How Monkey Valley got its name

Welcome to Monkey Valley, British ColumbiaWhere are the monkeys?

Monkey Valley is a place where you can reconnect with nature, both outer and inner. For many years I operated a retreat centre here, offering programs to support this process of reconnection, such as vision fast retreats and medicine wheel teachings.

Monkey Valley is located in the wilderness of beautiful British Columbia. The property encompasses 160 acres of wild forested land, with a varied terrain of hills and meadows, and a silvery creek meandering through the valley. In the summertime you can hike or reflect quietly amid the abundance of birds, wild flowers, and woodland creatures. In winter the land is snow-clad, providing beautiful, pristine cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Creek in green afternoon at Monkey Valley Retreat CentreHidden in the northern foothills of the Cascade mountain range, between Merritt and Princeton, close to Missezula Lake and the Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, the elevation at Monkey Valley is about 3,300 feet (1,100 metres). Aspen, lodgepole pine, fir, and ponderosa pine grace the hillsides.

There are no monkeys at Monkey Valley, but guests have glimpsed moose, deer, beaver, coyotes, foxes, yellow-bellied marmots, grouse, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, and many other birds and small woodland creatures.

Karen, your host, amidst the rocks at Monkey ValleyI’m Karen, steward of the land and director of the retreat centre. I fell in love with this land before I even saw it, when a realtor showed me pictures and described the wildness of it. When I first saw it I knew I wanted to create a retreat centre here, so that others could come enjoy the amazing untamed beauty of this place.

My partner at the time, Hugh, helped me install solar power and hot water. It took us two years to do this, and during this time we travelled back and forth from Vancouver with my cat, Monkey.

One evening Monkey went missing. We had to get back to the city the next day, and couldn’t find Monkey anywhere. Sadly, we left without him. To our great surprise, when we returned two weeks later, Monkey emerged from under the porch, looking sleek and well-fed.

Monkey is dubious about this home-made mousetrapThis might seem like no big deal, but for the first seven years of his life Monkey was strictly an indoor cat. To survive by catching his own food for two weeks (and to avoid being killed by coyotes or great horned owls) was an amazing feat for a city-slicker cat. This was a remarkable demonstration of how we are hard-coded to be part of the natural world, even though we may grow up in cities and know little of nature’s ways. We named Monkey Valley in his honour.

Whether or not the new owners of Monkey Valley operate a retreat centre, or even keep the name, I know you will enjoy many adventures on this beautiful land.

This entry was first published July 20, 2008. I’ve made a few edits and moved it to the first page to help potential buyers know a bit of the history of the place.

Monkey Valley is a self-sufficient, off-grid home and 160 acres. It is probably the most unique solar-powered home for sale in BC right now. It is a very private property located in the wilderness near Aspen Grove, BC, between Merritt and Princeton. The closest lakes are Kentucky Lake, Alleyne Lake, Loon Lake, and Missezula Lake. In fact, if you follow Shrimpton Creek south from the property line, Missezula Lake is less than a mile away. This very private property offers a sustainable, green home and acreage that you can live in year-round, or use as a vacation or recreational property. It is also an ideal investment property, as the land only increases in value and it is extremely rare to find such a private, pristine property so close to Vancouver and Kelowna. Rural land for sale is common enough, but to find a quarter section of fully fenced ranch land with no neighbouring properties is very unusual. The fencing, 5,000-square-foot barn, year-round creek, and grassland make it an ideal horse property. This remote acreage also has timber that can be logged, and it is surrounded by crown timber land. The 3-bedroom house is one-of-a-kind, blending an old-fashioned log cabin with a modern addition that offers all the comforts of solar power, cell phone service, and internet. The home, barn, and outbuildings are clad in country-style board-and-batten of Princeton fir. If you’re looking for creek-front real estate, you’ll love this home that’s more peaceful than most waterfront properties. Sound carries over water, so if you share a lake with neighbours, it’s never fully peaceful and quiet. This ecoproperty is the only land for sale near the Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, and it is fully accessible for RVs. This could be a holiday property for a group of families who enjoy RVing in the wilderness. This unique character property is located at the north end of the Cascades foothills, in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

