Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Helllooo, I'm Home!

Hello, it's so nice to be back!  We had such fun and I enjoyed every moment of our trip!  Our first destination was Loon Bay Resort, nestled on  pristine Sheridan Lake and run by a wonderful Swiss couple.  Wild life was easy to spot, and we often saw deer, bison, eagles and on one drive, I spotted a young black bear not too far from the edge of the road. 
This area was my favourite of the three we visited.  The beauty in this part of BC is spectacular, there are wildflowers everywhere, poplars and birch trees, gleaming lakes and streams.  We could hear the call of the Loons, mostly at sunset and watched baby ducks trailing after their mama's along the water's edge.

Our next stop was Barkerville, an old Gold Rush town from the 1860's that has been preserved as British Columbia's largest living museum.

We spent two days visiting this National Historical site.  Highlights of our trip included a tour of Chinatown, an old fashioned stagecoach ride, gold panning, and having our photo taken at Louis Blanc's photography gallery.  I think hubby and the boys look quite dashing!


Our next destination was Shuswap Lake in the interior of BC.  The devastation caused by the pine beetle is evident along our route.  These little pests have caused a huge percentage of  the pine forests to become gnarled and grey skeletons of trees, and they stretch as far as the eye can see.  It seems like we are travelling amongst a tree graveyard.  There are still spectacular views along the way, and we pass mountains, ranches and beautful lakes.  Shuswap lake is huge, and is surounded by cottages and resorts.  We spent some time at the beach, went to the farmers markets and played mini golf.  Most days were cloudy and chilly, and we were all ready to leave when our stay was up.

 For the last leg of our journey, we headed to Osoyoos.  Our trip took us through picturesque towns and farmlands, where horses and cattle dotted the hillsides.  We stopped at the Village Cheese Company, where you can watch cheese being made and sample dozens of varieties of the cheese they produce.  Cheese is my favourite food, so I had a bit of a heyday tasting them all, and then trying to decide which ones to buy.  We ended up with seven different ones as well as some smoked salmon marianated in a wine sauce.  Yummy!
Anyway, Osoyoos is a little resort town that is situated around a lake in the middle of a desert.  Fruit orchards and vineyards grow up the sides of the mountains and their greenery is stark against the barren hills.  It is the perfect temperature in summer, hot sunny days, and cool breezy nights.  But winter can get extremely cold, and temps can plummet to -40 celsius.
I finally decided to be brave and try out one of the canoe's my hubby had built, and we spent hours paddling around enjoying the views from the water.  Wish I had tried it sooner, I'm hooked and I'm looking forward to paddling around as much as possible while the weather is good!

Our trip finally came to an end, and every moment was enjoyed to the fullest.  We really wanted to make this trip special for the kids, they're getting older and soon both will graduate and move on to doing their own things.   Gotta enjoy them while you can!