Everything environmental and concerning the environment in the Nicola Valley.

Bears in Merritt BC Canada

How to safely live with Bears in Merritt & throughout the Nicola Valley

Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee saves lost black bear cub named “Merritt”

Safely living with Bears in Merritt BC Canada brought to you with the help of Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee. Everyone can live in harmony with the Bears who share our habitat. This fall I was very fortunate to meet Lydia Koot and Cecilia Fraga from the Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee. Coincidentally, these two amazing women are volunteers who are passionate advocates for all wildlife. Recently they both traveled from Hope BC in the early morning hours to rescue a black bear cub we named “Merritt”.  A very adorable cub who was running around on the Bench. Lost and motherless, this little cub probably wouldn’t of survived the winter.

“Bear awareness can save our Bears” Tania Stewart, eco blogger with Experience Nicola Valley

Bears in Merritt BC

Hope Mountain volunteer Cecilia Fraga.

hope mountain black bear

Lydia Koot Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee.

Bears in Merritt BC: How we can reduce human-bear conflicts in Merritt BC Canada.

experiencemerritt

Follow some simple steps from Hope Mountain black bear committee :
  •  Store garbage , including recycle bin in garage or a secure location.
  •  Only place garbage & recycle bins in the morning of pickup.
  •  Remove bird feeders during bear season. ( mid May-to mid November).
  •  Turn compost often. Don’t add any cooked food, dairy, or fish to compost.
  •  Keep pet food inside or in a bear resistant container.
  •  Pick ripe and fallen fruit daily. Remove unused fruit trees.
  •  Clean your barbecues after each use, cover and store if possible.
  •  Keep refrigerators & freezers inside.
  •  Use electric fencing to protect small live stock or fruit trees. Refer to local by-laws for restriction on electric fencing.
Bears in Merritt BC Canada

Little cub named “Merritt”

Important to realize “If you see a Bear”. Living with bears in Merritt BC. Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee. Lydia Koot. 

  •  Stay calm, don’t panic.
  •  Don’t yell. Speak calmly to let bear know you are nearby.
  •  Never approach a bear and do not run from it.
  •  Back away slowly, moving in the direction you came from.
  •  Go indoors with your children and pets immediately.
  •  Warn others about the presence of bear.
  •  Once bear has left area, check your yard to make sure there are no attractions available such as fruit.
Black bears in Merritt BC

Hiding in tree, “Merritt”.

“Problem bears” do not naturally exist, they are created by humans who allow them access to food. Lydia Koot.

Importantly call the Conservation Officer Service.

merritt bc conservation officer

Dedicated Merritt Conservation Officer.

If a bear is threatening please call the conservation officer service at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277) or your local police. The B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) is a public safety provider focused on natural resource law enforcement and human wildlife conflicts prevention and response. Our vision is to be a progressive and respected leader in environmental compliance and enforcement, shared stewardship and public safety.

Once conditioned to look for “Easy” food from humans the bear usually becomes a public safety hazard. It is the bear that pays for human mistakes with it’s life. Lydia Koot.

To emphasize.

Whether you are camping, biking, hiking or just enjoying the out-doors. Respect all wildlife and how your footprint impacts your environment. Seeing a bear in its natural habitat can be amazing. A memorable  experience. Above all avoid encounters by making noise, let wildlife hear you. Never hike alone, and always be alert. Look for signs of bears, such as claw marks on trees, scat (fresh that is), logs ripped apart and overturned rocks.

Remember: In B.C. it is an offence to feed or leave attractants available to dangerous wildlife. Lydia Koot.

merritt bear in nicola valley

Remove bird feeders.

Merritt BC Canada wildlife

Pick all fruit trees.

Another key point.

Although a bear cub may look adorable and cute. They are wild and even though small could do a lot of damage if provoked. Importantly to call conservation officer or local police to deal with bear. Additionally knowing “Black Bear” facts. Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee.

  •  Black bears have variations of colors from black, brown, blonde and cinnamon.
  •  Have good eyesight.
  •  Sense of smell is 10x stronger than a bloodhound.
  •  Will stand on their back legs to better identify what is in front of them.
  •  Can run faster than you, and change direction quickly.
  •  Are strong swimmers.
  •  Are highly curious and intelligent.

“If I don’t like my neighbour, I cannot go to the RCMP and tell them, ‘Look, could you please take that neighbour away because I don’t like him,’ ” said Koot. “Well, that’s the same with wildlife. We live in wildlife country, so we cannot just go and shoot any animals that happen to walk to town, or go and build a wall around it.” Lydia Koot.

bears in merritt

Cub in a tree.

In conclusion

Everyone can live in harmony with the Bears who share our habitat.  With some education provided from Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee we can learn to live safely with bears. Firstly, be “Bear” aware and understand “Bear” necessities and “Facts”. Then take the simple steps to prevent “Bears” becoming public safety hazards so they do not pay with their lives because of our ignorance.

A brochure provided by Lydia Kootof Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee helped me understand how to be better “Bear Aware”.

The work provided by the Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee is possible with the financial support provided by:

For more information go to: www.hopemountain.org.

Or contact Lydia Koot at 604-860-4558. lkoot@hopemountain.org

Be Bear Aware

Living with Bears in Merritt BC Canada

Camping in Merritt BC and the Nicola Valley

Harmon Lake in the Kane Valley

My favourite spot for camping in Merritt BC Canada

I have talked about camping in Merritt BC and the Nicola Valley before but this time I want to introduce you to one of my top spots – Harmon Lake in the Kane Valley.  I know we have shifted into winter and camping is probably not high on your list of things to do, but I need to get this down on paper now so you can file this under–“remember for camping season

What do you like to do when camping in Merritt BC?

