Fishing Derby in Merritt, British Columbia, Canada

2022 Fishing Tournament in the Nicola Valley at Peter Hope Lake

Special Guest Wes David of Fishing The Wild West TV Show

The May 14th Merritt Fishing Derby held at Peter Hope Lake in the Nicola Valley was a testament to our motto, “a lake a day for as long as you stay”.  The first derby of the year in these parts was hosted by the group at Tourism Nicola Valley – Experience Nicola Valley.  

 

Merritt Fishing Derby – Spirit of Merritt

Considering what we have gone through in the last 2 years as a community, it was, in essence, a day of reckoning. It was good to see  the “Spirit of Merritt” that we have all grown to learn and love. Now more will know how good we have it here.

Nicola Valley Draws People From Across BC To Fish

Approximately 50 fishermen and fisherwomen registered for the Tourism Nicola Valley – Experience Nicola Valley fishing tournament. Many from out of town. Some coming from areas like Kamloops, Richmond, Abbotsford, Langley, Chilliwack, Hope, Lac Le Jeune and other BC communities. Therefore, it was a few days of welcomed revenues to our local pubs, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and others.

merritt fishing derby

People gather for sharing some fishing tales. Photo Credit Wes David.

trout fishing

Measuring fish for prizing. Photo Credit: Greg Girard

Day Of Fishing Starts

The fishing enthusiasts started arriving at the derby base camp on Peter Hope Lake at 5 am on May 14th. Some stayed in town , while others camped out at one of our many wilderness campgrounds. Consequently, they fished until 5pm in the sun, most of the day.

Fishing Sun Or Rain Is Fun

In the evening the rains moved in, just in time for the award ceremony announcing the winners. Special guest Wes David presented the winners with their prizes. Many took advantage of his truck and boat on display for photos and selfies.

Wes David

Wes David and cameraman Chuck. Photo Credit: Greg Girard

Fishing Celebrity – Wes David

Wes David is the host of the Fishing the Wild West TV Show. The show generates 33 million viewers a year across many specialty and fishing networks. Wes, and his cameraman, Chuck, both avid fishermen, spent 4 days fishing the lakes of our valley for an upcoming TV show about fishing the Nicola Valley. A well deserved accolade celebrating our lakes and the natural outdoors. Country lakes is what we do well. Country anything is what we do always when it comes to adventure and music. 

 

First Class Lake Fishing Opportunity

Merritt fishing

Wes David and the Fishing the Wild West TV Show. Photo Credit: Wes David

Tourism Nicola Valley strongly believes, Merritt should benefit from and grow a responsible and productive recreational fishing season in the valley to assist in generating new money for the community. “BC residents spent $102 per fishing day! Canadian non-residents spent over $181 per fishing day, and International non-resident anglers spent over $334 per fishing day.” 

What Does Fishing Mean To The Valley

Average it out at $204 a day, add 100 new fishermen a month who fish our lakes and each one stays for a 3 day weekend… and when you add it all up it equates to $61,200 of new money invested into our community in one month. 

“There is no end to the rainbow trout in the Nicola Valley BC. Merritt & Nicola Valley BC is truly a trout anglers’ paradise! I spent 2 days fishing 2 of the 200+ lakes in the area for rainbow trout and I’ve never caught and released so many rainbow trout in a single day in my life”

Merritt Fishing Derby Winners

merritt fishing derby winners

Winners pose with Wes David. Photo Credit: Greg Girard

At the end of the day, the prizes were announced with first prize going to Derek Poitras, second prize to Colin Mitchell and 3rd prize was awarded to Nathan Lewis. In the youth category the prize went to Skylar Vilac.

All in all, the winners of the day, were all of us who came together, in sun and rain, to laugh, smile and share fishing tales. Thank you to all who attended and may the fishing Gods be with you. Come back soon.

Merritt Fishing Derby

2022 Fishing Tournament in the Nicola Valley at Peter Hope Lake

#merrittmatters

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BC Flood and Fire Relief

Hell or Highwater Concert Help-a-thon

Donate to help the Victims

BC Flood and Fire Relief – It has been awhile since the disastrous floods and fires in Southern BC.  At this point in time it seems that the plight of the people affected by these events have been forgotten. However there still is a significant need. Provincial disaster relief is slow in coming and in all likelihood will not be sufficient to cover all the costs incurred.  As well, many people who thought they were insured weren’t.

BC Fire and Floods a Reminder

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I want to remind everyone what happened in Merritt, Lytton, Princeton, and Abbotsford. 

Merritt Flood Nov 2021

Merritt Flood Nov 2021  – Photo Courtesy of  Global News

Abbotsford Floods – Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Lockhart

Lytton Fire 2021

Lytton Fire 2021 – Photo Courtesy of CTV News

Recovery from these events is a long ways away but the people need your help now.

Hell or Highwater Concert Help-a-thon

The Hell or High Water concert/help-a-thon is a massive undertaking. The organizing  group has put together an amazing group of artists to entertain you and to encourage you to help out.  For the 12 hour period, starting on March 13, 2022 at 10:00AM there will be appearances of over 50 Artists and another 25 or so dignitaries. To see where you can tune in to watch the Hell or High Water Fundraiser please go to the website. You can follow along and donate on participating websites, social media and, maybe even, TV. 

The great thing about this concert is that the overhead has been kept as low as possible so your donation goes to the fire  and flood relief victims.  The organizers  are donating their time and expertise, the artists are donating their performances and all prizes have been donated.

You may want to know who is behind the fund raiser for fire and flood relief. The “Brothers of Tourism” at EH Canada Travel, Kenny Hess (Founder of Rockin’ River Music Festival), the Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly, Tourism Nicola Valley, Experience Nicola Valley and the Rotary Club of Merritt are all proud to step up and present the “Hell or High Water Fundraiser”.

