By Karen and Ron Kleven
The long weekend in May, affectionately known as Victoria Day Weekend, we decided to take a pleasure trip into the Thompson region of British Columbia to visit Kamloops. The motivation for the trip was that we had seen many news stories about the Kermode bear that had been taken to the BC Wildlife Park and the May long weekend in 2015 was the unveiling of the new home that had been built for Clover the Kermode bear.
For those of you who don’t know about the Kermode bears, they are a rare albino black bear. They frequent the north coast of British Columbia and are commonly known as the Spirit bear.
The BC Wildlife Centre has displays of Canines like wolves, big cats of which they have one female cougar and bobcat, two camels, moose, reptiles, amphibians, black bears, grizzly bears and of course the rare Kermode bear.
Kamloops is located on Highway 1 and sits on the confluence of the South and North Thompson rivers in a semi-arid grassland.
We stayed at the Kamloops RV Park which is right next door to the BC Wildlife Centre. We had made a reservation a couple months ahead, but when we checked in they could not find us on the system. The very nice lady behind the desk said to not worry as she would find us a site and so she did.
A pull through with full hookups and we were good for the weekend.
This park has 30 and 50 amp service, sewer, water, Shaw cable TV and WiFi available. There is a convenience store, coin laundry, washrooms and a scenic dog run trail. The gates are closed and locked after 11PM so there is a code if you need to get in or out after that.
The nice thing about the RV lifestyle is the people you meet in your travels and this weekend was no exception. Our neighbors pulled in with a 5th wheel next door and started setting up. They were from 100 Mile House and were down visiting their kids in Kamloops. We had a nice chat with them before they headed off to visit the relatives.
Heading over to the Wildlife Centre, it was obvious that they have done a ton of work since our last trip to Kamloops as they had built a new welcome center and gift shop with a lunch bar.
Spending the afternoon at the BC Wildlife Centre was great as the weather was awesome. As it was sunny and warm we took a tour of the Wildlife Centre on the scaled down version of a CP rail steam engine that runs on a figure eight track through the park. It was a hit with the adults and kids alike. Especially when the train was in the station and they let the kids blow the
The next day we headed into Kamloops which is about 24 Km (15 miles) from the RV Park and took a drive tour of the city. Stopping in at Lake City Casino in the downtown area of Kamloops we supported the local economy as best we could.
Pausing for lunch we found an interesting pub and restaurant just across the street from the casino called Frick and Frack Tap House. Here they have over a 100 craft beers from around the world and a great menu that will satisfy almost any taste.
Heading back to Kelowna on Monday, we took Hwy 97 down through Monte Lake, Falkland, Vernon and on to Kelowna. Falkland has the stampede on the long weekend in May, but unfortunately we did not have time to partake in the event this year, but maybe another trip.
The Falkland stampede started in 1919 as a picnic and since then has grown into a three day event in which people from all over the world come to compete for the $50,000 prize pool.
We stopped for lunch at a little truck stop cafe between Falkland and Vernon called Whispering Pines Truck Stop Cafe and boy this mom & pop business was keeping both of them hopping. The food was ample and tasted great and if you are looking for an easy in and easy out for the RV this is a great place to stop with lots of parking. The food is simple (which I like) and is like home cooking.
Published: July 2, 2015
Karen & Ron have been RV’ing for over 30 years and spent 10 years on the road visiting campgrounds and RV parks for Woodalls Publications. Now we are the proud owners and operators of “Join Us For A Trip Down The RV Highway” an informational website for RV’ers by RV’ers. Visit us at http:www.ka-ron.com