We like to start our day with a delicious breakfast.  There is nothing better than eating pancakes with homemade blueberry syrup and bacon beside a beautiful lake while camping in Merritt BC and the Nicola Valley! Scrambled eggs and gourmet sausages are pretty good too.

Camping in Merritt BC

Great Breakfast With Family

Post breakfast activities

After breakfast we grabbed our bikes and headed out on a little trip along Kane Valley Road.  There are many lakes to see on this road with wild life on either side, especially birds for people who are into this activity.  Bikes can also be used on the 55 kilometers of x-country ski trails with the added bonus of picnic tables and pit toilets in various places along the trail.  These facilities are not maintained in the summer so please be kind to your fellow adventurers and leave the places clean.

Merritt BC Camping

Game night while camping

We interspersed our activities with some serious reading and outstanding meals.  As well, we filled in our night time with Board Games and sitting around the fire.

Nicola Valley campfires

Nicola Valley Campfires and stories

“There is nothing like sitting around the campfire and reading a good book”–Andrea Reynolds

How to get to Harmon Lake in Merritt

From Merritt, BC you take the Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97C) towards Kelowna for approximately 14 kilometers.  You will see the sign for Harmon Lake (if you missed that sign look for the x-country ski sign–it will get you to the same place). Make the right turn onto Kane Valley Rd and follow it approximately  8 kilometers.  At this point you have a decision to make.  On the left you will see the entrance to the east campground.  If you stay on Kane Valley Rd for about 800 meters you will come to the West Campground. (link to map)

experiencemerritt

Heading west

The west campground in my mind is prettier than the east campground and the sites are further apart.  The down side is that it can be windier than its counterpart.  The east side has more amenities such as the boat launch, the campground host, access to the lake and hiking trails.

What you need when you are camping at Harmon Lake

My family prefers non motorized activities and so we bring our bikes, kayaks and hiking boots

Harmon Lake in Merritt adventures

If you like motorized vehicles there are plenty of places to use your ATV, dirt bike or fishing boat with a small motor.

Harmon Lake in Merritt BC

Looking out from the shoreline trail at Harmon Lake

Hiking in the Kane Valley

Hiking is one of our favourite things to do.  The easiest hike is the shoreline trail that takes you around the lake.  One of the bonuses of this hike is that it is located in a Forestry Recreational Area. It has an interpretive site that provides a lot of information on the eco systems of the lake area.  This is an easy hike and takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

There are 55 kilometers of ski trails with varying levels of difficulty.  They all provide a great forest experience. Times of these hikes vary with length and difficulty.

Kayaking on Harmon Lake

Harmon is great for this activity.  The lake is small so you are usually not far from any edge of the lake so you really don’t have to worry about falling in the Lake!  It is a beautiful lake but it seems even prettier when you are looking on shore from your Kayak

Kayaking in Merritt BC

Cruising on Harmon lake

When all is said and done it is easy to see why one of my favourite places to camp in Merritt and the Nicola Valley is Harmon Lake.

Harmon Lake is camping in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Campgrounds

Winter Hiking in Merritt, Experience  Nicola Valley

Hiking in the winter around Merritt BC.

Not only is the scenery beautiful, it’s healthy for you.

 

Winter Hiking in Merritt BC, is truly a beautiful experience. Not only is the scenery beautiful, it’s healthy for you.  People of all ages and abilities can enjoy higher levels of health and wellness when they have access to nature in Canada. As a result there are health benefits including lowering risk of heart disease, obesity, stress, depression and strokes. Hiking in the winter with or without snow is my true pleasure while living in Merritt BC Canada.

Hiking in Merritt BC

Hiking in Merritt is a “Winter Wonderland”.

Because of what “Mother Nature” can provide us. Winter Hiking in Merritt BC.

Accordingly “Nature” inspires a lifestyle of personal well-being while respecting and learning to live in harmony with as little impact or damage to your surroundings. Being encouraged to practice habits that will promote a healthy environment in the “now” as well as in the future. Respecting all living things, animals, trees, vegetation, local biodiversity, water, while we enjoy and Experience  Nicola Valley. 

experiencemerritt

Hiking in Merritt BC

Backyard Trails. Great for hiking in Merritt BC.

Getting the “blues” during winter in Merritt BC?

In addition to lowering levels of  winter depression. Getting out and enjoying nature can reduce stress providing better coping skills for every-day life events. Physical activities which involve nature will promote personal healthy connections that benefits both your health while respecting our ecological environment and the impact we have on it.

 

Hiking in Merritt

Hiking Trails.

Never Fear Trails are Near.

Behind the Bench in Merritt BC you will find a network of trails. Just starting? No worries, there are many low impact trails that allow you to choose how far and how long you go. As you progress you can climb higher with trails based on your ability. Hiking these trails in the winter are extraordinary. You feel that your out in the middle of no-where, but literally still within distance of the City.

 

Nicola Valley winter hiking.

Hiking trails near you.

As demonstrated I myself love to “Hike” the trails behind my house on the Bench in the Winter. Winter Hiking in Merritt BC.

Outward bound in the wilderness. Silence with nature.

I live to hike in the “WinterTania Stewart.

One with nature.

 

Amid the Beauty of the Forest.