Hell or Highwater Entertainers

Obviously with over 50 performers I won’t be covering them all but you can be sure that everyone is a top caliber performer and you will enjoy every minute of it.

The lineup includes musicians from all genres with a large tribute to Country and Western.  This is not surprising because this fire and flood relief concert originated from the Country Music Capital of Canada, Merritt BC.  For the full list of Artists you can go to www.hellorhighwater.ca .

Just to get you excited here is but a few people performing for you, George Canyon, Patricia Conroy, Big and Rich, Kenny Hess, Karen Lee Batten, David Gogo, Jackson Hollow, Lisa Brokop,  Duane Steele and Beverley Mahood.  If old time rock and roll is more your thing then you can stay tuned for Chilliwack or Loverboy.

Fire and Flood Relief Prizes

To encourage you to donate to the fire and flood relief concert, Hell or High Water, you can win a valuable prize.  When you donate you can pick the prize that you want to win. You will automatically get 3 chances at the draw and then you get to earn other chances at your draw.  So it is actually better to donate early so your chances of winning become a little bit better.

What can you win?  There are prizes for every taste from Canucks tickets, Rockin River Tickets or a stay at a beautiful cabin on Glimpse Lake near Merritt, BC.

I am an art fan and have to say there is an amazing painting by Canadian Artist, David Langevin that has a retail value of over $8,000. So this will not only be a great addition to your home but also be a great investment in one of Canada’s foremost artists.

Melting at Moraine

Melting at Moraine-David Langevin Art

The Flood and Fire Relief Victims Need Help!

The crisis is not over!  The victims of the fire and flood need your support. The Hell or High Water Concert help-a-thon is the perfect place to provide that support.  You are not only helping your neighbours but you’re a getting a great day of music.  Also you will be entertained plus have the chance to win a great prize.  You can also direct your donation to a specific community.  Let’s all get on board.

 

Flood and Fire Relief

Hell or Highwater Concert Help-a-thon

Donate to help the Victims

 

 

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

 

Halloween in Merritt BC

Trick-or-Treating in The Nicola Valley

 

Celebrating Halloween Oct 31 in Merritt BC

Halloween in Merritt BC – Halloween is celebrated annually on October 31. While being one of the world’s oldest holidays. The community of Merritt additionally recognizes Halloween as one of the most important nights of the year for children including  many adults.  Although it’s derived from ancient festivals and religious rituals,  Halloween is still widely celebrated today in a number of countries around the globe. In countries such as Ireland, Canada and the United States. Celebrating “Halloween” in Merritt is a memorable experience. 

Halloween Merritt BC

Scary little people! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merritt BC Halloween

Zombie Night! Photo Tania Stewart.

Ghoul Night is Halloween in Merritt BC

Growing up in Merritt B.C., truly was a child’s dream. To say nothing of the excitement with dressing up in costumes spending the night “Trick-Or-Treating”. Moreover ending the night with a bonfire while watching the fireworks is a great finish to a scary night.  After trick-or-treating, most people attend parties with neighbors and friends.  Furthermore many downtown businesses have treat’s for all the Goblins. What a great way to Experience Nicola Valley

Trick-or-Treat Merritt

Faceless ghouls! Photo by Tania Stewart

Merritt Halloween night

Is that you Batman? Photo by Tania Stewart

Hallows Night

Halloween is celebrated every year on the evening of October 31st. Together being a Celtic historical festival which also marked the division between the time of year when days are longer than nights and when nights are longer than days. Correspondingly believed to be the day when the border between the world of the dead and the world of the living narrows.  Interesting to note is the date of Halloween is almost in the middle of the time interval between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. 

Halloween Merritt B.C.

Scary things will knock at your door!

Take all the candy! Photo by Tania Stewart

Halloween Origin

Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain. Over the centuries, Halloween transitioned from a pagan ritual to a day of parties, costumes, jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treating for kids and adults.  In addition to dressing up as ghosts, demons and other malevolent creatures, children may perform antics in exchange for food and drink. 

Fun times in Merritt B.C

Carving time! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Get your Pumpkin and carve away. Even if you have to hire a Vampire with sharp teeth.

Vampires bring teeth! Picture by Tania Stewart.

Moreover “Spiders” and “Crows” are always welcome on Halloween night in Merritt B.C.

Nicola Valley Halloween

Spiders are always welcome! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Night for the crows. Halloween Photo credit Tania Stewart

Halloween Folklore 

In Ireland and Great Britain, the first jack-o’-lanterns were turnips or  beets.  Carved with demonic faces that are lit inside by a candle.  Then placed in a window or on the doorstep to scare Stingy Jack and other evil spirits. Irish and Scottish immigrants brought the custom to Canada and the United States. Adapting the jack-lantern to a North American native  vegetable,  the pumpkin. 

Friendly Ghoul. Photo Credit Tania Stewart

Such fun! Photo Credit Tania Stewart

Halloween Party Games in the Nicola Valley

At the parties, many games are played, including “snap-apple,” a game in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree and players attempt to bite the hanging apple. In addition to bobbing for apples, parents often arrange treasure hunts, with candy or pastries as the “treasure.” Or try out “Halloween Snack Board” with Jennifer Schell. Children are also known to play tricks on their neighbors, such as “knock-a-dolly,” a prank in which children knock on the doors of their neighbors, but run away before the door is opened. Sounds very familiar. A little warning to all goblins, witches’, ghouls, and monsters. You may never know when a hand or zombie may pop out of a dark corner or behind a tree .

