A little to the northwest of Osoyoos, BC, the city that claims the title of hottest place in Canada and one of the border towns with the US, is this alkaline water formation known as “Spotted Lake.” This view from the side of the Crowsnest Highway (Number 3) is the closest one can legally get to the lake these days, as it is private land belonging to a native band. According to Wikipedia the natives bought the land partly to prevent the development of a spa. Interestingly, the mineral-rich area was used to source material for ammunition during the First World War.
It isn’t worth going out of your way to visit since you can’t walk down onto its banks, but if you are passing through the area, it’s worth a stop to have a look from the side of the road. You can read a bit more about Spotted Lake here.
I encountered this old building on my drive from Keremeos to Hope, BC. The low clouds and fog made for an eerie scene, and with the last little bit of daylight left, I took this photo. A cursory Google search of Chuchuwayha reveals a small Reserve of the Upper Similkameen Band, population 76. I did not see a soul during my few minutes here. I would have loved to see the dollar (loonie) auction or stayed for bingo night, though. I am not sure what to think about that smiley face, except it looks somehow creepy to me.
My inspiration for this photo comes in part from the blog of my friend Melinda Green Harvey, whom I had the tremendous fortune of meeting at a photography workshop in Santa Fe taught by the tireless and incomparable Brett Erickson. Her blog is based on the concept of posting one photo every single day without fail, and she has managed to stick to this exhausting theme for four years! You’ll find many photos of old buildings there, like this one, for example. On top of all that, she has a tremendous eye for photography.
I’m back in New York now, so will get to posting more actual travel stories and tips. Iguazu and Peru are next.
Remember when you’d be traveling somewhere and send a postcard home to family, and the mail delivery service was so slow you’d end up beating it back home before it arrived? In that manner, I can continue with this series if you like, or I can stop. Let me know what you, the reader, want.
When chewing up tarmac in a Porsche GT3, it’s easy to overlook the beauty of the setting as you focus on your next heel-toe downshift, and what lies beyond the next curve. Not so when you’re in the Similkameen Valley, which is a narrow, 100km long pastoral paradise that extends northwest from the city of Osoyoos, at the US border, through the fruit-growing community of Keremeos, to the town of Princeton. I snapped this photo at the side of a cornfield as a beam of sunlight burst through the heavy cloud-cover late in the afternoon before the sun disappeared over the mountains. I love the contrast of precision performance machine in a timeless, rural setting.
After getting through the valley, the highway takes you up Allison Pass. Here I encountered such dense fog that night, I had to slow down to about half the posted speed limit in order to see where I was going. Visibility in places was no more than ten meters. At one point, the fog cleared just enough to reveal the Skagit River next to me, bathed in a mysterious, fog-filtered twilight. Out of the fog emerged a magnificent bald eagle. I slowed down even further and drove alongside the great bird for about a minute. Sadly, there was no way to photograph that moment to share with you, but it will be forever etched in my mind.
Despite the fog and treacherous driving conditions all the way to the town of Hope beyond Allison Pass, for my money, the road through the Similkameen Valley is the most beautiful, fun road I’ve ever driven. Next time, I may slow it down even further and take my road bike instead.
This is a link that explains a bit more about this magical place.