A New Roommate 🙂

So we have had ducks, deer, quail, and recently a bear move in and hang around our site over the summer and all of them, with the exception of the bear, where welcomed roommates but they have all moved on.  Well we are pretty sure the bear has moved on but that remains to be seen.

Fortunately I didn’t see the bear this morning but I was treated to a pretty sunrise.

A couple of weeks ago we even had a Great Horned Owl hang out around our site.  Of course there is no way to prove it but we are convinced the owl is Furb who was born in the park three years ago 🙂

Furb was a cute baby and liked to hang out beside the tire on our truck.

A few days ago we welcomed a new roommate, a Pileated Woodpecker.

I believe, from my search of Google, that this is a female as the stripe on her face is white, males have a red stripe.

The Pileated Woodpecker is very large, around the size of a crow and is the largest woodpecker in Canada.  I read that it is thought that the Pileated Woodpecker is the inspiration for Woody Woodpecker and I can see the resemblance 🙂  They are forest birds that require large, standing dead trees and downed wood, which makes it interesting that she is hanging around our site as there is none of that around.  They are sparsely populated in Canada and I’m wondering if this one was forced into our area because of the forest fires surrounding us.

Our new roommate has been very polite and hasn’t been making any annoying pecking noises which is nice for us as they are known for their drumming which sounds like construction machinery and can be heard up to a kilometre away.  Pileated Woodpeckers drill distinctive rectangular-shaped holes in rotten wood to get at carpenter ants and other insects, and I’m thinking she hasn’t been making noise because the only trees around here are alive and probably not rich in insects.  I sure hope she is getting enough to eat because I have enjoyed having her around and if she stays much longer we will have to give her a name.

Until next time …

Some Good News, Some Bad News

So let’s get the bad news out of the way, the United States has announced it will continue to keep its land borders closed to Canadian travellers until September 21st … all we can do is hope that they don’t extend the closure once again.

We were fortunate to watch a brood of baby quail grow up around our site earlier this summer.

The good news … and I’m still not sure if it is fully good news … We have heard from a few people that the US has reversed its decision on mixed dose vaccines of Pfizer/Moderna and is now considering people in this situation to be fully vaccinated.  They still don’t consider Astra Zeneca or mixed Astra Zeneca and an MRNA vaccines as a proper vaccination.

Some very scary skies last Sunday which is just an indication of how bad our fire situation was that night, things are looking up now!

Now I say I’m not sure if it is good news because I can’t find anywhere were this is actually written down and I would really like to see it show up on either a Canadian or US government website, that is when I will relax and feel confident that we can enter the US by land.

Taken from our daughter’s deck in North Glenmore.

The mixed dose issue only applies to crossing the border by land since all you need to fly is a negative COVID 19 test, according to what I can see on the government websites.

So folks if you have seen anything in writing or know where to find the most up to date information I would be so happy if you would send me a link to the site, or tell me who to call 🙂

Our grandson found this rock at the campsite, it’s the first time I have seen an actual fossil rock just randomly lying around … they are usually in museums or national parks when I see them.

Until next time …

One More Thing Too Worry About

I know I said I was going to focus on the positives but I did come across all these pictures and thought I needed to tell this story as well … and it is positive because it did end well 🙂

As if it wasn’t enough dealing with forest fires and COVID, a few weeks ago we received an email from our park in Yuma letting us know that a serious storm had gone through and done a lot of damage to the park.  The manager advised that staff would check the outside of peoples site and get in touch with those that had damage by Monday, we didn’t hear anything so we figured we were okay.

 We have a storage shed and our outdoor kitchen on our site and only one tree close by, but we do have park models behind us so there was the danger of flying debris from damaged roofs and decks.

Monday came and we didn’t hear any more but I still wanted to know for sure and then it occurred to me that the park has a Facebook page, so I went onto that and found all of these pictures.

It was very sad seeing all the damage and my heart goes out to those people, most of whom are not even in the park, and many of them are from Canada.

While I didn’t see any pictures of our site, I still really wanted to know for sure that everything was okay so I posted a comment on Facebook (good thing I just deleted my Facebook app and didn’t close down my account!) asking if someone could check on our site.

I did hear back from the resident that posted all these pictures saying she had left the park but hopefully someone else would be able to send a picture.

A week went by and I didn’t hear anything and then the bear scared life out of me and I completely forgot about the storm and our Yuma site.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I got a text message last Tuesday from a neighbour behind us, who I thought was not at the park right now, with a picture of our site and everything is okay 🙂

And an added bonus was seeing that my two bougainvillea have survived for eighteen months with no water.

She did tell me that our shed was narrowly missed by flying debris from the park model beside her.  The roof on that park model’s sundeck blew off and was sent into the golf course in front of the unit.  Another wind gust came a few minutes later, picked up all the debris and flew it backwards over the unit behind us and it all landed just beside our shed.  Phew, that was a close call!

I have no idea how old this Saguaro cactus was but I’m guessing over a hundred years … it’s so sad to see it lose its life to a storm.

