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Merritt Outdoor Summer Adventures

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley’s Lakes 

“Lake a day for as long as you stay”

Truly “a lake a day for as long as you stay” bodes well with Merritt outdoor summer adventures in the Nicola Valley. Whether you are looking for a Provincial inclusive campground or wanting a more rustic adventure, the Nicola Valley has it all. To begin with you may want to just pull off the beaten path and hitch your tent alongside a river. Or you may want to dive deep into the backwoods that only a 4×4 can reach. Another possibility for the Merritt BC adventurists is to kayak to a hidden private campsite. 

merritt summer adventures

Camping. Photo Tania Stewart.

merritt outdoor summer adventures

Our Camp for the summer. Photo Tom Reynolds.

Monck Park is a Merritt Outdoor Summer Adventure Destination

The 118 hectare Monck Provincial Park campground is located just outside of the community of Merritt on the shores of Nicola Lake. There are 120 campsites. These campgrounds provide a range of sites from powered campsites with water to bare tenting campsites with no services. Additionally you can bring your powerboat for tubing or skiing! Located 23km from Merritt BC and 62km from Kamloops BC, Nicola Lake is easily accessible.  Great for kayaking, fishing and boating.

Adventure outdoor Merritt BC.

Water skiing is a must. Photo by Robert Neill.

Adventure outdoor Merritt BC.

Like a Pro she is! Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Camping Adventure in the Summer in Merritt BC 

Whether you are wanting to just relax, swim, or just enjoy the outdoors…. or wanting to tube, water ski or just boat around, the Nicola Valley offers a wide range of camp grounds.  Be sure to check out all our campgrounds listed on our Experience Merritt website and what lakes allow speed boats, non-motorized or smaller trolling boats. 

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Nicola Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Water Safety!

Firstly,  it is important to be safe when around water when enjoying Merritt outdoor summer adventures. Never underestimate the power of currents. A boater, swimmer or wader in open water can be swept away instantly. Always swim with a buddy never alone. Check weather conditions before venturing into the water. “Lifejackets are like seat belts – they only work if you wear them, and wear them properly.”  For further information go to Canadian Red Cross.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Lake Island. Photo by Robert Neill.

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. Besides it’s beauty, Lundbom offers  fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, ATVing and camping. To read more about Lundbom read Julie Pollard’s blog about  Lundbom Lake 

Horseback riding at Lundbom. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Lundbom Lake Reflection

Evening at Lundbom.

Need Fishing Gear?

Did you forget your fishing tackle or your fishing license? No worries, Merritt has a few locations that supply top notch fishing lures and supplies. Finding the right fishing gear is easy in Merritt, BC.  Expert information on your ideal fishing spots and camping areas can be found in the below sporting stores. 

“I was told the three best places to get lures in Merritt and the Nicola Valley were from Ponderosa Sports , Gun Fishing located in Merritt. As well,  Lucky Bug Lures, is a BC produced lure which works magic in our waters.”  Melvina White.

 

Outdoor Summer Adventure around Merritt BC.

Kiss the Fish! Photo Tania Stewart.

 

Priceless memories. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Summer fun! Photo by Robert Neill.

Summer Outdoor Adventures in Merritt BC

With lakes as dark as coal and lakes as blue as the sea. Deep or not so deep. Warm lakes and some very cold. The Nicola Valley has over 200 hundred lakes to pick from. You may even spot a lake monster here and there as part of your Merritt outdoor summer adventures. 

Local lake monster? Photo from Tania Stewart.

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park 

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park is located just off Highway 5A between Merritt and Princeton. Ideal for families who want to enjoy these two pristine lakes. Also both lakes will amaze you with sparkling turquoise water that draw anglers from near and far. As well as, both lakes have hiking trails for avid hikers. For more information about these two lakes go to Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park.

Kayaking on Kentucky Lake. Photo from Tania Stewart.

Alleyne lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Paska Lake near Logan Lake BC 

It is a 45 minute drive north of Merritt to Paska Lake. The turn off to the lake on Hwy 97D between Lac Lejeune and Logan Lake. Furthermore, the lake’ campground  contains around 50 sites many with lake views. 

Paska Lake is just one of almost two hundred lakes that are within an hours drive from Merritt. This is one of the reasons I love living in Merritt.” Tom Reynolds.

Paska Lake

Paska Lake-Shirley Reynolds Photo

Breakfast at the camp

Tom Reynolds – Photo Credit: Shirley Reynolds

Summer Adventures on Nicola Valley’s Lakes 

Here is a few lake’s that you may be interested in for planning your next outdoor summer adventures in Merritt BC. Consider these lakes for summer fun like Garcia Lake, Marquart Lake, Hamilton Lake, Edna Lake, Mathew Lake, Morgan Lake, Roth Lake, Gwen Lake,  and Lily Lake.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Wildlife Outdoors. Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Most importantly, while in the backcountry,  we all need to take action and become “Bear Aware” more and more in Merritt BC. Notably, because our habit’s are contributing to the increase in bear conflicts. Once bears start equating humans with food, they are conditioned and lose their natural fear of us. Hence bear and human conflict.  The bear is put down and not rescued in many circumstances. Make sure you store all food in a safe area as well never leave food out overnight on stove or picnic tables. Lesson your footprint! 

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Mountain goat. Photo by Robert Neill

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Photo by Robert Neill

Picture Perfect Summer in Merritt BC

Don’t forget your camera. Always a lot of wildlife to capture with a snap of a finger. If you are lucky you may see a mountain goat too! At the same time bird watchers will experience the wide variety of bird species within there habitat. As a result the Nicola Valley can boast a wide range of bird species. Truly a bird watchers dream!

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Nesting. Photo courtesy Tania Stewart.

Staycation Merritt BC.

Bald eagle. Photo Tania Stewart.

Hiking while Camping is Another Outdoor Summer Adventure

Albeit being on the lake is sublime. Taking a short or lengthy hike is truly paramount for exploring the region within the outdoors. Surrounding most lakes and rivers in the Nicola Valley are many hiking trails that are easily accessible. Trails that offer an easy hike or a more extreme hike that may be a day trip.  Surely, which ever trail you choose, the view will be breathtaking.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Family Fun Times in the Nicola Valley

Assuredly, nothing can compare with the fun and memories that the outdoors has on people. Getting down with nature with your family is something that is unique, bonding, and creating many future adventurists. To be sure we all want to preserve nature we make sure to leave as little footprint as we can.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

The gangs all here! Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Priceless memories for everyone! Picture by Tania Stewart.

As previously stated “Outdoor Summer Adventure” around Merritt BC. is truly an experience. Canadian summers are brief, every day is an adventure to enjoy. Tania Stewart.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley's Lakes.

Summer fun. Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley's Lakes.

Water skiing. Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

 

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley's Lakes.

What fun. Image by Robert Neill.

The big question to ask yourself when coming to the Nicola Valley is which lake are you going to explore? The Experience Nicola Valley blog and Experience Merritt website is a good place to start,” Greg Girard.

In Conclusion!

Truly a lake a day is Merritt’s slogan. Albeit staying for a few days or just having a staycation this is were you will find it.

Merritt Outdoor Summer Adventures

Nicola Valley is home to over 200+ lakes and endless adventures

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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.  

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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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“Santa Claus” and Christmas in Merritt BC

A Nicola Valley Christmas with Santa from the North Pole

“Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through Merritt …”

Christmas in Merritt BC Canada is coming up and Santa Claus is busy looking over his naughty & nice list in preparation for the big night. It has truly proven to be a very difficult year for keeping off the Naughty List too. Therefore Santa is checking it twice to find out who has been naughty or nice. In doing so, Santa was very pleased with the children of the Nicola Valley, as well as, the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers in their efforts of bringing good cheer into the homes of Merrittonians throughout the year.  

Christmas in Merritt BC

Santa checking the Naughty and Nice List twice from Santa’s Village in the North Pole

Mrs. Claus started Christmas in Merritt BC 

Christmas in Merritt BC started with Mrs. Claus accompanied by some poking and prodding from the Elves. One night talking with Santa, Mrs Claus was sharing some of the things she was reading about in the letters from Nicola Valley children. Meanwhile, the snickering Elves nearby hanging the Reindeer stockings were encouraging Mrs. Claus to take a Nicola Valley vacation. So she looked it up on ExperienceMerritt.com to learn more. She was hooked. 

