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Okanagan Camping 2Go to Slide Show

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Tent With Tarp Over Entrance
There are books about camping in British Columbia that are an inch thick, listing hundreds of camp sites.  With so much choices, why would you ever bother going to the same camp site twice?  The problem is not all camp sites are created equal.  Okanagan Lake campground (we visited once two years ago) has hot showers, is close to a city with lots of services, wine country and some great outdoors experiences.  Because it's also cheap ($24 a night for a camp site which can accommodate up to 4 people) the reservations fill up very quickly.  If you want to go for labour day, you really hope you have your plans sorted out by May.

Pentiction Farmers Market

Onions Written With Chalk
This trip followed on our trip to Wells Gray so we didn't get an opportunity to shop for food ahead of time.   That said, why would you want to?  Pentiction has a vibrant farmers market (we visited last camping trip and on a Bed and Breakfast Trip) where we stocked up on much of the green groceries we would need.


This year the market seems to be broken into two parts - a large food section (perhaps 50 stalls) and a healthy crafts and services section (perhaps 30 stalls).   The grocery section has a lot of overlapping vendors (perhaps 6 vendors sold tomatoes for instance) so the prices were competitive and the presentation was polished.

Basket Of EggplantYellow And Orange HeirloomsRed And Orange Mini Peppers On Green
 
We seem to have hit the highpoint of pepper sales.  You could easily find half a dozen different peppers and a wide variety of presentation.
 
Basket Of Thick Red CayenesDetail Of Red Peppers HangingRed Peppers Hanging

Basket Of Hot PeppersBasket Of Red And Green Peppers

Hanging out in Camp

Michael Reading RulesPlaying Bubbletown Oni Phone
Thankfully, none of us has yet rented a motor home so we don't have  TV to watch at night.  Unlike previous camping trips, this trip we were multiply armed with iPhones so we could entertain ourselves, but that's hardly the social camping thing to do.  Micheal brought "Unexploded Cow" from cheap ass games and got a round going by lantern light.


Actually seeing your cards is a challenge if you only have one light source so lots of flashlights and headlamps were needed to actually make it playable.

Playing Cow On FieldBrendon Keeping ScoreBrendon Sorting Cards

 I never did find out who won, but apparently it was quite close.

Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory

I've driven by the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory a number of times, each time thwarted by being the wrong time of the day or a holiday day.  (Turns out they are now open on holidays).  This trip we made sure we arrived at a good time to see the observatory.

DRAOTelescopes On Rail

Radio Dishes Fixed And RailsVery Low Frequency Array
The big dishes are the impressive part of the observatory.  There is a forest of telephone poles that was used to measure very low frequency waves, but that equipment is no longer used.  There is also a solar observatory which maps the magnetic radiation of the sun - it's small, but impressive none the less.

26 Meter Dish With Visitor Center


We got an almost two hour tour of the building including entry to some of the labs and a lecture on radio astronomy.  I was really impressed.  They showed some of the instruments they are building (radio receivers) - apparently Canada is competitive in this field.  The big dishes are mostly used for survey work (one project was a survey to map the in galaxy radiation so the modern telescopes can subtract out the noise from the out of the galaxy observations.  Again, I was really impressed.

Osoyos Desert Center

On my first trip through the Okanagan, I visited Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Center.  The had a nice walk through the desert where we found snakes.  I had heard about the Osoyos Desert Center, but we didn't make it.  For this camping trip it was a priority to visit.
Desert Center

Visiting Desert Center
The desert center tells a pretty sad story of rare habitat lost.  You won't find burrowing owls here (or anywhere else near Osoyos) because of habitat loss (and the loss of badgers that would normally dig holes that serve as dens.   You will find a rare spot of unspoiled desert and signage explaining what you are seeing.



