Friday, September 21, 2012

Wide - Eyed in Oliver

Our bike-packing trip took us down the Kettle Valley Railway to the Wine Capital of Canada - Oliver, British California.  I've always imagined that the wine growers in Ontario would dispute Oliver being the wine capital.
The view from the camp

My wife had already set up camp on the shores of Tuc 'El Nuit Lake at Brookvale Holiday Resort.  As we pedal-stroked our way up Oliver's residential streets, I regaled my daughter Jackie with stories of just how crowded the camp could be and that she would enjoy staying in a family campground.

To my astonishment, ours was the only tent set up and there were only a few RV's down near the lake itself.  Gone were the chock-a-block campsites, the scores of tent trailers, kids zooming around on bikes.  Even the local fire department would not be coming out to spray down the children and turn the manicured lawns into giant, green slip-and-slides.

We had an early night of it and went to bed looking forward to having a day off from cycling and taking in the sights (and wines) that Oliver would have to offer.  My bike-packing friends Roy and Richard and I had visited a family owned bakery on one of  our cycling trips through the area and my family was anticipating a delectable breakfast there in the morn.  I hoped they had pie.
The bakery
BLAM! BANG! KERPOW! BOOM! Our dreamy slumbers were startingly interrupted by the sounds of a succession of hundreds of gunshots echoing off the nearby cliffs and bluffs.  Try as we might, there was no going back to sleep.  We didn't even make coffee at the campsite as we wanted shelter from the bullets and shotgun pellets that were sure to find their way into camp - given the close proximity of the shots.  We had been told earlier on the trail that Elk hunting season had just begun and we were eager to find safety inside the brick structure of the bakery.

While we waited safely indoors at a table for our order to be filled, we amused ourselves reading the cutesy signs gracing the bakery's walls.  "Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition" or this pithy one: "Not all men are annoying.  Some are dead."  Just when I was beginning to think that there was some discrimination going on, our waitress showed up with our hearty breakfasts.  When she asked us how we were, we mentioned being woken up by all the shooting and just how many Elk could there be in the Oliver area?  She puts down the plates and began to laugh.  "Those weren't hunters you heard this morning!  What woke you up were all the air cannons going off in the vineyards to scare away the birds!  Here.  Have this pie on the house - I can't wait to tell the girls in the kitchen!"
A quieter way to control birds


  1. As usual,a humerous twist to a wonderful tale. Keep up the great work!

  2. Looking like a rube is a small price to pay for free pie.

  3. As you know, when you're cycling, it's all about the pie!