Unhappy with complainers

Re. Brian Kettle's letter Stop beach burning (Castanet, March 23)

The Okanagan seems to attract people who like to complain.

Of course it has its issues and weaknesses, and I have corresponded before to share my opinion of a few key issues, but I am writing to complain about the complaining.

The Okanagan has changed so much in a couple of decades. People used to flock here from other cities to escape the fuss, stress and drama of (bigger) city life. Long before the Coquihalla Highway opened, and the TransCanada became a much improved route west from Alberta, folks would come to the Okanagan for the beach life, the mountains, hiking and escaping daily drudgery. They would camp in the bush or rent some low-cost accommodation. It was a simple life.

Fast forward to the opening of those two high-speed routes and a different clientele started coming. They wanted more "bling" with their vacation time so they upped the game for the tourism industry. We got expensive golf courses, costly rental suites, and everything in general became more expensive and more fussy.

People wanted to sip cocktails at the fancy new beachfront restaurants rather than play in the sand and swim. They wanted to go to fancy wineries and pay exorbitant corking fees at fine dining establishments. Fois gras instead of smores.

They certainly didn't want beachfront fire pits (as Brian Kettle of Penticton writes) and various rabbles of common people gathered disturbing their sleep. So now everyone wanted to dictate to the local residents the direction that our communities would take.

We can remember the simple times of camping in the bush, hiking an untouched path up in the hills, partying on the beach, meeting strangers, cutting an ice fishing hole and cooking some burgers out on the lake, cutting fresh snowshoe tracks into no-man's land, making new friends and creating long lasting memories.

Now people come to visit the Okanagan or relocate here, and start complaining. Whether it's about fire or burn pile season, suburban deer, packs of coyotes, fire pits or bike lanes,

The main attractions of the region used to be the low cost and the easy-going, relaxed and carefree outdoor four-season lifestyle. That's what brought me here. The fantastic people I have met came mostly from those simple, primal experiences.

Now, they come for the world-class complaining. We can't go backwards. We can only go with the flow that is ironically called "progress".

I hope you have good memories of times gone by because sadly, that's pretty much all we have left.

Ricky Daytona, West Kelowna

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