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Road Trip – Part 2

October 19, 2009

When I was a child I was fortunate to have grandparents in the Okanagan so we always had a road trip on the horizon. I didn’t always like road trips – I would get car sick quite regularly, particularly after soft serve cones. I didn’t always like sharing the backseat with my brother and sister – thank goodness my dad traded in the El Camino for a Van! But once I reached that magical moment where adulthood, my first car and a regular pay cheque coincided, road trips became  fresh and fun again.
I remember the first time I drove solo to the Okanagan, before cell phones, afraid I’d get lost even though I’d been a passenger 100’s of times on that same highway. I was stocked with snacks, an emergency car kit, including blanket and candle. I had been instructed on how to change a flat tire and mixed cassette tapes were within easy reach. Control. I was in total control of all the variables on my trip. 

I went up often, not just to visit my beloved Granny, but for cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, field tomatoes, and apples.  The produce was so fresh and often cheaper than buying it on the coast. I pickled, canned, and froze these treasures. I’d like to think that I had an understanding of where my food came from before it was the latest green movement.



Things sure have changed.  My Granny now lives in our hearts and our memories and not amidst the cherry trees under the warm Okanagan sun. That same car that brought me freedom is now almost 20 years old and I don’t think the old girl is up to the steeper climbs and faster pace of the new highway.  I am now at the mercy of whichever driver I can convince to go on a road trip – usually my much obliging sister.  The passenger seat does not have the same thrill, and the road trip snacks all have a hint of ‘lowfat/low carb/low cal/lowsodium’. It’s harder to find black licorice at convenience stores and gas stations along the way. Instead of five or six trips to the Okanagan I’m reduced to one or two trips to the Shuswap.

More Apples!

More Apples!

I’m adjusting.  I’ve found new favourite parts of the trip – stunning rock formations, perfectly graded corners, the grove most likely to reveal deer. I always find a way to make a trip in the early Autumn and I always stock up on Salmon Arm apples from Hannah and Hannah Orchards. I don’t get as big a variety of produce that my frequent Okanagan trips yielded but, I’ve learned that there is a whole world of apples I’ve not been privy too. I’ve detected the subtle difference between the brilliant green Granny Smiths and Shamrocks. My palate has moved from the Macintosh, Spartans and Galas to the less common Empire, Sinta, and Elstar.  I’m trying to let go of my control/trust issues and I’m learning to have a nap, knowing that the driver will be fine without me.  I’m not always successful.

Today I watched a theatre piece inspired by the great road – Route 66. The romance of that highway has reawakened a longing in me for those rare glimpses of full moon on a snow covered beech grove, blue and magical. Or the sun setting on a golden prairie that suddenly is purple for an instant before it drops under the horizon.  A treasure in the best piece of pie you’ve ever tasted only found at the seasonal road side stand.  I’m hungry to be the driver again, able to leave at a moment’s whim. I yearn to drive the old coastal highway in Oregon,  and I’m impatient for the many great road trips I have yet to take. 

My car sits out front.  She’s a bit worn around the edges.  As I walked by her on my way home tonight I thought I heard her whisper, ‘New brakes. New shocks. New tires.  Let’s do it!’


Author’s note – Here’s a link to Hannah and Hannah’s.  If you are ever in Salmon Arm I highly recommend it as a must see! My photos of H&H did not turn out (still figuring out the settings on my camera) so these are from Davidson Orchards in Vernon – it was great too!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. SallyK permalink
    October 20, 2009 4:14 am

    Cortland’s are my new favorite this year. A great cooking apple – I made a killer apple butter earlier this season and will be making more. Your post paints a lovely picture… thanks for sharing your trip! North Coast Muse @

    • October 20, 2009 7:41 am

      Oh! I’ve never heard of a Cortland! I’m going to keep an eye out for those. Thanks!

  2. Cousin Lori permalink
    October 20, 2009 9:21 am

    I felt like I was right there with you! Thank you for reminding me of all my wonderful memories of numerous road trips to the Okanagan.
    I’m going to go right out and buy some apples! XOXO

  3. October 22, 2009 10:02 am

    Oooo I love apples and I’ll have to try Cortlands..they sound amazing..thanks so much…Your blog is so unique and I love your travel stories and memories of being a child…
    I enjoy reading your exciting and interesting posts..thanks

  4. October 24, 2009 12:32 pm


    Fabulous, evocative writing. And a great theme for the site. I will be a faithful follower. The reframing is essential and that idea sings to me in everything you write. It readjusts my own ‘set’. I have onlyread the intro and the road trip 1 and 2. I will read the others for snacks later. So lets talks apples. I love apples. I tried a new kind this year I think they were called Kira Seigewicks…but I might be making that up. Maybe that was a lady I met the same day I ate a new apple. Anyway, lucky us. Thanksgiving, family, Road trips, BC apples….I’m hungry now.

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