Experience winter hiking in Merritt

Merritt BC. outdoors.

Alongside I also have my family join me.

Ricky Mervyn.

Taniaphotos

Jordan.

At the same time your family’s trusted “Friend” will love it.

Merritt has many outdoor parks, a dog park, numerous walking trails, and skate board/ bike park. Participating in outdoor activities provides a personal health wellness that has numerous health benefits. It provides energy, vitality and a greater respect for our natural resources’ and how we can ensure its protection for our children and generations to access and enjoy its splendor. Additionally taking your dog out can be a safety measure.

 

The one and only “Tank”

Windy Canyon Merritt BC.

Across from old Tolko site there is a narrow canyon ascending to the south from the old Middlesbourgh town site at Merritt.  Merrittonian Kevin Griffiths states that this is a historical site that once was home to an industrial coal operation before the 1st World War. Within 15min of hiking you will be transformed into a secret place. True to its name, you will feel and hear the wind as you explore this unique hidden Canyon. Ideally a great place to hike in to during winter months.

 

Windy Canyon. Merritt BC.

Photo by Kevin Griffiths.

Turn technology off for a day. Have one on hand for emergencies. Get out doors with your family. Exercise take a 20min walk around the block or a 2hr hike in the hills.

 

Walk the trails.

Have a seat.

In the woods.

 

 

Furthermore Hiking In the Nicola Valley.

Experiencing The Nicola Valley and all it has to offer including breathtaking beauty, and numerous outdoor activities is why we are lucky to live here. As well as all of the public parks which are easily accessible. Not to mention the mountain trails which are literally in our back yard. But being aware of the limits to our natural resources still has a place. Think of yourself as an Ambassador of Merritt, you are representing your community

 

Outdoor tracks.

Tracking in the snow is easier while hiking in Merritt.

In proximity to Merritt BC is Monck Park.

Hiking in the Nicola Valley

Winter hiking in the Nicola Valley.

Monck Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, Canada, located at Nicola Lake. There is a 5 km self-guided interpretive hiking trail that loops around the park. There is a  1.3 km trail to the east of the existing upper trails best accessed from the upper end. Sections of this trail are steep and require caution. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. No short-cutting! Park users can still walk into the park if conditions such as weather permit.

 

In the distance there is Kentucky Lake.

A 4 km hiking trail navigates the outer perimeter of Kentucky Lake, and it takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to complete. The trail has minimal elevation and provides different vantage points of the beautiful lake as you walk around it. The hike is kid-friendly and is a great hike for families. Park users can still walk into the park if conditions such as weather permit.

40 min from Merritt BC. Canada.

As indicated “Nature” inspires a lifestyle of personal well-being.

Altogether winter hiking in Merritt BC, is truly a beautiful experience. Not only is the scenery beautiful, it’s healthy for you. Physical activities which involve nature will promote personal healthy connections that benefits both your health while you and your kids will have a good sleep! Experience Nicola Valley.

 

Walking in the snow.

Take a night walk.

Winter Hiking in Merritt BC.

Experience Nicola Valley hiking our winter trails in Merritt BC Canada

Petit Creek Lavender Farm

Petit – which is pronounced “petee” Creek, Merritt, BC, Canada

“… remember the girl who grew a whole big country dream because she loved the smell of her Grandmother’s suitcase.”

Petit Creek Lavender Farm isn’t just about farming. It is about friends, it is about family, it is about fun, and it is about “following your heart”.  When I asked Judy-Sue Suzuki why she started the Lavender Farm in the Nicola Valley she said,

“ I started the Lavender Farm because I love it, and it gives me wonderful memories of my Grandmother’s luggage. When she would visit it smelled of Lavender”. 

Dreams Of Petit Creek Lavender Farm

Judy -Sue had a dream and since 2010 Judy-Sue and her entire family, her parents, her husband, her children, and her grandchildren have all played a valuable role in the production of Lavender buds, sachets, honey, creams, soaps, wreaths, and so much more. Everyone  is happy to pitch in to help with the acres of Lavender, over 300 rose bushes, gardens, rock beds, small quaint sitting areas and sweet cozy cottages. Every single inch of this property is touched by love. 

Petit Creek Lavender Farm

Everyone loves the Petit Creek Lavender Farm. Through the years the flowers and family grew.

Judy-Sue offers classes to teach others how to use Lavender in many ways, the farm has provided more than one wedding couple an amazing place to share their vows and start their new life together. But it is not all about making things pretty at the Petit Creek Lavender Farm. It is about work, hard work, long days and the only reward Judy-Sue is guaranteed to get is knowing she has done her best for her family and her animals, and for her that is more than enough. There are over 3200 photos on the Petit Creek Lavender Farm Facebook Page, I chose this one to share on my blog. Why? Read on!

experiencemerritt

Praying or Thanking?

Praying or Thanking.

Nothing To Waste

I looked at this photo and it said so much. At first I thought Judy-Sue was looking up and saying a prayer, but then I also thought she could be looking up and saying “Thank You”, for the blessings she has in her life.  24 hours a day Judy-Sue watches over her farm in Merritt, BC Canada, hundreds of animals and birds are in her care. She also raises sheep, bunnies, and goats for fibre which she hand dyes and makes wool.  Nothing is wasted on the Petit Creek Lavender Farm, no land is left bare and unused, food is grown and preserved for the long winter. Birds lay eggs and provide meat, even the tiniest of creatures are trusted in Judy-Sue’s care.

