I was lucky enough to grow up in one of the most beautiful regions in Canada...
So a trip back to my homeland is always much anticipated. With rolling mountains, pristine lakes, orchards, and vineyards, the Okanagan Valley is something to behold.
A place where lavender grows like a weed, the air is sweet, and the summers are long and hot.
One of my first stops on the trip was Vernon, BC to visit a friend from Germany who's working as a vet technician on an Icelandic horse farm. I was able to spend the evening there and watch her work.
It was hot - the haze and smoke from the wildfires burning throughout the province had covered the mountains for most of my stay. The evening sun was bright red, and the dry earth kicked up by the horses as they ran in from pasture created something out of a wild west movie.
Later in the week, I met up with some friends to camp in Penticton for a few days. We hiked through Creek Park to Naramata Falls. It’s a pretty easy climb with a few creek crossings and some really spectacular views.
There are massive rock walls with pools and ravines along the way. We also encountered a rattlesnake at the entrance of the trail, which is not uncommon for this area!
After a couple minutes, our little friend was kind enough to clear the path for us so we could continue up to the falls. For those so inclined for a bit more adventure, there is also an extended hike through the Kettle Valley Railway Trail where you can find some natural waterslides.
Once you reach the falls, the area becomes lush green and rich with moss.
The mist from the cascading water could not have been more welcome as the temperature during the past couple weeks ranged between 32 and 38 degrees celsius.
The trip had its challenging points too, we got hit with a huge windstorm the next day that tore our tents. We packed up what we could and spent the afternoon near the water watching the massive waves roll in.
I also spent a lot of time in the gardens and orchards throughout Penticton and Summerland picking my fill of peaches before I head back to the prairies at the end of August.
For as much time as I’ve spent living in this area, I’m in awe of how many places I still haven’t discovered yet.
There’s always a new hike or view I’ve never seen - so much endless adventure in this Canadian backyard of mine.