The case for staying home this summer

The case for staying home this summer

If you are planning on a holiday away, best make a bank appointment to remortgage your house to afford gas for your vehicle. With gas prices locally already hitting 149.9 cents per litre, I feel like it will be a year to stick close to home. Our spaces, roads, campgrounds and amenities deserve your presence this summer.

I am not inclined to leave Nakusp much in winter. I hate winter driving and driving in the dark, so recently I took the opportunity for a trip now that the roads have cleared and the days are longer. There was no traffic and it was wonderful, but it did get me thinking about summer traffic.

Our Kootenay roads are notoriously windy and narrow. We have all been stuck behind big trucks and the impending seasonal imposition of convoys of massive holiday trailers. I can’t help but envision settlers in oxen drawn carts precariously meandering the mountain passes, because many of these campers can’t go much faster then that!

Plus we have the ferries, another obstacle for smooth sailing (pun intended) travel even in the quiet months, and a real pain in busy summer. So, apparently, I’m not really inclined to travel much in summer months either. Home it is.

Consider this year keeping your tourist dollars closer to home as well. If you find the busy highways as stressful as I do, then why not haul your trailer and family up to Summit Lake? Maybe order a picnic lunch basket from Halcyon Hot Springs and beach it out at the Beaton Arm for a day.

Hike Saddleback Mountain and check out the amazing renovated lookout tower. Go play a round of golf at Fauquier and then hit the Burton Cidery on the way home for a tasting and snack. Treat the family to SUP board or kayak rentals and experience the lake in a new way. In order to be true stewards of our valley, we must know it, live it, experience it. With the influx of outsiders that summer brings, it is important that locals are around to share, educate and manage how these travellers treat our home.

The last few years we have experienced the constant threat of forest fires, so camping alongside holidayers, perusing our backyards, keeping our homes and area lived in, watered, and watched will help lessen the chance of accidental or, heaven forbid, intentional fire bugs.

There is also the uneasy feeling of potential economic change in our near future. By holidaying at home this year, you are helping to support our local economy and strengthen our voice a little more by providing prosperity in our rural hidden heaven.

I’m not saying don’t go away at all. Wherever home may be, I know that we all need to get away from it sometimes. Just think about it a bit more. Instead of helping to increase the mass crowds of bumper-to-bumper boat and vehicle traffic in the Okanagan, go spend a sunny day at the Bahamas followed by dinner on the Leland patio.

We can forget so easily what the Arrow Lakes have to offer. It may not be the most exciting holiday you’ve ever had, but removing the stress of travel and rediscovering why we live here year round is well worth the stay-cation!

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