Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Change is as Good as a Rest

At least that is how the old saying goes.  We went to Oliver last week.  Five nights away!  That is probably a first (the five nights) for this time of the year between Farmers Markets.  The Monday was a lot of rushing around, getting some ripe fruit in the freezer, me wanting to get stuff seeded in the garden before we left. Oh yeah, all the stuff I've been meaning to get done in the previous week....anyway we finally got underway in the afternoon and rolled in to Oliver about dark, which is about usual.

I'm not sure it was really a relaxing holiday.  And I don't think the change was as good as a rest, but at least it was a change.  We both haven't been to Oliver together, with the dogs, since early May.  Larry has been a couple of times on his own, but he only stays for two nights, and Cathy and I stopped in for two nights also on our way back from Ontario.  This was the first trip without Calli, which was a bit sad, but it is funny how you quickly adjust, and things are definitely simpler now.

The trip was all about fruit, and swimming.

Now you aren't supposed to take your backyard fruit to the Okanagan, there is the fear that you may spread something to the orchards there.  We were very careful.  The fruit was bagged and went straight into the house.  We peeled a lot of pears, and the peels and cores went into the compost bucket which we brought back home with us and dumped in our compost bin here.  The pears were either made into jam or went into the freezer.

The second day there we went on a road trip.  The weather was warm, well hot enough really, but amazingly, this time it was a few degrees cooler than the coast, which is backwards to the norm.  Not that we minded, not at all!  We had the car, which doesn't have air conditioning, and we took the dogs on our road trip, so we made three stops for them to swim so that they kept cool while we were driving.  There were a few walks added in as well.  We drove from Oliver to Vernon, which is a couple of hours, and then took a trip out to Lumby.  More than 20 years ago we had bought a 40 acre parcel there, forty acres of nothing but scrubby rocky land, a few trees along the front boundary, and three trees in the middle, and a wonderful view to the north.  We ended up selling it a few years later, but we wanted to see what had been done with the place since then.  It looked like they had managed to get a decent forage crop growing, it looked like a lot of alfalfa, and had built a house and shop in the middle of it, and that was it.  We didn't really regret not keeping it, except that it would be worth so much more now.  We drove around the Vernon area a bit, and somehow managed to spend ten hours out that day.   Vernon is on Kalamalka Lake, which is a beautiful turquoise colour, different shades in different spots, and changes colour depending on the light.

I took no photos on the trip, other than a few shots with the phone through the car window.  I've cropped out the concrete guardrail!  These two are of Kalamalka Lake on the way up, when I was closest to the lake.

This is Okanagan lake (and the tip of Larry's nose!) in the evening on the way home, and I was on the wrong side of the road.

Even that day, we managed to fit in something 'fruity'.  At the first swim stop at the boat launch along the highway at Vaseux Lake, I spotted some Oregon Grapes, so picked some of those.  The next couple of days were jam making days for me, four batches on Thursday and three on Friday.  Then on Saturday, I suggested that we walk the dogs in the same spot we had been on Tuesday morning.  I often have an ulterior motive when I suggest we go to a certain spot.  On Tuesday I had spotted bushes loaded with Oregon Grapes, so this time we went prepared with bags, and picked enough for me to make a batch or two of jelly.  On Friday I had picked the Concord grapes that are growing in our backyard there, and they will be jelly too.  

Thankfully on Saturday morning we didn't see any more of these.  This is one of two Great Basin Gopher snakes that were sunning themselves on the dyke on Tuesday.  

They didn't move. Freaky! This one was about a meter in length.  Apparently they can grow to over 2 meters!  Harmless, but sometimes imitate rattlesnakes when they are frightening.  Uggh.  We have never seen this before, but talked to another dog walker back at our cars, and one day she said she had counted 25 of them sunning themselves.  No thanks!

I'm sure the dogs enjoyed their time away, as they averaged two swims a day.  This one is in the Okanagan River, (the water is so clear, it is lovely) but they also swam in Vaseaux, Tucelnuit, and Okanagan Lakes, as well as a creek in Lumby.   Even I went in for a swim a couple of times.

We didn't get home until 5, and then it was into full market prep, and to bed about 1:30am, and up again at 5am on Sunday morning.  
 I think this week I need the 'rest' part ;-)


  1. Karen, I always enjoy your posts, and was happily reading along when I read, this was your first trip without Calli and my heart skipped a beat. I am so sorry. I had to scroll back to make sure it was true. You must think awful of me for not saying anything until now. Somehow I missed that post and didn't know about Callie. Glad you're doing okay. It's such a hard thing to go through, but we have no choice but to move on. Callie sure had a wonderful like with you and Larry. I will sure miss seeing her. Can't believe that weird looking snake! Yikes! Now you know how I feel! :)

    1. Aww, thanks. I wasn't keeping track of who commented about Calli, so no worries. I sure sympathize with you and your snake problems!

  2. Me again! I love the video! Glad you have those two to enjoy! That is such pretty clear water.

  3. Well the snake would have scared me half to death...or maybe an early death. It didn't look harmless to me. Loved to see Luna and Jake in the water! They were having fun. Hope you get some of that rest this week:)

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