Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The reason for our visit to the south Okanagan city of Penticton was to attend the celebration of life for our good friend Carole who passed away in November at the young age of 66.  Many people got up and paid tribute or shared snips of her life and character.  There were lots of laughs which Carole would have enjoyed.  Aileen got up and spoke and when she sat down, the lady behind her tapped her on the shoulder and announced she was her cousin, Bev Stirling, who we’d met years ago but had lost contact again.  In another instance of “small world,” Bev’s husband worked with Carole for years!  Aileen and Bev were planning on getting together today.  I met several long time photo friends including Greg Dean, Joanne Bell, John Taylor and Jeanette Burton.
We came home for a while then took our host, Karen, with us to Theo’s Greek Café where twenty some of us had supper.  Joanne and the Taylor’s were at our table so Aileen and John Taylor’s wife, Alethea, had to entertain each other while the other three of us talked photography.  That is one experience I do miss with our new lifestyle.   On Sunday morning, we attended the spreading of Carole’s ashes alongside of Okanagan Lake at one of her favourite spots.   Sunday evening we visited Ron and Lucille who rented my sister Wendy’s old trailer across from us in Caliente this past winter.  They have already rented a different trailer for this coming winter.
I was awake about 5 so Monday morning got up shortly after.  I was on the road by 6:08.  It took nearly two hours to get to Midway, BC then found the border crossing didn’t open til 9 am.  Rather than drive to beyond Grand Forks to the next crossing, I sat and read.  I had lunch at the Golden Corral in Spokane since it was lunch time when I got there. 
I got into Colfax sometime after two pm planning to pay my bill at the motel but there was just an envelope hanging on the door with a note telling my key was in room 26 and giving me the wifi code.  The Siesta Motel is clean and very affordable and the office was open til ten so I took care of the bill when I returned.  My room with a single queen bed includes a microwave, coffee maker and fridge and cost $58.21 including the tax!  I went to the county office and bought a map book for $6 then headed out looking for pictures.  The crops are late this year.  I knew I would be too early but this was the only window of opportunity for this spring.  The only green is the fall plantings.  None of this spring’s seeding has sprouted yet.  In fact there isn’t much planted.  They are really giving it on the cultivating though now trying to catch up.  I was told the wet weather had held back the ability to access the fields.
I spent my evening on Steptoe Butte.  It got hazier and hazier and it looked like it was going to be a bust.  I went to have my bread and peanut butter and discovered I had grabbed an open sour cream container from our fridge rather than the margarine I had bought specially for this trip!  I bought another in town tonight along with a small tub of pasta salad which I ate to complete my supper.  We did get a spot of fairly decent light on the butte later but there was still so much dust as many farmers were still roaring around the fields with tractors and trucks.
I was back to Steptoe Butte well before six this morning.  There were three vehicles from Manitoba up there, one from England, one from California and one from Houston, Texas.  No locals in evidence.   I watched several crop dusting planes in action during the morning.  I guess the main reason to continue using the planes to spread chemicals is the large amount of crop that gets flattened by the big tractor tires during the application process.  After having my breakfast out of the trunk at the bottom of Steptoe, I wandered around the roads to the east of Steptoe and into Idaho returning to Colfax for a large lunch at Eddy’s Chinese Café right across from the motel.  After starting the download of the morning’s shots, I had a 45 minute nap.  I will go out again shortly for the evening light but I notice it is getting quite cloudy.  That may curtail the good light but if you’re not there, you don’t get to try.  I will work my way home tomorrow then Thursday we head back to the Shuswap for our Friday appointments.

Steptoe Butte from the east

There are many of these primitive roads which you only drive when they are dry.  This one had been very wet but has just been graded and it was now very dusty.  I was only the second vehicle to use it after the grader

A biplane crop duster

1904 barn

A little newer barn.  An 89 year old guy stopped to chat.  He'd just driven down from Spokane and had owned the property from 1950 til recently

Patterns made by the seeder

Here's a non Palouse picture for the others.  Shall I bring them to you Chas?