With a small 3-car convoy, loaded with siblings, cousins, and one large dog, we headed back to the Okanagan.

By then, forest fires had been burning for a number of weeks in the Okanagan, and the Croswnest (Highway 3) was closed due to fire. We took the Coquihalla (Highway 5).

The main difference is that the 3 is curvier, and the 5 is steeper and faster (120km/hr).

When it was first built, my dad took us out on the new highway “just to check it out”.

My most hated feature: when the driver ahead of you slows down going through the snowsheds. Noooooooo!

We had a pick nick in Hope in that park we always stopped in on every single childhood road trip ever.

We drove all the way to Lake Okanagan.

Some stats:

  • Eagles: 5
  • Clear cut: 1
  • Open pit mine: 1
  • Total distance: 7100 km

And how did my hippy dad find the Coquihalla? “Far out” of course.

Day 9: Lotusland

We left the Okanagan early, but stopped off in Oliver at one of the wineries to buy a case of local wine.

We also stopped in Keremeos to get fresh peaches and cherries.

Then we started the trek through the Coastal Mountains and the Fraser Valley.

I have never been quite so happy to see the Port Mann Bridge.

Then to my sister’s for a yummy dinner and bed.

Now you might think that we’d be done, but not quite yet…

Some stats:

  • Eagles: 3
  • Badger crossing: 1
  • Strip mine: 1
  • Total distance: 5300km
  • Day 8: Wine country

    Waking up unexpectedly in Cranbrook was much better than I could have predicted.

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    Sunrise in Cranbrook

    I got one of those cheesy tourist guidebooks for Canada. This was mostly to be sure to have some “sure thing” restaurant choices along the way.

    My guide book describes Cranbrook as an “uninspiring” service town. But our breakfast at the Best Western was delicious! The blackout curtains did just that. And we set off bright and early to complete our winding mountain road journey.

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    In the West Kootneys

    Most scary moment: passing the hull of a burnt out car on a hairpin turn.

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    Wildflowers near Princeton
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    West Kooyneys
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    Forest

    We made it through the West Kootneys and into the South Okanagan Valley in time for dinner.

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    In the Okanagan

    It was 36 degrees, dry, and sunny. We spent most of the rest of the daylight hours (and then some) in my cousin’s pool in Osoyoos.

    And even though I could only see them from the wrong side, I could definitely tell that those were “my” mountains on the horizon.

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    Those are my mountains

    It was the perfect antidote to an extra day in the car.

    Some stats:

    • Beaver dams: 3
    • Bear poo: 1
    • Bee farm: 1
    • Deer: 1
    • Burned out hull of a car on a hairpin turn: 1
    • Eagles: 2
    • Total distance: 4895 km