Salmon Arm, British Columbia

Salmon Arm is where I currently live. It was not my choice to move here; circumstances gave me very few options.

A lot of people who live in Salmon Arm absolutely love it and think it’s paradise. I’ve heard stories about people passing through on vacation and falling in love with the place and deciding then and there to make it their home. I know people who grew up here, moved away, then came back as adults because they thought it would be a great place to raise their kids. People say to me, “I bet you’re glad you moved here! Isn’t it wonderful?”

I have tried to see what they see, but I can’t.

I could fill this post with all the negatives, but I’ll refrain. I don’t want to be a total jerk about the place I have to call home at the moment. And I am trying to make the best of things. Maybe if I ever move away from here I’ll be more forthcoming about my time here. But in the meantime I’ll share a few good things about it.

In my opinion, the best thing about Salmon Arm is its proximity to the Okanagan. I live for the days when we can drive down there to go shopping and dining or just look at the gorgeous scenery. I especially love Kelowna. But then, I tend to like bigger places in general. When I was talking to someone local about how good it is that Salmon Arm has grown a lot since I lived here years ago, she said, “Yeah, but at least it’s not as big as Kelowna! Blech!” Obviously she and I are on very different wavelengths. I would give my right arm to live in Kelowna. But I digress.

I get that a lot of people like what they perceive as the slower pace of small towns like this one. And Salmon Arm’s downtown could be considered quite charming. Another good thing about it is that it has the most awesome thrift store I’ve ever seen in my life. The Church’s Thrift Shop is a used goods paradise. I am amazed at the quality and quantity of the stuff that people donate to it, so I have to really commend the people of Salmon Arm for that.

And of course there is some really nice scenery with Shuswap Lake and the mountains nearby. The wharf is a nice place to go for a walk. Just put a clothes pin on your nose or wait for a day when your sinuses are blocked so you don’t smell the nasty Salmon Arm stench. Sorry, I was trying to stay positive but this is one negative thing I feel I must share as a warning to anyone with sensory issues like mine. There is a putrid stench in this town. Some people say it’s sewage, some say it’s the nearby farms. Surrounded by mountains, I guess the odor must get trapped in the valley. Thankfully, I live about 15 minutes from town at a slightly higher elevation and there is no stench at my home, but it’s all I can do not to hurl when I go into town. I have lived in other places that had a lot of farms nearby but this is the worst thing I have ever smelled. The people who love it here must not be sensitive to odors at all. Unfortunately, I very much am.

So, if you love small towns and don’t have sensory issues when it comes to odors, you might like this place. I wish I could.

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