Lavender Farm in Merritt BC

Baby Birds in the Nest

Lavender And Heaven

It is so much more than Lavender, everyone shares photos of Lavender, we all know what it looks like and smells like. We love Lavender of course, but spending the day at the lavender farm in Merritt, BC, Canada is so much more. It is an experience your heart will remember forever. When you pull up to the front gate you will know you have arrived at a small piece of Heaven.

Petit Creek Lavender Farm

Arriving at Heaven’s Gate

Merritt Country Dream

When you meet Judy-Sue Suzuki you will understand what I mean. You will see a beautiful women with a heart the size of her 54 acres of flowers, fruits, family, and friends. Her smile will stay with you always. When you think of the sweet Petit Creek Lavender Farm in Merritt, BC, Canada you will always remember the girl who grew a whole big country dream because she loved the smell of her Grandmother’s suitcase.

Merritt BC cottage

Cozy Cottage at Lavender Farm

CONTACT INFORMATION

Facebook Page

Sunflower Farm

Merritt BC Lavender Farm

Petit – which is pronounced “petee” Creek, Merritt, BC, Canada

Pacific Forest Rally Championship 2019 Merritt Nicola Valley

Merritt Nicola Valley Off Road Car Racing Event

“Therefore Merritt’s Spirit Square fans of the Pacific Forest Rally can get up close with the drivers, co-drivers and service crew.”

Welcome Pacific Forest Rally fans to Merritt BC Canada in the Nicola Valley for round 4 of the Canadian Rally Championship. Moreover, event organizer Paul Westwick welcomes rally teams and fans from across Canada and North-west USA alike as they celebrate 43 years of off road car racing with 19 years being in Merritt.

&quot;<yoastmark

Firstly, lets acknowledge the skills and hard work that the service crew do to ensure that their team driver & co-driver can perform, and do their magic driving like they can!

&quot;Nicola&quot;Welcome

Secondly, because of their dedication and love of the Pacific Forest Rally, service crews go far and beyond to ensure their cars are up to speed.

Dave Wallingford Columbus Ohio–Leanne Junnila Calgary,AB- Savage Rallysport. –

Rally Race Merritt. BC.

Mark Jenings-Bates BC-Jackie Jennings-Bates BC 1998 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4 O4WD.

As well as there is Subaru Fiesta!

Rally sponsors “Best Western

Service crew Danny Mirabel.

Eco-challenge Pacific Forest Rally.

In recognition of the need to promote conservation, we have a new award, given to the team that gets the best time from the least fuel. As a result the award is based on their total scores from Saturday’s stages, multiplied by the amount of fuel they consume. Therefore teams who manage their resources the most responsibly will be rewarded while still having great fun behind the wheel. Eco-challenge.

Philipe Benoit driver

Philipe Benoit driver

Eric Pehota BC- Jennifer Daly BC- 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon P4WD.

Karel Carré QC- Samuel Joyal QC- 2007 Subaru TR STI O4WD. Team- Les gestions Oré Inc,

Additionally at Merritt’s Spirit Square fans of the Pacific Forest Rally can get up close with the drivers, co-drivers and service crew.

Sponsors of PFR Subaru.

Furthermore hat’s off to all the volunteers who make it look easy.

By all means get involved and join a Rally Club. Without all the volunteers, the show wouldn’t go on. How do I volunteer? – You want to work a performance rally? Fill out our worker registration.

Safety Car Guys. Sponsor Dirt Fish.

Even though there was about 6 inches of snow on the ground, the Pacific Forest Rally race lived up to their name.

As a result of having the wrong camera, I was unable to capture pictures of the rally cars at the Spius venue.  Standing in the cold I was fortunate to meet Alec Preissler. Due to circumstances I was unable to gather pictures of the rally cars. Consequently Alec Preissler provided me with these awesome pictures.

Alec Preissler

Alec@preissler.ca Photo curtesy of Alec Preissler.

Alec@preissler.ca Thanks to Alec Preissler for these awesome pic’s.

Furthermore the “Weather!”

Incidentally Pacific Rally Racer’s drive in every weather condition.

As a result the rally cars persevere.

&quot;<yoastmark

mailto:Alec@preissler.ca

We love our hardy spectators. The unpredictable winter-like weather provided challenges for everyone this weekend. We’re glad to see everyone making the best of it. 👍🏻 forest Rally

merritt bc canada

Views of the Nicola Valley

Albeit rally fans are number 1!

Fans are resilient

Not only do they race in the day, night time brings out the best in them.

merritt bc rally race

Night time rally racing

Furthermore rallying is one of  the most challenging motor sports in the world. Not only challenging the drivers, but also challenging the spectators and volunteers.

Team Stillin

Team Stillin – Updated Results: 4th place in production 4 wheel drive class & 13th overall regional out of 29 cars.

Taking on the challenge of one of the most challenging sports.

merritt bc canada

Rally driving is a day and night sport

As a result of their quick action, hard driving, they made it to the end!

pacific forest rally

The life of a rally driver

Moreover it is totally great to see the rally cars make it home!

Proud sponsors “Rallysport

Sponsor “Abilitas“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally the work that goes into high performance.

Pacific Forest Rally.

