Ah, September. It may not signal back to school anymore for me, but it does cue the end of my favourite season of the year. Our summers in Canada have always been pretty awesome, but there’s just something extra special about living in an area that everyone heads to get some fun in the sun. Our hometown of Penticton seems to swell double in size with tourists and summer-only residents from mid June onwards. There’s good reason for it too (and most those reasons are why we live here too) as I have explained before and will emphasise again now…
I have to say though, this summer has been a little different than the last one. The Okanagan sun has let us down a little bit. Way back in April, it was 32c for a couple of weeks. Great, we said, it’s going to be a hot summer. As it turns out, that was our summer up until the second week of July. Before that, it was pretty cool and cloudy with some sun here and there. It rained a lot. Rain, in the Okanagan! Usually, it’s a bit of a novelty. So when summer finally kicked in, we were pretty happy. I will admit that the cool weather of the early summer was good for one thing – there were very few wildfires, unlike last year.
New places and adventures
Although we had lots of plans this summer, the weather pushed some of them out of consideration. With the Okanagan having the best weather anywhere in BC during the cooler period, we decided there wasn’t much reason to leave. In the same vein, when it finally did get hot, we felt like leaving the Okanagan would be wasting the nice weather! So in general, we stuck pretty close to Penticton this summer. We did however fit in two big backcountry trips (Della Falls and Bowron Lakes) plus an overnight trip on Okanagan Lake and a couple of days on Osoyoos Lake at Haynes Point.
Staying close to Penticton didn’t mean not doing anything new. We found a great hike just a short drive south of town at McIntyre Bluff, plus enjoyed day trips down to Osoyoos in addition to our Haynes Point campout. An Okanagan summer offers so much within walking distance from our house that ‘staying home’ is actually one of the best things to do!
A summer in the vineyards and orchards
The Okanagan really is a land of plenty….and I feel we have truly enjoyed all the fruit it has offered this year! We have eaten crate after crate of cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, apples, pears and nectarines. This year has especially proved good as we now have good contacts at the local packing houses!
Away from the orchards and into the vineyards and I also think I personally have appreciated the Okanagan wineries too. Counting now, I believe I have been on eight wine tours this summer. It may seem excessive but I’m honestly not sure when we’re going to live right next door (500 metres approx) away from an award winning wine region again.
The best place to visit
This summer has been a summer for visitors. I haven’t counted precisely, but we’ve had at least seven groups of people come to stay with us for a couple of nights to a week at a time. Both of our families came to stay prior to summer (above), so it’s been a great mix of friends and family. Penticton is an awesome town to show people around, especially if happen to like wine!
Never too far from the water
From swimming in the lake at dusk to going down the Channel on a hot Sunday afternoon, we’ve spent a lot of time in and on the water this year. We’ve been canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, paddleboarding and tubing all over the southern Okanagan. I have to say though, that watching sunsets over the lake from our front lawn with a glass of wine and some good food may be one of my ultimate favourite Okanagan summer activities. Thank you to everyone who came to visit us this summer to enjoy it with us!