Pronounced "Oh-sue-yuse" ... Canada's hottest city.

Last Saturday we decided to head out there on a road trip for sightseeing and photography. I have never been to this part of B.C. before except as a very young child so it was nice to see all these little towns and places that I just knew from reading. It took about 3 hours at our own pace and it turns out the Osoyoos is only 200 km from Merritt.

We passed through Princeton and Keremeos - both small towns but the largest on the way before reaching our destination. Going to Princeton is a lovely drive past small lakes, red cliffs and rugged forests.

Halfway between Princeton and Keremeos is the tiny little village of Hedley with loads of mining ruins high up on the mountains which are a major tourist attraction in the area. The highway parallels the Similkameen River which flows east and then south just after the town of Keremeos.
Keremeos and Cawston sort of blend into each other and are full of orchards - they are fruit growing communities just like the entire Okanagan region. Apple and cherry orchards as well as vineyards to name just a few fruits cover all the hill sides and are just starting to flower in Osoyoos which is seasonally about two weeks ahead of everyone else.

We are just a few kilometers from the U.S. border where the nearest town is Oroville, Washington. Just west of Osoyoos is Spotted Lake; a rather unique geological feature.

Bigger view at DA

Once we booked our room we headed east for about 40 km to the pull-out at Anarchist Mountain before turning back. The entire area looks like it's being developed into housing for rich or retired folks; the entrances to all the future sub-divisions are all laid out with big sculptures of wild life marking them. Moose, cougar, eagle...even a stature of a Sasquatch ( "Big Foot" ) !

We saw a lot of deer of the Whitetail variety which made my husband ( the hunter ) practically drool. We hoped to see wild turkey but didn't count on it so weren't to disappointed that we didn't find any. Had a great meal at the Ridge Brewing Company pub and then turned in for the night.

Bigger view at DA

In the morning we journeyed north towards Oliver and the magnitude of the fruit growing industry really starts to hit you here.There isn't that much room to expand an operation on the west side of the Okanagan River/waterway and an aerial shot of the region shows this very clearly; it seems as if these are mostly small growing operations.

Bigger view at DA

Just outside of Oliver we turned west onto the old Fairview Road which looks like it has been recently graded to facilitate the development of more residential properties. The road wound through though the mountains and came out in the back of Cawston. We took a detour up 3A which runs north of Keremeos towards the Okanagan but only as far as the Yellow Lake pull-out before turning around. There is a town called Olalla along the highway which is where I photographed mountain goats.

Stopped at Bromley Rock Provincial Park which is a gorgeous place along the Similkameen River before finishing the drive home. All in all a nice weekend. :)


Shooting, Sandwiches, And The River

Been a busy week...especially with stuff related to my husband's fields of interest.
He's a C.O.R.E. instructor in B.C. (Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education) which means he along with several other instructors were busy on the range last weekend educating a new batch of hunters on proper firearm handling, hunting ethics etc.
I went along to shoot pictures of course but also a .22 long range!

Bigger view at DA

It was one of those super-nice days in Merritt- sunny and warm. There were quite a few people there for the course - one of them as young as 10 I believe. All afternoon was the sound of rifles hitting targets and at one point- ironically- the shooting had to stop because there were 4 deer in the firing lane!
Stupid animals. Completely oblivious to what was going on...on the other hand it's quite possible they knew they were safe since you can't hunt right in the range as far as I know.

Bigger view at DA

A few days later I visited my sister in Surrey to see her new place- and drool over her lovely new furniture. She and her boyfriend splurged on a new LazyBoy couch and chair. The center rest of the sofa folds down to form a table for drinks and what-not and of course the bottoms pop up to rest your feet on! We got a hold of my brother and the 3 of us decided to check out the 'sandwich nazi' as he calls himself.

O.K. I have to say this. The guy is Lebanese and talks non-stop filth directly to his customers- in a hilariously gracious kind of way! I never heard so many jokes about prostates and equal opportunity sexual encounters in my life.
I seriously mean non-stop...my sister and I let two guys go ahead of us in the line while waiting for my brother to show up. He treated them all to his brand of humor as well as us when we finally decided to order our 'sammies' since bro was late.
After we sat down and began to eat my brother showed up and we were listening to the banter at the till - especially how my brother was handling it ( we had heard of this place via word-of-mouth ) when something really funny happened:

I'm in the habit of swishing my drink quickly in my mouth when a bit of food goes under the lip and over the gum- I suppose we all do that at some point- but I'm not in the habit of drinking soda and didn't think about it when I swished.
The fizz from the soda kind of shocked me and the expression on my face must have been odd because I looked up at my sister- who had been listening to all the disgusting conversation at the till- and she must have got her wires crossed at that point because suddenly the orange soda she had been drinking came pouring out of her mouth! She was laughing so hard I saw it coming out of her nostrils as she bowed her head down trying to hide it- Fat Chance! I had never seen her do this and was scrambling for paper towels and we were howling so hard with laughter that Salem - the sandwich maker- was yelling to the back of the room "What?! What?!"

I finally managed to tell him what happened - but it took about 5 tries- I think he thought maybe one of us had choked. My brother of course said "Did you get a picture?" I wish!

Bigger Picture ( of sandwich! ) at Photobucket

Here's a link to a video someone posted on Utube but I WARN YOU HE DOES SOMETHING PERVERTED. SERIOUSLY- I don't know why the video is even up but there you go. Thinking about it now I still have to say that he made us some of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten. And he washed his hands about 8 times while we were there.

We had a good time together and then I left rather early because I didn't want to take the Coquihalla back- it's light enough for longer that I could spend the extra hour and take the Canyon way back home where I DID get more pictures.

A chunk of the Fraser River
Bigger view at DA

As well, on the weekend, was the black powder shoot out at the range. I will leave it for my husband to post pics on his site- that was fun too with everybody in period clothing from the colonial times. I did buy two drinking glasses made from real horn!