The first sign of Starshine Way

Journey to the Center of the EarthI like digging holes. It is very satisfying to see the concrete results of my actions. And the hard physical labour of it feels good in my body. I remember thinking I could dig a hole to China when I was a kid. I was inspired by a comic book called Journey to the Center of the Earth, and thought, maybe my parents said I can’t do it, but I really can. Now I feel wistful about that magical thinking that I was special, and didn’t have the limitations that other people do. It was a long journey, into my 40s, before I started to admit to myself that I might have limitations!

A couple years ago the province of BC had a program called E-911, to provide street addresses to all rural homes, to help emergency service providers locate remote properties. This was a wonderful help for Monkey Valley, as it would take about five minutes to explain to the 911 operator how to get here if there ever was an emergency.

I applied for an address through the E-911 program, and even got to name my road, which is how it got the name Starshine Way. I wanted to convey that magical things might happen to someone who comes to Monkey Valley. And it was here that I first perceived the luminous starshine of white light that pervades everything and that everything is made out of on a fundamental level. So Starshine Way was the name that I chose. I even got to pick the hundred-block!

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Merritt office of the BC Corner of Loon and DillardMinistry of Transportation worked together with me on this, to make sure that emergency vehicles would be able to find Monkey Valley. They provided signage for the Dillard Forestry Road, under the condition that I was to provide the sign for Starshine Way. So in the summer of 2007, after months of back and forth with Fun-Key Enterprises in Merritt, (which originally provided a sign that said Sunshine Way!), I finally had the sign for Starshine Way.

In July of 2007 my friend Eric Guidry and I picked up the sign and rented a post-hole digger from Nicola Chainsaw and Equipment Rentals in Merritt, and headed out to Monkey Valley to install the sign. The post-hole digger was not that great. It wasn’t able to handle the hard rocky soil very well, and needed a lot of help from shovels. But finally we had a hole about 3 feet deep, and put the sign in, and pushed rock and dirt back in all around it. The post-hole digger was somewhat dented from the effort!

We went back to the house, about 1.5 KM from the sign, and had a fun couple of days on the land. Then we headed back to Merritt, and lo and behold, the sign was gone! Someone stole it, less than two days after it was installed! Unbelievable! Who would do such a thing?

I’ve had time to give this matter some thought and speculation. I have come up with two possibilities: someone who knows the back roads and likes the feeling of being away from it all, and doesn’t want a street sign showing evidence of a human presence. That is, someone who hated the sign. The other possibility I’ve imagined is someone who saw the sign and thought it was a cool name, and since they were out on a joyride in the middle of nowhere, for no one to see, they stole the sign. In other words, someone who loved the sign!

Anyway, with travel and various other occupations, I didn’t get around to replacing the sign that summer, so I set my mind to the task again in the summer of 2008. To be continued…

This entry was first published December 13, 2008. I’ve made a few edits and moved it to the first page to help potential buyers know a bit of the history of the place.

Monkey Valley is a self-sufficient, off-grid home and 160 acres. It is probably the most unique solar-powered home for sale in BC right now. It is a very private property located in the wilderness near Aspen Grove, BC, between Merritt and Princeton. The closest lakes are Kentucky Lake, Alleyne Lake, Loon Lake, and Missezula Lake. In fact, if you follow Shrimpton Creek south from the property line, Missezula Lake is less than a mile away. This very private property offers a sustainable, green home and acreage that you can live in year-round, or use as a vacation or recreational property. It is also an ideal investment property, as the land only increases in value and it is extremely rare to find such a private, pristine property so close to Vancouver and Kelowna. Rural land for sale is common enough, but to find a quarter section of fully fenced ranch land with no neighbouring properties is very unusual. The fencing, 5,000-square-foot barn, year-round creek, and grassland make it an ideal horse property. This remote acreage also has timber that can be logged, and it is surrounded by crown timber land. The 3-bedroom house is one-of-a-kind, blending an old-fashioned log cabin with a modern addition that offers all the comforts of solar power, cell phone service, and internet. The home, barn, and outbuildings are clad in country-style board-and-batten of Princeton fir. If you’re looking for creek-front real estate, you’ll love this home that’s more peaceful than most waterfront properties. Sound carries over water, so if you share a lake with neighbours, it’s never fully peaceful and quiet. This ecoproperty is the only land for sale near the Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, and it is fully accessible for RVs. This could be a holiday property for a group of families who enjoy RVing in the wilderness. This unique character property is located at the north end of the Cascades foothills, in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