Halloween costumes

Halloween is truly for the young! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Halloween in Merritt B.C

Pumpkin carving competition has been won! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Halloween Safety

Firstly remain safe. Pair up with friends, and younger children with parents or guardians. Secondly stick to one side of the street, not running across the street to other houses. Thirdly, carry a flashlight or go out before it gets dark. Fourth, try to stick to areas you are familiar with. Wear appropriate clothing. Importantly let your parents check your candy haul. Just get out and “Trick-or-Treat.” when enjoying Halloween in Merritt BC Canada.

In Conclusion

Moreover just enjoy Halloween Night in Merritt BC or wherever you live. A little warning to all goblins, witches’, ghouls, and monsters.  It is the one night we can all dress up and be whatever we want with a lot of imagination and creation. I may just dress up as a spider this year. Boo!

Halloween in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley Trick-or-Treating

 

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A tasty way to enjoy Halloween Treats!

You are going to feel like the ghostess with the mostest when you try this Halloween Snack Board.

This Halloween snack board is just the thing you need to try. Snack boards are so multi-purpose. I do them for lunches and I do them for birthdays. This board was created last year when Covid hit and we were all in lock down. It was such a somber season for for the entire Nicola Valley and the world.  As a result I decided we would have our own little party.

Halloween Snack Board and Treats in Merritt BC

Halloween Puns Are So Corny. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Halloween Snack Boards are Spooktacular Treats!

 I had never made one for Halloween and wanted to boost the kids spirits. We assembled this easy enough and I am sure you could definitely simplify it by only picking a few elements to recreate. Furthermore, I wanted the kids to be quite hands on with this and have a great experience. Based on the snack board we created as a family for Valentine’s Day, I had some ideas on what I wanted to do. 

Hot Dog Dinner for Halloween

Lets Give Them Pumpkin To Talk About! Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Spooky Season is upon us 

Getting spooky like this is easy with a quick trip to Walmart. They always have such a great assortment of cookies and cupcakes seasonally. So putting something like this Halloween snack board can be as easy as 1,2,3! You can make your board a mixture of sweet or savory, like I chose to.  Or you can choose to keep it completely on the sweet side with gummy candy, cookies, and candy bars.  This Halloween snack board has some homemade items and some bought items. Don’t burn yourself out. Let your creative juices flow. Lastly and most importantly have fun and take a lot of photos of your creative eating masterpiece like we did. !

Treats for Halloween Snacking Board

We’re Here For A Gourd Time! Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Mummy Dog How To! 

Interested in making your own mummy hot dogs? They come together easily enough. And can make your own Halloween snack board totally stand out. All you need are your favorite hot dogs. Then some canned crescent roll pastry.  You then simply place the crescent roll pastry on to your cutting board. Cut into strips and then wrap them around your hot dog. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 mins or so at 350 degrees. You can then use mustard to make eyes. Lastly theses were so fun for all of my kids to make. So easy and very tasty! 

Baking and making Halloween treats

Let the Halloween Treats begin. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Halloween Mummy Hotdogs

You Will Win The Award Of “Mummy Of The Year” With These Guys! Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Halloween Looks So Beautiful and Yummy

Healthy Snacks for Halloween

Cavities Beware. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell

Hocus pocus its no joke, candy helps me to focus. Lets zero in on some of these spooky treats. For this Halloween snack board we first have an easy addition with red pepper hummus.  Add in some pumpkin type lines and the top of a cucumber and you have an adorable pumpkin. Can you find the black olive spiders? They came together quick and easy. Just slice open 1 black olive lay it flat and with the opposite side make the legs. The peeled oranges and if you take a closer look you will also spy pumpkin deviled eggs. We used some turmeric and mustard to get a more orange hue. Crackers, gummy worms, tiny spooky cupcakes all round this tray out. Lastly make this your own and let your creativity flow. 

 

Healthy Halloween Treats

Life Is Gourd Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Have an eek-tastic Halloween

“Fa-boo-lous!

You are going to feel like the ghostess with the mostest when you try this Halloween Snack Board. I promise you it comes together easy enough. There is so much inspiration online. As a busy mom of 8, I can say that we all had so much fun. I had little ones making spiders, snacking and laughing. All gathered around my table.. This was honestly one of our biggest highlights from lockdown, and I’m so thankful I get to be in a space that lets me share our families experiences Being able to share our stories with. Experience Nicola Valley fills my heart with gratitude. In conclusion from my family to you, we wish you a happy and safe fall season. 

Family halloween treats and sweets

#Squadghouls. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

And finally, just a teaser, for the next big holiday after Thanksgiving here is a sneak peek into our  Christmas themed snack board. 

Halloween Snack Board in the Nicola Valley

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Camping  Treats for All Seasons

Smores is delicious snack for any time of the year in British Columbia 

Easy Smores Dip –  Summer treats when in Canada brings on so many amazing experiences. A huge part of summer in British Columbia is R&R, and a big part of that relaxing could be sitting around a campfire enjoying smores. Our beautiful  province is blanketed in lush mountains and heavily forested areas, and not many things comes close to the joys of sitting around a campfire, enjoying family and friends under the stars, snacking on smores.  It just might be the unofficial food of camping for kids. 

Easy Smore Dip - Campfire treat

Snacking Board Pretty – Betty Crocker Easy

Easy Smores Dip Helps With Fire Safety

However, smores is not just a campfire treat, no…  you can have smores anywhere and anytime. And if you live anywhere where campfire bans are usually in effect, and for good reason, there are alternatives. This summer was one to remember for so many people who were displaced during evacuations. For this reason we even had the children’s Great Grampa stay with us during the Logan Lake fires. 

