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Osoyoos — Spanish Capital of Canada

At the Osoyoos Visitor Center we were amazed and astounded to learn 1) Osoyoos was the most northerly point ever reached by the Spanish Conquistadors during their explorations of North America in the 16th century, and 2) Civil War General W.T. Sherman of the "March to the Sea" notoriety, passed through Osoyoos in August of 1883 while touring the Northwest.

Located at the southern end of the Okanogan Valley, Osoyoos is vacation central. Canadians flock here by the billions to enjoy the Mediterranean climate and boating on Lake Okanagan … the warmest fresh water lake in Canada.

When we drove into Osoyoos we felt we had been transported  back to the Southern California beach scene … streets choked with cars hauling boats, pedestrians strolling around in beachwear, and a multitude of shops selling sunglasses, fanciful beach hats and day glow inflatable beach toys.

Wandering around the pseudo southwest themed downtown was actually a lot of fun.

Although saguaro cacti are used liberally around town as a motif, there are absolutely no saguaro cacti in Osoyoos.

Osoyoos biggest claim to fame is that it is home to Canada’s only official desert … an itsy bitsy teeny weenie "pocket desert" located on the Osoyoos Indian Band reservation. The monument at the entrance to the reservation is the most spectacular metal sculpture we have encountered.

Besides being the custodians of the desert, the Osoyoos Tribe also owns a RV park, golf course, spa and winery … the first tribal winery in North America. This sculpture, sporting the winery’s logo, stands outside the tasting room … by the way, we loved their 2004 Riesling.

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