Day 58: Day off in Keremeos: helping to build a deck and taking a nap on a sofa at the foot of the mountains

You spend enough time in Keremeos and eventually someone will hand you a cutting saw and tell you to build a deck.

So I woke up in the home of Albert and Sharon after arriving in pitch-darkness last night. This is a home they built from scratch about ten years ago. They built the house in an area of land under the Keremeos mountains called Starvation Flats, named wh

Bert’s outdoor living room

en Chinese settlers tried to irrigate the land for farming a hundred years ago. They weren’t successful, but Bert did find the old pipe they tried to use to pump water when he was digging his foundations.

Bert’s a great cook, and he made me pancakes for breakfast that morning. He’s also a carpenter, and although he’s part-retired he was working that day with Jamie, a lad  from Preston near Manchester, who moved here with his Canadian wife Andrea to set up a garlic farm.

We had breakfast and drove to Twin Lake, to one of the rental units Bert manages. He and Jamie have been building a new deck on the side. It’s almost finished but I managed to get on the sander and the big cut-saw thing and help out a little.

Bert was telling me about all the wood they’re chopping in BC. Some of it goes out to Japan where they sink it in the sea to store it. Pine will rest undamaged for hundreds of years underwater. They do the same thing with coal; just drop it in the ocean and pick it up in a hundred years when it’s run out everywhere else in the world.

Jamie works on his garlic farm in the afternoon, so at lunch Bert and I headed home. Bert and Sharon have a vegetable and fruit garden; apples, peaches, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, everything grows in Keremeos. If you smell the perfume from the skin of a Macintosh apple you’ll know what the main street in Keremeos smells like (it has the most fruit stands in all of Canada.

Bert’s last house-guests built him a deck on the front of his house facing the mountains. He set up some armchairs and a couch on it, a few lamps and a table. It’s still pretty warm during the day in this valley so I took a little nap.

That evening Bert took us for fish and chips from ‘K’ Cafe, an old diner featured in numerous movies. We helped deliver some furniture to the retirement home where Sharon works as they were having a yard sale in the morning. Bert saw a barbeque he wanted for the house so he bought it before we even needed to take it out of the truck.

Although I didn’t do any cycling today I went to bed pretty tired. Bert’s got a lot of energy about him and he’s always working or helping someone out, so we were working a fair bit. It was  a good day off, I like Keremeos.