POINTS OF INTEREST! 27
Welcome aboard the
Okanagan Valley Wine Train
for a wonderful, nostalgic,
Lake leisurely and romantic journey.
THE OKANAGAN VALLEY IS
Oyama 2 4 • the northernmost wine making area
in the world,
23 • the fruit basket of western Canada,
• a four seasons playground.
Lake Wood 20 LHS: Left hand side RHS: Right hand side
Lake 1. On the RHS Elks Stadium. This is the home of the
Kelowna Grizzlies baseball team.
Winfield 2. On the LHS Knox Mountain was named after a
local doctor. There is a road to the top with a panoramic
21 19 view (well worth the 5 minute drive). Every May Knox
Mountain Hill Climb is held for cars, and they race to
the top. A story is told about two wealthy miners in the
17 early days, who were waylaid by a robber at the foot of
Knox Mountain. One was killed but the other, though
wounded, swam across the lake to escape. The robber
hid the pokes of gold at the foot of a rock with white
markings. He never returned to pick up his gold but
Duck 16 confessed his crime on his death bed. No one has ever
Lake found the treasure.
Ellison 3. On the LHS is a raised bench, on which some
houses have been built. This is a very common feature
of the Okanagan Valley. Away from the city area they
15 are used for fruit growing. The height of these benches
indicates the height of a prehistoric glacier. Small lakes
were formed on the edge of the ice. Streams entered
Kelowna these lakes and deposited fertile silt, which built up to
14 become benches when the ice melted.
12 4. RHS. Sun-Rype factory. Sun-Rype commenced
business in 1946, making apple juice. Since that time,
they have grown to become western Canada’s largest
fruit processing plant, making juice based beverages
Knox Dilworth and “all natural fruit snacks”. Their many beverages are
Mtn. 11 sold primarily in western Canada and their food
3 9 products are sold nationally. The large red boxes are
2 apple boxes (bins), which are delivered to the orchards
5 10 Rutland
8 in the Fall, ready to be filled. Fruit pickers are paid by
4 the bin.
1 6 7
5. As we leave the industrial area, we enter the Interior Flight Center where you can learn to fly, rent, or
Bankhead/Glenmore residential area which was charter small planes.
farmland up to the 1950’s. 15. RHS. Black covering. This is a ginseng crop. With the
6. As we go under a bridge you will see on your RHS the influx of many Asians on the coast, and the interest in natural
Apple Bowl playing field. This is the home of the health remedies, ginseng has become a popular crop in the
Okanagan Sun football team. dry areas of B.C. This farming area is called the Ellison
7. The parklike area on the RHS used to be the Central District. Father Pandosy, the first white settler, made his
Park golf course. Plans are underway to turn it into a way here in 1859 with his fellow priests and spent the first
commercial and residential area. winter at Duck Lake, which is coming up on your LHS.
Father Pandosy almost perished during this winter of
8. LHS. Dilworth Mountain has been subdivided for
extreme cold. They were so desperate that they ate moss,
housing. Here the slopes are not irrigated and as a result,
roots, berries and even had to eat their horses to stay alive.
semi arid vegetation (e.g. sage brush) abounds while in the
The next year they moved a little south and set up a mission
moist creek areas, reeds are abundant. These reeds were used
on what is now called Mission Creek.
by the local “Okanagan” First Nation people to make baskets
and water containers. 16. LHS. Duck Lake is a stop over for migrating birds. In
summer the lake is popular for skiing while in winter it
9. If you happen to smell an unusual odor, it is probably the
freezes and is used for motorbike racing and skating.
Marshall’s cattle feed lot coming up on your LHS.
17. As we approach the town of Winfield you will notice a
10. Rutland. Up to the 1960’s this area was a fruit and
large industrial complex. This used to be a Hiram Walker
market gardening area, but now much of the land is used for
Distillery. The barren hillsides on the RHS have many small
housing and light industry.
glacial raised benches.
11. As you look across the valley, in the distance you will 18. Drip Irrigation If you watch closely on the RHS you
see orchards which have crept up the hillside. They stop will notice an apple orchard where the trees are only 6-8 ft.
suddenly at a certain elevation, due to a combination of tall and which have a black water pipe joining each trunk.
climate and irrigation limitations. Fruit trees are grown below This is the new method of apple growing. The advantages are:
the irrigation ditches which are fed by streams up the valley.
