When searching for a home in the South Okanagan, Lyndie Hill accidentally come up with the name for the adventure tourism business she now runs with her husband, Mike.
Looking at a potential home, her realtor remarked that it was under a hoodoo (typically a tall, thin spire of rock; many can be found dotting the landscape around Penticton), and with that, Hoodoo Adventures was born. Starting as a home-based business eleven years ago, the company has been in a space in downtown Penticton for three years, with access to Okanagan Lake and the KVR Trail mere minutes away.
“We started as an after school outdoor adventure camp for our kids,” she says. “It was important to us to get them outside.” Two boys, aged four and six, and a 17-year-old daughter still come to the Hoodoo offices every day after school and then head out on an adventure. While it was a challenge to balance family while working from home, Hoodoo has now grown from its start of offering kayaking to now include cycling, hiking, climbing, snowshoeing, survival training, and more.
Penticton is an ideal spot for adventure tourism, says Lyndie, noting the diversity of what the region offers to locals and visitors alike: world renowned biking, a ski hill less than half an hour from the city, climbing areas such as the Skaha Bluffs, and two lakes buffering each end of the city. “If one lake is too windy, you can just go to the other one,” she laughs. “A lot of people are here because of the lifestyle and balance, you’re five minutes away from almost anything you could want to do outdoors.”
Hoodoo has branched out to host a number of events that complement other benefits of living here. The Penticton Beer Run showcases the burgeoning craft beer scene. The Freak’n Farmer takes place on a working farm and vineyard, Covert Farms (you may have seen it on the Amazing Race Canada), putting participants in the middle of hauling hay, carrying huge onion sacks, even plowing the fields, then wrapping up with an after-party celebrating local wine and food.
It’s clear that Lyndie enjoys what she does. “We’ve created a lifestyle that we love. I like that we can have a positive impact on the community, adding to the lifestyle and embracing the uniqueness of Penticton. There’s no other place like this.”
Images courtesy of Stirl & Rae Photo.