A day in Keremeos

Red Fall Colored Tree SR600277 The season was fall according to the trees, but the cold was definitely creeping in. I was happy to be plugged in, warm, and showered. Feeling civilized again, I was ready for my one day exploring Keremeos by foot. My journey would take me down the former railway, now a straight path all the way into Keremeos. Hopefully, I can find something open for lunch on a Sunday, perhaps even a pub to have a beer in!

Old Railroad ROW SR600271
Walking to Keremeos along the old railroad right of way

My night at  Eagle RV Park  had been a very different affair from dry camping in an empty campground on Kootenay Lake. Here, I was packed in with other RVs but at least I was at the end of the camping row, with a cargo trailer between me and the next resident. But noise from the residents was not a concern – the highway the campground is right up against was definitely noisy enough to disturb a light sleeper. There is a bit of a vegetation screen, but you are talking highway 3, the main highway all the  trucks are on. They are all starting up a hill right where the campground is. So, there will be engines downshifting and winding up to power up the hill. But for all this, I slept quite well. I lived right beside a major road with only a smaller concrete barrier to muffle the sound for years, so I am used to some road noise, even after my few days of solitude.  You also have a high voltage power line right over top of you (never seen a campground under one until now), so if EMF radiation scares you, you probably want to avoid this campground. Other than that, this is a neat tidy little campground. The washrooms were closed so I can’t say anything about them, but the site was nice, with agricultural scenes to look at away from the highway It is being renovated to the west of where I was so new 50 amp sites are ready to go other than some landscaping needed to be done. The river is a short walk to your west, not the easiest access, but it’s workable. I’d stay here mostly as a stop over for one or two nights, perhaps as a base to paddle the river. For RVs having a gas station right at the exit to the campground is most convenient, especially since it turned out to be the cheapest gas between here and Vancouver at the time I was there.

Good Apple Crop SR600273
Apples left behind to rot
In the Shadow of the Fruit Trees SR600275
In the shade of the fruit trees

My walk into Keremeos following the old railroad ROW passed many fruit orchards. Fruit and wine are the big industries here. It is certainly pleasant walking. If apples still agreed with me, I could have had as many as I wanted for free with the piles being left to rot at the ends of the orchards. One less pleasant thing I walked past was a turkey farm. It’s all steel barns and fenced pens, no birds in sight. But you do smell them, and it’s not wonderful. But it’s not the worst thing in the world, you just don’t linger walking past the row upon row of steel barns.

Quail in the cut down trees SR600276
Quail in the pile of fruit tree wood

I encounter a bird if a different kind, a whole flock is rummaging amongst the branches of some cut down fruit trees. I managed to get a picture of one curious bird that stuck around just long enough, not bad for a point and shoot camera, no long bird lens here!

Danger Barbed Wire SR600280
Every town has its stupid sign

Coming into Keremeos, I’m walking through the more industrial area exploring, when I encounter my “stupid sign of the month” as I’m going to dub it. Really, just in case you didn’t notice the barbed wire on top, here is a helpful sign to warn you! The safety committee is working overtime here methinks.

Tourist Quail SR600281
In case you didn’t see a quail, here is one, 5x life size

Passing the main tourism bureau I get confirmation that I definitely saw a quail, with this tourist novelty sized version in front of me. He could use a little paint to spruce up his colors.

The Main Street of Keremeos SR600282
The main shopping strip in Keremeos, along Highway 3

Stepping out onto the main street, I look down what is typical for most small towns: one major street that holds most of the shops, especially the ones tourists will visit. This is highway 3, so everyone passing through town gets to slow down and see the services, hopefully for the town stopping at at least one.

Benja Thai Restaurant SR600283
Benja Thai Restaurant looked pretty good

As lunch time is approaching, I decide to pick a place and eat in town; my contribution to the economy here. Places mostly open at noon here, and it’s 11:30 so I have plenty of time to go up the street and consider all my options. “The Ranch” advertising family dining gets nixed. I’m hoping for a pub or some good ethnic food. I’ll settle for a beer and a steak sandwich, this being a smaller town. The Thai place is a surprise – you’d be hard put to find such a nice looking front on a place in Calgary. The menu looked good too, but let’s see if we can find something with better beer.

Wrong Turn Tavern SR600286
Tavern, pub – as long as it has good beer!

