South Okanagan Gems…

The South Okanagan is a true summer sanctuary, world renowned and matchless in its unfeigned diversities, its expanding panorama, natural resources and organic produce. It is a place of refuge for those seeking glory in sunshine, courage in untapped beauty, lightness of heart in the buoyancy of our fresh waters, and hearty satisfaction spirited by an ingenuous way of life. The roads leading to and from this oasis are speckled with an array of homespun family markets, where fresh fruits and legumes, direct from the field to your hands, are a triumph of everything wholesome. Like a glass of carefully cultivated wine that compels the harmonious blend of science and art, each bite transcends, as if one can close one’s eyes to imagine the fields where the fruits and vegetables grew; feel the integrity and graciousness of sun and rain upon one’s face and taste, in the fullness of flavour, the richness of the earth out of which they grew. The South Okanagan is mother to many such organic produce, with an ideal balance of seasonal climate and geography, it produces a variety of cherries, (the first fruit in season), followed soon after by peaches and apricots, and then apples, pears, and plums, harvested nearer to the end of August and through September. From the dark bold crimson stain upon our lips, to the sweet sticky nectar on our hands and faces, the almond shaped pits of the stone fruits of the South Okanagan litter the ground in a festive array of summer decadence – reminding us of perfection in simplicity and the appetite of our souls. These yielding fruits make for a plethora of scrumptious summer recipes, from delicious desserts, jams, jellies, preserves, canned peaches, pears, cherries and apricots and fresh fruit salads, (to simply name a few).

Among the extending orchards and vineyards, which seem to ebb and flow along the uneven crown of clay bluffs like the ocean tide, there is a summer retreat one must visit while in the South Okanagan. Summerland’s historic Ornamental Gardens, across from Sun-Oka Beach, off Highway 97, is open daily to the public, and is the perfect outing for a picnic, a shady stroll through parklands, or a stimulating jaunt along the many nature trails. The space commands such scenic splendor, filled with floral mosaics, decorative gardens, grassy knolls, and stunning views of Lake Okanagan. The many trails circumvent the extensive property and lead to the historic Summerland trestle, (across from which is the famed “Summerland Sweets”). Situated adjacent to the Pacific Agri-food Research Centre, and owned and operated by Agriculture Canada, the 320 hectare site was established in 1914 and is celebrated for its research programs designed to serve the tree fruit, grape and the local and national food processing industries. The three principal areas of expertise at the Centre are Food Science, Horticulture and Environment, and Biotechnology. While the Pacific Agri-food Research Centre is a world leader in food processing technology and tree fruit research and development, it continues to supply a wealth of knowledge, skill and technology to the Okanagan’s organic food industry. Of the many different plant and flower species you will see in bloom, there are several varieties of the Prickly Pear, the Blue Hill Flowering Sage, Green Lavender Cotton, Wormwood, Bluebells, Shasta Daisies, Sunflowers, Hydrangeas, Lilies, and Roses, to name but a few. The gardens are open to visitors from 8 am to 8pm, and admission is free. You can visit their website for more information on tours and bookings at: http://www.summerlandornamentalgardens.org/

The South Okanagan is a legendary landscape full of wonder, obscurity, majestic splendour and an enduring spirit that echoes its ancient histories and epochs. Standing amidst the orchards and vineyards, to look upon the sparkling waters below that seem to glide along the valley floor, it’s easy to envision eternity – for such beauty has no beginning nor end – it is continuous and everlasting.

The X-Files Of The South Okanagan

The invoking, alien landscape of White Lake, just beyond our quaint, outwardly undisturbed, unassuming borders of Penticton, echoes a dark, unnamed, indefinite mystery. It is, regardless of what people say and what it is “deemed to be”, deeply mysterious and truly alien – a befitting sentiment for the centre of Canada’s astrophysical research and development. Masquerading as an inconspicuous scientific place of study and observation, (Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory) there nevertheless lurks an undertone of intrigue and clandestine – as if the place and landscape itself, has furtively locked within it, universal secrets of the unknown: perhaps an untold tale of alien visitations, or alien investigations… The space invokes thrilling imagery of brilliant flashing lights, spherical, metallic, opaque intergalactic spacecraft and alien technologies beyond the scope of our intellectual consciousness. In fact, the extending space literally screams everything “alien”, making you want to take that second backwards glance, that sideways glimpse, or that gaze upon the horizon –as if there are eyes at your back, watching your every step. You couldn’t whisper soft enough in a space like that. Everything seems to have ears that can hear even one’s most subtle thoughts, and the overwhelming silence of the space only makes your beating heart grow louder. The stretching columns of thousands of wooden poles, spatially separated by several meters of connecting wires, summons a stirring image of docking stations for alien spaceships, and the austere, almost decrepit looking rusting telescopes, unevenly placed along a running track, pointing purposefully upward toward the outward abyss of blue, black and beyond, give the place a deserted, sort of haunting feel. The dusty path leading into the research facility is a call back to those dated horror and sci fi films involving desert landscapes, alien creatures and deserted towns. It winds discreetly around a square, unadorned brick building with narrow, blacked out windows – the refrigerated laboratory for alien dissection, and circles around a compound of severe buildings, undetectable and impenetrable, no doubt a centre for harbouring the enthralling secrets of the stars. Area 51 may have world renowned recognition, but what many do not know is that the Okanagan harbours its own mysterious region of alien activity, right in the heart of the Osoyoos Desert, among a parade of sage, tumbleweed, and dry salt beds. White Lake is nothing short of mysterious, and if you dare take a moment to look out among the army of wooden poles, and stand amidst the array of telescopes, or walk along that dusty path adjoining the various sobering and unsolvable buildings of that small unremarkable compound, you may just come to feel the same undetectable eyes upon you, the same impregnating feeling of alien energy, or you may just see an alien visitor yourself!

Is There Anything More Spectacular…!?

Is there anything more spectacular than sitting on a private beach with exclusive access to summer food favourites, cooling down with a freshly blended creamy pina colada or a refreshing mint-infused mohito, while indulging in a decadent display of gourmet nachos and wings? What about the simple pleasure of dining out on one of our three outdoor lakeside patios, enjoying a light snack or hearty feast with friends and family adjacent to some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery? There is a great depth of joy and peace found in the unadorned, for truly the greatest memories and the best moments are indeed the most simple and uncomplicated: a crisp glass of wine, the sounds of waves lapsing on a beach, sunshine on the face, the resonance of laughter and folly; long flaxen grasses swaying in a gentle breeze, rolling hills and extending snow-capped giants, brilliant horizons of crimson and gold, sparkling waters ablaze with movement and dance in the fire of a fading summer’s day; the framework of clay cliffs and ancient blundering bluffs, remnants of a glacial past, tumbling into the valley’s lakes like crumbling cathedrals.  The majestic splendour of such a divine panorama and humbling experience can be found right at our doorstep and can be enjoyed to the utmost, here at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.   A testament to man’s true nature – the “simply complex” serenades what pure joy can be found in the details of everything around you.  At the Penticton Lakeside Resort, we celebrate the simply complex, by providing you with everything deliciously simple yet sophisticated, intimate, soulful and truly inspiring.  Come and take pleasure in an afternoon at our private family beach, adjoining the Barking Parrot, where the beach bar services your every need with a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and hot and cold food served daily.Sit out on one of our patios, and take in the simple delight of an extravagant view, with complimentary savouries and cocktails, and let the magnificence and magnitude of the simply complex, inspire you.