The second sign of Starshine Way

The hole she is dugHave you ever noticed how humans tend to repeat things from the past, which didn’t work out the first time, hoping that somehow it will work out this time around? Well, that was my experience of trying to replace my Starshine Way sign. As I mentioned previously, at first I tried to order the sign again from Fun-Key Enterprises, because I really do prefer to give my business to a local Merritt operation if possible, to support this community. But my experience in the past was that it was very slow and painful to get a sign out of them, and this time was no different. So eventually I gave up and told Susanne and Tim I would get the sign made in Vancouver.

I googled Vancouver sign makers, and within a day I had communicated with a Vancouver company called FastSigns, received a quote, and placed my order (all online). The sign was ready the following week. It took less than 1/10th of the time it took to get a sign made in Merritt, but cost twice as much. It was worth the price to save the aggravation! However, the company provided an 8′ pole, round and shiny, rather than the 10′ pole I had requested. But they gave me some advice on how to install it securely. My friend Dorrie helped me pick it up, and she also gave me some good advice.

The first time around the sign was easy to steal because it was just placed in the earth. I hadn’t realized someone might want to steal it, so I didn’t think any type of sophisticated anchoring system was necessary. But this time, I came up with a steal-proof plan! At first I was going to fill an entire garbage bin with concrete, and set the post in that. But my sister Katherine—who has some experience with pouring concrete—and various other people—told me this would take a lot of concrete, and be a huge hassle. How would I get the water for mixing the concrete up to the place where the sign was, 1.5 KM from the house? Yet if I mixed it at the house, it would be too heavy to carry, and might set before I could get everything in place to plant the sign.

Another problem was that the post was entirely smooth, with no holes to cause the concrete to penetrate and grip the post. Dorrie suggested I drill holes in it, but I don’t have the right equipment for that. She also suggested I put cross bars through the pole, which would help set it in the concrete more securely. But again, I didn’t have the tools and supplies for that. Winter was coming, and I wanted to install the sign right away, but if I got all the suggested supplies it would mean trips back and forth to town and waiting until spring to install the sign. I didn’t want to wait because I’d already dug the hole!

So I ended up improvising a solution based on what I had on hand. When I dug the hole I’d made sure it was deep and wide enough to accommodate the garbage bin. (See top photo.) I had some Rocktite concrete that I’d bought for patching some holes in the cement floor of the barn. It wasn’t a lot—just two bags. So I would only be able to pour a few inches of concrete. I prepared the pole by sawing 6 slits in the bottom few inches, and inserted nails halfway into the slits. This would provide a bit of anchoring for the concrete to grip, plus it could penetrate through the slits. I set a smaller bucket inside the big garbage can, and hammered  9-inch nails through the garbage bin and into the smaller bucket, to attach these two firmly together. What a contraption!

Sign ready to plant--what a beauty!I put the sign into the smaller bucket. I was doing this job in my workroom/laundry room, so I used the parallel clotheslines overhead to hold the sign in place, tying the sign to the lines. (Finally, something convenient!) Next I poured the concrete into the smaller bucket, so it could create a deeper foundation than if I had just used the garbage bin. Some flowed out of holes in the bucket into the garbage bin, anchoring these two together. Then I poured sand into the garbage bin, around the edges of the bucket, so that no more would flow out. I was concerned that the concrete wouldn’t be deep enough, so I put some stones in the inner bucket to take up some space. Then I mixed the second bag of concrete and poured it all into the inner bucket. Voila!

