Kitty Kitty Bang Bang en route to the Kootenays
We left Penticton on Monday after deciding that the Okanagan isn’t as van/truck-friendly as it may have once been, at least in the parts we were in. (Some of the local campsites owners have raised enough of a stink to ensure that even Walmart overnight parking is a thing of the past, they didn't like the competition. Although I'd say that those are two wildly different demographics but hey, what do I know?).
Road trip tip: We stopped for lunch in Oliver on the way back towards Osoyoos and had the absolute best, authentic Mexican food out of a roadside truck called El Sabor De Marina. Inexpensive and delicious, the perfect pit stop.
Then we passed through Osoyoos one last time and climbed the mountain to the Kootenays. Neither of us had been this far into the interior before, so it's starting to feel like the real adventure is beginning. The mountains quickly gave way all to all of these lush, rolling hills that are emerald green like Ireland's. Aside from the usual cows and horses, we also spotted herds of deer grazing on those hills, which was a real sight to see.
We eventually reached the tiny town of Greenwood, aka Canada's smallest city and home of the tastiest tap water. (We tested that claim out for ourselves, it is pretty good, lol.) If Twin Peaks and Schitt's Creek had a love child, it would've been Greenwood. There's this tiny main street comprised of small businesses and then these odd, stage backdrops of an old west town that make up half the street. And the streets have names like Gold, Silver and Deadwood. But the people are super friendly. A couple invited us in off the street to look at their art and handcrafted dollhouse. And we even spotted the town eccentric, flag dancing at the side of the road and saluting the passing cars. It was honestly as if we'd stepped into a different time and space.
We found free camping space right off of the main street, in a park with this monument to the Japanese Canadians who fought the war for Canada only to later be kicked out of coastal BC because of the War Measures Act. Many of them ended up here in Greenwood to start a new life and they helped make this town run. There was a big creek behind us so yes, we literally were living in a van down by the river for a couple of days. And we were treated yesterday to a small herd of deer trotting by outside our window before they started munching on the flora and fauna. Magic.
On our way out of town we met Ian, who pulled over to ask about Kitty Kitty Bang Bang (our truck is already a real conversation starter). And his dog Juniper. He's originally from Venezuela and spent many years as a logger. He told us about a red grizzly charging him on one of the nearby trails just a couple of weeks ago, and then proceeded to give us a crash course in how to protect ourselves from bears in the BC bush. He also gave us a glimpse of day to day life in these parts. "It's weird. People here are weird." Lmao. And he gifted us with an eagle feather before driving off.
I think it's finally sinking in that we're in no hurry and that we can borrow all the time right now in the world. Which is such a gift in this day and age. Today we're hitting the road again as we make our way to Nelson. But we'll see where we end up along the way.