Mrs. Claus Pays It Forward 

Mrs. Claus wanted to get a positive feel for Christmas in Merritt BC Canada. So she visited  the “Walk of Stars”, the Downtown Shops and some of the children, who are now adults, operating small businesses in Merritt during Covid 19. On her list was Blacks’ Pharmacy, Miss Vicki’s Petal and Plants, Planet Hair and Spa, Community Futures Nicola Valley and the City of Merritt Mayor, Linda Brown. 

Christmas in Merritt BC Must Go On

The Elves, the reindeer, Santa and Mrs. Claus all realize first hand how the children miss meeting with Santa Claus due to Covid19. Because of the pandemic Santa could not do his annual rounds visiting all the children throughout the world. Santa decided, based on the feedback from Mrs. Claus’ visit to the Nicola Valley, that Christmas in Merritt BC must go on!

christmas in merritt

Santa and Mrs. Claus discussing Christmas in Merritt BC

Interview with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Santa and Mrs. Claus agreed to provide Experience Nicola Valley a 1/2 hour interview on our community talk show called Nicola Valley Talk. Lucky me! I, Tania Stewart, was the host of that episode on Nicola Valley Talk which had Santa and Mrs. Claus as a special guest! They shared so many things during our interview about Santa’s Village, the North Pole, the reindeer, the mischievous Elves and Xmas Eve. Watch the interview below. 

Letters from Nicola Valley Children

After much consideration Mrs. Claus and Santa, along with their 90 thousand elves, decided to grant the Nicola Valley Talk Show an additional episode so they could answer the letters from Nicola Valley children live online. In addition, they would invite a few children online to talk and chat with Santa on a video call live from the North Pole in Northern Canada. We received letters and some video submissions too, making for great stories and answers.

We all know that  Mrs.. Claus runs the show in the North Pole. Without her,  Santa would truly be lost. Of course Mrs. Claus did all her research on the ExperienceNicolaValley.com and ExperienceMerritt.com websites! Notably she searched Merritt BC  Things To Do on Google and the Experience Nicola Valley and Experience Merritt websites came up 3 times on the first page! 

“They must be the community experts Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers. And I was right!” Mrs. Claus.

Meanwhile back at the North Pole 

Then there are the Elves who are dedicated and work tirelessly to make sure Christmas is special. In our discussions, we met the two head Elves, Alex and Daniel.  These two had it all together. Therefore they were in charge of feeding the Reindeer, building toys, and assisting Mrs. Claus with the banking so to provide Santa with his cookies.  

christmas in merritt bc elves

The Head Elves, Alex and Daniel, helping out at the North Pole.

“In the light of  all the work that Santa’s Elves do throughout the year. They are just so jolly and full of spunk.” Melvina White

To point out these are the 5 most asked questions from children as well as adult’s to Santa Claus. 

  1.  -“Do you remember when Santa and you got me a XXXXX when I was 6?”
  2. – “Is Xmas cancelled because of COVID?”
  3. – “Can the reindeer really fly?”
  4. – “How does Santa get down the chimney?”
  5. – “Are there really such things as Elves?”

Santa in 2021

We sure do hope to have Santa back next year on the show to answer and chat live with Nicola Valley children. 

Christmas in Merritt BC Canada

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Estate Planning in Merritt BC

A Holistic View on Estate & Insurance Planning in Merritt – Kamloops -Logan Lake 

The Second Pillar of Financial Planning

Estate Planning in Merritt, BC – Life is full of unexpected turns and twists. Because of that, we need to have a plan in place. Here we focus on developing comprehensive strategies that protect, preserve and provide for those that we care about. What is in place to protect our income and wealth? On our passing, is there enough liquidity in our estate? Is our will up to date? Is the executor and power of attorney we selected up to the task? If we could no longer work and were not an ideal retirement age, how would our retirement look?

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Great care needs to be taken to ensure the needs are all protected and fulfilled.

A Quick Disclaimer…

Some of the strategies that I will discuss are not to be taken as advice for your unique needs. I strongly suggest that you speak to a qualified professional.  These are complicated issues and not to be taken lightly. Being dually licensed in Mutual Funds and Insurance, I look at the big picture when it comes to making recommendations. 

Some Basic Assumptions to Begin Financial Planning

To begin, every financial plan looks at a couple main points. We start with a desired retirement date and a projected date of passing. For some, this number may be larger than others. Family history and current health are indicators of potential life expectancies. For the most part, I look at tables and project that way. A truth we must face, some of us will live to be 90 and even 100 years old.

A Shocking Canadian Statistic

Protecting Our Income and Our Wealth

Play along with me for a moment. Imagine yourself 45 years old. You are in the prime earning years of your life.  With possibly 20 years to go until retirement, many things are on your mind. Funding our children’s future education goals, paying off that mortgage and investing for retirement most likely top that list. You receive a call, letting you know your spouse was in a serious car accident. They unfortunately will not survive their injuries. I know this may seem grim, however, this is a part of life for some. This event was one of two things, planned or unplanned. Having a policy in place to protect against such an event will make all the difference for that surviving spouse and those children. 

Estate Liquidity Needs

When an individual passes, expenses come up out of no where that need to be covered by someone. Assets like a primary residence or an investment account will not be available right away to help cover some of these expenses. If there is no will in place, your loved ones may have to cover your expenses for months to come before the courts will actually grant someone the ability to simply act as your administrator. With accounts frozen, these expenses will have to be paid out of pocket by someone else. Not exactly the lasting memory we wish to leave behind. However, a simple beneficiary designation in the correct direction or a life policy could change this whole story.

Estate Planning in Merritt and Trust Advisory (Wills/POA)

Your last will and testament is an important thing to have in place. However, just as important is who you name to carry out your last wishes. Is this executor or executrix up to the task? With your passing, could you see them being mentally and physically able to carry out this task? Not exactly something we want to take lightly. Trusts are a complicated topic as well and the situation needs to warrant having something like this in place. Split families and second marriages bring a level of complexity to the estate planning process also. The wording needs to be very accurate to ensure your wishes take place. 

Living Benefits (Disability/Critical Illness/Long Term Care)

What would happen to our family if we were injured before retirement? This can have a massive impact on an individual or a family. What happens when one no longer has the ability to meet our current expenses, possibly even having expenses increase? What if a medical diagnosis or disease left us unable to earn a living for ourselves? There are so many situations that can be planned for. Ensuring we have proper coverage at different parts of our life is vitally important. Would our significant other be able to live comfortably if we needed long term care?

Ensure Your Plan Prepares You For The Unexpected

Experience Nicola Valley Financial Blogger

 

Estate Planning in Merritt BC

 

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School Snack Ideas and Recipes

My Best 5 School Snack Ideas!  

Being a mama of 7,  our house runs on snacks. I  hope you enjoy my 5 back to school snack ideas! Nutritious and delicious. 

 So this week I decided to share with you our school snack ideas! Consequently it is back to school season. Therefore it is a great time to share school snack ideas that my family comes back to again and again. I think these snacking suggestions would be great for anyone, home schooled or public schooled. Assuredly these are some great options if you are hungry and need something to tie you over until your next meal.

Plant Based School Snack Ideas

I love using plant based treats for snack time. These snacks come loaded with healthy grains,  nuts and seeds. Add  in healthy fats like coconut oil or delicious nut butters and you have a sticky and satisfying snack time. In conclusion I feel these plant based snacks have all  the makings for the perfect school snack. 

school snack ideas in Merritt

School Snack Idea #1 Chocolate Hummus

Hummus is a great one to lead with for school snack ideas. A different spin on a good classic staple. Hummus is great any time of the year. I love keeping a batch fresh and ready to spread on tortillas or rice cakes. That is where chocolate hummus comes into play. Decadent and dark, enjoyed with fresh fruit or pretzels this is a crowd pleaser. In addition to dates being a sneaky health building sidekick, binder and tasty thickener – they are high in fiber and may promote brain health. Which makes them a easy go-to for an after school snack.

