Recently I went out for dinner at the BNA Brewing Co. Eatery with my Mum and Aunt in Kelowna. At the time I was too engrossed in the moment to take any notes or photos for a blog post, but in retrospect it would have been nice to take some photos of the charming interior.
For those who like to say that Vernon is boring and nothing ever happens here, perhaps a trip to the BX Press Cidery would open their eyes a little to the wonders of the area.
Early June in the Okanagan Valley sometimes features days full of very localized weather phenomena. On this particular day, my father and I were both outside working away at various projects in the blazing afternoon sun, only to discover the next moment that the sky was pouring a ferocious amount of rain upon us. Upon a skyward inspection, it was clear that a massive dark cloud had crept towards the property and was unleashing its liquids upon us; this meant that Mother Nature thought it time for a break.
Part 1 can be found here.
Around the fire were two couples, and they were drinking beers while listening to Led Zeppelin. Lots of Led Zeppelin; all night long. I was impressed. The wives did not talk much, but their husbands sure made up for it. Their names were Bobby and Jim, and they were both Vietnam War veterans. As a Canadian, this was a demographic that I was unlikely to ever encounter back home, so despite how much overlap there truly is in the Canadian and the American experience, this would certainly be a treat for me. They quickly got me involved in their game of blow darts, which involved shooting foot long darts out of a long pipe towards a target which was about twenty feet away. When I reasoned that my beer intake was starting to affect my aim, I bowed out of the competition. Jim would not be reigned in so easily though, and he began to flip throwing knives up into the air in an attempt to have them land point down in a target near his feet. Bobby admonished him that one day he might stab his own foot, and that got us onto the lovely topic of healthcare.
During May and June of 2014, I was employed as a tree planter in the southern interior of British Columbia. I quickly learned that while the occupation was not for me, the lifestyle wasn’t too bad the rest of the time, with ceaseless eating and substance (ab)use around the campfire being a rather pleasant way to spend one’s free time. We all tried many different varieties of beer, whisky, cigarettes etc. in a communal consumption designed to forget the pains of our labour. Every two weeks we would get two days off instead of one, always falling on a weekend, and during one of these longer breaks I decided to take a little trip down the Okanagan Valley into the Okanogan Valley, Washington State.
On the twenty-second of December my family embarked upon our yearly viewing of the Caravan Farm Theatre’s Winter Play. This year’s play was “The Contest of the Winds”, a local Shuswap/Okanagan Indian band legend. I am no theatre critic, but like every other year I can confidently say that this was a play worth watching. The play was framed by scenes around a bonfire where it was narrated by a Native elder to a couple of youth who did not quite see eye to eye on the uses of technology. The middle parts were acted out in the woods, and the audience arrived at each scene via horse and buggy (unfortunately there was not enough snow at the time for sleighs like in past years). As usual there was a good number of humorous one liners, while the North Wind and the South Wind battled it out, with an eventual compromise being reached. This analogy was a good reminder for the youth, as it is for everyone, of the importance of striking a healthy balance; in this instance between relying on technology and doing things for oneself in the real world.