I had about a 4-inch depth of concrete in the inner bucket, which was higher than the level of the slits and nails in the pole. It seems the sign was firmly anchored, and the bucket firmly attached to the outer garbage can. I left it all to set over night, planning to install the sign the following day… (To be continued)

This entry was first published December 28, 2008. I’ve made a few edits and moved it to the first page to help potential buyers know a bit of the history of the place.

Monkey Valley is a self-sufficient, off-grid home and 160 acres. It is probably the most unique solar-powered home for sale in BC right now. It is a very private property located in the wilderness near Aspen Grove, BC, between Merritt and Princeton. The closest lakes are Kentucky Lake, Alleyne Lake, Loon Lake, and Missezula Lake. In fact, if you follow Shrimpton Creek south from the property line, Missezula Lake is less than a mile away. This very private property offers a sustainable, green home and acreage that you can live in year-round, or use as a vacation or recreational property. It is also an ideal investment property, as the land only increases in value and it is extremely rare to find such a private, pristine property so close to Vancouver and Kelowna. Rural land for sale is common enough, but to find a quarter section of fully fenced ranch land with no neighbouring properties is very unusual. The fencing, 5,000-square-foot barn, year-round creek, and grassland make it an ideal horse property. This remote acreage also has timber that can be logged, and it is surrounded by crown timber land. The 3-bedroom house is one-of-a-kind, blending an old-fashioned log cabin with a modern addition that offers all the comforts of solar power, cell phone service, and internet. The home, barn, and outbuildings are clad in country-style board-and-batten of Princeton fir. If you’re looking for creek-front real estate, you’ll love this home that’s more peaceful than most waterfront properties. Sound carries over water, so if you share a lake with neighbours, it’s never fully peaceful and quiet. This ecoproperty is the only land for sale near the Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, and it is fully accessible for RVs. This could be a holiday property for a group of families who enjoy RVing in the wilderness. This unique character property is located at the north end of the Cascades foothills, in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Spinal Tap at Monkey Valley!

Sign ready to plantThe story of the Starshine Way sign continues. When I last wrote to you about it, I had poured the concrete, and the sign was setting overnight in my laundry room. The next day I checked and the pole seemed very solidly set in the concrete. Unfortunately, the sign itself was just screwed on with metal hasps holding it in place. So although the pole was set, it would still be easy to steal the sign!

To solve this problem I had Sign in holedabbed some concrete over one side of the screws, hoping it would make them unscrewable. But in the morning I noticed that I had daubed the wrong side. Aarrghh! So what to do? My Krazy Glue was all dried out, so I couldn’t use that. All I had was ABS pipe glue, so I dabbed the other ends of the screws with this glue, and hoped for the best. Of course these white blotches somewhat spoiled the aesthetic values of the sign, but shikata ga-nai, as they say in Japan.

Sign in hole, filledAnyway, I felt very excited about installing the sign, and put it in the back of the Tracker, together with shovels. It was very cold out, so I wore my parka and thick gloves. The propane guy was coming later in the morning, so I wanted to get it done right away, before he got there. I drove up to the corner of Starshine Way and Dillard Forestry Road. Woohoo! There was the hole I’d previously dug. I’d covered it with a tarp, edges weighted with stones, and scattered dirt to conceal the hole, but had accidentally stepped on the Spinal Tap signtarp and fallen in the hole (yes, I really did fall in the hole I had dug and had specifically reminded myself not to fall in), so the tarp was half-in, half-out of the hole, and some snow had covered everything.

I took the snow shovel and cleared away the snow in the hole and around the hole. I took out the garbage can with the sign in it, and then was the magical moment: I put the can and sign into the hole. Voilà! Beauty! I’d brought six sand bags, which I used to fill the gap around the edges of the can, as well as rocks and dirt from digging the hole. Likewise I filled in the can. Then I built up a slight mound all the way around the pole, stamping on the dirt frequently to pack it down. There was just one problem: The sign company gave me an eight-foot pole instead of the ten-foot pole I’d asked for. The hole I’d dug (before picking up the sign) was slightly over three feet deep, to accomodate the garbage can. So the sign is shorter than I am.