Down the street is the “Wrong Turn Tavern”. Tavern used to be a term in Calgary for a low end establishment, but I know the term is less used now. Out here it seems to be interchangeable with pub judging by the décor and sign I’m looking at.

Wrong Turn aka Pasta Trading Post SR600288
A 117 year old building with many previous uses

I cross the street and head down the next block. The supermarket anchors the main corner where highway 3 makes a right turn in the middle of town, probably the inspiration for the tavern name – make a wrong turn and you will end up on a back street in town or out on a country backroad.  Coming at the building from the opposite corner of the block, I see it is, or was a “Pasta Trading Post”. Don’t know what this means exactly, will have to ask someone if possible. But noon has struck, and the open sign is lit, so off into the tavern I go!

Door Art SR600290
In these times of COVID, there is the mandatory donning of the mask, the sign in, the presentation of my double vax QR code paper /  details, and my driver’s license to prove I am who the paper says I am. COVID prevention routine done, I walk around to the back side, the darkest table at the bottom of the U – in this U – shaped pub- er, tavern. An interesting bit of art sits beside me, door into another world perhaps? But it is the only real character inside here. Faux pub is predominate in here, other than the floor looks like it might be original old building. But perhaps the owners didn’t have any original elements left to work with – could have been a shell of a building to start with. But I’d work on the collection of kitsch antiques and wall art; surely this old mining town could supply some real historic bits to decorate your place with?

Wrong Turn Tavern SR600291
A bit faux, more old building elements?

That being said, the place reminds me of Swan’s (now The Dirty Duck) in Calgary, similar U shaped dining area, although this is much more faux. The menu looks good, but first I order a beer on tap: Naramata Nut Brown. I remember this being too bitter out of the bottle but on tap here it is just a nice pleasant nutty brown beer.  I actually have trouble deciding what to order from the menu, but settle on the pulled pork quesadilla. “Good choice” comments the waitress, so I am hopeful this is a well prepared specialty of the place.

Wrong Turn Tavern
Some locals enjoying fish and chips and conversation

I wait for my food, enjoying my beer while listening to the locals talking a table kitty corner from me. At least two of them are locals, from the conversation, sound like a couple of out of town friends have come to visit. It’s nice to have some pub (tavern?) chatter to listen to while relaxing with my beer. I’m not a total introvert, you see.

My quesadilla turns out to be excellent, calling for a second beer. The salsa was particularly good, to my surprise it is just the standard Sysco food services stuff. The I manage to stop the fast moving waitress for a minute to give me a quick history run down on the building. This 117 year old building has seen a number of uses over the years, pasta factory being one of them. Thus, the name out front is explained. Beer and good food craving satisfied, I tootle out  of the pu – TAVERN and head back towards camp.

VW 411 SR600294
Never seen a VW 411 before
More Powerrr SR600296
Power is art?

There are some industrial things along the way back that I snap – every bit of civilization has some of this at least, so even a walk in an industrial park can yield something of photographic interest.

Soft Rays of Light SR600298
The right light, just shoot

Heading back out of town, I catch the rays of light coming off the hills, lighting up the rural scene in front of me. I could do with more photogenic buildings to have in the shot, but this is pretty typical of Keremeos – basic mixed with the occasional half built structure that is taking forever to complete I’m sure.

Similkameen River SR600306
Similkameen River at sunset

My afternoon is taken up with a little blogging and cleaning up the RV a bit, but I get out for a bit of a stroll in the other direction away from Keremeos. The river isn’t the easiest access, but if you pick your spot right you can get off of the old railroad bed fairly easily down to the river with a kayak or such. It’s a tranquil evening, but I’m happy I’m plugged in, it will be frosty again tonight with the clear skies.

RV Compared SR600307
20′ RV versus ginormous. Note the powerline overhead.

 

I return to my RV, struck by how tiny it is compared to the trailers parked here. If all you do is travel from RV park to RV park these large things are fine, but I don’t need the space, so why restrict myself? Yet, a little more carrying capacity and a separate shower in my bathroom would be nice – I sacrifice those for the ability to sneak into small spots meant for vans and tents. We will see over time how my compromise works out. But in the meanwhile, I am out of here in the morning, heading for Vancouver Island and my three weeks of glamping!

About ralph

Just another blog to share some thoughts with the world.
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