Hummus

Unexpectedly Yummy

Chocolate Hummus Recipe

1 Can Chick Peas ( microwave for 3 mins to cook) 

6 Dates (more or less – depending on how much sweetness you are looking for)

1/2  Cup Cocoa Powder 

1/4 Cup Honey or Maple Syrup

Pinch of Sea Salt 

1/4 Cup Tahini Paste ( If you do not have any of this on hand, you could always use peanut butter or maybe almond butter)

Blend in your food processor  taste and enjoy! I recommend trying this a few times before you say you love it or hate it. It does have a “beany” taste some may pick up on. But I would say, don’t give up on it if they first batch is a bust. In conclusion I know my kids love this now. But did take some effort to warm up to the idea. I am ecstatic I can add it to my school snack idea rotations.

School Snack Idea #2 Fruit, Veggies & Protein

School snack ideas is not complete with out these three. For example, I keep fruit and veggies stocked up in this house. I was recently listening to the audio book “Atomic Habits” and in the book the author was talking about replacing cookies to fruit in your cookie jar. This was something I did years ago when my kids were little. I counted this as a win. 

Easy Kid Meals snacking

Un-Bear-Ably Cute

Previously, the sight of the cookie jar made me want a cookie.  Or my toddler would want a cookie. Since replacing the “cookie” with fruit. Our eating habits have improved as well as our waistlines. For us a easy protein is always nut butters or hummus. In addition a small handful of almonds or walnuts is also a great way to get some healthy fats and protein. This un-bear-ably cute snack was created with sliced “banana pennies”, peanut butter and tasty blue berries. 

School Snacks ideas for kids

Fun Food Kids Will Ask For Again & Again

Snack Idea #3 Treat balls

School snack ideas cant be complete with out these super simple and easy to do treats. I love making a huge batch of these and enjoying some right away. But then also tucking the rest away in the freezer. Perfect for when a sugar craving hits, or you need some easy protein after a work out or intense trip or as a reward for not buying the cookies you were eyeing at the supermarket. I personally love to use them as a way to get our daily flax seed intake in. Flax is delicate and can loose effectiveness if heated to high temperatures . So I feel the best way to enjoy it is either in a fresh smoothie or eating in a raw tasty treat ball. I like to store my flax in the freezer for freshness, it can go rancid if left in the cupboard for too long. 

Snack Idea #4 My Home Made Granola Bars

These are a great school snack idea! Granola bars always are a hit! They are perfect for adding into lunches or ready to go when you want to hit the trails and go on an adventure. So easy to have it ready for when you need some quick and easy inexpensive energy. I have made these bars for years. And have played around with different flours. You can always add an extra egg or add more apples sauce or even a banana if you use a flour that is more dense like whole wheat or spelt. 

Healthy Kid Snacks for school

Healthy Kid Snacks

Jens Granola Bars Recipe

2 1/2 Cups of rolled oats                                        

1 cup of flour

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup of apple sauce 

1 cup of ground flax seed

pinch of sea salt 

1/2 cup of honey

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 cup of  either trail mix, chocolate chips, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, raisins and white chocolate chips, dried fruit. 

Oven; 350 degrees F ( 175 degrees C)

Kid Approved School Snacks Ideas

Granola Bars Are Always A Treat!

Stir oats, flour and ground flax seeds, brown sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add your egg, honey, apple sauce, vanilla. Stir until evenly combined. Pour mixture into a 9X13-inch baking dish, pat down and smooth evenly . Bake in pre-heated oven until golden and set. About 25 mins. 

Snack Idea #5 Roasted Chick Peas 

Simple Snacking for Toddlers

Easy for little fingers to handle also.

These are a great after school snack. Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, and offer a good dose of iron while stabilizing your blood sugars. So all in all a great snack to reach for in the afternoon. I love to make a big batch of these and add to snack time or as a side to our lunches. These are super yummy sprinkled over salads here are a few recipe ideas to get you as excited for these as I am. I always bake mine in the oven, But I could see owning something like an air fryer might be pretty great for this healthy treat! 

Roasted Chick Peas school snack ideas

A tasty snack.

Doritos – This looks like a tasty option if you have a craving for chippies but gotta cut back. 

Basic  – This is an easy basic recipe to get you started. 

Cinnamon Sugar  – If you are looking for a healthier option for a sweet treat. This is also a tasty way to enjoy! 

Ketchup – We call our chickpeas “nibbles” due to using this cookbook. The ketchup version is so delicious. We have a bunch of ketchup lovers in this house so this satisfies the craving asap! 

In conclusion

 I hope you enjoyed my mash up of some of our favorite school snack idea’s! Its exciting to be blogging with the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers! We are always so thankful when you stop by.  If your curious about getting to know me and my family a little more you can read this post. To learn how we do life with a large family. And you are always welcome to follow along with us on Instagram.

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Recipes for School Snacks

Recipes, ingredients and directions for 5 snacking ideas for school. 

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

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Merritt BC Birdwatching & Wildlife Watching from Home

Photo’s of Nature  During Covid19 Merritt Canada

“From my home, my backyard, there is a whole world of activity opening up to my eyes that I may have taken for granted before Covid 19.”  

 

Merritt BC birdwatching and wildlife watching from my backyard in the Nicola Valley has really opened my eyes up to how fortunate we are as Merrittonians.  However, being isolated during Covid19 may make a person a bit “Bat Crazy” therefore finding things to do can be tricky especially when you have children. 

Merritt BC birdwatching through Photography

Grab your camera, phone or art paint and head outdoors into Mother Nature is one option to consider. Almost every day I spend a couple of hours taking photo’s of nature during Covid19 in Merritt, Canada.” I like to experience the beauty of the Nicola Valley backyard “Critters” during isolation through photography.

Not Merritt BC Birdwatching

Happy Squirrel that loves to living in Canada. Photo by Tania Stewart

Enjoying Merritt nature during isolation.

Finding things to occupy yourself during this time can be trying at times. I combine my passion for photography and nature to be my therapy during the pandemic. Consequently, I often find myself wandering my backyard for a photo moment. Admittingly I am not a pro at taking photos, but these pictures will forever be a reminder of this time in my life.  

Albeit when standing guard for your peanuts! 

Photo's of Nature Nature During Covid19 Merritt, Canada.

Photo’s of Nature During Covid19 Merritt, Canada. Merritt Nature During Isolation. Photo by Tania Stewart

merritt bc birdwatching

Hanging on. Nature Around My Yard During Isolation. Photo by Tania Stewart

birdwatching in merritt bc canada

Backyard Feeding Nature During Covid19 Merritt. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Types of squirrels

Canada is home to 22 different types of squirrels. Six of these are ground-dwelling, four live in trees, and two are varieties of flying squirrels. Can you count flying squirrels as Merritt BC birdwatching? Probably not. Common ground squirrels have thin tails and hibernate through winter, while bushy-tailed tree squirrels are active year-round.

Life as a Squirrel

Tree squirrels build nests, living amongst branches and within tree hollows. Ground squirrels do the opposite. They dig  burrows to reside underground. All squirrels use their tails for shade during warm weather, warmth during the winter, and balance when climbing or jumping. Here is a link to learn more about squirrels –  Backyard friends.

Photo's of Nature Nature During Covid19 Merritt, Canada.Merritt

Fast n Furious! Photo by Tania Stewart

They help plant trees

While they can be a nuisance to gardeners thanks to their fondness for flower bulbs, squirrels play an important role in forest regeneration.  As winter approaches, squirrels prepare by burying nuts and seeds to help see them through. Inevitably, some of their stash will be forgotten and germinate in the spring.

backyardPhoto's of NatureWaiting its turn for the birdfeed. Photo by Tania 
merritt bc birdwatching

Spring is here! Robins are back. Image Tania Stewart

 

The crow family (Corvidae) is a large family of birds that includes jackdaws, choughs, jays, magpies and nutcrackers as well as crows and ravens. The crow family represents one of the most advanced stages of avian evolution, showing, for example, a highly developed intelligence and a complex social organization. 

Photo's of Nature Nature During Covid19 Merritt, Canada.Crowmerritt.

Standing guard over his nest. Image Tania Stewart.

Caw to the Crow.