Happy with my goofy signI kept cracking up as I looked at the sign. All that work, planning, ordering, digging, and what was the result? A Spinal Tap sign! (Due to a confusion between inches and feet when they drew their design on a paper napkin, the infamous heavy metal band Spinal Tap got an eighteen-inch-high Stonehenge stage prop—not quite the ominous, looming stones they had envisioned!) The propane guy later took my picture with the sign, so you can see for yourself. Ha!

Anyway, hopefully no one will steal it, and it will have an uninterrupted winter to set solidly into the earth. I’ll let you know if it’s still there when I go back in the spring! To complete this story, though, I need to draw the parallel between the story of the Starshine Way sign and the turning of the wheel from West to North. I’ll tell you about that next time. To be continued…

This entry was first published January 19, 2009. I’ve made a few edits and moved it to the first page to help potential buyers know a bit of the history of the place.

Monkey Valley is a self-sufficient, off-grid home and 160 acres. It is probably the most unique solar-powered home for sale in BC right now. It is a very private property located in the wilderness near Aspen Grove, BC, between Merritt and Princeton. The closest lakes are Kentucky Lake, Alleyne Lake, Loon Lake, and Missezula Lake. In fact, if you follow Shrimpton Creek south from the property line, Missezula Lake is less than a mile away. This very private property offers a sustainable, green home and acreage that you can live in year-round, or use as a vacation or recreational property. It is also an ideal investment property, as the land only increases in value and it is extremely rare to find such a private, pristine property so close to Vancouver and Kelowna. Rural land for sale is common enough, but to find a quarter section of fully fenced ranch land with no neighbouring properties is very unusual. The fencing, 5,000-square-foot barn, year-round creek, and grassland make it an ideal horse property. This remote acreage also has timber that can be logged, and it is surrounded by crown timber land. The 3-bedroom house is one-of-a-kind, blending an old-fashioned log cabin with a modern addition that offers all the comforts of solar power, cell phone service, and internet. The home, barn, and outbuildings are clad in country-style board-and-batten of Princeton fir. If you’re looking for creek-front real estate, you’ll love this home that’s more peaceful than most waterfront properties. Sound carries over water, so if you share a lake with neighbours, it’s never fully peaceful and quiet. This ecoproperty is the only land for sale near the Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, and it is fully accessible for RVs. This could be a holiday property for a group of families who enjoy RVing in the wilderness. This unique character property is located at the north end of the Cascades foothills, in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Turning toward winter

Snowy meeting room at Monkey ValleyThe wheel of the earth keeps turning. This is the wheel of the seasons, of the day, of a human lifetime, or of a year. Today I want to tell you about the turning of the wheel from the black of the west to the white of the north, from fall to winter, and how this ties in with my story of digging a hole.

As you may remember, the fall and west quadrant of the wheel is a time for introspection and turning inward; a time of self-discovery. This can be a time of quiet, stillness, and the power that comes from knowing oneself deeply. However, for those of us who have a tendency to get stuck in the west, self-doubt can be the dark side of the black of the west. For me, this manifests as questioning whether anyone would want to come to Monkey Valley for a vision fast. Questioning whether this world wants what I have to offer, values my gifts. Spiralling down into self-doubt can make me feel small and unwanted; reverberations from painful moments in childhood echoing forward through the years to the present.

Affirming that I do have valuable gifts to bring to my people is a way to move out of the self-doubt of the west and turn with the wheel as it swings around to the north and winter. The north is the place of service, of community, of gathering together to survive the perils of cold, limited food supply, and long dark days that don’t seem to have enough daylight hours for doing the chores (or going for a run!). In earlier times for the human race, especially in northern climates, it was absolutely essential that people band together for survival. But even today, we are completely interdependent, whether we are aware of it or not.