Who knows when or if we will be able to go back to Yuma.  We had no choice and ended up with mixed vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) and since the US Government (and many other countries) do not recognize mixed vaccines as proper vaccines they won’t let us in, even if they do open up the land border 😦  So right now all we can do is wait and hope they change their minds.

Until next time …

Let Me Introduce Piper

Piper is a blonde German Shephard and a much-loved member of our daughters family.

She is two years old and loves to spend her time at the beach diving for rocks.

Our daughter had told us that this was a favourite past time of Pipers but it was hard to appreciate how intense Piper is about it until we spent an afternoon at the beach with her.

She doesn’t mess around, she gets fully under the water and stays down for a long time!

At one point she found a very big rock and had to put in some real effort to get it out of the water and up onto the beach.  On those rocks she would dive a few times, get them closer into shore, and then use her paws to work them up on the beach.

The three boys would sometimes throw the rocks sitting close to the water’s edge back in so that she had something to find, but Piper is smart and would take her biggest rocks way up higher on the beach so that they didn’t throw those ones back in.

By the time we were ready to leave the beach Piper had successfully cleaned the rocks out of a big portion of the lake 🙂

Too bad she isn’t allowed on the beaches in the park as there are some areas that would benefit from having the rocks removed from the water.

I think this was her biggest rock and it went way up high on the beach!

 Until next time …

The Unbelievable Beauty of Nature

I skipped my walk the day after my meeting with the bear, but Sunday I put on my big girl pants, gathered up my courage, waited an extra half hour so that it was lighter, and out I went.  I also took my bear bells and bear spray with me.

Each day I felt a little better about going out and today god rewarded me for my efforts with an absolutely stunning view 🙂

I knew he had something in mind when I first walked out the door …

 At first I thought the fire smoke must have rolled back in but I couldn’t really smell it and I could see blue sky.  I hurried down to the lake and just stood in awe of the beauty of nature!

I really think the bear is gone, there have been no more sightings, but I still think my bear spray and bells will continue to come along with me on my morning walk.

Until next time …

Yesterday Started With Such Promise!

I have lots of pictures that I want to share but most of them seem so trivial to what is going on around us.  We are surrounded with forest fires and our area has become a hotspot for COVID which has meant wearing masks again and going back to some of our old restrictions.  I don’t want to trivialize these very major life events, and I’m not, they are in our life and we are dealing with them every day, but I think for my own sanity I am going to write blogs about some of the lighter aspects of life … but I do have to acknowledge the smoky skies we have been living in.

Unicorn chillin on the lake

My views on my morning walks have been obliterated with smoke.

Yesterday morning the smoke began to lift and I was treated to the most amazing sunrise I have seen in almost a month!

Yup I know it’s not what you were expecting but to me it was absolutely beautiful because there was something other than smoke in the sky.

It always amazes me what people will leave on the beach overnight … way to trusting if you ask me!

I was almost finished my walk when I altered my path slightly and walked through our site, out the back, around a berry bush, and came face to face with the biggest … and yes I mean huge … had to be a least ten feet tall … BEAR!

He, or maybe she, was less than six feet away from me.  Fortunately for me he was as scared of me as I was of him … well I’m pretty sure I was more scared of him … and he took off across the grass.  I was paralyzed with fear but did eventually think to pull out my phone and get a picture.  I had to take a picture because I was pretty sure nobody would believe me, but I was shaking like crazy and still scared that he might turn around and come back at me, so it is not a good picture but here it is …

That big brown spot in the middle is the bear and he is standing with all four legs flat on the ground.

At that point I ran back to Maxx to grab the bear spray and wake hubby up.  We carefully wandered around looking for the bear but never did find him so hopefully he has left the park.  I do have to admit I was to chicken to go out this morning but I’m going to try and put on my big girl pants and go out tomorrow morning … well that’s my plan 🙂

As if that wasn’t enough drama, later that night I had just fallen asleep when I was woken up by sirens and hubby informing me that they had evacuated two more communities north of us.  Twelve fire trucks went by and for the next four hours there was a steady stream of cars heading south out of the evacuated areas.  My prayers are with all of them and the emergency personnel fighting the many fires in our province.  My nephew has been evacuated from his home, which he had just purchased, and his house is now surround by fire.  We are just praying that everything will be okay.

Since I don’t want to end this blog on an unhappy note I am going to share a picture our daughter took at Giant Cedars Boardwalk rest stop near Revelstoke along Highway 1.

I just love this picture, I think it would look awesome on a wall!

Until next time …

Othello Tunnels

Last Monday dawned clear and bright and sadly it was time to say farewell to our son and daughter-in-law and head home.

While it is less than a four hour drive home it ended up taking us about seven hours.  We made a stop at the cemetery to visit hubby’s dad, another stop in Chilliwack to top up with fuel and pick up some sandwiches for lunch, and then a stop at the Othello Tunnels outside of Hope, BC for a long awaited hike through the tunnels.