Antelope Brush
There was surprising variation in the plant life over the loop of boardwalk.  Prickly Pear Cactus was more common near in the middle half and the far end had horsetail growing - a sign there was more water.  There were signs explaining how rodents help get plants started here by burying seeds underground and then failing to retrieve them.  While walking the loop some people spotted a desert rabbit.   Sadly, I was too late to see it.

Bright Golden Aster In Dry GrassPrickly Pear Cactus

The park is quite sad because it is so badly encroached upon.  One one side of the park is an orchard and the other is bordered by an industrial park.  You really get the feeling they were a decade too late in founding this place - it's seems too small to be a serious reservoir of wildlife.

Mount Nkwala

Trusting map books is a dangerous thing to do.  Last trip I drove up to Giants Head Mountain just outside of Summerland.  I was looking for something similar - drive up to a nice parking lot, walk the last few hundred meters and get a nice view.  From the Map (and our iPhones) Mount Nkwala looked just the place.  I asked at the local winery and they said they had never heard of the hike/road.   We broke out the maps and took a stab at it.

Subaru Up Mountain
There is quite a nice aquatic area (marsh) near the turnoff.  As we drove up the gravel road, it got worse and worse.  Eventually we got to the "private land, no trespassing signs", but pretended we didn't see them.  We continued up the hill until my Subaru couldn't go any further.  We were a few hundred meters from the top.


The view is quite impressive.  You take in all of Penticton and the Naramata bench.  You can see much of Skaha Lake.  If Pentiction airport was busier, this would be a great place too look down on the airplanes as they flew by. 

Mount Nkwala

Lichen Growing On Dried Deadfall


Tent With Tarp Over Entrance
Tags: camping, Okanagan, tent
Basket Of Eggplant
Altitude: 349m (1145 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: market, Okanagan
Antelope Brush
Species: Purshia tridentata (antelope bitterbrush)
Altitude: 347m (1138 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: desert, Okanagan, plant
26 Meter Dish With Visitor Center
Onions Written With Chalk
Altitude: 353m (1158 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: market, Okanagan
Playing Cow On Field
Tags: camping, game
Visiting Desert Center
Altitude: 348m (1141 feet)
Location: Go To...
Basket Of Red And Green Peppers
Altitude: 346m (1135 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: market, Okanagan, peppers
Bright Golden Aster In Dry Grass
Species: Heterotheca villosa (hairy false goldenaster, hairy goldenaster)
Altitude: 351m (1151 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: desert, Okanagan, plant
Brendon Sorting Cards
Michael Reading Rules
Detail Of Red Peppers Hanging
Tags: market, Okanagan, peppers
Mount Nkwala
Altitude: 1021m (3349 feet)
Location: Go To...
Brendon Keeping Score
Tags: camping, game
Radio Dishes Fixed And Rails
Very Low Frequency Array
Prickly Pear Cactus
Species: Opuntia fragilis (brittle prickly pear)
Altitude: 352m (1154 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: cactus, Okanagan
Red And Orange Mini Peppers On Green
Tags: market, Okanagan, peppers
Subaru Up Mountain
Basket Of Thick Red Cayenes
Tags: market, Okanagan, peppers
Yellow And Orange Heirlooms
Tags: market, Okanagan
Lichen Growing On Dried Deadfall
Species: Letharia vulpina (Wolf Lichen)
DRAOTelescopes On Rail
Tags: Okanagan, panorama, telescope
Basket Of Hot Peppers
Altitude: 345m (1131 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: market, Okanagan, peppers
Playing Bubbletown Oni Phone
Tags: camping
Red Peppers Hanging
Tags: market, Okanagan, peppers
Desert Center
Tags: boardwalk, desert, Okanagan, panorama
Tags: Okanagan(15), market(9), peppers(6), camping(4), desert(3), game(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2016 to 2005 > Okanagan Camping 2
From: John Harvey Photo > John Harvey Photo - Camping > Okanagan Camping 2
From: John Harvey Photo > Okanagan Camping 2

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Last Modified Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 at 21:22:41 Edit
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