Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny and I was restless. I just had to get out of the condo and do something! Anything. It was a perfect day for a road-trip, a contact-free road-trip staying within my approved region in keeping with the British Columbia COVID restrictions. (Sigh!)
I quickly assembled a few necessities; camera, credit card for gas, water and snacks for both Sparky and me, his water bowl and leash, my sunglasses and off we go. We headed north to Summerland, stopping at one of our favourite places to allow him a last chance to pee before we hit the mountainous, four-lane Coquihalla Highway with its limited places to stop for a puppy-dog pee break.
We arrived in my old home town, Merritt, population 7000, around ten in the morning. I did a quick tour driving past our house on Merritt Avenue, the claybanks swimming hole, and the compact downtown area. I spent my teenage years in this town and for me it was a great place to grow up. I walked everywhere with my large white mutt, never worrying about my safety and always able to find a friend or two to hang out with.
|Martina, Reba, Carrie|
That event petered out in 2012 and was replaced with the Rockin' River Music Festival attracting stars like Keith Urban, Jon Pardi, and Travis Tritt. Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, everything is on hold for the time being.
|Nicola Stock Farm|
From Merritt, I headed north towards the well-preserved remains of the Nicola Stock Farm that was started in 1919. A stately manor, the courthouse, and a few other smaller buildings still remain. When I was a teenager the ranch manager and family lived on site, but now it is part of the massive Douglas Lake Ranch encompassing about 271,000 acres of land. The remaining buildings are a tourist attraction that can be viewed from the outside.
Our next brief stop was at the Quilchena Hotel, just a little further up the road. Again this was once an independent and well-known ranching family's property which has been folded into the Douglas Lake Ranch. The hotel, restaurant, and golf course have recently closed due to a lack of business caused by travel restrictions and a drop in tourism. It's a lovely old place that as a kid fascinated me.
From Quilchena, I drove along the shores of the Nicola Lake towards Kamloops. At the entrance to Kamloops, I turned south along the other arm of the Coquihalla Highway and headed back to Merritt. When I'm on a roadtrip I like to stop frequently and explore, or take photos and by the time we turned south we had been travelling for five hours. My little buddy was tired of being in the car. His tummy was upset and he just wanted to go home.
I hardly stopped at all on the return trip, but even so, we were eight hours on the road by the time we got back. And we didn't have contact with anyone except the drive-through person who handed me a cup of coffee in Merritt.
I loved the drive, but I miss the human contact. I can't wait until these restrictions end.
Lynda and The Sparkinator
Love, lust, and loot in the affluent world of wine and wineries.
Corked, is the newest murder mystery from the author of the exciting Isla Mujeres Mysteries. Murder follows Jessica Sanderson and her detective dog Sparky as they relocate from their Caribbean paradise in Mexico to the Okanagan wine country in Canada. On Isla Mujeres, big changes are coming for Jessica’s friends as the COVID19 virus gains momentum. Leaving her beloved island Jessica follows her new love interest, Mike Lyons, into a new adventure.