CONTACT INFO

Firstly, check out our website : Pacific Forest Rally

After that read my previous article on the Pacific Forest Rally

Pacific Forest Rally

Rally Championship 2019 Merritt Nicola Valley

 Nicola Valley Fall Fair and 4-H Club Labour Day Weekend 2019

Fall Fair and 4-H Club Labour Day Weekend 2019

 Nicola Valley Fall Fair and 4-H Club Labour Day Weekend 2019. Above all since 1913 this 2 day fair has become a family tradition within Nicola Valley Merritt BC. With a bit of competitive exhibits including baking, canning, needlework, flora, livestock and gardening.

The Fair also features antique tractor displays, car show and an old fashioned country dance in their exhibition hall. Truly a EhCanadian event along with everyone having an Experience in the Nicola Valley.

 

The Fall Fair Building.

 Nicola Valley Fall Fair and 4-H Club 2019 in Merritt BC.

The BC Association of Agricultural Fairs & Exhibitions coordinates activities and promotes participation through it’s operational committees.

Nonprofit organization.

Equally important is how the 4-H Club is to our annual Nicola Valley Fall Fair.

 

 

Hands on learning. 4-H Club.

 

Furthermore there are endless benefits to being a member of a 4-H Club.

From learning new skills along with personal achievement gaining and leadership the Fall Fairs Founding Date 1976.

For Parents: Why 4-H?

experiencemerritt

In addition 4-H members gain great social competency and leadership.

For example I had the pleasure to talk with Tammeran who has been a member of the 4-H Club for 6 yrs. Tammeran’s speciality is working with Sheep. I asked Tammeran what he has gained from the 4-H Club.

“Learning responsibility, looking after animals as well as Farm Safety.”  Tammeran.

 

Tammeran 4-H Club member.

With attention to the Sheep.

 

Lambs. Photo’s by TaniaStewart.

 

 

Additionally Poultry.

 

 

Equally Merritt’s 4-H Club.

 

 

 

 

With attention to Mr. Hume and his dedication and love for his birds.

 

Hands on.

Thank you Mr. Hume.

 

 

 

Importantly the Fall Fairs Founding Date 1976.
To emphasize how important the Merritt Fall Fair is.

 

So much to see!

Given to how much work goes into these creations.

 

 

Discover Tabby, Tabitha Rusinko.

The work that goes into this is mind blowing!

For instance the Flora event.

 

My flowers do not compare this.

The colors are amazing!

In fact I wouldn’t want to be a judge.

 

Beautiful!

Important to realize the dedication and hard work that goes into growing and making this.

 

Canning.

Sunflowers.

Eggs, we all buy them. But who farms them?

 

 

 

In view of Nicola Valley’s loss. Murray Church Built in 1876 was the oldest building in the Nicola Valley  that had been made with local Nicola Valley lumber.

 

In case you missed past Fall Fairs, historical information is available.

 

22nd Fall Fair, do the math.

Amazing to learn our history!

Harvest celebration.

Award winning squash.

Canned goods.

Additionally takes place in our community every year.

 

 

 

 

Lego

Knitting

 

Owing to all the volunteers for the hard work every year to bring this event to Merritt on Labour Day Weekend.

 

Fall Fair.

 

In Conclusion

Above all since 1913 this 2 day fair has become a family tradition. The Nicola Valley Fall Fair with a bit of competitive exhibits. Which includes baking, canning, needlework, flora, livestock along with vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Loewen Saddlery

Leathercraft Nicola Valley Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Merritt BC’s own Don Loewen Saddlery – Leathercrafter.

 Don Loewen Saddlery – Leathercraft Nicola Valley Merritt BC Canada. Experience this Nicola Valley gem. With over 30 years of experience, Don Loewen Saddlery has created over 500 horseback riding saddles. This has earned Don’s saddlery a stamp of pure “Authentic Quality Craftsmanship”. Many of us who have tasted ranch life appreciate Don’s unique skill and talent. To ride in one of his saddles is truly an experience and honour.

Don Loewen Saddlery

Introducing Don Loewen.

In order to know Don Loewen, we need to know his history.

From birth, Don grew up within a cowboy family. Growing up with an interest in horses and saddlery he made his first saddle at 14yrs old. Don realised early in life he had a unique passion and talent for shaping leather with his hands. Don began his journey at the age of 17 leaving home and attending  “Saddle School” in South Dakota. Itis here he honed his skills as a saddle maker and artisan.

Don Loewen Saddlery - Leathercraft

Notably Don does not lack leatherworking skill.

Consequently Don opened up a home-based shop.

Meanwhile after cowboying in southern Alberta and at Douglas Lake Cattle Company with some time working in the logging industry, Don returned to his true passion of saddlery. In 1995 he opened a home-based saddle shop called Don Loewen Saddlery. Eventually he opened up a storefront business in downtown Merritt B.C. in 2004.

Don Loewen Saddlery - Leathercraft in Nicola Valley

Don showing Tania Stewart the frame of saddle.

Our saddles are highly customized to your specific needs.

Lets take a look at how Don begins to make a saddle. Firstly, a frame is made of wood and fiber glass of the horse’s frame. From that frame a saddle is fitted for the horse. Comfort, durability and the ability to stay positioned throughout a full day’s ride, is what makes Don’s saddles so well known throughout Western Canada.  Ground seat design, the skirt and seat design are skills that Don teaches and owns with a sense of pride.

Don Loewen saddles

This is a newspaper clipping of an article done about a few of Don’s students.

Equally important are Don’s unique leather belts.

Every leather belt is one-of-a-kind.

Don Loewen Saddlery leather belts

Don’s one-of-kind leather belts.

Additionally Don has added other high-quality leather products.

