Friday, August 7, 2015

The third leg

When breaking camp, we’ve always packed up neatly - stowing things like camp stove and barbecue and picnic shelter in their proper places before moving off. By now we were getting good at packing up quickly and throwing things into the trailer ready to drag out again at the other end. This traveling day marked the midpoint of our trip, saying goodbye to Penticton and heading north to Shuswap lake.

Ali and I stayed at a campground on Shuswap years ago, and we chose this spot as a good base to explore the region further. We weren’t able to get into the same campground again, but were just around the corner ... weren’t we? OK, the map really doesn’t do justice to how big some of these lakes are. From the turnoff to that old campground, it was another hour’s drive along the highway and then on a narrow twisty lakeside road before we reached our destination for our third stay.

6 nights at Magna Bay resort, Shuswap Lake

If first impressions of Penticton were bad, first impressions of Magna Bay were awesome. So good, in fact, that I wondered what the downside was going to be. There had to be a downside, didn’t there? Well, really there wasn’t.

The campground is very new and spacious. They are geared up to selling the pitches to permanent buyers and there was already a growing community of “regulars” there. Megan and Matthew soon made friends with other teens on the campground, and hung out a lot on the beach and the on-site games room.

Being so out-of-the-way, we were pleased to find a very well-provisioned store a few minutes’ walk away. We also didn’t do as much traveling off site as we’d intended. We took one day trip (3 hours’ drive each way) to Roger’s Pass to show the kids some real mountains. This was one of our must-do activities, revisiting the scenery we remembered from years ago.

The kids were excited to see up-close some of the mile-long freight trains that accompany the highway across the province.

Apart from that, we made the most of facilities on the lake and nearby...

After scorching temperatures the previous week, it was actually a blessing to get some rain this week. We had one torrential downpour one night...
...and sporadic showers breaking the sunshine on other days, but it brought the temperature down to tolerable levels and eased some fears about the many wildfires breaking out across the province this summer.


  1. That looks like some challenging white water.

  2. Wow, for a second there I thought that was snow falling in the last photo. I was thinking: Uh-oh!!! But rain isn't so bad. Nice to get it when you really need it.

    And I love mountains! Those mountains look lovely. They make me happy to see. :)

    I think maybe your family should camp at this site again in the future. It sounds perfect!!!

  3. Hi Ian - those trains totally bemuse me .. love looking at them. So glad you all had a happy holiday and not moving much is a good time to recuperate and have that break. The mountains must have been lovely ... glad you and Ali are reliving some of those early times together .. cheers Hilary

  4. Steven, it looks more dramatic than it actually was. We had a short stretch of grade 3 water but the rest was easy going. This was the first time for the kids and we didn't want to scare them off :)

    David, I always think that mountains are good for the soul. And the kids are already talking about going back there next year. Well, a year is a long time, we'll see.

    Hilary, by this point in the trip the kids were already commenting that this was a trip down memory lane, Ali and I were so often saying "I remember this from 19 years ago..."

  5. It's great when you get to show your kids somewhere that's been special to you. The lake is definitely on another scale of huge if it takes an hour to drive round!

  6. Nick, that 1 hour was just to drive part-way round. These lakes in BC are narrow (maybe 4 or 5 km across) but 70 or 80km long. It took us the best part of 2 hours to drive the length of Okanagan Lake up from Penticton on the first part of that drive.

  7. Looks like a great time. Amazing it was hot with snow covered mountains nearby.

  8. Alex, "nearby" is a relative term :) We had to drive a fair way and gain altitude for that first photo, but it was worth it to show the kids some proper mountains up close. When we returned to camp, the hills around the lakes seemed tiny in comparison.


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