AT RANDOM: Northern retreat

Terrace isn’t exactly the type of place you normally brag about going to

Terrace isn’t exactly the type of place you normally brag about going to, in fact most people questioned what could possibly possess me to spend my summer vacation in the northern B.C. town.

“You’re going where?” was the usual response, followed by, “Why?”

I even had to pull out a map for a few who had never heard of Terrace.

A friend who lives there went as far as to question my motives, stating: “Nobody comes to Terrace.”

But alas, it is true, I made the long trek (normally a 14-hour drive, but thanks to my aunt’s Air Miles I was able to hop on a couple planes and be there in a fraction of that time, plus my daughter got to experience her first airplane flight).

It was family, including my cousin’s 40th birthday celebration, which brought me and my plus two to Terrace, and the beauty and nature of the area were a bonus. I suspect that was the case for my relatives, who moved up there years ago for work and more affordable housing, but stayed after falling in love with the bounty of outdoor activities and scenery.

We too discovered that on several of our outings.

A trip out to the Nass Valley, just outside of town, brought us to acres of lava beds lining the road from a volcano eruption 250 years ago. Since it wiped out two villages and 2,000 Nisga’a people, it is a protected memorial park.

Nearby Lava Lake mimics the breathtaking colours of Kalamalka Lake (although not quite as extreme as our local lake has been this year) with glacier-capped mountains in the background.

And further up the winding road there are other sites such as Vetter Falls and the Gitwinksihlkw Suspension Bridge over the Nass River.

Then there was Salmon fishing on the Skeena River. With salmon fishing banned in most of our local waters, it was quite the treat to be able to haul in approximately six to 11 pounders (the real big ones got away), and get to keep them. Thanks to Skeena Wilderness Fishing Charters for the incredible day.

Another summer treat we got to enjoy up in Terrace was campfires.

Unlike the rest of the province, which is on fire and under bans, the frequent rain in Terrace meant we could finally roast some marshmallows over a real fire (versus the propane fire pit we invested in this year). Although I don’t miss the campfire smell saturated in your clothes and hair, it was a part of summer camping that I’ve longed for.

In fact, even the rain was a nice break from the scorching hot Okanagan summer.

But coming back home to the beautiful weather (even last Friday night’s wicked storm performance) I was grateful to be able to soak up the sun again.

And as beautiful as Terrace was, nothing quite beats the Okanagan.

No offence to my relatives, who are constantly trying to get us to move to Terrace, but I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else but right here in Vernon. As a born and raised Okanagan girl, this is my home and this is where my heart is (along with my immediate family, inlaws and a multitude of friends). And I will continue to entice my Terrace family, along with the rest of my relatives who are spanned out across the province, to come back home to their own Okanagan roots.

Some people spend their entire lives searching for that special place to put their roots down and call home.

I’m blessed to know nothing different, and as much as I enjoy travelling and experiencing other locations, there’s nothing like coming home.