As well as saddles, Don crafts belts and traveller’s notebooks. Furthermore, Don passes down his art of leather crafting with teaching a wide range of people. Most rememberable were the young high school students and adults from Sweden.

Don Loewen leather bags

Truly a master leathercrafter.

Don’s saddles are well known throughout Western Canada and the World.

Horseback riding leathercraft

Horse reins.

Furthermore the skill of Don Loewen continues.

Together with his beautiful wife Jody, they have six wonderful children and two precious grandchildren. Don’s eldest son has also learned the basics of the craft of saddlery.

Don Loewen Saddlery - Leathercraft

Leather artistry at it’s best. Don Loewen.

Coupled with Don’s skill and talent everything is proudly made in the beautiful Nicola Valley Merritt BC!

Artisan Don Loewen

Artisan Don Loewen.

“I am busy as I need to be,” Don Loewen.

Horseman Don Loewen

Not to mention that Don once made a saddle for “Marmaduke”

Testimonial from Alex Robinson

“Don Loewen has always had a reputation for building a good using saddle. I looked at a couple of Don’s saddles that the cowboys in the valley had ordered and had been using for every day ranch work and I was impressed with the quality of the rigs and how they were standing up. I’ve been riding my Loewen saddles for some time now and haven’t got one complaint. The saddle sits on a horses back well and I’ve never rode in a more comfortable seat. Don’s saddles are reasonably priced and you will never get a better person to deal with.”

Alex Robinson
(Cow boss)
Quilchena Cattle Co.
Quilchena B.C.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Don Loewen Website

250-525-0220

experiencemerritt

Don Loewen Saddlery

Leathercraft Nicola Valley Merritt BC

Horse Back Riding Merritt BC.

A-P Ranch Horse Back Riding, Nicola Valley BC.

Outdoor adventure at A-P Ranch

Horse Back Riding at A-P Guest Ranch Nicola Valley Merritt BC.  This rustic “Western Guest Ranch” is owned and operated by Andre and his wife Susan Patry. Established in 1986, this scenic ranch is nestled in a valley setting in the heart of B.C.’s prominent ranching country. The ranch is surrounded by impressive fishing lakes and thousands of acres of rolling terrain for picturesque trail riding and winter sports. Experience Nicola Valley is proud to have had an opportunity to visit with A-P Ranch.

Horseback riding in Merritt BC

Andre and friends.

experiencemerritt

A great way to experience Merritt Canada is from the back of a horse at A-P Guest Ranch Nicola Valley BC.

Andre Patry, owner of A-P Ranch, shared with us that he has been riding for 73 years. More impressively, 53 years of that stretch is right here in Merritt BC. The Patry’s left Quebec around 1966 and with a bit prospecting for the perfect ranch Andre found what was to become A-P Guest Ranch.

Horseback riding in the Nicola Valley

A-P Guest Ranch. Kitchen, Saloon, Dining area along with bunk rooms.

Importantly Andre and family at A-P Guest Ranch believe in providing 5 star treatment for all their guests.

For example safety is very important for their guests when embarking on a trail ride. With Andre’s years of experience dealing with horses he seems to have this magical ability to team a horse and rider up perfectly. The right temperament is required between a horse and rider for a maximum riding experience for both horse and rider.

A-P Ranch Horseback Riding

Andre making sure everything is in order.

In fact A-P Ranch is ideal for family outings, reunions, weddings, and for escaping the city for a weekend getaway!

Horseback riding with Experience Nicola Valley

Gearing up.

Together with its 5 Star Hospitality A-P  Ranch also offers other outdoor adventures.

When was the last time you enjoyed a hay-ride, or have you even tried one of these sightseeing adventures. It is a great way to spend a fall day with the family. Why not make it a weekend getaway with your children and give them the ultimate experience of “Living Country” on a horse ranch like A-P Ranch.

Merritt BC Horseback Riding Tours

A-P Ranch Corrals.

A-P Ranch’s great hospitality.

Along with great “Lodge Package’s“(including meals & lodging)… A-P Ranch also has a Bed & Breakfast. Also for those campers with tents or trailers,  there are camping facilities as well, some with with power.

Mark Patry with Melvina White.

In case you forget your “Cowboy” boots.

A-P Ranch provides more than a horse and some good times. They are ready to help you look the part as well. They have the cowboy boots to fit all sizes of feet and adventures. Riding boots are not only great for the ambiance but also for the safety of the rider.

A-P Ranch Cowboy Boots

Great selection!

Merritt BC horseback riding

Melva picking out her riding boots.

Additionally Mark Patry helps with saddling up the horses.

Horses at the ranch

Saddle up!

Horseback riding in Merritt BC

Bill’s with his horse “Lapis”

Andre believes in “safety” first.

For this reason alone A-P Guest Ranch is a great start for beginners as well as all levels of horseback riding. From families to seasoned riders the people at the ranch have the skills and equipment for a safe ride.

Nicola Valley horseback riding guides

With 73 years of experience Andre makes this look easy.

Indeed all of the horses at A-P Ranch are truly beautiful!

There is something special going on at A-P Ranch. Interestingly enough, you can see that more and more people are turning to horses for a connection with nature as well as a connection with themselves. Additionally Horses have been linked to helping people heal when dealing with PTSD, anxiety, depression, abuse, addiction, grief, and stress.

Horseback riding tours and guides

Andre leading the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was my “ride” for our open trail experience.

