A Mini Escape from the Cubbyhole – Part 2

Posted on June 13, 2013

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It was a bit sad to bid farewell to our lovely digs at the Osoyoos Watermark Beach Resort, but Hubby and I were determined to keep the fun escape going. The journey homeward on the following morning was punctuated with a truly outstanding visit to the Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad. It could have easily been a meager display of a few model trains and such, but it proved to be an awesome exhibit, actually over thirty connected vignettes, with details that were incredible.

Osoyoos Desert Railroad 1

Remarkable attention to detail!

Osoyoos Desert Railroad

The mountains are ablaze at night.

With 12 years invested in creating this unbelievable display (which easily fills the area of a normal Starbucks coffee house), owners Poul and Ulla Pederson have taken their railway model passion to the max. There are over 20,000 hand-painted figurines, (painted mainly by Ulla who has crippling arthritis in her hands and moves with the aid of a power wheelchair). Landscapes range from quaint European mountain villages to cities to lake vistas to mine caverns to airports and cityscapes. Miniature villagers can be seen hoisting a mug of ale on a picnic bench or popping up from a manhole cover. There are burnt-out buildings from a fire and fire-fighters battling a raging forest fire, complete with burning fires and smoke. There are details like a pirate ship and mermaid to discover under the waters, and a police cruiser (with its emergency lights blinking) attending a car accident in a tunnel. The whole exhibit takes on another life when seen lit up under a programmed evening sky. I honestly believe you could visit the display regularly and not catch all the little details. So worth seeing!

Vintage gas pump

The gas station’s long gone, but the vintage pump stands proud.

Parsons fruit stand

Next visit for fruit, ice cream AND vintage tractors!

A few miles farther down the highway, we were attracted to a fruit stand, not so much to buy some delicious fruits and veggies (it was closed for the day), as to take some photos of the many old antique tractors and vehicles gracing the adjacent orchard. A giant sign, “Parsons 1908” stood at the roadside like a movie marquee announcing some old movie, yet there was certainly a lovely country charm to it all.

Antique farm tractor

Rusty and charming

Vintage Vehicle

A beautiful oldie under the fruit trees.

Rusted ol’ relics of machinery that once had their time in the Okanagan sunshine now nestled happily amidst low-hanging fruit boughs and wild grasses. There were stories attached to each one I’m sure, but it was worth capturing their experiences and history with a few photos. I just love vintage farm scenes and machinery from another era.

A slight detour on the way northward found us in a sleepy little retirement community called Olalla. We had been given the directions from a shopkeeper in Osoyoos to find a unique” establishment called “Zack’s Trading” in the hamlet. Described as a “one-of-a-kind” storefront, we were curious to see the place. Again, this little, (very crowded) gem did not disappoint. In fact, we actually had to take a deep breath before entering Zack’s emporium – it was that kind of anticipation of finding decades of curiosities and collectibles within the maze of rooms before us.

Zacks Trading Post

One-of-a-kind to be sure.

Zacks Trading Post

Welcome to Zacks emporium of curiosities!

Zacks Trading Post 2

Everywhere you look … stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was semi-organized chaos with only narrow walkways between groupings of everything under the sun – everything. (Having grown up with a hoarder, I was having some familiar feelings coming back.) Strangely though, we discovered that the owner (Zack) was a friendly ol’ fella of 82 years and he prided himself on knowing exactly what he had in stock and where to find it! It was a great trip down memory lane getting re-acquainted with 8-track tapes, (working) wringer washers, antique tools, famous horse saddles and more. I sure hope he’s passed some of his vast knowledge onto some people who can carry on this quirky yet impressive undertaking after he’s gone.

One more crucial stop on our trip: Tickleberry’s. It’s a wonderful pit-stop in the town of Okanagan Falls. I’m not sure if I lust for their homemade ice cream (yummmm) or fudge more. Nope, it’s a three-way tie with the chocolate-covered dried fruit morsels know as “tickleberries”. I confess, Hubby and I walked away with all three heavenly goodies. (We are … sadly … weak.) At least I restrained myself from buying some of the neat gifts they also had for sale.

Cruising homeward with the warm breeze on my face, I couldn’t help but be grateful for living in such a lovely region. Okanagan Lake sparkled under the blessed sunshine, and for a brief time we weren’t checking the clock, reading emails and answering phones. It’s good to treat yourself every now and then, and it’s even better when you play hooky with the boss (aka Hubby).

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