Graham Wafer, Marshmallow, Chocolate

Smores Deconstructed

Crackling Fires And Warm Summer Nights 

So how do you enjoy this tasty seasonal delight? Pop it in the over of course! As a result you can now enjoy it for all 12 months of the year. Easy Smore dip satisfies that deep craving crackling fires and warm summer nights. Smores are decidedly  a flavor of a Canadian summer that can make a place for so many happy memories. It’s so easy and a great dip to have kids help in the kitchen with. With a little supervision kids can easily make this easy smores dip quickly and safety of home. This dip goes from prep to table in 20 mins or less.

Still Sticky, But With The Comforts Of Home

Smores Can Be Quite Sticky If You Aren’t Prepared

Easy smores dip is almost a cheater meal. First off if  you are new to the world of smores let me give you an idea of what these are to you. Smores are a gooey fire roasted marshmallow and chocolate square smooshed together between a cookie or graham wafer cracker. The method is usually quite simple. But can be a very exciting food item to make, especially if you have any child under the age of 4 around the campfire awaiting a delightfully sticky snack. To make this treat in theory so simple yet super tricky.

 

Easy smores dip ingredients and tips and tricks.

Directions

Lightly grease whatever sized pan of your choice. I used my tiny cast iron for a more camp like theme.

Coarse chop roughly 3 cups of chocolate. We ended used a giant frozen Toblerone we had saved since Christmas. 
Then you can lay the marshmallows on top. Enough to cover the pan.

Ingredients for Smores

Easy Smores Dip Baking Instructions

Oven temp – 400
Place in oven for 5-7 mins. Watching the marshmallows closely
While that’s baking assembly is a breeze for this easy smores dip. Simply place graham crackers on a board or tray. In addition you can dip and dunk cookies, pretzels, or fresh fruit. Be cautious if you are dipping straight from the pan. It holds the heat and can burn. Parental supervision is a great idea.

 

In Conclusion 

I would personally like to thank everyone involved in our summer and the fire efforts made here in our beloved province. Thank you to everyone doing your part and helping us all grow in being fire smart. Our hearts go out to those that have lost so much and to those brave men and women working tirelessly to help keep us all safe. Additionally making small tweaks as we practice fire safety  doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy experiences. Easy smores dip certainly makes #nocampfirenoproblem! Exploring the great outdoors and making plans is easy when you follow the Experience Nicola Valley Crew! As always if you recreate this recipe give us a tag. The family and I would love to see your creations and connect.

Willing Taste Testers

Easy Smores Dip – Camping Treats in BC Canada

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Summer Outdoor Activities in Merritt BC

Summer Adventures and Activities in The Nicola Valley

Outdoor summer activities in Merritt BC , offers a wide range of sunshine fun.  200 lakes, mountain biking trails and more makes the Nicola Valley a great choice for your next destination spot in the summer. Merritt’s  slogan says it all “A Lake A Day For As Long As You Stay”.  And we have rivers too! I guarantee when it comes to experiencing summer outdoor activities in the Nicola Valley,  it will make you wish you planned for more time so to go kayaking, boating, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and viewing wildlife.   

“I don’t need therapy, I just need my boat.” Unknown

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Gone Fishing! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summer Activities Merritt BC

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Swimming fun! Picture courtesy Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Nature’s poolside, were you can find me. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summer Activities in Merritt BC Includes Lundbom Lake 

Lundbom Lake is truly one of my favorite Summer Activities in Merritt BC. A beautiful lake which is located only 10 minutes from downtown Merritt BC. Moreover  Lundbom Lake  is a great location for camping, fishing and horseback riding. While the surrounding area also provides excellent mountain biking and ATV/dirt bike riding. Along with having sunny and shady sites. Open from Apr 26, 2019 – Oct 14, 2019. Outdoor  

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Julie Pollard “Is that the big one?” Photo Tania Stewart.

 

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Enjoying the dock. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Nicola Valley.

View of Lundbom Lake. Photo TS.

 

“I camp here until the end of October most years.” Unknown Tourist.

 

Kayaking on Lundbom. Photo by ehCanadaTravel.com.

EhCanadatravel

Fall camping Eh! Photo courtesy ehCanadaTravel.com

 

“Lundbom Lake is very quiet and peaceful. Little noise pollution during all 3 of our visits. That is all we have to base it on. So it works for us.” Eh Canada Travel Website

Outdoor Summer & Fall Activities in the Nicola Valley BC. Canada.

Lake Trout. Photo Greg Girard.

Outdoor Summer & Fall Activities in the Nicola Valley BC. Canada.

Lundbom Lake Fall night. Photo by Greg Girard.

“THE FISHING ROCKS! Had to get that one out.” Greg Girard.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC

Horse back riding has to be one of the best summer  activities everyone can enjoy. A great opportunity to take in all of Mother Nature’s beauty. Trail riding is truly a Summer & Fall activity everyone can enjoy together in Merritt B.C. Offering a few choices, the Nicola Valley provides a day of adventure with nature in a saddle.  

Horse Camping at Lundbom Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

A-P Guest Ranch. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Fall Fly Fishing in the Nicola Valley

Fly Fishing being a popular sport, Merritt BC has it made with 200 lakes.  There is no wonder to why Corbett Lake Lodge is an anglers dream during the fall months. For all your supplies that you may need, surely drop by Ponderosa Sports located downtown Merritt.  

Summer Activities Merritt BC

Dragon Flies. Photo TS.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley’s Lakes

Fishing for bait. Picture by Tania Stewart.

