To reach Vernon, I had to follow Highway 1 towards Kamloops and turn off before Salmon Arm. The road was full of trucks and cars and the busyness came as a shock after the quiet roads I had become accustomed to. Arriving at Sicamous, I went in search of coffee. I found a lovely park with beautiful scented roses but no coffee! My detour to Salmon Arm, another impressive small town, was worthwhile. After the not so wonderful but much needed beverage, I walked to Shuswup Lake and enjoyed an amble along a wetlands boardwalk where I learned that the large nest I had seen in Revelstoke belonged to an osprey. Visitors and locals alike were using the park next to the lake, and, after walking to the end of the long jetty, I joined them. I ate my sandwich whilst admiring the view. One man, possibly German, was trying out a drone with a camera attached and I shamelessly listened to the conversation he was having with a local. They were both photography enthusiasts so there was much discussion about expensive cameras and lenses. I was reluctant to move but still had some kilometres to cover. I eased myself off the bench and walked back to the car.
My next detour was at Enderby. On a whim, I turned off the highway and parked by the Shuswup river. There was a tempting track alongside it which I had to follow. It was a lovely afternoon for a walk! Enderby Cliffs dominated the landscape. This feature had caught my eye as I was driving. If only I had time for a hike! It is now a quiet town, but its economy boomed in the late 19th / early 20th Centuries, when it had a thriving flour mill, a logging industry and the railroad had arrived. I found the place intriguing and would love to have stayed and explored.
My motel in Vernon was on the busy main road but was a vast improvement in standard to my last accommodation. I settled in and was very comfortable. Surprisingly, the noise did not disturb me.
The following day, I had to return the car to Kelowna airport. It was quite a relief to hand it back with no damage. I was becoming paranoid about rental cars! Afterwards, I caught two buses into the city centre. As with all B.C. buses, one $2.50 ticket lasts for 2 hours as long as you get a transfer ticket from the driver. I hadn’t visited the city when I stayed before so spent the day wandering the waterfront which was very busy both on and off the water. I sat on a bench, ate my lunch and people and activity watched for some time. It is always entertaining.
Whilst window shopping later I discovered yet another second-hand bookshop. The quantity and quality of these shops in the Okanagan has impressed me. The books have been in good condition and the prices reasonable. On this occasion, I exerted my strength of will and resisted the temptation! From the city centre, I caught a bus to UBC and another to Vernon. Whilst not quick, it was cheap and easy. B.C. has an excellent transport system (or so it seems). There isn’t one at all where I live so I am easily impressed!
The weather was indifferent again the next day. I wandered the downtown area of Vernon, sadly finding another book shop that proved irresistible and then headed for the Polson Trail. It began in a park where ‘Something’ was happening. At first, I thought it was a wedding but there were too many bridesmaids and no brides! Two young lads supplied the information that people were taking Graduation pictures. I should have known. I think it is a phenomenon which only occurs in Northern America as I haven’t heard of it in N.Z. or England (but maybe I am out of touch!)
The Polson Trail was shorter than expected, so I continued along the road aiming for the lake, about 6kms distant. It wasn’t a pleasant walk. The first part had a lot of traffic and the latter was under repair, so whilst the road was closed, there were noisy construction vehicles and a strong smell of tar. The beach was disappointing when I reached it; it had a fence around it and I couldn’t find a track along the lakefront. My visit was short. I returned the same way and was glad to arrive back. The day hadn’t been wasted though. I had books and some bargains from the thrift shop!