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Friday, 29 March 2013

I do enjoy just wandering about

Headed off from Princeton and on to Merritt..and took the old Merritt-Kamloops highway north.
Apart from needed a pave job...man, it's rough...but still a real pretty drive. Lots of great boondocking spots along the lakes.

This is Nicola Lake looking north




And looking west/south



Nicola Country

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The Nicola Country, also known as the Nicola Valley and often referred to simply as The Nicola, and originally Nicolas' Country or Nicholas' Country, adapted to Nicola's Country and simplified since, is a region in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. It is the main subregion of the larger Thompson Country and is often referred to separately, or in combination forms, notably the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. The combination Nicola-Similkameen is also common.
The Nicola Country is roughly synonymous with the basin of the Nicola River, but unlike other similar region-names in BC was not named for the river. Rather, both were named as a result of this region being the territory under the rule of Nicola (Hwistesmexteqen), the most prominent and influential of the chiefs of the Nicola people, who like the river and region were named for the chief, i.e. "Nicola's people". Nicola was the son of Pelkamulox, an Okanagan chief who, at the invitation of Kwa'lila, the Secwepemc chief of Kamloops, settled in the valley to escape harassment at his former domicile at the head of Okanagan Lake and founded there the joint community of Okanagans and Nlaka'pamux known as the Nicola people and whose government is the Nicola Tribal Association, and at one time included members of the now-extinct "Stuwix" or Nicola Athapaskans.
Other than the several First Nations reserves in the Nicola Country, there are a number of small non-indigenous settlements. The area's only significant and largest town is Merritt, home to the Merritt Mountain Music Festival. Also of note in the region is the Douglas Lake Ranch, one of the world's largest ranches. Its headquarters are just west of Merritt at Douglas Lake but whose lands span most of the Thompson Plateau and also country beyond it to the northeast in the Shuswap Highland and to the north in the Bonaparate Plateau. .

Climate and terrain

Located in the rainshadow of the Canadian Cascades and the Lillooet Ranges of the Coast Mountains, the climate of the Nicola Country is dry and, in summers, quite hot. Due to a higher location than surrounding basins, it tends to be much colder than Kamloops, the Okanagan, the Shuswap or the lower Thompson areas. Vegetation in lower elevations tends towards sagebrush and open pine and deciduous, with high-elevation areas thick with coniferous forest. Wildlife are abundant, and the presence of the timber rattler in the region is to be noted.





And then driving along....horses and a foal....





Gotta see this....








I had taken my shots and was walking down the side of the truck...and noted a set of eyes on my left, across the road.






I hung aroud Kamloops for that night...kipping out in the Sportsman Light truck yard. Come morning, I was still wasting time...Sharon was driving down from Kitimat, leaving at 6am, so I was just hangin out. It's a 12/13 hour haul.


I was headed out going west, looking for an over-night spot for Sharon to meet me at and Kamloops Lake..not a breath of wind.



I dropped down onto the Tobiano Golf and Country Estate and found a high point.

















I got into Savona and was just kind of scouting around and came up into the Steelhead Provincial Park. Not only was the gate open..surprise surprise...the manager was on-site, cleaning..and said..help yourself to a spot..any spot...they were all empty. There is no fee. No shit?










 Train spotting...I like reflections. I was able to combine the two.






And ..in all  of this wandering day stuff.....Sharon was south of Quesnel..saw oil light pop on in her 2010 Hyundai Sante Fe..stopped..looked...none on stick and puddle under. Bought a bunch, roared it back a mile to an oil change outfit...they think maybe a main seal is gone. I called guy in Terrace who does her work..he is hoping maybe oil pressure sending unit...is in same location as seal....keep on checking oil stick and add as needed and keep coming. Got as far as Cache Creek when the check engine light popped on,.right in the intersection. She pulled into the DQ lot. I had already called Kamloops Hyundai and booked an app for Sat 8 am..so...called BCAA...they grabbed Sharon and her car...dropped her off in Savona...dropped the car in Kamloops...we had a very late supper, and a fire and marshmallows...great sleep and are now win Kamloops for an few hours of frivolity. Tomorrow early...check in with Kamloops Hyundai..and take Sharon is off to take care of some family business.