Crows will jointly defend space with a lifelong mate and displays their status with the rest of the flock, as well as, warns all fellow crows when danger is afoot. Furthermore, here is another interesting fact,  crows recognize human faces!

birds of merritt bc canada

My friendly Crow. Image Tania Stewart.

OK I admit I love Crows!

crows are birds too

Image Tania Stewart.

Merritt BC Canada backyard birdwatching includes Robins!

Robins feed extensively on insects, insect larvae and earthworms but also consume fruits and berries in season and are considered bird pests in many areas. The robin is widely found in many parts of Canada. Birdwatchers tell us the robin is migratory in most parts of the country however, it may winter or attempt to winter in some of the southern parts of most provinces. 

When you spot a “Robin” spring is here! Tania Stewart

Merrittrobins

Welcome back! Image Tania Stewart

The call of the Morning Doves

The mourning dove gets its name from its low, mournful “ooo-Ahhh crooo-ooo-ooo” call, though other calls include a low, rapid coo when in distress and a rapid, high wing whistle when the birds take flight.

birdwatching in nicola valley

Apples are great! Image Tania Stewart

It’s a Birds Paradise! 

backyrad birdwatching in merritt

Waiting for feed. Image Tania Stewart

Taken in some shade! Image Tania Stewart

During Covid19. All bird feeders are open.

birding in merritt

Backyard friends. Image Tania Stewart

merritt birdwatching

Two legged prowler! Image taken by Tania Stewart

birdwatching in the nicola valley

Birds are always singing. Image Tania Stewart

 

Deer are always welcome to visit during Covid19.

Being a deer is an even-toed ungulate, deers are grazers  and browsers (eating shrubs and woody plants). Deer also have a four-chambered stomach making them ruminants. The process of ruminal fermentation allows deer to partially digest complex carbohydrates that other mammals cannot – this means that almost all vegetation is available to deer as a food source.

deermerritt

Image taken by Tania Stewart.

Furthermore Oliver

Oliver the cat truly enjoys being outside and birdwatching in my backyard here in Merritt BC.

Oliver loves the Outdoors! Image taken by Tania Stewart.

To tell the truth even Oliver takes in the sights with wonderment! Tania Stewart

Additionally you may run into this little critter!

As a result of using high zoom, I was able to capture this cool creature. Consequently,  those green looking leaves are decorative Christmas fur on the outside railing of my home. Got to just love Insects.

Small but adorable. Image taken by Tania Stewart.

Nature During Covid19 in  Merritt, Canada

This is how I find some balance during this time during the pandemic. Therefore, almost every day I spend a couple of hours during the day taking photos.

Merritt BC Birdwatching

Wildlife Watching from Home

Adventures and activities in British Columbia Canada

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

“Experience Community Program” (small and rural community authentic content marketing program) is a product of the EH? Tourism Marketing Group. Contact us for more information on this program at media(at)ehcanadatravel(dot)com.

Merritt BC Sewing Services
Nimble Thimble Creations 

Merritt BC sewing services for hemming pants, skirts, re-pairing zippers, replacing buttons and so much more… like quilting too. 

“Repairing my customers clothing has enabled me to help many people,” Sharon McRae.

Merritt BC sewing and tailoring services – Nimble Thimble provides the people of the Nicola Valley with traditional sewing needs. Specifically, the shop, is a very unique business that most people do not know exists in Merritt British Columbia. Therefore, when asked, Sharon McRae defines her quaint little shop as a much needed necessity for the community. Most importantly, Nimble Thimble provides a crucial service for hemming pants, skirts, re-pairing zippers, replacing buttons and more. 

merritt bc sewing services

Nicola Valley artisan seamstress tools

Equally important is having access to a seamstress.

Furthermore, in a tight spot, before your event or presentation, and you require a touch up or mending of a dress or suit then this Merritt BC sewing service is your first phone call. Additionally, with no time to waste, Nimble Thimble is a place to go to for last minute hems, broken zipper, lost buttons, or a needed style adjustment. 

Merrittnimblethimble

Sharon is always coming up with these super fabulous yet simple sewing projects.

“Repairing your favourite jacket, Sharon can do it!” Tania Stewart

Moving to Merritt BC.

My husband and I moved to the Nicola Valley near Merritt BC Canada. We looked at a map.  Saw that Merritt was  not far from the lower mainland and close enough to visit family when we wanted. Additionally, we also moved to Merritt  because it was just the right size. The community was equally big enough to satisfy all our needs but not too big to be overly congested.  

nicolavalley

Merritt BC Nimble Thimble

Bringing Merritt BC sewing services to Merritt BC.

Consequently, I started my business after my marriage fell apart because I needed an income to support my kids and myself. That is to say I only knew how to sew and I had been working at the local Dry Cleaners for a few years. Naturally, working for myself gave me the freedom to be available for my children as they have special needs. Additionally, I  really enjoy helping people. At the same time repairing my customers clothing has enabled me to help many people. As a result I have made many friends due to my business through the years.

Merritt BC Nimble Thimble

And more and more material can be found

Merritt BC fabrics 

Besides sewing, my store also carries fabrics for quilting, sewing notions, threads, and yarns made of wool, bamboo, and cotton. I also have access to suppliers for things I don’t have on hand and can order things in. There are even a few quilted items for sale and a few used clothes to sell as well.

Patchwork quilt

Patchwork quilt at Nimble Thimble

To illustrate Sharon’s talent. “Quilt” is derived from the Latin word “Culcita”, which means “stuffed sack.”

experiencenicolavalley

Zip it up!

Traditionally a quilt is made of three layers: a quilt top, batting, and a bottom layer. The top and bottom layers are made of fabrics stitched together. Batting (usually made of cotton or something similar) is the insulation that makes the quilt warm. None the less, a quilt takes time and dedication.  

Patchwork quilts were common in areas where women had few resources to make them. Using leftover fabric from earlier projects, old clothing, or other cheap materials was very common. 

Moreover sewing essentials needed!

In addition to a selection of beautiful materials, you will also find all your sewing essentials at Nimble Thimble in Merritt BC.

merritt bc sewing essentials

Merritt BC Sewing essentials.

“I am certain that a Sewing Machine would relieve as much human suffering as a hundred Lunatic Asylums, and possibly a good deal more.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace

MerrittBC

Variety of thread. Nimble Thimble

Creative colors at this Merritt BC sewing store.

To demonstrate Sharon’s sewing room.

The sewing room, where creativity is surrounded by colors, is a  special Artisans Haven.

“Nimble Thimble has the most amazing craft and sewing room ever,” Tania Stewart!

sewing tools of history

Sewing tools from history

Quilting is an Art form.

“Moreover having a love for “Sewing”, I truly love and appreciate the dedication Sharon has for her business,” Tania Stewart.

nicolavalleybusinesses

Beautiful selection of material.

merritt sewing services

Have I mentioned the material enough times or what.

In conclusion Merritt is truly lucky to have “Nimble Thimble Creations” 

Together with providing repairs, Nimble Thimble Creations carries fabrics for quilting, sewing notions, threads, yarns made of wool, bamboo, and cotton.  There are even a few quilted items for sale and a few used clothes as well. In addition to an arraignment of beautiful material, you will find all your sewing essentials at Nimble Thimble in Merritt BC. Whether you live in the Nicola Valley or are one of our many visitors in need of a special garment repair this is the Merritt BC sewing shop to visit.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Nimble Thimble

2058A Granite Ave,
Merritt, BC, Canada
V1K1B8 

Phone: (250) 315-2340

FACEBOOK

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Yuino Takeyama. A Japanese Traveler.

I am happy to be an International Travel Blogger connecting people to Experience Nicola Valley through my stories. I do my best.

Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler shares with us, “I had a great encounter with a family and stayed for the weekend with them. The generous hospitality, the welcoming home, was provided by a family in Merritt , British Columbia, Canada.” 

I am, Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler and I am not a student, as I have decided to explore and travel your beautiful country before I make any life decisions. At 19, leaving the security and comforts of my home was a very hard decision. However, I have always been a person who seeks adventure and challenges and I felt this was the time when I could start collecting life experiences. I’m a person who wants to challenge myself all the time!  And Canada is my playground.

I, Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler arrives In Canada

One day, while living in Japan, I came up with the idea that I was going to travel across Canada and then decide where I wanted to live.  Firstly, I landed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Secondly, I soon found out in your beautiful country I didn’t actually understand English very well. My bad! Just too excited to get here. I was surprised how I couldn’t communicate with people through language. My conclusion, it was harder than I expected. I needed to do something fast!

Learning English in Canada

Many Canadian people helped me out a lot in teaching me English. However, when I wanted to show my appreciation, I couldn’t communicate with them well enough to show my gratitude. That’s when I decided to learn and speak English only. To assist me in learning English I went to language school for 3 months. After I graduated from the language school, I took to the road with my Japanese friend, Micheal Taiga who is the craziest man in Japan. He was ideal for exploring because he wanted to see everything. 

japanese traveler in Canada

Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler, experiencing Canada.

Starting our travels across Canada

Anyone who has traveled at a young age knows that budgets are always tight. So to make ends meet we decided that we travel across Canada by hitchhiking and by doing homestay visit and stay the home of who lives around area you travel .It was the best decision that I have ever made! The opportunity to meet so many good new people and to experience the beautiful nature in your country would not have happened without the kindness of Canadians.  Therefore, I can say I have experienced so many things that I would never have had a chance to experience in Japan. 

Where we traveled

We started our adventures in Vancouver, and then hitchhiked to Merritt, Kamloops, Golden, Banff, and Calgary seeking experiences. Then we flew to Whitehorse, Yukon and stayed in Haines Alaska for a while. During our stay we explored the Alaska Highway. The Alaska Highway was just beautiful beyond description! Then we hitchhiked back to Whitehorse and boarded a plane to  Quebec City, Quebec. Continuing on, we put our hitchhiking thumbs to work in the region as we visited Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls and crossed the border to City of New York, USA. Actually I have a bunch of interesting stories to share with you about these places. However, I’m going to post those stories at a later date!!

Campfires and camping with Yuino Takeyama

Camping with new and old friends in Banff, Alberta

Farewell to my travel buddy

Taiga, my Japanese traveler buddy went to Germany to continue traveling with another friend.  So we decided we would go our each way. I wanted to stay in Canada and learn more about your beautiful country. He wanted Germany. Honestly I was sad to see Taiga go. However, at the same time, I was excited to be on my own seeking out adventures, meeting new people and more. It was “go-time” for me, now I had to do everything by myself.  I was super excited at this new turn in my journey!

Beginning of my new journey

When Taiga left was when it really hit me. It was time to start my new journey by myself. As you recall, I am exploring Canada to find where I want to live and the lifestyle I wish to work hard for. I have seen much of Canada and when my plan comes together and I live in Canada I am picking Whitehorse, Yukon to live the rest of my Canadian life!

exploring canada

Running towards adventures in the wilderness. My heaven in Canada.

On my own looking for place and play

As I said,I had no idea where to go and what to do? What I did know was that I had to find a place to live and work. Things work in funny ways and how I found my accommodation is another crazy story I will share that story with you in another post.  Bottom line, I eventually found a place in Carcross, Yukon Territories which is a 3 hour drive from Whitehorse, Yukon.

friends of a Japanese traveler

Beautiful mountains in Carcross, Yukon

Living in the northern wilds of Canada 

I spent 1 week in Carcross, Yukon Territories, Canada. The Yukon village has a population of only 300 people! I stayed in a rustic cozy cabin with a a beautiful lake and mountains outside my front door. I call this lifeHeidi Life. Do you know what Heidi is? It is my favorite Japanese animation… Anyway, back to my story, I started to look for a job. 

northern lights canada with Yuino Takeyama

Home is Haines Junction under the Northern Lights

After ”Heidi life”, I ended up to Haines Junction, Yukon Territories. I had come to work at Mount Logan Lodge for 2 months. It’s run by a family and it is a popular place to stay in the region. When visiting the lodge you have to try some of the “home cooked” meals just like your Mom served you at home. That is what I was told by my Canadian friends anyway. 

Finish my Wild life

When I got out of my wild life, I felt tears.. that is how much I loved living in the Canadian north. After that I decided to live in Kamloops and find a new job. And on my way to Kamloops, British Columbia from Vancouver, I had a great encounter with a family and stayed with them for a  weekend. The generous hospitality, the welcoming home, was provided by  a family in Merritt , British Columbia, Canada. This was the beginning of many positive Merritt encounters. 

So the adventures of a Japanese traveller continues …

I was now looking for work, I hitchhiked all over the region looking for work. Finally, I found work in Kamloops at a restaurant. I am glad I can keep using my English, studying English and living a healthy Canadian life. To sum it up, my Canadian adventures has given me tons of unique experiences and I have received so much kindness from many Canadians. I’ve come to feel comfortable when I step out of my ”comfort zone”.   

“Journey to let you find yourself,” – Yuino Takeyama 

the travels of a Japanese traveler

Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler, explores Canada

How exploring led to Experience Nicola Valley Blogging

In conclusion, it is funny how things happen and how lucky I am in meeting so many kind and good Canadians in my travels. Just recently I was hitchhiking in not so good weather, with a friend, from Kelowna to Vancouver, passing through Merritt. A nice lady by the name of Melvina White picked us up. She could not believe we hitchhike. I starting sharing my travels and she started sharing how much fun she was having telling people’s stories with blogging. Now I too wanted to share my adventures, and my stories of Canada. The good people of Merritt have made it come true. So here I am. So happy. I want everyone to know my stories and all to come to the Experience Nicola Valley website and visit Merritt.

Japanese Traveler – Yuino Takeyama

Merritt, British Columbia, Canada

Remember Nicola Valley that #merrittmatters on social media.

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC

Saving a Black Bear Cub in Merritt BC.

Black Bear Cub saved in The Nicola Valley, Merritt BC.

Bear Aware in Merritt BC Update: Remember I wrote a story about “Merritt” the black bear cub who was lost and confused wandering our city  a while back. Well, it is time for a “Bear Aware in Merritt” update.

Being Bear Aware takes a team

As a result of the joint efforts of the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, Hope Mountain , and the Conservation Officer Jordan Stewart – a  bear cub was saved and rescued in Merritt BC not too long ago.  This little “Cub” was wondering around for a week on the Bench in Merritt. Motherless, lost and alone the cub was surviving by eating from a tree full of fermenting berries by night. During the day the cub was sleeping high up in the branches of a local pine tree.  

“Bear” awareness will come to you” Tania Stewart.

black bear cub saved merritt BC.

Black Bear Cub rescued in Merritt BC.

Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC & “Who To Call?”

I remember  “Wild Bear Rescue” which was a TV show based outside of Smithers BC Canada. Being an avid fan of the show my automatic response was to call and see if they could help. My call was immediately answered by Angelika Langen. She, along with her husband Peter, and their grown children Langen/Landry’s dedicate their lives to saving wildlife.  

 

black bear cub merritt BC

Meet “Merritt”, orphaned cub rescued in the Nicola Valley.

There is a Conservation Hot Line?

Angelika informed me to call the Conservation Hot Line and save this black bear cub in Merritt BC.  During my call with Angelika she told me that the conservation officer has to first determine if the “cub” has not been taught to scavenge food from garbage bins. This being a learned behavior which can be a death sentence for a bear. Therefore, it is important to never leave garbage bins outside during a Canadian bear season.

 

Nicola Valley

Alone, motherless but surviving.

In effect after due diligence.

Respectively the Conservation Officer spent a great amount of time with this black bear in Merritt BC.   After determining that the cub had not learned any bad behaviors, she was free to move forward with rescue and rehabilitation. This is were “Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee” became involved. It pays to be bear aware in Merritt BC when we can save a cub from harm.

 

merritt bc black bear cub saved

Scared and alone.

“Merritt the Cub” was designated for rehabilitation.

Angelika Langen contacted me, letting me know that a volunteer from Hope, BC would contact me and make arrangements to come and rescue the “Cub”. Indeed there is no way to explain the joy, happiness, exhilaration I felt receiving that call from Angelika that this little lost “Cub” was going to be rescued. There are no words to describe how I felt.

 

Hope Mountain Rescue team.

Conservation officer saving black bear cub merritt bc

Merritt Conservation Officer.

