Monday morning, July 7 at 0915, Ross & Marge drove out the Kamloops RV Park headed for the Canyon Farms RV Park in Kelowna, British Columbia, a distance of about 120 miles. There a couple of routes that they could have taken and the route they decided to take was via the Coquihalla Highway, otherwise known as BC Highway 5 and BC Highway 97C. It is the longest route but a route they have not traversed previously.
If any of you watch the Weather Channel you may have watched a series program called “Highway to Hell”. It is a program about winters one the Coquihalla and a towing company that has the job of keeping the Coquihalla clear when accidents occur. It is the primary highway between Hope, BC and Kamloops, BC and towns in the far northern parts of British Columbia. The highway between Hope and Kamloops is extremely steep in many parts and at the summit there is a long section that is an 8.5 percent grade that is several kilometers in length as well as numerous grades of 6.0 percent. Storms occur frequently without warning and several sections are equipped with avalanche sheds because of the danger of avalanches. However, not all avalanche areas have sheds which makes it a very dangerous place trying clean-up large truck and trailer accidents during the winter months.
The route taken by Ross and Marge was the upper section only between Kamloops and Merritt, BC where they turned east on highway 97C. Highway 97C is also a high mountain highway that is subject to sudden weather changes but since it is the middle of the summer sudden weather changes that would include ice and snow were not much of a worry. However this highway has some very long 6.0 percent grades but none in excess of 6.0 percent.
Weather was Chamber of Commerce type weather. It was sunny with a few high cumulus clouds, no wind to speak of and the temperatures were warm but not hot. The roadway on both the Coquihalla and highway 97c were very good, with very smooth surfaces and very manageable curves but the recommended speeds for some of the curves dropped to 40 km/hr.
The terrain once they left the city limits was heavy forests with wide and well maintained clear areas from the road to the forest with what appeared to either cattle or moose fencing. There are no sizable towns and no fuel or service between Kamloops and Merritt, a distance of just under 100 kilometers. There were signs waning drivers to check their fuel supply before proceeding further.
Ross & Marge arrived in West Kamloops around noon time and they were at the campground at 1230. Canyon Farms RV Park is a very unusual RV park. It has only 8 full service campsites and one dry campsite that has nothing but space. The property is a working farm with chickens that produce eggs that the owners sell as well vegetables produced by the areas under cultivation. The owners provide a plastic pail and ask you to please collect food scraps that are then feed to their chickens and too collect your coffee grounds which are then recycled into the soil. They also collect any cans, glass, and paper for recycle in the towns recycle program.
This is far and away the quietest campground that Ross & Marge have ever used. There is an adjacent golf course that is of no use to Ross but anyone that is so inclined is welcome to play on the course. There are hiking trail all around the Kelowna area and an 18 kilometer trestle trail that is made up of what was originally a railroad bed. The original wooden trestles were destroyed in a forest fire that occurred sometime in the early 2000 years but the trestle have been rebuilt and the trail is open to hikers, bicycles and possibly horses. It is no longer a working railroad and the old tracks have been removed. Someday Ross wants to stay in Kelowna long enough so he can hike the entire length of Trestle Trail.
The primary reason for visiting Kelowna this time was to visit a nursing classmate of Marge’s. Grace and her husband Wayne just returned from a river cruise in Europe on the 2nd. Both Grace and Wayne caught colds on the cruise and so we did visit on Monday because of medical appointments. Tuesday morning Grace visited us at the campground and that evening Ross and Marge were invited to their home for dinner. Their home is located on the golf course that is adjacent to the campground and both Grace and Wayne play golf almost daily. This afternoon the four of us are meeting at the restaurant at the golf course for lunch.
Ross & Marge would recommend this campground to anyone visiting Kelowna. The owners are extremely friendly and cooperative. Reservations can be made online but Ross & Marge wanted to pay cash so Ross sent an email to the owner and expressed their desire to pay cash upon arrival and all they asked was for Ross to provide a credit card number and it would not be run through unless they did not show up. There are very few campground operators that will do that for anyone.
Tomorrow morning Ross & Marge are leaving Kelowna and they will be crossing back into the US.
That is all for now,
Ross & Marge