Before leaving my camp spot along the Pend Oreille river in the west Kootenays of BC, I was fortunate enough to watch this family of Otters patrolling along the river bank.
Smoke was still thick throughout the area, as these photos from one of the dams show.
As expected, I was able to access my AT&T data from my impromptu camp spot south of Trail, BC, and the same bunch of wild turkeys kept Hailey’s interest. With my cheap US data plan, I was able to watch the football game online, as I don’t generally carry my TV sat dish during summer travels.
After a quick dump and fill in Trail, near where I used to live, we were off for Rossland and headed over to Christina Lake.
A bridge along the way proved a good photo subject, though the winds were a bit gusty for comfortable flying.
Much of the usual great scenery as we proceeded west just north of the US border was obscured by the smoke that had now been continuous for over a week. Approaching the hill down into Osoyoos, the road has to do some amazing hairpin turns. There is a lake down below, but with the smoke, it is barely visible.
In spite of the smoke in the air, the lake and the area was buzzing with boats and vehicles, so we headed up in to the hills near Oliver to find some peace and quiet. At the start of the road, there were remains of some previous campers who didn’t have a good day.
The road in to Burnell Lake was a bit on the rough side for the camper, and there was some other campers already there, but fortunately, no generators or noisy folk. Periodically however, a helicopter would transit by with it’s water bucket hanging below as it went for fuel before working on one of the nearby fires.
I didn’t know there were turtles in the area, but there was quite a group hauled out on this old dock.
I was trying to determine what had caused the drag marks across the dusty road – when I finally decided that it must be a snake track!
Continuing on northward, we next stopped near Penticton. We were up on a forest service road well above the city, but the smoke was just as thick. In the morning, I was disgusted to see a fellow in a Mercedes towing a trailer full of construction debris stop across the road from me and proceed to dump it all off the edge of the road. He didn’t see me, but I got lots of photos that I quickly passed them on to the Conservation Officer service – including the offender’s licence number. I hope he ends up in court.
Next, it was on up into Kelowna. Rumour has it there is a lake somewhere nearby, but with all the smoke around, I can’t confirm that! But it didn’t stop the enjoyment of an evening’s food and entertainment at the ‘Ribfest’, with some local friends.
Heading back east from Vernon, there was time to check out a few lakes that I had not been to previously. Mabel lake had a very nice beach and campground (not my style, of course), but roads north from there were closed because of more fires in the area. A worthwhile stop at Shuswap falls and the hydroelectric dam provided a nice break from the smoke.
Next on the list was Sugar lake. Most of the road in is paved, but the last few km turns to rather rough forestry road. It was getting late, so we decided to stay in the campground there, and ruined our camping budget with a reasonable $12 charge! Again, a nice little campground, especially for family camping, but not our usual remote style.
Near Monashee pass there was a small lake just off the highway more our style. There was a bit of rain overnight, so the amount of smoke in the air was a bit less.