• Pickers do not have to climb up and down ladders,
The Land Use Act of 1972: In the early 1970’s the world which takes time and is dangerous.
was discovering the Okanagan Valley and people began to
pour in (many were, and still are, retirees). Farmers started • They can produce just as many apples per acre,
subdividing their land for housing. The B.C. government did because the tress are closer together.
not want farmers to continue subdividing the valuable • Less water is used for irrigation. A small hole in the
agricultural land for housing. (Only 3% of B.C. is agricultural pipe drips water onto the base of the tree.
land). Consequently, the government passed the Land Use • With high density orchards you can grow better
Act of 1972 forbidding subdivision of agricultural land quality fruit. (more light can get into the fruit.)
in B.C. The valley now has the unique feature of small Watch for a dog, on the LHS, which runs like crazy in
subdivisions surrounded by orchards. anti-clockwise circles on our way to Vernon and clockwise
12. As you pass the next industrial park, watch for a swampy circles on our way back from Vernon. The train engineers
area and pond on the LHS. In the distance you can see call it the “tilt-a-whirl” spot.
buildings which are part of the Okanagan University 19. Winfield is a small community which was primarily
College. Bachelor Degrees in Arts, Science, Business concerned with the fruit industry. Today it is becoming more
Administration, Social Work, Fine Arts, Science in Nursing of a “bedroom community” for Kelowna
and Education are offered here. Over 3,000 students attend 20. LHS. Wood Lake . This is a glacial ribbon lake. On this
this campus. trip you will be passing 3 lakes. They are a result of a glacier
13. RHS. Shadow Ridge golf course. The Okanagan Valley is which came down this valley in the Pleistocene Ice Age. As it
a golfer’s paradise with over 20 courses to choose from. moved south it carved a roller coaster bottom. When the ice
14. RHS. Kelowna International Airport serves Kelowna melted, the lower parts became lakes. Wood Lake is named
and Vernon and is rapidly expanding. The 3rd busiest after Tom Wood, an early cattle rancher in the area. His
airport in B.C. and 12th in Canada, in 1998 it handled home was called “Winfield Lodge.” Occasionally you will
799,663 passengers. Air BC, Canadian Airlines, Westjet, see ice fishing and skating on Wood Lake in winter.
and Horizon Air presently serve the airport. It has Canada 21. Just over the hill on your LHS is the famous award
Customs for international flights, modern navigation aids winning Gray Monk Estate Winery. It has a beautiful
and has a 99.61% usability record. There are approximately setting overlooking the Okanagan Lake which is running
44 departures per day. This airport has other base parallel to the valley we are in now. Like all other wineries
operations: Kelowna Flightcraft, repairs and maintains in this area, they offer wine tasting and tours.
planes and runs the international Purolator contract. In one of 22. Ponderosa Pines are the pines, which have long needles,
the large hangers Kelowna Flightcraft has a Boeing 727 sim- and reddish trunks. These pines are only found in the semi
ulator for pilot training AOG Air Support assembles floats arid regions where there is less than 10 inches of rain a year.
for small planes. At the far end of the airport is the Southern (If you pull a piece of bark off the trunk it smells like
A special “thank you”...
goes out to Robin Jarman. Robin has been a
wonderful supporter of our project contributing the
dialogue, which describes the area the train travels
vanilla.) As we go north to wetter and cooler Swan Lake
climates on this trip, the Ponderosa pine makes
way for the fir tree which has short needles. (If
you take hold of a fir tree branch and pull, it feels
like the fur of the tail of an animal.)
23. On the LHS on the other side of the lake is
Hwy. 97 (This is part of the Pan American
Highway which runs from South America to
2 9 30 Kalamalka Lake
24. In the distance on your LHS is the small orchard com- 31. There is a nudist beach along here. Watch for it.
munity of Oyama . Most of the orchards in the Okanagan (If you wish!)
