It was time to say our goodbyes and head back home. It had been a busy week but I was very pleased. Getting to know my cousin, Bob Hayes, had been fun and meeting some of the other cousins at lunch was a lucky blessing.
I found a gift shop in the Town Centre on Bernard Avenue and purchased my T-Shirt featuring the Okanagan Lake monster Ogopogo in a nice stamped design rather than the more bold colors I was finding.
I love a good legend and this is what Wikipedia has to say about this story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogopogo
No sightings of the creature as we crossed the bridge on our way west!
We left Kelowna in the rain. The climb up into the mountains on Hwy 97C back to Merritt is steep and long. Fortunately we left the rain behind until we hit below Hope. It seems like you are on the top of the world when you get up to the Pennask plateau. Try Google images for more on this very interesting scenery which is very different from the Coquihalla pass.
We arrived in Merritt and immediately headed for the Nicola Valley Museum and Archives and this time it was opened.
The Nicola Valley Museum is very good. I was most impressed with the group photographs. They had taken the time to identify as many of the people featured on these photographs as possible. They covered sports, schools, families and more. They had a section on medical history and the nurses school that was in the area. My mom and aunt were both nurses so I am always interested in seeing a display like this one. They had a display of pioneer families, a wall of photos of those who served in the military and it was huge. There were oval portraits of the pioneer families and more. I do not have family in Merritt but it looks like there are good resources available.
They have an archive in the museum and it was suggested to call or contact them ahead so they could pull the materials. See my posted dated May 2, 2012: Surrey to Kelowna, British Columbia.
Try their website for more information: http://www.nicolavalleymuseum.org/index.html
We continued south on Hwy 5 to Hope. We would be driving the Coquihala Pass again. The traffic was heavier this time everyone was probably heading out for the weekend. British Columbia drivers are very nice but speedy. It is an amazing drive through this pass. You go up steady and steepily then down real quick. I encourage you to try Google images for you will be amazed. It is rugged country. Barnes & Noble has a book titled: Coquihalla Trips & Trails that might be very interesting to study, I am sure they have more on this topic.