Monday, August 1, 2011
Lost & Found
Good morning from Penticton, British Columbia. The arid climate is wonderful—cool nights and mornings with warm, mostly sunny days. We left Leavenworth last Monday. That morning, we were awakened by thunder in the distance (is it 2 seconds for every mile?), and the rain followed shortly. Our rain fly worked well, so we stayed dry, then skipped breakfast and scrambled to get the tent down without getting too wet. We ended up at a little breakfast café called O’Grady’s where we ate, got lots of coffee refills, chatted with my dad on Skype, and uploaded pictures before I got jittery and was ready to go. The place itself was really beautiful, with a mostly finished wood interior, a gift shop attached through a hallway, and an organic garden out back, where they grow many of their herbs and produce fresh. They do tours on Saturdays at 4pm, if anyone reading ever makes it out this way. Rebs and I have dreamt about opening our own coffee shop someday. We both agreed that O’Grady’s would be a good place to model it after.
So as the rain continued to pour, we headed North toward Canada. After a brief stop to discard some peaches (you can’t bring produce across the border), we made our way into Canada, found a tourist information center and a map, then headed up to Penticton. First on our agenda was to see the climbing area, so we followed the road signs of a rock climber up a newly paved road to a newly paved parking lot. The climbing was a hike in, so we chose not to do it in the rain. Fortunately, there happened to be youth group of some sort just getting out of their vans. Fortuitous. We asked their leader where we might find a climbing shop and he directed us to a running store because he said there wasn’t any climbing shop in Penticton (hard to believe with over 1000 maintained routes in the park). So we headed down into Penticton to find the store, which happened to close around 4:30. We were an hour too late, but there was a bookstore next door, which happens to sell copies of the local guidebook. Yay!
Guidebook? Check! Place to stay? Hmm… It was still lightly raining and the thought of camping in the rain didn’t sound like fun, so we decided to go across the street and use the local coffee shop’s wireless to find a place to stay. Rebs did a bit of research and found a nice B&B that overlooks the city. Barb and Gary are two lovely people, (and quite resourceful too) having switched from the internet server business about 10 years ago and never looked back. We nestled into the Ruby Room for the night with some Domino’s Pizza, and what do you know, Rebs’ favorite show, “The Bachelorette”, happened to be on TV. I actually had to go wash my feet in the tub before dinner because I partially stained the bedspread with my dirty feet.
The next morning, we woke up late to sunshine and a beautiful breakfast on the back patio, refreshed and ready for climbing. Barb suggested we get out early to find a good camp site because the upcoming weekend was a holiday, meaning there’d be lots of people with the same idea as us: camp and enjoy the beautiful weather. So we headed to Okanaga Falls Provincial Campsite, but were about 3 minutes too late, pulling in right behind the car that took the last site. The Parks and Rec lady was kind enough to send us on to another site of similar quality about 10 minutes down the road. When we pulled into Vaseaux Lake, it looked like we might run into the same problem. As we were driving by, I had my window down and heard the lady in charge holler, “You girls might try site #9 at the end there. I think there is a couple just leaving.” (Apparently, I looked too much like a girl with my long hair). That site happened to be the best one of the whole lot, right on the lakeside with a spot for our tent nestled down by the water and away from the highway. Our prayer had been answered!
To be continued…
Posted by Dusty