 

Best Fishing Lakes Near Merritt

It should be noted that the Nicola Valley boast’s some of the best fishing in the World! There are over 200+ lakes in the region. Many are prime lake fishing destinations, including Garcia Lake, Marquart Lake, Hamilton Lake, Edna Lake, Mathew Lake, Morgan Lake, Roth Lake, Gwen Lake, Lundbom Lake and Lily Lake. Located just outside of Merritt, Marquart Lake is a small, clear lake which offers good rainbow trout fishing, camping and other outdoor activities nearby. 

Were to Start Planning Your Summer Activities

One place to start is our travel website Experience Merritt. Once you have your bearings than check out some of the fishing experiences on this blog site. Last, but not least, ask a local or visit Ponderosa Sport’s downtown Merritt.

 

Kennedy Lake Hike

Kennedy Lake Hike. Photo Credit: Tania Stewart

Mountain Biking Outdoor Activities Merritt BC

Outdoor adventure mountain biking on the many trails surrounding the Nicola Valley provide endless days of exploring the backcountry.  No crowds. Lots of trails. Mouth-dropping scenery. Therefore to enjoy the trails in our backcountry all you need is a water bottle, the right gear and your ride. Nature and the adrenaline rush provides the rest. In reality the Nicola Valley provides the beautiful backcountry scenery, the wildlife sightings, the remote wilderness lakes and forested rolling hills. A nature enthusiasts dream space. Questions? You can drop a line with Merritt Mountain Biking Association

Mountain Biking Fun

Mountain Biking Fun. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

Mountain Biking - Merritt BC

Scenic trails. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

Moreover Hiking/Backpacking 

Truly enjoying the fall weather while hiking in the Nicola Valley is a must. Making sure to have your compass, water, picnic basket and a camera to capture your adventure. With the City of Merritt being located in a valley surrounded by mountains makes this an ideal destination place for avid backpackers and hikers. Generally having on the average sunny warm fall days makes it a pleasant day of hiking and adventure for the whole family. Reminder to always tell someone were you will be hiking if alone.

merritt bc camping

Harmon Lake. Photo courtesy of Experience Nicola Valley Blogger Tom Reynolds.

Scenic nature. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summarizing Outdoor Activities in The Nicola Valley

Outdoor Activities in Merritt BC truly will have you smiling and knowing that you just had the best summer.  While Merritt can boast over 200 lakes with desert-like weather truly makes this your next vacation spot. “ A Lake A Day as Long as You Stay” has been it’s local slogan for decades. Equally making this your next destination place for activities such as kayaking, boating, mountain biking, hiking, paragliding or just lazily strolling lake trails.  Truly making this your next destination vacation spot!

Summer Fun in The Nicola Valley

Come and Experience the Adventure

 

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Desert Hills Ranch

What better way to get your summer bucket list started off right than spending a day with an awesome summer adventure. 

Spending a day at Desert Hills Ranch with family.

A day at Desert Hills Ranch. Seriously hands down this is a hidden gem located in heart of  Ashcroft B.C.  A beautiful slow paced community that has so much charm to offer with old school western desert vibes. Ashcroft has a museum, well stocked grocery store, lovely tourist worthy location for community information. Lastly…  you could also bring your swim suits and check out our community pool to cool off.

desert hills ranch ashcroft bc canada

Goats at Desert Hills Ranch. Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

mexican store ashcroft bc canada

Delish! Mexican Delights! Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

History in Ashcroft BC

Of course my oldest son Logan, age 13, says his favorite thing to see is all of the tractors. He loves to see the historical and ancient farming machines. Secondly if you fancy yourself an avid gardener or aspire to be. The options for making that dream a reality is beyond belief. Think Garden of Eden meets tacos and you have a pretty good idea of what its like on the ranch.

Going Mexican Food in Ashcroft

Speaking of tacos… if you crave Mexican food and fare. This is the place to be for all sorts of chips, beans, hot sauces and salsas. I love stocking up on all the essentials for the best taco Tuesday meal items. In conclusion you do not want to forget to mark on your calendar for salsa weekend if you are keen to make your own.

plants gardening ashcroft bc

Plants!  Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

ashcroft bc family fun

Family fun in Ashcroft BC. Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

Fun Times at Desert Hills Ranch

A day at Desert Hills Ranch is fun for everybody! They have lots to see and do. Children,  I think,  have an especially great time here. As a Mom I appreciate the measures that the ranch takes to allow people to view the animals but also how clean they keep it. Along with the areas  to clean and sanitize hands often, and easy access to use the rest rooms. The barn is such a fun treat to explore every time and it is fun to see all the animal friends inside! Of course feeding the goats is so much fun! 

Fruits and more 

My daughter Amelia age 11 says her favorite thing to enjoy is the food. She loves to buy different fruits each week to try with the family and she loves the ice-cream. I feel zero regret buying ice-cream here for my family of 10! The price is right when it comes time for a cool treat. What a fun and affordable way to make the day that much more memorable! 

 

cows farming ranch ashcroft bc

Calf in Ashcroft

An Educational Opportunity 

Machines, where our food comes from, biology and botany are just a few subjects you will encounter on the ranch. As a homeschooling mama this place has educational field trip written all over it. And that is another perfect reason to come check out the ranch. This hasn’t been my first time blogging about my favorite ranch. You can read that post HERE . There is so much to see and do here, it really is a very enriching experience. My son Zach who is 6 absolutely loves that he got to see his favorite animal when he visited the barn. A baby cow was such a adorable treat for him to see so close.

kyle schell ashcroft canada plants

Lots Of Selection To Keep Any Green Thumb Happy

Flowers in Ashcroft BC Canada

This has to be one of my favorite parts of coming to the ranch. I love the huge selection of flowers, shrubs and trees they always have here. It makes adding curb appeal easy with the huge selection that they always have! I love that I can even dabble at pretending I am a homesteader with there great assortment of garden items. Cue the Little House On The Prairie theme song. I am so excited to try making a few different jams this season and give some canning  a try. We love getting our tomatoes and strawberries here. And filling up our garden rows with lots of other goodies as well. Corn, peppers, cauliflower to name a few! 

ashcroft flowers plants

Impeccable Selection Of Many Garden Items

Covid Pregnancy

Delicious Produce Awaits At The Ranch

In Conclusion 

A day at Desert Hills Ranch is never a day wasted. This place is really such a hidden gem. Surrounded by desert mountains. It has beautiful weeping willows to offer shade as you stroll around. They are always so kind and courteous. It truly offers an exceptional summer experience in the heart of British Columbia.