A-P Ranch is a hidden gem within the Nicola Valley. Hidden in the sense that it is located on the outskirts of the Nicola Valley in the wilderness backcountry of British Columbia. A great destination for company retreats, team building and motivational seminars.

Horseback riding in BC

Tania’s beautiful ride.

Calling all “horse” lovers!

Whether you love to go riding in the vast outdoors or relax and stay in for a night being treated to country cooking A-P Guest Ranch is truly the place for you.

Trail riding in the Nicola Valley

Andre leads us to the “Range”

Especially with all its scenic beauty, its hard not to feel like your riding in the Old West of yesterday.

Surprisingly from Kamloops Purity Feed Ltd to A-P ranch is 92.3 km, average driving time 58 minutes. Also from Merritt’s Best Western Plus to the ranch is 26.5 km = 20 minutes driving time. If arriving from Vancouver British Columbia Canada it is only a little over a 31/2 hour drive, Kelowna just over an hour.

Merritt BC Guest Ranch

This is what 73yrs of experience looks like.

Amazing how one can connect with nature when on horseback.

From dessert grass to lush forest.

Riding on a perfect late summer day.

For the brave and more adventurous people, A-P Ranch also provides multi-day “Pack Trips”. These horseback riding adventures range from 3 days to 7 days. All you need to do is show up, saddle up and enjoy the experience.  My son and I along with other people hope to do a 3 day one in the fall.

“Born to Ride” Melvina White.

Our host Andre.

 

 

 

Not only can you see how Andre’s horses earn their keep, you see the love shared between horse and man.

Merritt horseback riding tours

New friends.

Majestic Outdoors.

Melvina taking in the beauty.

Riding into the wild.

20 Minute Break

Half-way through our trail ride we had about a 20 minute break to stretch our legs. I found it got harder to get back on my horse. But, I guess I am a natural, as there are stumps around to help with the saddle up process.

Nicola Valley horseback riding.

The perfect place to stretch your legs.

Notably the chances of making new friends are very high.

Andre, Sarah Pasco, Joe klemionks, Bill.

Can it get any better?

My hat, if I had one, is off to our very personable and knowledgeable horseback riding guide “Andre Patry”

Andre pointing out all the different trees.

Wildlife!

Coupled with nature, good company, well adjusted horses this is truly a perfect mini holiday!

I began whistling the tune from “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”

Of course after the trail ride” you can cool of with a drink in A-P’s Saloon.

Were everyone knows your name!

Additionally Andre is an amazing artist.

Pictures do not do Andre’s art justice. Seeing his amazing work is truly an experience to see and enjoy. And I guarantee you wont leave with just one piece.

Carving.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

A-P Ranch Box 1148-4220 Hwy 5A South Merritt BC.

Tel: 250-378-6520

Email: apguestranch@hotmail.com

Website: www.apguestranch.com

 

 

Summer In Merritt BC Canada

Experience lazy summer days in the Nicola Valley

“No matter were you decide to spend time outdoors experiencing the Nicola Valley Merritt BC,  you will never be disappointed with all it’s beauty”

 

Summer in Merritt BC in the Nicola Valley is a time to enjoy the outdoors and experience everything that nature has to offer.  Remember your first cold swim of the year? Furthermore, do you remember your first boat ride, sunburn, eating hot dogs, having a picnic, a lake swim.

Kayaking in Merritt BC

Kayaking on Lundbom Lake located 15 min from Merritt BC.

A Lake A Day As Long As You Stay

Experiencing Nicola Valley during Spring and Summer months is truly breathtaking. Lundbom Lake located 15min out of Merritt attracts many campers every year.

 

A 15min drive from Merritt. No need to pack a lunch!

Kayaking, Fishing and Swimming!

Besides it’s beauty, Lundbom offers avid fishing from beginners to the experienced.

Lundbom Lake in Merritt BC

Picture taken going into Lundbom Lake.

Scenic Beauty Amidst Nature

Kayaking on Lundbom Lake is truly peaceful. Being a smaller lake, Lundbom doesn’t let you down.

Kayaking Lundbom Lake in Merritt BC

Easily navigated for beginner kayakers

Kayakers Dream Lake!

Furthermore Lundbom never disappoints.

Lundbom Lake Kayaking

Chase that kayak!

Picture Perfect Summer in Merritt BC

Don’t Forget Your Camera. Always a lot of nature to capture with a snap.

Lundbom

Late afternoon bliss on the water.

Bird lovers dream.

Bird lovers dream.

To Sum It Up The Water Can Be Cold!

Kayaking in Merritt BC

Cold but refreshing!

Kayakers Dream Lake

You can always find a hidden cove to have a picnic along the shore.

Cool summer breeze.

And There’s Nicola Lake

Located 23km from Merritt BC and 62km from Kamloops BC, Nicola Lake is easily accessible.  Great for kayaking, fishing and boating.

Nicola Lake

Nicola Lake Fishing Dock.

Dock Fishing

After all this dock is not only for swimming, but also for fishing.

Might be cold, but feels great!

No step ladder provided.

Swimming Allowed Here

Beautiful Nicola Lake.

You Don’t Have To Leave Merritt To Cool Off!

Located downtown Merritt BC, the Coldwater River is perfect for cooling off. That’s right, we call it the Clay Banks and many locals enjoy their day swimming here.

Searching for River Treasure.

Cooling off!

Check out Merritt BC Rotary Water Park!

Rotary Park is easily accessible due to its location near Downtown Merritt. A day adventure could easily be done with renting bikes from one of Merritt’s local business Breathe Bikes.

