It has been since May 1st since we last took a trip to Merritt for grocery shopping - so on May 14th it was time to leave our forest retreat once again for the big city. This time we had decided to go to Kamloops for a BIG shopping trip. Since I posted to Merritt and back again, I thought it was only right to post to Kamloops and back again.
We went shopping on Monday because we received our FIRST pay cheque of the work season, on Sunday.
Oh happy day happy day!
We also needed some STUFF.
This is the route we ended up taking. There are two ways we can get to Kamloops - the #1 or the #8 to Merritt and the #5 north. We usually take the #1 there and back but Monday decided to do the loop and track the milage.
Can you believe it is almost the exact same distance 170 km (106 miles) - so we traveled 340 km (212 miles) to go shopping! grrrrr
We started out really early - on the road just after 8:00 am - we knew it would be a long day of traveling and shopping.
Sorry about the pictures this post - they didn't turn out all that good and most hit the cutting room floor. I think the angle and brightness of the sun was part of the problem - and the dirty windshield certainly didn't help any!
This is one of our favourite areas in BC - we love the dry rocky hills and sage brush.
This is the Thompson River that I have written about and shown pictures of in recent posts - it is the same river that goes by Gold Pan and Skihist - it is still rising....
.... and the train of course - still the two tracks - one on either side of the river.
This picture is closer to the town of Ascroft - the landsape is pretty neat with the dry hills in contrast to the very green irrigated fields.
At Cache Creek we stopped for gas @ $1.289/liter so $4.88/gallon - yup. We actually pulled up behind one of the campers from Skihist the night before. I had just been telling Derek about my conversation with him and his wife... Derek had his own conversation with them while I ended up pumping the gas.
From Cache Creek we turn right toward Kamloops.
Sure wish this picture had turned out better - but I included it anyway - the combo of the dirt rising from the road and the reflection are the problem.
Difficult to see but if you look to the right of the edge of the mirror you can see some grass and trees down by the river - that is Juniper Beach Provincial Park. One of our favourite places to camp. The PFO's that were here at Skihist prior to us, are the PFO's there now.
Ginseng farming - close up.
Dry dry dry - and very hot in the summer months - L O V E it!
Coming into the community of Savona along the shore of Kamloops Lake.
That is the end of the pictures to Kamloops. You probably don't want to see our frazzled faces during our shopping day. We are not sure why we do this to ourselves - we try to pack way too much into a day. Coupled with the congested traffic we are just not used to - and a toddler and I can't say we had the best day. It didn't help that it was HOT - about 31c (88F).
By the time we left at around 3:00 we decided to go to Merritt and back to the park instead of retracing our route from the morning. On the way in there was road construction and we could tell that by the afternoon it would be a pretty long wait to get through.
Highway #5 or the Coquihalla highway used to be a toll road. It travels over a very high elevation, there was even snow remaining up in the hills. It is not overly scenic and much of the forest on either side has been damaged by the pine beetle. I WOULD have taken some pictures but I COULD NOT find the camera anywhere within reach from my passenger seat.
Finally, just as we were coming down into Merritt and the Nicola Valley I found it under the seat.
Back in Kamloops we had decided that if we were going to go back through Merritt we would stop and get our meat again at the Nicola Valley Meat Market.
Unfortunately - and with a huge amount of disappointment, we drove up to find them CLOSED on Mondays. Definitely an OOPS moment because now we were headed home - ideally for the next two weeks - without meat.
To help ourselves get over the shock - and to at least go home fed - we decided to have dinner at the Hitch 'N' Post restaurant that I wrote about in the Merritt post.
Cassia has been having some serious falling issues this week. Her knees are a mess - today was the third - ouch!
A very nice carriage outside the restaurant - the days of horse and buggy - can we go back to that?
That was our day to Kamloops BC and back again. We see - and post - beautiful shots from our travels through the winter but we know that we live in a very beautiful place also.
We have decided to stick with just shopping trips to Merritt this summer - it is just too long of a day and too much driving and traffic for us to go to Kamloops. I was a bit disappointed because one of my goals was to buy Cassia a little wagon for her birthday but didn't find one.
Thanks for stopping in!
And yessss we are going to drive all the way back to the meat market this week - grrrrrr.
Today's Interesting Link: If you have visited our blog before you may have noticed that our advertisements have changed. We now have a BlogHer ad at the top right - they pay per visits to a site rather then hits on the ads. I have removed the AdSense for now - except for the one that keeps popping up at the end of the post - I have NO IDEA how to get rid of that one!