Monck Provincial Park-back to the quiet life:) and Salmon Arm, BC-more great friends!
The city had been grand-meeting with family and friends had been an amazing experience but we were craving the wind in the trees and the sounds of birds, no more than that. We left West Vancouver on a drizzling day and headed East on the Trans Canada 1 towards Chilliwack…gone, gone, gone she’s been gone so long, you know the song right?;) and then we went North on the 5. The trip past Chilliwack and Bridal Falls, visible from the road was gorgeous, even in the rain, big circle on the map, bookmark, coming back here! Everywhere you looked water cascaded down the sides of steep cliffs and mountains…sigh, a neutral density filter owners dream:)
The sun did finally break through the clouds after Merritt and we pulled into the lovely Monck Provincial Park. It’s a good 8km off the main road and it is a bit bumpy but worth the drive. Rolling hills and fields of flowers, then pines as you come into the park. No services, water at the front and a dump station but a beautiful view out to Nicola Lake ( I read there are 26 species of fish in it!) and quiet! Truly a Groot and Gamora approved park, although Groot lamented the fact we left the fishing rod at Otty Lake;) There were paths down to the lake, everywhere you looked wild roses and wildflowers were blooming, the air was filled with rose scent…heavenly. We’d originally only scheduled one night here but in the morning we groaned and said to each other, do you want to go? NO!
The campground is set in loops either side of the entrance. Sites 1-25 are better set up for smaller units. Sites 26-120 for larger units. If you are really big stay in the 102-120 range making a turn left after site 49 halfway down the loop. If you continue all the way there are some tight turns, and large trees, evidenced by missing tree bark some have been assaulted by RV’s, Mike sailed through calmly but others may not;) many sites would support a big rig, lots of room for our Myrtle and truck:)
Walks along the lake-a trip into Merrit for diesel and lunch-an afternoon thunderstorm rolled by to the North and I saw my first Marmot, a Yellow-Bellied Marmot no less! Love them! These fellows were obviously used to humans, they went about their business as I sat at a picnic table and watched them scramble about, a bit of sunbathing was going on as well:)
All I could think of was “Allen, Allen, Allen….Steve?” I sat and watched them for a good half hour, grinning from ear to ear. Several youngsters and two adults…cutest large rodent yet!
There were plenty of birds and other wildlife that were not too hard to find:) A pair of deer were lying in the shade a stones through from the truck and trailer.
A few thunderstorms rattled past us to the North on our secound day. The lake looks like it could get quite rough, it was covered in serious whitecaps late in the afternoon. We saw few boats pulled up on the shore but no one was out fishing. This is beautiful country, rolling hills interspersed with forests of ponderosa pine, a bunch grass ecosystem and a volcanic rock cliff landscape. Worth a visit my friends if your route takes you close by this lovely place.
A perfect place to recharge. Could have stayed a week or more but on a mission to get East, we waved Good-bye and headed NE to Salmon Arm, British Columbia.
We thought the scenery arriving here was spectacular, it just kept getting better! We had some sun and a few thunderstorms as we passed Kamloops and headed back up into the mountains in a wide valley of grassland all along the South Thompson River fed by Little and Big Shuswap Lake, where we were heading. This fabulous lake is a multi armed collection of stunning landscapes. Our destination was Sandy Point Beach Campground. Our wonderful friends Nick and Ruby scouted the area for us and declared this one was, the furthest from the railroad tracks! I like their way of thinking! Water was very very high and it looked like the campground had just dried out, they took us to a long row of spaces and we were the only ones there, water, power and sewer-all is well.
Our reason for stopping here was to see them. They had visited us in Baja way back at the beggining and we did miss them so. Funny, smart and now we can say the ones who have given us a new addiction… “Cards Against Humanity” a party game for horrible people…we love you guys! Great meals, that was the best Butter Chicken and Samosas at the New Bombay Grill , I just started salivating thinking about it, and a wonderful salmon dinner-you guys rock! Thank you for the wine and brandy and wonderful, wonderful company! We have missed you so, next time it won’t be 8 years between visits!
The wildlife at the beach was lovely although cloudy and drizzling the day we were leaving I couldn’t resist walking about in the morning and enjoying it all. Another Groot and Gamora approved Park, they are giving it 5 stars because of this:
No Dogs. Seems they had a problem, lawsuit and solved the problem with this sign. First one for me at an RV park. I think it is why there are so many beautiful birds on the beach, no dogs to chase them… and no barking! Lovely! I do love dogs, just not the barking we get at so many RV parks. The mosquitos were the size of hummingbirds though and they have a gate locked policy at 11pm which left us parked outside and we had to a wee walk back to the trailer but all in all it was a pleasant stay and a wonderful visit!
The beachfront sites are all filled with permanents, or seasonal residents, what there was of a beach. One resident said they were missing about 25′ of it with the flooding but as the waters receed the beach will come back:) Salmon Arm is only a hop and skip and it seemed like a wonderful small town. “Demilles Farm Market” on your way in is a fabulous little store for fresh food and downtown “Chicken Direct” has non GMO raised delicious chicken-Nick and Ruby pointed us in the right directions! So hard to leave but we have a large set of mountains still to get over and three more provinces to get through! So it’s hasta pronto friends and stay tuned for the amazing Canadian Rockies!
Canada Geese humour;)