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Kelowna Vacation Pictures and Summary

July 12, 2012

Well hello folks and wonderful readers! I know you’ve all been waiting on pins and needles for one more update. Did we make it home? Was there anything extra? What other cool things did we do?

It was amazing! It was a very long drive!

We managed to get up, packed up, and leave by about 9:30 AM and start working our way home. The first couple of hours went pretty smooth. The girls mostly slept as we drove through Vernon, up through Salmon Arm, and past Sicamous. Enjoying the scenery, a nice leisurely drive, limited traffic. Was going pretty smooth. But HOT! It was like 38-40 degrees the whole time! The AC in the truck was working, but it just didn’t seem that cool.

Then we had our first pit stop at – Last Spike! Did you know, in a little place called Craigellachie BC, the last spike joining the railway across Canada was pounded in? Josh reminded us quickly that the guys who put the last spike in were the big wigs, not the workers, and the guys weren’t very good at doing the work!

There is a nice rest area there, as well as a caboose, a monument, some track, and even a large hammer/pick axe that you can pose with. And of course a very nice gift shop with all kinds of train stuff and t-shirts, and of course ice cream.

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After a brief stop, we were ready to get back in the air conditioned truck and continue our journey.

Next stop: Three Valley Gap. We had passed this on our way down the previous Sunday, and thought this might make a good stop for a visit. There is a large hotel there, a restaurant, gift shop, and a “ghost town”. A number of old buildings have been preserved and brought here and setup as a town. Each building is filled with numerous memorabilia, and there is tonnes to see.

We thought this might be a 20 minute break, but after 2 hours we could still have seen more!

It was amazing the stuff that filled up the barbershop, the mine, the general store, the various houses, buildings, etc. It was awesome!

But, by far the coolest part was the massive roundhouse! Now if you’re not sure what a roundhouse is – briefly, it’s a very large building, very very large, with a turntable in the middle, and places to park full-size passenger cars all around – all inside! The turntable is so big that you can fit an entire passenger car onto it! There was Trudeau’s passenger car (yes, the kids learned about the Salmon Arm Salute) Of course Josh knows he’s not allowed to use it!

There were other cars, engines, and all kinds of displays. Here is a sample of pictures:

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A few minutes after leaving Three Valley Gap, we arrived in Revelstoke, and stopped at A&W for lunch. It was nice to sit in a cooler place for a few minutes.

Sidebar note, from the Three Valley Gap, all the way to about 20 minutes West of Banff, we had major serious traffic. So much so that we rarely got to go faster than 50 KM/Hr. Certainly there was some construction, but it was the sheer volume of traffic, and the crazy big trucks that caused the most problems. There were trucks passing us like crazy going downhill, and then they would slow everyone up on the uphill. It was crazy. We left at 9:30 AM and we got home at 11:30 PM. And other than our 2 hour break at the Three Valley Gap, and our 30 minute break coming up, it was spent driving…. Sheesh!

Just before Field, there is a turn off to Emerald Lake Lodge. I think most of us just drive by this turn-off, but never stop to look. If you take it, and drive 8 KM, you’ll come across a beautiful pristine lake – no power boats allowed, and a restaurant, and beautiful retreat lodge. We stopped because we had a chance to visit a good friend of mine from high school, Valerie Morrison. Valerie is the chef at the lodge, and has a reputation for some incredible food. I hadn’t seen Valerie since grade 10, so we were fortunate in being able to connect and stop for a 20 minute visit. Val was in the middle of cooking some fantastic food on the BBQ for some of their guests. (Guess what? Salmon sticks to the grills even of the most incredible chefs!). It was great to visit briefly and say high and stretch our legs! Looking forward to visiting with Valerie and her family again in the future!

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After our visit, we drove to Canmore, stopped at Wendy’s/Tim Hortons for some supper, and made it home by about 11:30 PM. It was a long day, but a great end to a fantastic vacation!

Tomorrow I’ll post some pictures from the Myra Canyon Trestles, as well as some ziplining snapshots!

Thanks everyone!

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