RVing with our Canine Companion PART THREE: Okanagan Oasis

Campground on the lake

Lake Okanagan Provincial Park

Lake Okanagan Campground, located between Peachland and Summerland, is rimmed by a swim-safe beach and canopied by lush deciduous trees.  It’s divided into two parts. The sites in the South section snuggle together on a lake-shore jetty and those in the North terrace on a tree-riddled hillside. We had previously checked out the pics and other perks at Camping and RVing BC Coalition and had opted for the latter. With a quick click to www.discovercamping.ca  our reservation was made. And now, three months later, we’re all living our Lake Okanagan dream!

Soon after setting up camp, Kalli is feeling right at home. Although leashing is a must at all times, her extended rope line gives her room to roam around our spacious site. Generous grassy plots and shade trees between us and our neighbours assures privacy and coolness. And from our perched platform, we have an awesome lake view.

Dog is perched on a picnic table in a lakeside campsite

Kalli is feeling at home

Brent and I could easily chill out and relax for the entire stay but our pup would rather plod and play. And there are lots of local trails where we can appease her canine spirit. The two campgrounds are linked together by a kilometre-long lakeshore path and as we saunter this strip together, she sniffs the scents of regional wildflowers and scurrying chipmunks.

Man and dog walking on a lakeshore trail.

Kalli loves plodding the lakeshore trail between the two campgrounds

The nearby city of Summerland also offers a plethora of dog-friendly walks. She loves strutting along the lakeshore boardwalk near Rotary Beach and listening to nature’s symphony on the Rotary Route, where the Adams Bird Sanctuary thrives. But her favourite romp during this trip is the dog park at Sunoka Beach. With puppy-like abandon, she whimpers with glee when coming nose-to-nose with Max, Lilly and Chester, three other active and happy hounds.

Dogs playing at Sunoka Beach

Playtime at Sunoka Beach!

On our final day, we stroll through Summerland’s Ornamental Gardens, a horticulturist’s delight that’s located high above Highway 97.  Spanning its bordering gorge is Trout Creek Railway Bridge, a trestle of metal that hangs 73meters (240 ft) above the canyon floor.

Dog sits on lady's lap in front of the campfire

After a hard day…time for snuggles

And on this remaining section of preserved track, the Kettle Valley Steam Railway, a 1912 fully-restored locomotive, shares the scenic sites of today with rail travel from a bygone era. Although we have to bypass this tourist attraction due to our four-legged tag-along, Kalli seems quite content to replace it with a little campground bliss –cuddles around the campfire, games at the picnic table, basking in the sunshine and staking claims to her space at turndown.

Little dog on bed in motorhome

Time for bed mom!

Before leaving this Okanagan oasis, she’s even helping us map out our next RV adventure.

Little dog looking at a map with it's owner

Checking out where the next RV adventure will be.

When Camping with your Canine:

Don’t:

  • Leave your dog alone in a campsite. Heat, fear and theft could be unwanted realities.
  • Leave your dog in the car while you play tourist. Even in the shade, with the windows down, it can be life threatening. Even if it’s only 20 degrees Celsius outside (75 degrees Fahrenheit) the temperature inside of a car can double in less than an hour, putting your pet at severe risk. Cold is equally problematic as your car can become a refrigerator in minutes. Plus, pets can be stolen from cars when left unattended.

Do:

  • Plan a pooch-friendly itinerary. Your dog needs to be with you or another responsible person at all times.
  • Check out local doggy daycares when booking pet-free attractions. Some touristy areas cater to this by recommending credible nearby services.
  • See if there are any dog-friendly restaurants in the area. Pet popularity has opened up lots of dining options, such as outdoor patio seating.
  • Search out dog-fun parks and picnic spots along your route.

Although travelling with your pet may be somewhat limiting, in our minds, the unconditional love and endless licks along the way are well worth it!

Published: June 23rd, 2014

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Avatar by Jane Cassie

Since 1996, Jane Cassie’s articles have appeared in more than 5,000 newspapers and magazines. As well as sharing international travel yarns with armchair adventurers, she loves to write about her RV escapades while roving more locally with her husband, Brent and tag-along schnauzer, Kalli. Jane is co-owner and editor of Travel Writers’ Tales -a private syndicate that provides travel copy to BC newspapers. Many of her stories are posted here www.travelwriterstales.com.

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