Waiting for the Cherries to Ripen in the Okanagan Valley: a Sketch

They come to the Okanagan Valley from Mexico, South Korea, Japan, Spain, Australia, parts of Canada, but mostly Quebec—young, flush-faced, long-haired, tattooed and pierced, big groups traveling in vans, jalopy sedans, fixed up campers with peace signs, mushrooms and penises drawn in window dust, and many more hitchhiking alone or in pairs with huge bags strapped to their backs like beetles walking upright, cardboard signs tucked in the side of their bags that read:  “Somewhere,” “South,” or “Oliver,” which is the name of the town where Loose Bay Campground is located and for $5 a night per head you get a space to camp, showers, somewhere to toss your garbage, and free wood when the fire warnings aren’t in effect, which during the cherry picking season is pretty much never.

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