The origin of the name Osoyoos is “sẁiẁs,” a First Nations word meaning “narrowing of the waters” or “sand bar across.” Either way, it describes a perfectly situated town in the desert, home to lush vineyards and the infamous Osoyoos Lake and Spotted Lake.

It is a modest place but it shouldn’t be.

I take a road trip to Osoyoos every summer with friends and we usually stay for one night. This particular trip, we left Vancouver at 9 a.m. and I hopped behind the wheel for four and a half hours.

The drive was beautiful and tranquil as always. We were either in the mountains or by the water. Before we knew it, we were welcomed by the desert.

We finally made it to Spirit Ridge at NK’MIP Resort where individual cottages are nestled upon the slopes of a mountain. It has been my favourite resort and a tradition for years. NK’MIP Cellars, the first Aboriginal-owned and operated winery in North America and NK’MIP Desert Cultural Centre are also on the property, so there is always something to do there.

That afternoon, we walked around the resort and its vineyards and biked into town to buy some groceries. By the time we made it back to the resort, the most incredible sunset was outside our window. 

We had booked a 15-minute helicopter ride for the next morning. We wanted to get a bird’s eye view of the Okanagan Valley and we weren’t disappointed. It was incredible!

Afterwards, we returned to the resort. I edited some photos and we went to Osoyoos Lake to kayak. My friend is fit — and me, not so much ­— so we opted for a 30-minute individual canoe each. We made a good lap around the lake and back with time left on the clock.

There is a small beach by the boat stand and we sat in there for a while before heading back to pack and return home.

Disconnected, offline and just holding a camera, we explored the town with an open mind that trip. Although I frequent the Valley every year, there is always something new and inspiring to discover. This time around, it was the majestic view we saw up in the air that humbled us.