Rotary Lake Park in Merritt BC

Cool off under a tree while watching your children enjoy Merritt’s Rotary Water Park.

Beautiful Rest Stop For Travellers 

Located on Voght Street. A perfect spot to enjoy your lunch and stretch your legs.

You might see some Beaver evidence.

Enjoy a peaceful picnic.

Picnic Tables Along With Restrooms

In addition to being easily accessible. Picnic tables and restrooms are available.

A truly scenic rest spot to enjoy a picnic.

Scenic Driving in The Nicola Valley

Of course you could take a scenic drive along the old highway from Merritt to Kamloops.

Chances are you may spot an Eagle!

Even horses enjoy lazy summer days.

Petit Creek

Located 28km from Merritt BC this hidden gem is worth the drive.

Duck

Spring Duck.

Camping Allowed

Although these pictures were taken in the Spring. This spot is truly unique with the view of the old railroad bridge. Above all else, always take what you brought in. Leave no “Footprint”.

 

Would love to swim.

Old Rail Road Bridge.

Majestic Mountains

The view of the Mountains from this little camp ground. Located only 28km from Merritt.

Anyone want to go for a hike?

And We Were Swinging!

Located 28km outside Merritt BC towards Spencer’s Bridge. Spius Creek Logging Bridge.This watering hole is surely a delight to all.

Swimming spot at Spius Creek Logging Bridge.

Great River Swimming!

River

Riding the Rapids! Sunshine Vly Rd, Merritt, BC

Lac Le Jeune

Lac Le Jeune is a lake and provincial park in British Columbia, Canada, located approximately 37 kilometres south of Kamloops or 47 kilometres north of Merritt.  A perfect day for a swim.

Lac La Jeune Dock.

Great Place To Cool Off

Bring your picnic and your kayaks and enjoy this beautiful lake.

Great for water floaties.

Friendly leeches.

Resist jumping in!

Lac La Jeune Lake located 47km north of Merritt BC. Experience Nicola Valley!

Swimming in the Lake

Spending my summer swimming!

Experiencing The Nicola Valley Merritt BC

To sum it all up, no matter were you decide to spend time outdoors experiencing the Nicola Valley Merritt BC,  you will never be disappointed with all it’s beauty. Remember no matter were you go, don’t leave your “Footprint” behind.

 

Just standing by a lake is great!

Summer in Merritt BC in the Nicola Valley

Experience lazy day summers in the valley

PACIFIC FOREST RALLY

NICOLA VALLEY MERRITT BC OFF ROADING

“Whenever you meet the driver or the co-driver (navigator) they are more than happy to sign a autograph. Furthermore take a snapshot with you.”

 

This year the Pacific Forest Rally in Nicola Valley Merritt BC begins September 26, 2019. Specifically the Pacific Forest Rally (PFR) attracts rally teams from Canada and the U.S.  Subsequently compete with production-based cars on Nicola Valley’s rough challenging gravel roads.

 

Speeding at 140k.

Canadian Rally Championship since 1977. Sponsored by SUBARU.

 

Clocked out at 120k.

Registration Thursday 26.

Pacific rally headquarters and service park will be in the Nicola Valley, in Merritt BC. It allows spectators the  opportunity to see the cars close up. The rally will take place September 26 to the 28. Two days of  some very exciting gravel road racing.

Every Kids Dream!

 

Downtown Merritt BC Granite Av. Were you can meet the drivers. Between 4:30 and 5:30pm.

Downtown Meet & Greet

When you want to meet the Team!

Getting a selfie with driver and co-driver is the best.

 

Additionally you can get a cool pic!

 

Yes, this is my ride!

Meeting your hero is amazing.

 

While wondering what its like to Rally Race. Getting a close look at the cars is truly amazing.

 

 

Peek inside, you will be amazed.

Time to pick your favourites to win!

 

This happened to be my son’s favourite! Snowflake.

Furthermore you will be impressed with the work that goes into these cars.

Love the wing!

Picking your dream Rally car.

 

Whenever you meet the driver or the co-driver (navigator) they are more than happy to sign a autograph. Furthermore take a snapshot with you.

 

Red is my favourite colour.

Little Rally Racing!

The true excitement begins!

Corner ahead!

Safety Car

Purely amazing.

Thank you to the Safety Car. Making sure everyone is safe.

Although there are barriers,  getting this close pumps up the volume.

 

Very fine off road racing.

Co-pilot working hard!

Never forget the importance of the co-pilot.

The Race Is On

Stand back and watch.

Its all about speed.

Undoubtedly an adrenaline rush!

 

Pure adrenaline rush.

While taking a sharp corner at high speed. They make it look easy.

 

Corners are always interesting.

Corner Ahead!

 

Born to race!

To demonstrate how fast these cars are going.

 

Speed is a virtue.

Following the cars with your camera can be tricky.

 

Handling the road is also a virtue.

While the sound of the cars can be ear breaking, the dust and flying rocks can be hazardous.

 

Subaru driving.

To illustrate how close and personal you can get as a spectator at the Pacific Forest Rally Race in the Nicola Valley.

 

Dont get to close.

 

To Sum It Up

Nicola Valley Merritt BC will be hosting the Pacific Forest Rally September 26 this fall. This is a free event sponsored by Subaru. A time to get out-doors and experience the rush of watching these drivers race in our backyard. Remember to take out what you brought in, its your environment.

 

Merritt BC Car Racing : Pacific Forest Rally