My goal was to visit Kelowna, British Columbia. My cousin, on the Brown side, had been born, raised and was still living there and I knew he had done a great deal of research on the family down from William Brown and Alice/Elsie Tymond. His line is the line of Matilda Jane Brown Clement a sister to my great-grandfather Richard Brown.
We headed east from Surrey to Abbotsford and then north to Chilliwack. There was this jagged pointed mountain that loomed ahead of us.
After Chilliwack is the town of Hope. At this point you see signs encouraging you to get gasoline. My Streets and Trips had 63 miles from Hope to Merritt. Sorry but I am not into Kilometers yet! I did not realize that we would be climbing up to the Coquihalla Pass at 1244 m and there would be road side chain up areas. There was snow on the ground but fortunately the road was clean and bare. It is amazing country. I am going to try for some pictures on the way back.
We arrived in Merritt about 12 noon so we stopped for lunch at a local pub on the main street. My hubby became interested in the TV screens with the card game and borrowed $2.00 (toonie) from me. He played a few hands. It was simulated with a carton flavor. After our lunch we headed to the Nicola Valley Museum and Archive. There were these amazing murals on the outside of the building. Unfortunately they are not open on the weekends. So we decided that me might try again on the way back.
Merritt is nestled in this bowl surrounded by hills that still had some pine trees on them. There was this giant lumber yard in the center of town with piles and piles of logs. Our waitress looked like she might be what we call in the State’s Native American but here they refer to it as First Nation.
The road to Kelowna was Hwy 97c and we headed east and again we climbed to another pass and it was another 60 miles. It was a good highway with very little traffic. The landscape reminded us of the Spokane area of eastern Washington. I felt very high up but the hills were more rounded with groupings of pine trees. The fencing along the road was a tall wire mesh rather than barbed wire and it stretched on for miles.
We made great time and arrived in West Kelowna about 3:30 pm. We went from no traffic to a busy city environment. My hubby spotted signs for wineries so we took a turn off the highway and came to the Volcano Hills Winery. They had a nice store and tasting room. We liked their white wines and bought two Gewürztraminer.
We didn’t remember how we got to the winery so we followed this road that took us back to the main road and across the floating bridge and over Lake Okanogan. It is a natural lake.
My first impression of Kelowna was a busy main street much like Aurora at home. There were lots of stores, hotels, restaurants, highrise buildings, and more. Houses are perched on the surrounding hills.
Hwy 97 heads east and then curves to the northeast and up past the Kelowna International Airport. Duck Lake comes up on the right. I did spot a few ducks on the marshy area at the south end.
It was not too hard to find the Holiday Park Resort because they have this huge boat with sails out front announcing the resort. My hubby was telling me that they found this ship at the bottom of the lake, pulled it out and restored it. Later the resort purchased it for their welcoming sign.
Holiday Park Resort is huge and is nestled on the north end of Duck Lake. It is about 15 minutes from downtown Kelowna. Check-in was quick and fast. We found our condo and it is really nice with one bedroom but very roomy. The resort has two activity centers with an exercise room. There is not much in the grocery store just enough to get by. They do have a restaurant. Next door is another restaurant named Ricardo’s. The resort is not yet into the summer season so the pools are not ready to be used. It seems to be a combination of condo’s, permanent trailer park and trailer sites for those that come and go. It was full when we arrived but not so much a few days later. I am pleased, it is a very nice place to visit and stay.
My cousin and I made arrangements to meet at a local restaurant for dinner in the middle of Kelowna. He was waiting in the lobby. A tall man with a beard and white hair, just like he said. We hugged and settled in at a booth. I believe we talked about everything: family, Canada, our trip up, his family, my hubby’s family and more.
Bob had us follow him to his home which was not too far away and we were introduced to two tuxedo cats named Issy and Ozzie. They were very friendly. Bob is a collector of antiques and his house was nicely arranged to present his many finds. There were many wonderful family photos on the wall as well. We talked some more!
It was a lovely end to a long but beautiful day.