This is something I’ve come to Sign planted with snowrealize while living at Monkey Valley. At this point I can’t grow my own food there, never mind make my own clothes. It would take months of work for me to cut my firewood using traditional tools. So I can’t provide myself with even the bare minimum of food and warmth without the help of my people. Not that this is a bad thing! For one of the wonderful things about being a human animal is the good feelings that come from companionship, affection, sharing, community.

And work… Which is a strong aspect of the north. Winter is the time for teaching, for repairing equipment, for sharing stories around the fire, for mending clothes and making new ones. Serving our people and preparing for the warm growing time to come. Digging a hole and putting up the Starshine Way sign is this kind of work. It is trusting that the warmth will come again. It is having confidence in offering my gifts to my people. It is a pledge to be there and show the way, the best I can, and help others find their own way. May it be so!

This entry was first published January 28, 2009. I’ve made a few edits and moved it to the first page to help potential buyers know a bit of the history of the place.

Monkey Valley is a self-sufficient, off-grid home and 160 acres. It is probably the most unique solar-powered home for sale in BC right now. It is a very private property located in the wilderness near Aspen Grove, BC, between Merritt and Princeton. The closest lakes are Kentucky Lake, Alleyne Lake, Loon Lake, and Missezula Lake. In fact, if you follow Shrimpton Creek south from the property line, Missezula Lake is less than a mile away. This very private property offers a sustainable, green home and acreage that you can live in year-round, or use as a vacation or recreational property. It is also an ideal investment property, as the land only increases in value and it is extremely rare to find such a private, pristine property so close to Vancouver and Kelowna. Rural land for sale is common enough, but to find a quarter section of fully fenced ranch land with no neighbouring properties is very unusual. The fencing, 5,000-square-foot barn, year-round creek, and grassland make it an ideal horse property. This remote acreage also has timber that can be logged, and it is surrounded by crown timber land. The 3-bedroom house is one-of-a-kind, blending an old-fashioned log cabin with a modern addition that offers all the comforts of solar power, cell phone service, and internet. The home, barn, and outbuildings are clad in country-style board-and-batten of Princeton fir. If you’re looking for creek-front real estate, you’ll love this home that’s more peaceful than most waterfront properties. Sound carries over water, so if you share a lake with neighbours, it’s never fully peaceful and quiet. This ecoproperty is the only land for sale near the Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, and it is fully accessible for RVs. This could be a holiday property for a group of families who enjoy RVing in the wilderness. This unique character property is located at the north end of the Cascades foothills, in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Leaving Monkey Valley

View from across the valleyAs I have mentioned in other postings, I have put Monkey Valley on the market. I hope you have had a chance to look at the virtual tour of the house today.

Offering nature-based teachings in new places

The original intention of this website was to promote the retreats that I offered here on the land. I have offered a variety of events, including an amazing retreat where a group of 25 people from around the world gathered to build a medicine wheel. Another favourite was the yoga and ChiRunning retreat that I taught with Angela James. Going forward, I will still be offering the vision fast, the medicine walk and the teaching of the four directions, and a yoga and nature workshop, but in new locations.

Robin eggs in nest on my porch light

The choice to sell Monkey Valley

It was a difficult decision to sell Monkey Valley, but that seems to be where the flow of my life is taking me. I have been the steward of the land and care-taker of the home for 12 years now. I bought this land within a few weeks of my father’s death. It has held much healing, learning, and growth for me. And a fair share of frustrations, too, which I think is part of the territory with any major undertaking. I have enjoyed most of the learning, and many fine times with family, friends, and co-journeyers on the path of inner realization, both with the Diamond Approach and with the nature-based spiritual practices.

At this stage in my life journey I find myself wanting to put down deeper roots in one place. Keeping two homes for all these years—Monkey Valley and an apartment I rented in Vancouver for a pied-à-terre—has required a lot of energy. I realize that I don’t want to spend my energy that way, and on the travelling back and forth. Yet if I have to choose only one place to be, I am sad to say that I can’t choose Monkey Valley. I feel too isolated there when I live there alone full-time. It has taken me a while to realize (and admit) that I am a social creature, and I like to be around people! So if I am going to choose a place to put down roots, I need to choose a place where there are people. I have noticed over the years how returning from Monkey Valley to Vancouver (where I was born and have lived for most of my life) always feels like a home-coming. My appreciation for and love of this city have grown. (Though like most of us, I could do with less traffic!) One morning I spent some time reading the Georgia Straight‘s annual “Best of Vancouver” issue, and love for this city swelled in my heart.

