It’s been a while since my last post. April and May have been filled with work, tennis, sunbathing on the dock (and adjusting to the freezing water temperatures), and the occasional day trip around Nelson. But for the May 2-4 long weekend Marcus and I visited our pals Britney and Isaiah in the Okanagan for the first big adventure of the hot months.
Brit and Isaiah have been tasked with setting up an artist’s residency in Keremeos (which happens to be exactly halfway to Vancouver) and we spent four nights with them to check out their new digs and go on some much-needed adventures.
I’ve been hungry for the familiarity of my old friends as I pass my 6-month milestone in Nelson. This trip was the perfect escape from the loneliness and home-sickness I've been feeling over the past month or so.
We went on a day trip to Penticton, explored small lakes around Keremeos, and had a bonfire on the banks of the Similkameen River.
On the third day, we drove to Hedley and spontaneously decided to hike to the abandoned mine that towers over the once-booming gold rush town.
Mascot Mine was functional from 1936-1949 and produced 7.1 tonnes of pure gold in that time. It has been restored for tourism, but the tours haven’t been running since 2017. Today, it stands waiting for more restorations before tours can begin again. But we were all feeling a particularly keen sense for adventure and we were determined to find a way in.
We drove up the backside of the mountain and, using the magic of Google Map’s satellite view, we hiked towards the mine through steep and patchy forest. We crossed through barbed wire fences, saw five black bears, but finally made it to the top of the mine.
500 steps down, the mine hangs on a cliff face, with the valley floor a heart-dropping one kilometer below. We poked around the old buildings, soaked up the history, and I tried to imagine what it would have been like to work and live up there. It was exciting, eerie, and fascinating. It also made me want to explore the many ghost towns and abandoned mines around BC...more on that to come?
I got back from this mini-vacation feeling reset and so grateful for my long-distance friends who stick it out through painful stretches of time until we get to see each other again.