Notably within hours the rescue of a “Cub” was underway.

In fact I received  a call from Lydia Koot from the Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee asking me the exact location and area were the “Cub” has been last seen. Help was on its way. She let me know  Lydia Koot and Cecilia  would be in Merritt at 7:30 am. And they were exactly on time. 

 

Black bear cub saved in merritt bc

Lydia Koot.

Black bear cub merritt BC.

Searching for the motherless “Cub”

In this case we needed to locate the black bear “Cub”

Although the day before, the cub was up in the tree. I swear. But when dusk arrived, the “Cub” had disappeared. So much for being Bear Aware in Merritt BC. Therefore, despite everything, we were all determined to locate the motherless “Cub.”  After a bit of searching, and talking with community members. We were directed to a new area were the “Cub” had been sleeping and foraging. Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC was back on track.

black bear cub merritt bc

Snug as a “Bear” in a tree.

As a result of  some very caring people we were able locate this cub.

Trapping this frightened orphan is another story. Because of his fear and mistrust of humans, capturing the bear unharmed became a waiting game. However I was told this is a good sign. The cub’s actions indicated that this cub was keeping its wild side.

What there are two cubs?

Tragically this cub had a twin. After losing their mother both cubs found a safe tree in the back yard of a Merritt home. At least, in light of being orphaned, they had each other. The owner of this home observed both cubs sleeping together in his backyard tree. However, sad things happen, and one of the cubs was tragically hit by a vehicle and was found by someone walking their dog.

trap to save black bear merritt bc

Trap n rescue.

Lydia Koot setting trap.

In Hope everything goes smoothly.

 

Lydia Koot making sure.

black bear cub merritt

With the help of community!

Without the help of many Volunteers.

Consequently everything came together. Diligence and perseverance is key. In spite of how tragic one feels and the overwhelming compassion one has for the mother and the other siblings death, there is still the hope of rescuing the orphaned cub. 

 

saving black bear cub merritt bc

Cecilia Fraga volunteer.

Bear Cub saved in Merritt BC.

With a bit of patience, stinky food and a precisely placed cage. This little black bear cub was captured around 7 PM. A bear cub was rescued and given a chance to live a long healthy life. Importantly we all need to take action and become “Bear Aware” more and more in Merritt BC. Notably realizing our habit’s are contributing to the increase in bear conflicts. When bears start using the community as a foraging area for food we are in trouble. Unfortunately bears will lose their lives unless we correct behavior.  Leaving garbage out during bear season is a no no. Allowing fruit to ferment on trees is a bear trap. Once bears start equating humans with food, they are conditioned and lose their natural fear of us. Hence bear and human conflict.  Hence the bear is put down and not rescued in many circumstances. 

Cub rescue

“Merritt” cub healthy.

“Merritt” the black bear cub is a boy. The update is he is doing very well in his recovery and is settling in very well. He has a healthy appetite and seems alert.” Northern Lights Wildlife Society.

Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC

Merritt British Columbia Canada

merritt muralRandy Travis – American Country Music Superstar

Grand Ole Opry Inductee Randy Travis Featured On The Walls Of The Merritt, BC Mural Walk

The First Chapter Of An Extraordinary Life

Randy Travis, is an American country music superstar and Christian country music singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor.

Travis was born on May 4, 1959 in Marshville, North Carolina, USA as Randy Bruce Traywick. The second of six children  of Harold Traywick (the owner of a construction company and farmer, as well as a substitute teacher) and Bobbie Traywick (a textile factory worker).

 “My dad was always a big country music fan, so we grew up listening to a lot of the old stuff. Hank Williams and Patsy Cline were probably his favorites.”(Ricky Traywick)

Randy Travis and Brother Rick

Randy Travis and Rick

Randy Travis grew up with the family name of Traywick and was the younger brother of Ricky Traywick by two years. Growing up in the Traywick home there were no shortage of musical influences and encouragement. Listening to music wasn’t the only influence he and his brother had. “Actually, their dad took them to guitar lessons together. Afterwards, they would go home and “jam” in the den, learning from each other. They would take turns playing lead and rhythm, always trying to out play each other.“

Learning to play the guitar at the age of 8, he started singing in the Church of Christ choir. For the next 2 years he and his brother Ricky performed as the Traywick Brothers at local clubs as well as entering talent contests. He would become a solo entertainer in 1969.

Randy Travis Early Years

Randy Travis

Troubles In The First Chapter

The next few years would be troublesome for Travis. Although his father encouraged his pursuit of music. The two often quarreled, which in part was a contributing factor in Randy dropping out of school.

Now as a solo singer he would continue to perform. Performing in tough venues where acts would be protected from the audience by chain link fence.

As a teenager Randy’s love of country music was matched only, by his increasing experimentation of alcohol and drugs. Soon Travis was drinking excessively and using drugs. He has been open about his troubled teen years, telling Newsweek that he began drinking at 12 and using drugs at 14.

“Sometimes a lot harder drugs, but at least marijuana every day,” he admitted. “I think all that was part of why I got into so much trouble. Because I drank so much and did so many drugs that it was like it wasn’t me. It was like another person was in control. Nobody can handle that kind of abuse. You go crazy, you’re not mentally in control. I’m just thankful that cocaine wasn’t around when I was going through my bad time. I’d have probably died. I’d have probably killed myself with it.” (Randy Travis to Newsweek)

By this time he had dropped out of school and briefly held a job as a construction worker. Over the next few years. Randy was in and out of trouble. Arrested for assault, breaking and entering as well as other misdemeanor charges.

The Start Of A Slow Turnaround

Randy Travis was a kid with a golden voice and a habit of making trouble when he was discovered in his home state of North Carolina in the late 1970s.

In 1975, Randy won a talent contest in Country City USA a nightclub in, Charlotte, North Carolina. The club owner, Elizabeth “Lib Hatcher” took an interest in the young singer. She hired him as a cook and gave him regular singing gigs at the club.

Still in his late teens, Randy had one more run in with the law. At his hearing, Hatcher seeing promise in his music convinced the judge to let her become Randy’s legal guardian. Hatcher spent the next few years grooming Randy. The two began to focus on his career full time.

In 1978, he recorded a self-titled album, Randy Traywick, for Paula Records. One single from the album, “She’s My Woman”, spent four weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.

Travis moved in with Hatcher, which put further strain on her already fragile marriage. She eventually left her husband and, in 1982, she and Travis moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Hatcher became manager of the Nashville Palace, a tourist-oriented club near the Grand Ole Opry. Randy performed as “Randy Ray” in the club as well as worked as their short order cook.

During this time an unlikely romance began to form between Travis and Hatcher. Travis and Hatcher eventually came forward with their relationship. They married in a private ceremony in 1991.

Travis would later comment, “I think we discovered how much we needed each other.” (Randy Travis)

Randy and Elizabeth Travis

Randy and Elizabeth

Chapter Two The Complete Beginning To The Rise Of Fame

Travis was rejected by every major record label in Nashville in the early 1980’s. Labelled and criticized by record executives, he was passed over by Warner Brothers twice as being “too country”. He would become a pivotal figure in the history of country music, including positioning as a major force in the neo traditional country movement.

 Warner Bros. senior vice president Martha Sharp went to the Palace to hear “Randy Ray” perform in 1985 and offered him a contract on the spot.

“I loved his voice,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “But I knew I was going to get a lot of guff. The prevailing opinion at that time was that he was too country, nothing that country would work. Still, my gut told me to go ahead.” (Martha Sharp)

Martha Sharp with Faith Hill

Martha Sharp and Faith Hill (An Older Picture)

The first thing Sharp did was change Randy Traywick’s stage name to Randy Travis. Then she encouraged him to focus on his strengths—especially his robust but edgy voice and the vein of irony that helped temper his more sentimental songs.

After being told he was too traditional, “On the Other Hand” released in 1985 only reached number 67 on the charts. Despite the disappointing review of “On The Other Hand”, Warner released “1982” which became a top ten the same year.  Randy Travis quickly became the hottest young country artist in America. He was adored by fans of contemporary and traditional country.

In 1986, both songs appeared on Travis’s album Storms Of Life, which secured a place at No. 1 for eight weeks and sold over five million copies.

