The B.C. Road Trip 2017
To start our summer off right, we took a road trip to central British Columbia at the end of June. Somehow everything fit into the Subaru and rocket box, even Grandpa Herman and his giant suitcase, so we headed for the border with NEXUS cards in hand.
Our first destination was the town of Armstrong where Herman's sister, Lenora, lives. Despite the "short cut" that Herman insisted we take over 16 km of dirt roads and farmland, we managed to eventually find the right road and arrive at Lenora's by late afternoon. We left Herman at her place for the week. But before heading out for our own week of camping, we met up with Lenora and Herman in nearby Salmon Arm for some "thrifting" at a local junk shop (one of Lenora's favorite hobbies), having lunch at Lenora's favorite smorgasbord and some visiting. We also made time for a visit with Herman's oldest sister, Venona, who lives in a retirement community in Salmon Arm.
Our second destination was Herald Provincial Park on Shuswap Lake outside of Salmon Arm. We set in supplies from the store, including Shreddies, dill-pickle potato chips, and Lonetree dry cider from the Okanagan, and headed for the lake. Later that night, Jill, Mark and Sadie arrived from Bozeman in the Sportsmobile to join us. Wyatt can't ever get enough of the Sportsmobile.
We relaxed, hiked, ate well, paddle boarded, rode bikes and scooters (and crashed a few times), took walks, watched birds, and listened to the osprey bring in the sunset each evening. Some of us also had dance parties, sleep overs, and watched Trolls multiple times.
Friday we broke camp and headed back to Armstrong to pick up Herman and take Lenora to lunch on her 86th birthday, and from there headed to our third destination: West Kelowna for a family reunion of Byron's mother's family. This reunion takes place every seven years or so, and this year there were at least four generations and more than 60 in attendance. Wyatt got to meet his first and second cousins (once removed) and do a lot of playing with the older kids in the pool, and talk about his favorite topic: Minecraft. The location for the reuion -- the Powers Creek Resort in West Kelowna -- was perfect with it's space to eat, visit, swim, and hang out. We enjoyed lots of stories and visiting, yummy food, and even a Canada Day celebration. It was my first experience celebrating Canada Day in Canada with my Canadians. They are a fine bunch.
Seeing Byron's cousin Sheila May was one of the highlights. She had been very close to Herman's wife, Esther, back in the days when Esther was working in Southern California as a nurse (long before she married Herman) and Sheila May was a college student.
Jill, Mark and Sadie also attended the reunion (Byron's mom and Jill's grandpa were siblings). And Jill and I managed to take a few hours one afternoon to check out a couple local wineries, including Off the Grid Organic Winery, complete with goats on the roof and a tasting room with bales of hay in the walls. We liked the wines.
On Sunday afternoon we left the reunion and headed west over the pass to Merritt -- the town where Herman lived for 24 years before he joined us in Seattle. A group of people in the church he had pastored for many years held a potluck in his honor on Sunday evening.
After a comfortable night in Merritt's newest motel and stop at the breakfast room, we embarked on the final leg of our 900 mile journey and headed home to Seattle with two flats of Lynden strawberries stashed on top of the lawn chairs.