Therefore, if you are looking for more great all year around ideas for what to do in BCs interior. Please follow the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers. And keep your eyes on the Blog for some more great Summer Bucket List ideas! Thanks for reading! Have a great summer and stay safe. 

CONTACT INFO

Desert Hills Ranch

250 Elm Street, Ashcroft, BC

250.453.9876

deserthillsfarmmarket@gmail.com

www.deserthillsranch.com

 

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Five Favorites for February

What our family did during February

Things To Do at Home with a stay-at-home family life theme. 

five favorites to february

February and all the fun it can bring.

Five Favorites for February Starts with National Pizza Day. 

Kid Pleasing Pizza

Counting down for five favorites for February is National Pizza Day for #5. On February 9th you and your loved ones can have a great reason to enjoy a slice of the good stuff. It was first celebrated in the year 2000. Fun Fact Kyle and I used to work together in a pizza shop before we were even dating. We eventually got together and pizza has had a special place in our relationship ever since. We love pretty simple toppings due to younger taste buds – I am assuming. But this was a fun article I read about the “Most Hated Pizza Toppings“. In contrast, I counted and I love 11 from the list. 

five favourites for february

Show Some Love For Pizza Day

Indoor Activities For Toddlers – During A Polar Vortex 

Ker-plunk! Number #4 finds us still on lock down, homeschooling and add in a polar vortex for fun. Five favorites for February would not be complete with out a toilet paper craft to keep little ones happy. This was a quick and easy at home activity with a cute Valentines Day theme for the month of love. It was  a good way to incorporate some fine motor skill building and laughter into our very long “Ground Hog Day” month. We used red colored pom-poms, acrylic paint and toilet paper rolls with some tape to get them stuck to the walls. 

Pom Pom “Marble Run”

Sweetie Pie Valentines Day Biscuit’s 

Coffee and Breakfast Flatlay

#3 for five favorites for February finds us with heart shaped biscuits. Unquestioningly you get bonus points if you use canned biscuit dough. Valentines is such a fun holiday to celebrate. And getting kids in the kitchen is such a bonus. These biscuits came together really quickly and were so tasty. If you do not use canned dough, We have an easy recipe made with simple kitchen staples. In addition it is also is very versatile. I make this dough and use it as a topper for shepherds pie, for pizza dough, or just enjoy as a side of biscuit’s. Additionally I also use it for a base to make a yummy “Bubble Pizza“.

Heart Shaped Biscuit/Pizza Dough Recipe

This is an easy to come together recipe. 

Dry Ingredients

4 cups of Flour

1 tsp of Salt 

8 tsp of Baking Powder

1 tsp Cream of tarter

Wet Ingredients

1 cup Butter or margarine – Cold

2 cups Cold milk 

Valentine's Day Baking

Baking Something Special

Method – Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cut in cold butter or margarine until nice and crumbly. Pour in milk and combine all together. You may need a little more or less depending. Flour your surface and roll out. For the most part I like to keep my biscuits (2 cm) thick, ( more or less depending on what you are baking here). Cut with a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. For the heart shaped pizzas I just used a knife and made them about the size of a personal pan pizza. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in a 425 oven for 12-18 mins. However I say 18 because we are in a higher mountain altitude – and that can effect baking times.

Pink And Red Oobleck

A Few Simple Ingredients

Oobleck, Yes you read that right! Basically is a fun word for a mess. Its kind of a mix between slime or playdough. It can be messy, so give yourself lots of space. I am very intentional with the pockets we play like this indoors. I make sure the area we are in is clean before hand and I have a good space of time to allow free play. And extra time after for clean up. Saying all of thee above Oobleck is very amazing and interesting. In addition to a fun sensory and science experience. Its also fabulous for anxiety. I had a follower on Instagram actually reach out to me and mention that they make this for themselves. On the whole I think this was a fun and I could see relaxing experience. 

Make Your Own Valentines Day Oobleck

Oobleck – Sounds like a bunch of fun. Its actually inspired by a Dr. Seuss book. To make this, you will need a few simple ingredients to celebrate along with our five favorites for February. Oobleck coming in at #2. I made it two because its “Too much fun’. To make. Assemble a large bin. First and foremost you will need 1 cup of corn starch coupled with 1/2 a cup of water. Slowly mix together, Additionally while you are mixing here you can add some food coloring. As you can see the kids all had a great time watching the goo go from a solid to a liquid. It even felt “rock hard” at some points. Even though we made ours Valentines day themed you can assuredly make it any color you want.  

Slime

A Solid? A Liquid?

Valentines Food Board

Be Kind

Five Favorites for February celebrates #1 with an epic and easy to assemble food board. Just popping on to Pinterest will give you some excellent examples of what these boards have the potential to look like. Click “Here” if you are interested in some inspo. I think the best way to approach these boards is to keep it super simple. Pick out a main theme treat like cookies or cupcakes then some goodies to to sprinkle around the main treat. You can add in decorative bowls or cups. I picked up a lot of festive themed treats from our local Wal-mart and got creative. Its minimal effort with a big WOW factor! 