Randy Travis was well on his way of marking a generational shift in country music.

Chapter Three Continuing To The Rise Of Fame Throughout The “1980’s”

In 1986, Warner Bros. re-released “On the Other Hand”, and the re-release became Travis’s first No. 1 single on the chart.

Travis’s first album, Storms of Life, was released by Warner Bros. in June of 1986 with anticipated sales of 20,000 units. By the end of the year it had sold more than a million copies and yielded four hit singles: “1982,” “On the Other Hand,” “Diggin’ Up Bones,” and “Reasons I Cheat. “On the Other Hand”, “Diggin’ Up Bones”, and “No Place Like Home” were all co-written by Paul Overstreet.

Randy Travis

Randy Travis

Storms helped the world recognize, Randy Travis was no longer a secret.  The Album earned him The Country Music Association’s  Horizon Award now known as (New Artist Of The Year Award).

“Diggin’ Up Bones” also won Travis his first Grammy Award in 1986, for Best Male Vocal Country Performance. “Storms of Life” received its highest Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sales certification in 1992, when it was certified triple-platinum for shipments of 3 million copies.  The album’s producer was Kyle Lehning, who would also produce nearly all of Travis’s subsequent albums. In December 1986, Travis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was the youngest inductee at the age of 28 to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

When his Storms of Life came out in 1986, country music was still wallowing in the post-urban cowboy recession, chasing elusive crossover dreams. Travis brought the music back to its basics, sounding like a perfect blend of George Jones and Merle Haggard.

The Hits and Awards Keep Coming

He became the dominant male voice in country until the rise of “hat acts” like Garth Brooks and Clint Black, releasing seven consecutive number one singles during one stretch. He won the CMA’s Horizon Award in 1986 and was the association’s Male Vocalist of the Year in 1987 and 1988.

During the early years Travis and his band travelled to concerts in a converted bread truck, equipment was hauled in a van and horse trailer. By the beginning of 1987, the Travis entourage, still managed by Hatcher—traveled in the comfort of a $500,000 bus. Hatcher also found Travis a publicist, who signed the engaging young singer to some unlikely television appearances, including one on the rock-oriented Saturday Night Live.

His second album, Always and Forever, sold well over three million copies and remained at the Number One position on the country charts for a record 43 weeks. The release’s most popular hit single, “Forever and Ever, Amen” was named favorite country single of 1987 by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. Always & Forever won Travis his second Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1987.

Randy’s third album, “I Told You So” was issued in July 1988. Its first three singles, “Honky Tonk Moon”, “Deeper Than the Holler”, and “Is It Still Over?”, all reached No. 1 as well, while “Promises” was less successful at No. 17. The album achieved its highest RIAA certification of double-platinum in 1996. This was followed by Travis’s first Christmas album, “An Old Time Christmas”, late in 1989.

Closing Off The Decade Of The 1980’s

In 1989, Travis recorded a cover of “It’s Just a Matter of Time”, which was originally recorded by Brook Benton thirty years prior. Travis cut the song for a multi-artist tribute album titled Rock, Rhythm & Blues which was also released by Warner Brothers, and persuaded the label to include it on what would become his fourth Warner album, No Holdin’ Back.

Travis’s version of the song, produced by Richard Perry (who also provided bass vocals on it), was the lead single to that album, and charted at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs in December 1989.  Two more singles were released from No Holdin’ Back: “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart”, which became Travis’s longest-lasting No. 1 single at four weeks in 1990, and “He Walked on Water”, which peaked at No. 3. The album included one other cover song, “Singing the Blues”, along with the track “Somewhere in My Broken Heart”, co-written and later recorded by Billy Dean.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Randy Travis’s Part In Neotraditional Country

Classic Travis material and carefully crafted vocal delivery, helped bring neotraditionalism to the forefront of country music. New (or “neo-“) traditionalism looked to the elders of country music like Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, Kitty Wells and George Jones for inspiration, and was a precursor to the more general categorization known as new country.

Randy Travis 2003

Randy Travis

The 1980s and ’90s were the time for a new, yet old, take on country music, neotraditional country. Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Patty Loveless, and Marty Stuart, among others, were all ambassadors of the down-to-earth brand of music. Which drew on traditional bluegrass sounds and down-home themes.

Neotraditional country, also known as new traditional country, is a country music style that emphasizes the instrumental background and a “traditional” country vocal style. Typical instruments – Guitar · Steel Guitar · Dobro · Harmonica · Bass · Fiddle · Drums · Banjo  and the Mandolin.

Travis came from the same neotraditional background as George Straight, especially on his album “Storms Of Life”. The album marked a milestone as the first debut album to sell one million albums.

Like Straight, Travis removed the undesirable elements attributed to the drinking, honky-tonk approach found with the outlaw artists. He was still able to personify a traditional country style.

Along with country pop and country rock, neotraditional country remains one of the veins of country music that holds mainstream popularity in the mid-2010s.

Chapter Four Acting and Music During The 1990’s

In the 1990s, Travis took on an acting career. He won roles in the made-for-TV movies Dead Man’s Revenge (1994) and Steel Chariots (1997). He made appearances on some of TV’s most popular series, including Touched By an Angel, Frasier and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.  Travis landed supporting roles in the feature films The Rainmaker (1997), T.N.T. (1998) and The Million Dollar Kid (1999).

Randy Travis-Million Dollar Kid

Million Dollar Kid

In addition to his acting efforts, Travis’s music career continued to thrive with the release of Full Circle (1996), You And You Alone (1998) and A Man Ain’t Made Out Of Stone (1999).

Travis’s sixth studio album, Heroes & Friends, consisted almost entirely of duets. It produced two singles: “A Few Ole Country Boys” (featuring George Jones) and the title track, also the only solo cut on the album. Both made top 10 on the country music charts in 1991. Other featured artists included B. B. King and Clint Eastwood. “We’re Strangers Again”, a duet with Tammy Wynette. Written by Merle Haggard and Leona Williams. The rendition by Travis and Wynette later appeared on the latter’s Best Loved Hits compilation for Epic Records, who issued it as a single in August 1991.

More Music In The 1990″s

In 1991, Travis took part in “Voices That Care”, a multi-artist project that featured other top names in music for a one-off single to raise money for the allied troops in the Gulf War.

The project included fellow singers Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers, and Kathy Mattea. In addition, Travis recorded the patriotic song “Point of Light” in response to the Thousand points of light program initiated by George H. W. Bush.

This song was also the lead single to his seventh Warner album, High Lonesome. This album produced three more singles, all of which Travis co-wrote with fellow country singer Alan Jackson. “Forever Together”, “Better Class of Losers”, and “I’d Surrender All”.

Warner Bros. released two volumes of a Greatest Hits package in September 1992: Greatest Hits, Volume 1 and Greatest Hits, Volume 2. One single from each compilation made No. 1 that year: “If I Didn’t Have You” from Volume 1, and “Look Heart, No Hands” from Volume 2.

Also released from Volume 1 was “An Old Pair of Shoes”, which charted at No. 21. Later in 1992, Travis cut the album Wind in the Wire, a disc of cowboy-inspired Western music intended to accompany a television movie of the same name in which Travis appeared.

Wind In Wire Randy Travis

Randy Travis

This disc was his first not to produce any Top 40 country singles. Due to Wind in the Wire and other TV movies in which he starred, Travis took a hiatus from recording and touring for most of 1993. He later told Billboard magazine that “There seems to be this perception that I’ve completely quit”.

Music Keeps Charting In The 1990’s

Lehning remarked of Travis’s ninth album, This Is Me, that the singer seemed “reinvigorated”, while Travis himself said that the songs on it seemed more “rowdy” than those on previous albums.

Four singles from this album made the charts: “Before You Kill Us All”, “Whisper My Name” (which peaked at No. 1 in 1994), the title track, and “The Box”. His last album for Warner was 1996’s Full Circle. Which featured the singles “Are We in Trouble Now”, “Would I”, and “Price to Pay”. The last of which failed to reach the country top 40.

Also in 1996, Travis covered Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” for the soundtrack to Traveler. This rendition, issued by Asylum Records, spent 15 weeks on the country charts despite only peaking at No. 51.