So these are some of the factors in my decision to sell Monkey Valley. Making this choice, I bit the bullet and bought a townhouse in Vancouver, which I love. I have been putting down roots and weaving into the fabric of community here in many ways, including a new gig volunteering by teaching yoga at the Pacifica Treatment Centre. I am looking forward to this next phase of my life!

Monkey Valley is a self-sufficient, off-grid home and 160 acres. It is probably the most unique solar-powered home for sale in BC right now. It is a very private property located in the wilderness near Aspen Grove, BC, between Merritt and Princeton. The closest lakes are Kentucky Lake, Alleyne Lake, Loon Lake, and Missezula Lake. In fact, if you follow Shrimpton Creek south from the property line, Missezula Lake is less than a mile away. This very private property offers a sustainable, green home and acreage that you can live in year-round, or use as a vacation or recreational property. It is also an ideal investment property, as the land only increases in value and it is extremely rare to find such a private, pristine property so close to Vancouver and Kelowna. Rural land for sale is common enough, but to find a quarter section of fully fenced ranch land with no neighbouring properties is very unusual. The fencing, 5,000-square-foot barn, year-round creek, and grassland make it an ideal horse property. This remote acreage also has timber that can be logged, and it is surrounded by crown timber land. The 3-bedroom house is one-of-a-kind, blending an old-fashioned log cabin with a modern addition that offers all the comforts of solar power, cell phone service, and internet. The home, barn, and outbuildings are clad in country-style board-and-batten of Princeton fir. If you’re looking for creek-front real estate, you’ll love this home that’s more peaceful than most waterfront properties. Sound carries over water, so if you share a lake with neighbours, it’s never fully peaceful and quiet. This ecoproperty is the only land for sale near the Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, and it is fully accessible for RVs. This could be a holiday property for a group of families who enjoy RVing in the wilderness. This unique character property is located at the north end of the Cascades foothills, in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Why is yoga in nature so special?

Getting ready to do tree pose among the treesI started practicing yoga regularly in 2003, just after I moved to Monkey Valley, a log home in the wilderness near Merritt. So for me, it seems like yoga and nature have always gone together. Doing yoga on the deck overlooking the creek and green valley below, or even in my bedroom looking out the window at a forest of trees, nature has been a part of my yoga practice. Then I began doing wilderness guide training, which involved camping out in a lot of remote places in Arizona, Colorado, and California. By then, yoga was a part of my life, so of course I would need to do my yoga practice before bed! Or early in the morning when I was out on a solo or medicine walk. As a result, I have done yoga in nature in all kinds of places, any time of day, with or without a mat, tarp, or blanket to stand on.

Yoga in the starlight is amazing, especially with the desert smell of mesquite in the air. But for some reason, doing tree pose in the dark is the most difficult! I guess it’s because of not being able to see an object to focus on. Doing yoga on a giant granite boulder at the edge of the Grand Canyon, just as the sky was turning pink, was another incredible experience. As you can imagine, doing yoga out of doors is a much different experience than doing it in a building with beautiful even floors and square edges to everything.

I wanted to share with others the wonders of yoga in nature, which is why I developed the Yoga and Nature class last summer. I also wanted to explore ways to embody the qualities of the four directions through yoga. I talked to some friends to get their ideas, and developed a class that combines yoga poses with the teachings of the four directions from the wilderness guide work that I do. I also wanted to make this kind of nature experience accessible to the people in Vancouver, so I chose to hold the class in a very special spot I know near the Seymour River. I’ve guided medicine walks at this spot the past few years, and really look forward to sharing it with the people who come to the yoga class. I hope to see you there!