Heart, Candy, Love

These Are A Sneak Worthy Treat!

Candy board. Candy Grazing Board

Grazing Boards Come Together Quick

Bonus Favorite! Valentines Day Freak Shakes!!!!

Pink Milkshake

Have You Ever Heard Of A “Freak Shake?”

Unquestionably those were all fun five favorites for February. For all those reasons we had to throw in this bonus treat! This one was undoubtedly a fun experience to create while we are at home.

Final Thoughts

Candy. Pink and RedI hope you enjoyed seeing what we were up to in the month of February. Five favorites for February made the long drawn winter month seem to fly by at times. Planning little events or things to do has always been a lot of fun for me. And being a homeschooling family. I love integrating the holidays into our school life. It defiantly keeps things happy and fun around here. 

 

 

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Winter Activities – Logan Lake

There are many winter outdoor activities in Logan Lake, BC. Snowshoeing, ice-fishing, ice skating, walking or hiking; the only thing to stop you is time!

Love Logan Lake!

Having a Budget Working For You

Winter Activities – Logan Lake – As a financial consultant serving Logan Lake, Merritt , Ashcroft and Cache Creek, I’ve learned to reduce expenses when I can. Remember, income minus expenses equals discretionary income! As a father of 7 children, it’s a skill I’ve put into practice many times. Which brings me to this thought, “how can I share my knowledge in ways everyone can participate?” Not that we never spend money, but we choose when to spend. I look at a budget not as a slave master, but as giving permission to ourselves to allocate funds and spend them guilt free. 

Even dragged this one out to come and play!

There is No Better Time to Enjoy Our Great Outdoors

Winter has brought some much needed rest to the Schell family. We spent our time together resting and playing as a family. We really tried to fill our time with naps, laughing which each other and enjoying some winter outdoor activities here in Logan Lake, BC. As I write this edition, we are in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Jennifer and I have really been striving in this time to keep our family healthy to ensure our immune systems are in tip-top shape. However, a walk outside has been a great stress relief at times and a way to work on our mental health as well!

Find a Challenge to Get Through The Winter With Healthy Habits

This winter I’ve been working through a challenge called 75Hard. It’s a 75 day challenge to build or reinforce healthy mental and physical behaviors. I’ve used it to maintain healthy positive habits in the darkest and coldest days of winter. To impact my family the least, I’ve tried to get my first workout done before my wife and kids get up for their day. One of the pieces to 75Hard is a 45 minute outdoor workout, everyday. This has given me the challenge to find winter outdoor activities in Logan Lake to fill this need. 

Skating on the Lake!

Out for an icy winter walk!

Healthy Outdoor Activities for Children

Some mornings, as I lace up my boots I look up to see young faces eager to join me on my morning treks. How can you say no to that!? With temperatures reaching as low as -30′ Celsius over the past few weeks, staying warm is important. After spending 45 minutes outside with me, I’ve needed help getting warm again. Luckily, Jennifer helps them warm up with recipes like her festive white hot chocolate that she has made before. 

No Need To Spend a Fortune, Focus on Fun, Cheap or Free

We have focused on what we can do as a family that is fun and cheap or fun and free! There are many winter outdoor activities in Logan Lake, BC. Snowshoeing, ice-fishing, ice skating, walking or hiking; the only thing to stop you is time! Just inside the city limits are many snowshoeing and cross country trails as well, of which I have yet to adventure on.

Ensure You Stay Safe While Enjoying Outdoor Activities

We as a family have enjoyed the hiking trails around Logan Lake, even the lake itself. However, this is not something I would advise alone at night but as a group during the day. The trails can be dark, and at times, quite slippery. There has even been a cougar around town for the winter. So many deer have decided to call Logan Lake their home, which seems to have brought some predators into town. 

These guys are quick learners on the skates!

Don’t Spend A Fortune, Focus on What You Already Own

We have been focusing on ice-skating on Logan Lake as ice skates were something our family already had. The initial investment of buying skates was already complete. Simply ensuring the crew had fresh tape on the hockey sticks was all that was needed. I also purchased arctic hiking boots from Cabelas in Abbotsford. I was growing tired of trekking around in big winter boots, I would recommend these for sure!

Not All Adventures Start in Logan Lake! What To Do If You’re in Merritt, BC

Sometimes I find myself in Merritt, BC with time to kill and I’m looking for things to do. If you are stuck for ideas, give my friend Tania’s blog a read for Winter Activities in Merritt, BC! It’s nice to have a community of friends in this time to share ideas and laughs with!

Catching a Logan Lake Winter Sunrise

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Outdoor Winter Activities

Adventures for the Family in the Nicola Valley

Winter activities enjoyed by all 

We in the Nicola Valley enjoy our outdoor winter activities despite the dark colder days of winter. Albeit, Canadian winter’s can be long and enduring. Although with a bit of incentive everyone can enjoy a winter day like no other.  Beating the winter blues with outdoor winter activities in the Nicola Valley.

Winter Outdoor Activities

Nicola Valley. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Winter Activities Like Footprint Tag

Play tag as you normally would…but stepping only in others’ footprints. It should be noted to not have Bigfoot play with you. A slight size advantage there right? As a night time game, we would suggest using glow sticks or flashlights so it makes it even more challenging and interesting. 

Foot print tag. Photo courtesy of Sheldon Quewezance.