Travis signed to Dream Works Records in 1998, where he issued “You and You Alone”. For this album, Travis co-produced with Byron Gallimore (best known for his work with Tim McGraw) and James Stroud.

You Alone Randy Travis

Randy Travis You And You Alone

Featured artists on the disc included Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, and Melba Montgomery. Actor Patrick Swayze also contributed backing vocals on the track “I Did My Part”. Its singles were “Out of My Bones”, “The Hole”, “Spirit of a Boy, “Wisdom of a Man” and “Stranger in My Mirror”.

His only other DreamWorks album, A Man Ain’t Made of Stone, followed in 1999. Also co-produced by Stroud and Gallimore, it produced a Top 20 hit in its title track. Three other singles all failed to make top 40.

Balance – The Silver Lining And Inspirational Journey in The 2000″s

Travis’s career from 2000 onward was dominated by Christian country music. His first full album in the genre, 2000’s Inspirational Journey, was issued via Word Records.

One cut from this album, “Baptism”, was originally recorded by Kenny Chesney as a duet with Travis on Chesney’s 1999 album Everywhere We Go. The version appearing on Inspirational Journey, a solo rendition by Travis, charted at No. 75 on the country charts in late 2000. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Travis recorded the patriotic song “America Will Always Stand”, which charted via distribution from Relentless Records.

Travis’s most successful venture in Christian country music was “Three Wooden Crosses”. Released in December 2002 as the lead single to his album Rise and Shine, that song became his sixteenth and final No. 1 single in early 2003. It was followed by Worship & Faith, consisting mostly of gospel standards, in 2003. This album earned an RIAA gold certification three years after its release.

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Photo

“Passing Through”, came next which accounted for his last solo chart entries in “Four Walls” and “Angels”. “Glory Train”, Songs of Faith, Worship, and Praise in 2005 also consisted largely of gospel covers. While his second Christmas album, Songs of the Season, followed in 2007.

“A lot of people don’t pay attention to the fact that his first album sold three million copies,” Ray marvels about Travis. “He’s the first solo male artist to ever sell three million copies in the history of the genre. He single-handedly turned this genre around and he has legends like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, George Strait, going, ‘If it wasn’t for Randy Travis I don’t know if I’d be where I am right now.” (Michael Ray)

A Return To The Country Roots

Around the Bend in 2008 returned Travis to a traditional country style, coinciding with a return to Warner Bros. Nashville. Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted of Travis’s career in the preceding years that his turn to Christian music “was fruitful, producing a series of good, heartfelt records. They also included a nice side effect of putting commercialism way on the back burner. The gospel albums were made without the charts in mind. While adding that “Around the Bend “stands apart from trends, not defiantly but comfortably.” In 2009, Carrie Underwood covered “I Told You So” with Travis on duet vocals, and this collaborative version charted at No. 2 on the country charts. Travis released two more cover albums in 2013 and 2014. Influence Vol. 1, “The Man I Am”, and Influence Vol. 2, “The Man I Am”.

Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood

Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood

Merritt Mountain Music Festival Performance July 2006 And The Randy Travis Mural Featured On The Wall Of The Merritt, BC Mural Walk

The crowd is at capacity with high expectations. Randy Travis is one of the most influential voices in country music. When Travis was introduced and walked on stage the entire crowd stood up.

“I am just a good ol’ country boy at heart and down right human”!(Randy Travis)

There just is no other voice quite like Randy’s and as soon as he began to make a sound you knew who it was! Randy is at his most creative, energetic and exuberant. His performance was warm, funny and engaging. He was at home with his audience and performing at his best.

The audience was lively, responsive and engaged in his every move. There was a feeling of genuineness and love that he has for his music and his fans. For Randy, it is not being a star or a performer. It is the flood of love outpouring from his fans and the enjoyment of being able to be with them and entertain them that is the inspiration for him to keep going.

The crowd was attentive and mesmerized throughout the show. However, broke into a roar when he started singing his closing song “Forever And Ever Amen”.

It was a an overall performance delivered in fine fashion. Capturing his wonderful talented voice as well as his boyish charm and appeal. It was definitely a show to remember. (Claude Lelievre-Merritt Mountain Music Festival)

Randy Music Festival

Randy Travis

‘We Can’t Save Him…Pull the Plug’

Randy Travis has sold more than 25 million albums, earned seven Grammy Awards, and toured the world. In 2013 he suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed on one side, limiting his speech and ability to do what he loves most: sing and perform.

As a result of the stroke, Travis had lost his ability to speak and had difficulty walking, but in the years since, has been making progress on both counts as well as relearning how to play the guitar and sing.

Earlier in 2013, Travis became engaged to Mary Davis. The couple married in 2015. Six years on from Randy’s massive stroke, Mary says the experience has taught the couple a lot about love, perseverance, and patience.

Randy Travis and Wife Mary

Randy and Mary married

“You learn to love each other and adore each other in a way that was far beyond what you thought was possible. So we learned a lot about love. There wasn’t anything that I feel like was going to tear us apart.” (Mary Travis)

With Randy unable to speak much, Mary does most of the talking for her husband.

He’s highly septic, with a staph infection we can’t get in control and it’s replicating. As well as other hospital born bacteria, collapsed lungs, chest tubes, he was intubated. He had a tracheostomy, and his skull was still off. 

“There was just so many things working against him but there was a couple things working for him and that was God Almighty and that was His will.” (Mary Travis)

The Decision

Mary asked Randy if he wanted to keep fighting in a partial comatose state. “That’s when that tear fell. And he squeezed my hand and we hadn’t got that much out of him in weeks. So I knew then that he knew what was going on. I also know that he wanted to fight,” she adds.

Randy Travis Hall of Fame Inductee

Randy Travis at induction in to Country Music Hall Of Fame.

During his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016, Randy surprised the audience and fans by performing “Amazing Grace” — his first public performance since his stroke three years earlier.

“I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place. I still get emotional when I think about it.” (Mary says, tearing up)

It was noted in 2017, that Travis had suffered permanent damage. It disabled his right hand and has limited much of his speech and singing ability. Travis continues to make public appearances but no longer sings. Mainly because of his apprehension about his ability to do it as well as he used to.

Randy appeared on-stage with Michael Ray during a cover performance of “Forever and Ever Amen” in June 2017, to which Travis contributed the final “Amen.”

He did the same during his 60th birthday party, thrown by the Grand Ole Opry on May 4, 2019.

Randy Travis A Must See Attraction On The Walls Of The Merritt, BC Mural Walk

Visit downtown Merritt in the beautiful Nicola Valley, Merritt, BC and take part in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, Merritt, BC Mural Walk. The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame includes Hall of Fame Inductees as well as CCMA Award Winning Artists.

randy travis mural in merritt

Experience Nicola Valley Blogger Melvina White – Mural painted by Michelle Loughery

True country music fans will want to start the downtown mural tour at Merritt’s National Attraction. The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, situated on Quilchena Avenue in The Country Music Capital of Canada.

The Merritt, BC Mural Project created in 2005, became a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. The project, designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”. Merritt Murals were painted by muralist Michelle Loughery.

Randy Travis mural can be found on the wall of The Adelphi Hotel at 2101 Quilchena Avenue.

Travis Forges Ahead, Seeking New Ways to Sustain His Career After Stroke

Randy Travis‘ new memoir, Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith and Braving the Storms of Life, takes readers on a journey through some of the singer’s darkest moments and most difficult challenges.

While Travis admits that parts of the book were difficult to relive, there were also aspects of his past that he loved going back to and revisiting.

“Mary’s commitment to me has been truly astounding,” Travis writes in his memoir. “I was healthy, in fantastic physical condition, and a highly successful country star when we fell in love. But she married me after I had been incapacitated by a stroke, knowing full well what she was getting herself into. That was a major commitment — a commitment of love.”

Travis has enjoyed many “pinch me” moments over the course of his career, earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to his induction into the Grand Ole Opry. He  has never stopped feeling humble and grateful regarding his accolades, and that humility continues to help his fans relate to him.

“There’s lots of joy,” says Mary. “There’s lots of silver linings, even in the clouds.”

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The information for this article was obtained from Wikipedia and Randy Travis-Singer, Guitarist, Songwriter-Biography

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