Tuesday, July 7, 2009

exploring close to home...

Our province has much to offer...something I was reminded of once again as we travelled a few hours inland last week. We spent a several nights camping in Oliver...which lies on the northern edge of the Great Basin Desert.

Once a gold-mining centre...this town is now surrounded by vineyards...and is known as the capital of wine country.From our campsite...
...we looked out over a vineyard...and the adjacent temple which is the centre of worship for many of the farm workers in the area. A short bicycle ride away...
...lies Tinhorn Creek Estate Winery, which we have toured on previous occasions, so we passed on by this time. Our bike ride took us on down country lanes...

...past laid back farms where tourists normally don't venture.

Don't let the green fields fool you...irrigation can do wonders...even in Canada's only desert. This area receives less than eight inches of rain annually...and so the plants and animals that are native to this area are not found anywhere else in the country. They are actually the same as those found in the higher elevations of the Mexican portion of this desert.

To me they are all mystery plants...but they do have a beauty of their own...

...blooming out here in the desert.

Now here is a plant I have no trouble identifying...if not by the blooms...

...then definitely by the sweet aroma. It seems the arid conditions are quite perfect for growing lavender...although I'm not so sure how lavender fares with the cold winters that are often part and parcel of the Canadian desert climate.

What we were quite happy not to see while in the area...was a rattlesnake. We have it on good authority that they are plentiful in this region.
As we travelled home from our little desert vacation...we passed through Keremeos...

...a vibrant agricultural community in the Similkameen Valley of British Columbia.

We chose to travel the Hope-Princeton Highway...and knew we would be sharing the road with lots of bikers. It is a twisty, curvy highway that winds it's way through the mountains...and passes through Manning Park with all it's breathtaking scenery.

As we neared home...the desert was long forgotten...and we saw the familiar mountain peaks once again.

We are planning to take another vacation in our province later this summer...an RV'ing trip to Vancouver Island. It's fun to explore close to home...there are many treasures nearby that I have yet to see!

And...speaking of travel...there's a new travel website out there thay you might just be interested in. Have you heard of Ruba Travel? The website was just launched recently...and is made up of pictures and travelogues of ordinary traveller's...just like you and me. I only became aware of the site when contacted by their editor to see if I would be willing to have my San Antonio post featured on their website. Why not? If you want to take a vacation and are looking for a little inspiration...or information...check them out!

Have a terrific Tuesday!


  1. Your Province is certainly a very scenic part of Canada, Judy! It looks like a wonderful place to explore.
    I've learned a lot from your local trips -- I never knew that there was a desert there and vineyards and so many beautiful parks. I'm looking forward to seeing your future Vancouver Island vacation trip.

    Ruba Travel sounds interesting..I'll visit that web site next! Thanks!

  2. Like Pat, I did not know there was desert land in Canada. I enjoy the blogs that show these things and yours in great. Thanks for the Ruba Travel info. Also www.natgeo.com is a good place to submit pictures and if they pick one of yours it will go in one of the magazine issues. They list the daily dozen and that is a lot of pictures. I visit it every day. Blessings

  3. Your photos reminded me of what I saw this past weekend...photos stored in my mind, because I forgot the camera! I love traveling the mountainous highways, listening to praise songs that point us to our Creator.

  4. That is one of our favorite 'local' drives. Many a time we have been the bikers, hubby looking forward to every curve in the road and me not so sure I like what is coming. Pedal biking in the rural areas of the dessert is something we must try. Thanks for hte link to Ruba travel, I will check it out. Kathy

  5. Your photography has certainly captured the beauty and majesty of your part of the world. Oh, and thanks for the travel site alert; I'm going to go take a look.

    CT and I have decided our next vacation will be to someplace here in the states...there is so much to see here close to home, as you have also found.

  6. Oh yeah! Your San Antonio posts were fabulous! You totally let the secret out of the bag about that place.

    Of course the best kept secret in America is SLC. Come visit here....if you can keep a secret!

  7. Oh wow! Congrats on being featured at the new web site and why not indeed? You do such a marvelous job giving all these amazing tours. Yup, it's very pretty country you enjoy in your country. I hope to see it for myself one day.

  8. What an honor to be asked by Ruba Travel to use your blog post for their website. I will definitely check it out. My husband and I would love biking on the roads that you pictured. I am so thankful you include info on your vacations, since I have not been to any of these locations. I am learning so much. Thanks friend.

  9. I love that road, Judy. That's the way we go to Creston, and looking at your picture made me think that it's been too long since we made that trip.

  10. You are becoming a real tourist expert. I think they should pay you for your travels and then you could both retire and become plan tourist excursions....Yea for you!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson