We had a lovely drive through the Okanagan today. Heading to Hedley! We stopped at the Airstream dealer in Penticton to get a few more LED interior lights. There is also a dog park across the street, so it was fun for the whole family. We turned off on Highway 3a to get to Hedley on Highway 3. The Similkameen Valley is gorgeous. We have never travelled here before. It is rolling and winding with rugged rocks and sage brush. There weren’t as many ranches as I would have expected for such scenery. When we got to Keremeos, we saw many young people with big backpacks and dogs also carrying little backpacks. When we got to our campground, we asked the host about this. She said that most of these kids are here from Quebec to pick in the orchards. As soon as they arrive, they try to get a dog. WHY?? She had no idea; however, the local humane societies have all stopped adopting to these seasonal workers. The dogs looked happy enough, but it is HOT here and it is only going to get hotter and drier. Do the dogs go into the orchards during the day? We have no idea. We got some luscious fruit at a roadside stand: fresh juicy cherries and tart apricots. We eventually made our way to Hedley. It isn’t far from Penticton, but it is slow going around all the rolling hills. We are staying at the campground next to the one we are going to see tomorrow. There is a fence separating the two. Talk about close competition! Will Riverhaven be River Heaven? Poppy gives this campground 4 paws up. We walked down to the river and she enjoyed splashing around. The babbling river masks the highway noise. It smells green here. I wish I could post smell-o-vision. This is a little touch of paradise. This is the view from our bedroom window: After dinner, we walked over to see the campground that is for sale. We will officially see it tomorrow, but we had to check it out today. When we looked over the fence, the campsites didn’t look too shabby. There were very few weeds. However, upon entering from the front, you can see the effects of abandonment. The weeds were bursting through the stone pathways. We really wondered how things went down last August when it was foreclosed. The guests put their garbage & recycling in the appropriate bins, and there it has sat. One campsite had children’s water toys left behind and garbage bagged up, but not deposited in the bins. It is a reality check to see someone else’s hopes and dreams dashed. A glimpse from over the fence:
In the morning, I checked my email, and the agent had sent a message that the neighbouring campground may soon be listed and that we should check it out. We had planned to go anyway to see the competition. We knew it would have the same noise issues, but it also had beach access to draw in more customers. We are so glad we went. We parked along the highway and immediately noticed the campground was full, and there was a 25 foot Airstream parked there. Things were looking up!
We met the owner. He and his son purchased it 3 years ago. Back then, only about 8 sites were usable, but they expanded up the hill. It is 13 acres with beach access. The highway is actually ON the property. It was never expropriated by the government, so that is a concern. The highway separates the campground from the beachfront house. Campground patrons walk across the highway to get to the beach at the house. There is also a dock. The owners divided the house into 2 apartments and rent those out.
The campground was full because they have mostly seasonal sites. The people rent for the season, but most only come on the weekend. We talked to a couple who stays for the whole summer. They have had the same site for 2 years, and they have added rockery, planted a small garden, built an Inukshuk, and added solar lighting to the nearby outhouse. What great customers!
The current owners cut more campsites into the hill, and the higher you go, the quieter it gets. It was much more peaceful.
The icing on the cake is that it has a large sheltered kitchen with a pizza oven! Yes! They also had a sink with a propane hot-water-on-demand unit attached to the side of the building. We don’t know yet what it will be listed for. I left my camera in the car because I hadn’t expected to get a tour by the owner. Paul took a few with his phone that we may upload later.