We depart from Abbotsford at 8 am on our 20-passenger, comfortable mini-bus. Travelling up the Coquihalla highway, we’ll get a chance to admire nature’s handiwork, not only with the gorgeous fall colours, but also by noting the variety of natural geographic and geologic features that give us glimpses into current and past natural history. We’ll stop for a brief lunch break just before arriving at Roderick Haig Brown Provincial Park, home of the Adams River Sockeye Salmon run.
During October, the banks of the Adams River, 405 km inland from the Pacific Ocean, become the scene of a natural miracle as the quiet waters of river welcome Sockeye Salmon returning to their home waters to spawn. Struggling against insurmountable odds, one out of every four thousand eggs laid in the Adams River lives to return there as a spawning adult. The fish are completing a journey that has taken them far out into the Pacific, then upstream against swift currents, some travelling over 4,000 km in their lifetime. Many of them complete their four-year journey here, laying their eggs within meters of where they were born.
As they reach their destination, they turn a crimson red. With about 10,000 fish expected in 2017, their density is so great that the river itself appears to glow red. The Adam’s River Salmon Society will host an interpretive walk on Wednesday, Oct. 11, telling the incredible story of the salmon life cycle.
After spending the afternoon enjoying the salmon viewing and interpretive commentary, we’ll travel on to Salmon Arm for dinner and overnight at our reserved hotel.
Included: tickets to Roderick Haig Brown Park, hotel
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive about a half hour to Sicamous, the houseboat capital of Canada. Awaiting us there will be the Remote Escape houseboat, large enough to accommodate our entire group. During the busy summer season, hundreds of houseboats dot the large Shuswap Lake, a lake with about 1000 km. of shoreline. At this time of year, though, the lake will be quiet. Captain Ron will take us on a 5-6-hour cruise on the lake, with commentary on the natural scenery, as well as the stories that surround this unique lake. Lunch will be served aboard the houseboat.
If you’re a fisher with a licence, you may want to cast your line while sailing. If the weather is nice, you can relax on the upper deck and enjoy the sunshine. Or, you may want to take advantage of the on-board hot tub. If the weather is not-so-great–this time of year offers up a great variety of weather conditions—you may want simply to read, to play board or card games inside, or converse with your new friends.
By late afternoon the boat will return to the marina, and we will return to our mini-bus for another hour’s drive to Vernon, our location for dinner and tonight’s hotel.
Note: This trip is weather dependent. If the weather is uncooperative, alternative activities will be substituted.
Included: breakfast, houseboat excursion, lunch, hotel
Today is all about two contrasting, but equally exceptional, experiences. One is enjoying the scenic journey down the full length of the Okanagan Valley. The other is enjoying the “fruit of the land,” aka “wine-tasting tours.”
Boasting nearly 82 per cent of the total vineyard acreage in the province, and more than 170 wineries, the Okanagan Valley is BC’s premier grape growing region. An ever-changing panorama, the valley stretches over 250 kilometers, across distinct sub-regions, each with different soil and climate conditions suited to a growing range of grape varieties. The range of grapes and wines is matched by the variety of establishments that produce the wines. From world-class operations to family-run boutique vineyards, Okanagan wineries are rich with character and consistently ranked among the world’s best at International competitions.
We’ll stop at a good number of them, spread out throughout the valley, that offer not only a wide variety of wines, but also a unique range of establishments, stopping mid-day for lunch at one of the wineries overlooking the panoramic valley.
We’ll end the day in Osoyoos, the southern end of the valley but also the northern tip of the Great Sonoran Desert that starts in New Mexico. After checking into our hotel, we’ll have an included group dinner at the renowned Nk’mip Cellars.
Included: breakfast, wine-tasting tours, dinner, hotel
After a good night’s rest in a paradisal setting, we depart for our journey home. Shortly after leaving Osoyoos, we’ll stop briefly at the unique Spotted Lake. We’ll make a second stop at Keremeos, fruit and vegetable-stand capital of British Columbia. Maybe you want to take home some vegetables for your fridge or freezer, a pumpkin for Halloween, or some unique fruit-based souvenirs.
After Princeton, we ascend to the majestic mountain landscapes of Manning Park, the northern extent of the Cascade Mountain Range. Again, we should experience a panorama of fall colours. Then we descend back into the Fraser Valley, arriving back in Abbotsford by mid-afternoon.