Night time tag or hide n seek! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Golfing in the Winter Snow 

Snow golf anyone? Take some time to smooth out a fairway and a green. Take an open can and plant it in the snow. This becomes the whole in one shot! Make sure to color your golf balls and tee’s. Truly easier to find in the snow. Indeed this is how we do golfing during Canadian Winters.

Winter Bocce Ball 

Bocce ball Covid style. Say what! How cool is this to play in the snow.  Bocce ball sets can be found at local Canadian Tire. Truly a ton of laughter will be heard.  

merrittBC

Bocce Ball.

Outdoor Curling Rink?

Due to Covid19 many avid curlers are without a rink to go to. Build a rink in your own back yard or on a lake. Come together as a family and throw some rocks. Good time safe bubble sport with social distancing. 

outdoorwinteractivities.

Outdoor curling rink. Photo courtesy of Pixel.

Other Winter Outdoor Activities

Go on a winter photo scavenger hunt.  This is how you start. Take a picture of an outside recognizable feature. Within the agreed radius. Each participant sends picture to all participants and the hunt is on to locate feature. Clearly it could be a tree or a street name, or even a snowman down the road. Importantly it is an outdoor adventure that is full of fun. Furthermore this winter outdoor activity could include you community. Social distancing while connecting and having fun. Winner’s photo will be shared on social media. 

Winter Outdoor Activities.

Scavenger Hunt. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merrittwinteractivities.

Winter Games. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Winter Activities for the Whole Family in the Nicola Valley.

Build a snowman or snow fort. How about a snowball fun fight? Round up your neighbors and have a friendly winter competition. Divide and conquer. Snowball fight bring it on! Follow up the fun with a creamy hot chocolate and a backyard winter BBQ.  

 

Feeling Artistic?

Host a snow sculpture competition within your neighborhood. Firstly find some  judges. Snowmen consist of three large snowballs of different sizes with some additional goodies for facial and other features. Common accessories include branches for arms and a rudimentary smiley face, with a carrot used for a nose. Clothing, such as a hat or scarf, may also be included for all!​

Winter Beauty is ours to enjoy! Photo from Tania Stewart.

More Outdoor Winter Activities

Ice fishing is considered one of the most recognized  Canadian winter activities. While some fishermen prefer to stay out in the open, most prefer a shelter.  Equally some people like to go big with luxury fish shacks that have heaters, stoves, beds and even T.V’s. My idea of ice fishing! Experience ice fishing in the Nicola Valley.

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing Nicola Valley.

merritt ice fishing

Enjoy the solitude ice fishing in the Nicola Valley. Photo by Greg Girard.

There are numerous small lakes that are pure gems for ice fishing enthusiasts. Connect with the great outdoors and spend quality time with friends and family while on your Nicola Valley Ice Fishing Adventure. Safety first when you head out on the ice.

Ice skating and Pond Hockey.

Ice skating is truly a Canadian winter activity. Whether being a backyard rink or a frozen pond. Many Canadians can proudly say they spent many a winter days learning to skate and play on outdoor rinks. Apart from the usual sport, how about elevating it. Alternatively adding “Bowling” into pond skating. Set up some pin’s and bowl with skates on. Keep score and have a bawl with this. 

Merritt Cross Country Skiing 

Truly  cross-country skiing is one of the best ways to enjoy a crisp winter day. The Nicola Valley offer’s superb trails. Cross country skiing in the Nicola Valley starts and ends on the Kane Valley xc ski trails. With over  50 kilometers of groomed trails ideal for wilderness Nordic skiing. Consequently, the trails are well marked with signage, decorated with shelters (warming huts) and there are washrooms on site too.

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails. Photo by Greg Girard

“First of all remember these 2 words – Kane Valley. That is all you have to do to get your next xc ski fix in the Nicola Valley.” Greg Girard.

Additionally, there is also sledding, snow tubing, snowshoeing, fat biking and winter hiking, as well as, stargazing. Merritt BC offers some of the best stargazing without big city light pollution. Truly ideal to stargaze. Each year the Merritt Astronomical Society hosts a large and roomy Star Party.  

Perfect Stargazing outside Merritt BC.

Snowshoeing 

Snowshoeing is the new winter hiking. Utilizing and exploring the same summer trails. Equally provides a winter perspective to the scenery. Lastly, snowshoeing trails are available in the Kane Valley region of the Nicola Valley. Plan a day picnic while  snowshoeing within Merritt’s beautiful backcountry. 

merritt snowshoeing

What a great day to go winter snowshoeing in Merritt. Photo by Pixel Bay

While there is always “Skijoring”

Skijoring,  is a winter sport that originates in Scandinavia, where it has been practiced for centuries. Laplander’s skied on Nordic skis holding the reins attached to reindeer. Subsequently by the mid 1950’s, skijoring found its way to North America. This time ranchers would attach a long rope to the saddle horn while being pulled on ski’s down a straight-away. Important to note the rider determines the pace and route for the skijoring adventure, while the skier attempts to hold on. Extreme maybe? Fun is what I  would say!

Horse Skiing. Photo “YouTube”

 
In Conclusion it is “Fun”

Despite the dark colder days. Nerveless we can all enjoy outdoor winter activities, especially when living in the Nicola Valley. Albeit Canadian winter’s can be long and enduring. Although with a bit of incentive everyone can enjoy a winter day like no other. Who is to say we can not enjoy summer activities during winter months. Playing summer games during the winter months can be hilarious as well as a lot of fun.  Ideally the point is to get outside with family and friends and have a lot of fun with a barrel full of laughs. And if feeling really brave try out Big Foot tracking. Enjoy all activities outdoors during our winter months in the Nicola Valley.

Winter Outdoor Activities.

Big Foot Tracking in the Nicola Valley. Photo Tania Stewart.

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