The other day, when I was basking on the beach of Mara Lake with the cool water lapping over my feet, I turned to a friend and we both agreed how amazing it is that we get to live here, when so many others just get to visit for a week or two.
Yes, there are remarks from locals about the Shuswap’s sunshine tax, which can mean everything from jobs that don’t pay as well as in other less-desirable locales or difficulty finding affordable housing options.
But there’s such cachet about being a local. Someone stopped me on the street to ask for directions the other day, saying “You are so lucky to live here” when I answered in the affirmative.
I couldn’t deny it.
“Yes,” I replied. “I am pretty lucky.”
Sometimes, I think we Shuswap-ians start to take some of what we enjoy for granted. Sometimes we complain about the heat, or the tourists increasing the traffic on our roads, or the longer lineups at the grocery store.
But we do need to stop for a moment and remember what we enjoy as a resident, and not just someone whose Shuswap fun has to be packed into a few days.
For me, all it can take is a moment to watch the sun set over Shuswap Lake, or a second to smell the sweet tang of the sunscreen I rub on my arms at the beach, or the slight coolness in the morning air along the waterfront nature trail or the paths through Little Mountain Park. I feel it when I load up the minivan with floaties, squirt guns and sand toys and drive my kids to the area’s beaches. I see my kids frolicking in the water and then get to tell them, “Sure, we can come back tomorrow.”
The other day, I saw an interesting feature that asked people to reveal their picks if they had 24 hours to spend in a particular place. It got me thinking about what I would do if I had 24 hours to spend in the Shuswap (and some freedom from budget considerations.)
1. A morning hike with my spaniel up the South Canoe trails to the beacon, from which you get a spectacular view of Shuswap Lake.
2. A trip to the Shuswap Farmer’s Market to pick up and snack on the local berries, peaches and cherries.
3. A leisurely bike ride along the SABNES nature trail, with stops to check out the boardwalk to the bird-viewing areas.
4. A patio lunch at one of our tasty downtown cafes.
5. A trip to Herald Park to enjoy the beach and cool off with a walk through the trees to Margaret Falls.
6. A barbecue supper including the sweet, local summer corn and a healthy glass of locally produced red wine, Larch Hills, Recline Ridge, Sunnybrae, Celista, Ovino… really your palate cannot go wrong.
7. A stroll along the wharf, ice-cream cone in hand, to watch the spectacular colours of the sunset.
That’s my perfect day, and absolutely doable. What’s yours?
Share your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.