Around the Okanagan with a book

In Grandma Wears Hiking Boots, Okanagan author Laurie Carter pens a collection of personal journeys around the valley, exploring everything from the best place to hike with kids to best lunch spots and places to brush up on Okanagan history.

Tomorrow is World Book Night. More than 20,000 book lovers are gathering in London’s Trafalgar Square to meet big name authors such as Alan Bennett and Margaret Atwood. Throngs of people will cheer on authors in a frenzy to get their hands on thousands of free books.

I can’t make it across the pond for the big party, but to show solidarity I’m having my own low-key armchair soiree. With a glass of bubbly, I’ll curl up with a new favourite: a book that reflects my home focus and at the same time, is truly worth celebrating. This choice is Grandma Wears Hiking Boots by Kelowna author Laurie Carter.

There’s no doubt that the world is full of more dramatic or historically important places than the Okanagan. But still, our valley is special in its own right. In Grandma Wears Hiking Boots, Carter pens a collection of personal journeys around the valley, exploring everything from the best place to hike with kids to best lunch spots and places to brush up on Okanagan history.

Carter’s often humorous experiences go beyond peaches and beaches: She skydives, picks mushrooms, snowshoes, sips tea and visits the Okanagan’s best pumpkin patch. The book is accompanied by beautiful photos, directions and maps, but it’s the personal touch in each of these short entries that sets the book apart from other travelogues.

In the Let’s Eat section, Carter recounts a time she and her husband grumbled aloud while rattling the locked door of their favourite Indian restaurant in Oliver. About to give up, a voice called from above. “Perched high on a ladder a bearded man in a green turban smiled down at us,” writes Carter. He climbed down, opened the restaurant and prepared them a home-cooked meal. “Talk about service and beyond!”

My daughter once left her favourite toy at this restaurant. When we went to pick it up, the owner had it set aside with a box of homemade sweets.

In Grandma Wears Hiking Boots I enjoyed reading about many familiar places. But even for us locals, there’s much in these pages that’s new.

Carter originally thought the book would appeal only to baby boomers like herself. She has been pleasantly surprised. “It’s beyond what I expected or hoped for,” she said. “The book is appealing to the generation beyond the boomers, who are using it more for armchair travel. Young parents with kids love the short entries and people new to the valley are reading the stories as a way to get in and learn about their new home.”

Carter is obviously someone who enjoys conversing with and learning from all sorts of people. I imagine her flitting like a songbird from one branch of interests to the next. “The book was really a chance to bring together an awful lot of information I’ve gathered over the years and put it in one place,” she said.

Whether you’re a local or a tourist in town for the weekend, you’ll find something here to cheer about.

Heather Allen is a writer and reader who lives in Penticton.

allenh@telus.net

 

 

Just Posted

James Miller, the managing editor at the Penticton Herald, has been voted in for Jake Kimberley’s vacated council seat. (Submitted)
James Miller elected as Penticton city councillor

Penticton also voted yes to allowing up to 25 years for a Skaha Marina contract

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Run on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read