Penticton was really, really fun. We can totally see ourselves coming back here to pick some more fruit and of course to climb some more. In the end we picked 4 days all together and personally I could have picked some more. It’s hard to tell what I like the most about it. It might be the money it brings in but it’s like there is more to it. Even though it pays only around minimum wage, there’s a reward feeling that comes along with it. The reward of harvesting an awesome fruit or the reward of sticking it out and feeling like you’ve worked hard for your money. There’s also the feeling of having helped out a “small business” owner make a living. I’m curious to find out how much they care about their fruit pickers though… Not that we weren’t treated well but it’s not like they’re going out of their way to make you feel valued. In any case, I really liked being the employee vs the employer. It’s a lot more relaxed.
After our last time picking we went in and did a tasting. We bought one bottle and had it the last evening in Penticton. We will have to go back next year to sample the wine we helped making!
We then climbed some more in Skaha Bluffs. I think we touched all the main walls there. It’s really a big crag and it’s wonderful to be able to choose from such a wide variety of walls. The park is super well developped and finding your way around is quite easy, even without a guide book. We didn’t have the proper book for the area and we made out really well anyways. To make things better, there’s an update online to the proper guidebook that has pretty much everything in there, minus some pictures.
On the last day there we got an oil change done at Walmart and good thing there wasn’t any other car being serviced because it took them 1.5 hours between the 3 of them 🙂 I don’t think they made any money there as it only cost $38 all in. We then set off to Leavenworth, Washinton. Border crossing went well even with the minute long formal inspection inside the van. On the way there we got to see where all the apples grow on the west coast, potentially in the whole USA. You couldn’t see the end of those ORCHARDs. They even have ashphalt between some of the rows. Gas is much more affordable once again, paying around $1 CAD/L.
Leavenworth, or what you could call “little germany” is quite unique in its look. They adopted a bavarian architecture some 30 years ago and now everything in town must fit with the theme. They are having an Octoberfest in town this week-end and it sounds like the place will get packed. We might drive back to town when it’s on to see what it’s all about. The whole town is very much like a tourist trap and it’s once again tempting to go crazy and spend all our money 😉 Who doesn’t like beer & pretzels in a georgous setting!
The rock climbing guidebook for Leavenworth is pricey at $36 USD. We spent the whole day trying to get a used copy or finding information online to avoid having to buy it but we weren’t really successful. Some local told us that even himself end up on some goat trails sometimes instead of the right trail, that’s with the experience and the book. Everything has foliage overtop and it’s hard to see where you’re headed. We were just about to give up on the idea of not buying Leavenworth Rock, the area guidebook, when we ran into a climber on a trail who kindly offered to lend us a second copy she had access to. That’s after we said no to the lady at the sports store who offered to lend us the store copy of the book for a few days. This time we said yes and we are pretty excited to have reliable information to lead us around. People are extremely friendly here.
That encouter happened while we were looking for some rocks to boulder on. It seems the bouldering is really big here and it wasn’t too long before someone offered us to climb with him. He let us check out his bouldering guide book too and we got to try 5-6 routes. Seems like it gets really hard at V4. We will have to climb more to get a better feel for it but at some point we may buy a crash pad. Bouldering on nice boulders is pretty fun!
Oh before we wrap it up. Belaying on a daily basis gets really tiring on the neck. So we bought belay glasses from Belay Specs. It was $80 USD but it may be our best expense for this trip. Our necks will be thankful and it allows us to give better belays. If you haven’t seen those yet, it’s glasses that act like a gyroscope. You look forward in them but instead of seeing straight through, you see what’s above you. We saw tons of people with those when we were in Quebec and I’m sure those will become more mainstream at some point everywhere there’s climbing.
To get those shipped in the USA we needed an address. We found this awesome service called Kinek that for a small fee, they will let you mail something to one of their 1000+ locations. It doesn’t cost you anything to set up either. So for $4 USD (that you pay at pick-up time) we were able to get the glasses shipped to a town on the way to Leavenworth. I need to order more disposable contact lenses too and will definitely be using that service again. It’s crazy convenient.
Last but not least, I finally got sub 200 seconds playing the expert size at Minesweeper. I don’t know if I can do much better than that without an actual mouse to play with. Best score so far is 180 seconds.
We are now waiting for our last pay cheque. They’re supposed to mail it over. That’s going to help out greatly with the budget and cut us some slack. Meanwhile in town we found this cheap wine. Will let you know next time how it went down. It’s on sale for a while too so if it’s good we can stock up! No more border crossing for a while 🙂
Our weekly budget is now $170.15 for food & fun.
Fuel: $162.85 (includes oil change) / $2707.61
Food: $65.58 / $1077.42
Fun: $61.79 / $958.50
Total for the week without fuel: $127.37
Total with fuel: $290.22
Total of big ticket items not part of weekly budget: $185.87 (Belay glasses & 50 days of USA unlimited phone)
Total spent since the beginning: $6748.58
Total budget: $15336.49
Budget left: $8587.91
M & E