Friends, Music, and a Beautiful New BnB in the Okanogan

At the Esther Bricques Winery on October 18, our friends  and Up the Crickband members Rick Braman and Chris Stodola were providing the music; their current playlist is hugely entertaining, and the harmonies and delivery have become very polished. They’ve lost none of their campy schmaltz, and will still blame the invisible drummer “Raul” for any flubs. All part of the charm these guys bring to the show. Was also nice to see many Canadian friends in the audience – including members of the Okanagon International Chorus in Osoyoos.

Had a chance to talk with Valerie Barker Braman about the conversion of the beautiful cottage they built to a BnB, associated with the Air BnB agency. I know Rick’s wood working skills are tops – I’ve seen the results, so it’s no surprise to know their BnB customers are quick to write glowing reviews of the facilities, the area (Aeneas Valley) and of course the hosts.

If you have friends or family that would like to visit the area and experience the fullness of Okanogan beauty it is easy to recommend Val and Rick. Visit their AirBnB page to see what they offer and the warm reviews. This is a very nice local success story and we congratulate the Bramans for their great contribution to the Okanogan experience.

Here’s a preview.


Endless Winter

By James Gutschmidt This is the year of the endless winter in the North Okanogan Highlands. The snow fall topped 3 feet. We’re going into April with over two feet of snow and more expected. Every vehicle here in our neighborhood has been stuck in the snow or mud or broken down multiple times. Early March brought 18 inches of snow, and whiteout conditions.
White Out in March
White Out in March
Continue reading “Endless Winter”

Dreamy July

By James Gutschmidt
Prose and pictures are by James Gutschmidt. Material is on special loan, by permission, to North Okanogan – An Online Magazine,, all rights are reserved and protected by international copy write laws.