Valley are grown on slopes like they are in Oyama. This 32. Watch for an exclusive 5 star Bed and Breakfast on the
means that there is less risk of frost. Frost tends to concen- other side of the lake with a turquoise roof by a rock bluff.
trate on the flat valley bottoms, because cold air sinks. A nar- They even provide limousine service to the airport.
row piece of land separates Wood Lake from Kalamalka 33. As you come to the end of the lake, Coldstream Valley
Lake. (isthmus) This tiny piece of land was left by the glaci- is on your RHS, (a glacial valley as seen by the U-shape in
er and provides a means for us to cross to the LHS of Lake the far distance). On a clear day you can see the Monashee
Kalamalka. It is also the site of the town of Oyama. Iwao Mountain Range in the distance. The valley’s potential was
Oyama was a Japanese Field Marshall, seen by two brothers, Forbes and Charles Vernon in 1863.
prominent in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5. Originally They started the famous Coldstream Ranch which produced
the two lakes were separated. In 1908 a canal was built vegetables, hops and stage coach horses. Later, this ranch
between them to allow boats to pass through. Wood Lake was purchased by Lord and Lady Aberdeen, who planted
consequently became 1 meter permanently lower. fruit trees. In 1917, this was the largest fruit orchard in the
25. Kalamalka Lake. According to the National Geographic British Empire. The Coldstream Valley today is popular for
Magazine, this is one of the 10 most beautiful lakes in the hang gliders and paragliders.
world. This pristine lake on your RHS is absolutely beautiful 34. As we leave the lake another rail line joins us. This comes
all year round. Have your camera ready to take pictures in from the lumber town of Lumby, up the Coldstream Valley.
both directions. The turquoise colour is thought to be
35. The Vernon Golf and Country Club is on your LHS
caused by the deposition of white calcium in the lake.
Kalamalka is thought to be a Polynesian word. Kalamalka
was the name of a First Nations person, who was a 36. Vernon and area. Population 44,000. Vernon sits at the
descendant of a Kanaka. (Some Kanakas from the Sandwich center of four valleys; the city refers to itself as the “land of
Islands were picked up by early sailing ships on their way to everything”. The “black robes” (missionaries) rode through
America. The Kanakas then made their way to this part of this pleasant setting and built a stopover cabin on a place
the world.) The original name may have been Kalamoleka, where they could easily jump the creek with their horses.
meaning “Son of America”. It is thought that the Salish First The cabin became the beginning of Vernon. Many miners
Nation People changed the name to Kalamalka, meaning came to mine for minerals, 56 km. east at Cherry Creek.
“Lake of many colours”. Arnold Schwartzenager is Like many early miners in B.C., they turned to farming or
supposed to have property along this lake. cattle ranching, having not found their fortune at the mines.
The Vernon brothers were one example of these early pio-
26. Fishing in the Okanagan Valley. (char, rainbow trout,
neers. The BX (Barnard Express Company) ran a stage
kokanee, burbot and white fish). Recently, the kokanee
coach service on the Cariboo Wagon Road, which went up
(a land locked salmon) has been decimated by the
the Fraser Canyon to Barkerville during the gold rush period)
introduction years ago of a small shrimp, thought to provide
They set up a ranch near Vernon to breed stage coach horses.
food for the adult fish. They have now discovered shrimp
Four hundred were imported from Mexico for breeding. The
eat the baby kokanee’s food.
main street of Vernon is called Barnard Avenue today. Today,
27. RHS. The power lines on the mountain are bringing Vernon is a prosperous rapidly growing city offering year
hydro electric power from the dams on the Columbia River. round recreational facilities and a climate which attracts
28. The hills on the LHS are dry and grassy while the hills all ages. Vernon is famous for its Military Camp. This was
on the RHS are treed. The dryness on the LHS is due to the started in 1908 and is still in use today. During the world
fact that the slope is facing south, and therefore receives wars there were thousands of soldiers stationed here. In the
more direct rays of the sun, which means that it is hotter, and summer, students from all over Canada come for cadet
therefore less moisture to support trees. The opposite training.
situation exists on your RHS.
29. Oregon Grape is a bush that is frequently seen along
this section of your journey. It can be recognized by its Kalamalka Lake
shiny green leaves and occasional red leaf. It is a hardy
semi-desert plant, which has purple berries, and yellow
blooms in spring.
30. On the dry slopes there are two species of flora of
interest. Sumac is a bushy shrub which has bright reddish
leaves in the Fall. Its seeds were used by the First Nation
People to make “Indian lemonade”. Cheat grass is the
yellow grass on the hillsides above the highway. If you walk
on it, it sticks to your socks. Watch for rattlesnakes along
this stretch (when blasting the road through, the workers
blasted apart a rattlesnake den).