We have stopped at the tunnels many times over the years with both our children and grandchildren.  It was always a great place to let the kids run off some energy and have lunch.  Some years ago we stopped for a hike and found the tunnels closed and in need of repair so we were happy to hear they had reopened this year.

We ate our lunch beside the river.

The tunnels were constructed in 1914 and were part of a southern railway route constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), called the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR). The KVR connected the west coast to the city of Nelson, BC and, if you have been reading my blog for some time, you may remember we have ridden our bikes many times over a section of the KVR in Kelowna.

The KVR line was in service until a major washout occurred in 1959 and it was abandoned in 1961. In 1986 the tunnels became part of Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park’s trail system.

Walking over the bridges in the Othello Tunnels area, it becomes evident how difficult it must have been to build this railway. There are sheer rock cliffs ending in violently rushing water in a remote area where, over a 100 years ago, it seems impossible to believe they would have the equipment to build a railway.

Workers used a suspension footbridge to traverse the Coquihalla Canyon during construction of the stronger railway bridges.  Bridging the Coquihalla River was no easy task and it had to be crossed twice in a short distance.

 

 

Work was done completely by hand using the suspension footbridge, ladders, and ropes.  Rock drillers hand drilled holes to set explosives to blow up rock.  Drillers had to quickly scramble up ropes to the top of the canyon to get out of the way before the blast.

Since the canyon was inaccessible to machinery, workers had to excavate mostly by pick and shovel.  It is said not a single worker was killed during the construction of the tunnels.

The tunnels are called “The Quintette Tunnels” but there are actually only four tunnels not five.  One of the tunnels was “daylighted” on one side creating a window and the illusion of an extra tunnel.

After walking through tunnel four, the Othello Tunnels route abruptly ends, although the trail keeps going all the way to the town of Hope, B.C. another 8km south.  We decided not to continue on but instead turned around and headed back to the parking lot.

Due to the canyon’s rugged look, many popular films have been filmed in this area.  The most notable was Rambo First Blood where the cliff above Tunnel two was used in the spectacular cliff jump scene. Other movies that filmed scenes around Othello Tunnels include Fire With Fire, The Adventures of Yellow Dog, and Shoot To Kill.

We really enjoyed our time at the tunnels and highly recommend it as a stop if you are on your way to the lower mainland of BC.

Our last stop of the day was at the Penask Summit brake check where many years before our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson put up a bird house, so of course we had to check and see if it was still there … and yes it was 🙂

Until next time …

The Office Brewery

I have a blog almost ready to go about our trip home earlier this week but I felt I needed to post this one right away … chalk it up to wanting to get rid of my frustration 😦

Hubby and I have been waiting for two new craft breweries to open in Kelowna, Bad Tattoo Brewing and The Office Brewery.  Bad Tattoo opened last week and we made a visit to it yesterday, but also opening yesterday was The Office Brewery.

We stopped by The Office first but were politely informed by a lovely young lady that they didn’t open until 3:00 p.m.  Well it was only noon and we didn’t think we could hang around until 3:00 so we headed over to Bad Tattoo for a few tastings and some lunch.  We really enjoyed our time at Bad Tattoo, the beer was good, the food was good, the staff were friendly and happy to serve us … everything you want in a restaurant.

Can you see what’s coming?

Hubby really wanted to visit The Office on their opening day so after lunch we did some grocery shopping and then arrived at The Office at 2:30, knowing they didn’t open until 3:00 but we had nothing left to do so we thought we would wait outside until 3:00.  When we arrived some of the staff were setting up tables outside.  Hubby did ask if we could sit down and wait until they opened but he was informed, by a women who we would later find out was the manager or appeared to be the manager, that they didn’t open until 3:00 and we would need to go away and wait for 3:00 p.m.

Hmm not the friendliest greeting but we just figured they were busy getting everything ready so we patiently waited by the door.  At exactly 3:00 p.m. the manager opened the door and allowed us to enter and she did say “Thanks for waiting”, unfortunately that was the last polite thing she said to us.

We sat at the bar and did a flight of four beers (a flight is a small sample size of different beers).  During the time we were at the bar the staff ignored us, talked amongst themselves, spent time on their phones, did everything except pay any real attention to their customers.

Seriously this was opening day and you have customers who you know have waited around in order to be there to support your business and you can’t even be bothered to acknowledge them!  If you live in Kelowna or are visiting our quickly growing craft brewery district, give The Office Brewery a pass … they don’t seem to want your business.

Until next time …

A Ride Through The Old Hood

Sunday we loaded up our bikes, along with those of our son and daughter in law, and headed off to Steveston, B.C.  We were off for a bike ride along the dike followed by lunch at the Steveston Hotel, which has been at the heart of Steveston for 130 years.

As a child my sister, cousin, and I often rode our bikes along the dike to Steveston to buy penny candy at the drug store because they had the best selection.  A quarter would get you a big bag of candy!

Sometimes we would pack a lunch and find a shady spot along the ditch to stop and eat … and there was no shortage of pretty place to stop 🙂

My main reason for wanting to do this ride was to show our son where I lived as a child.  We had a house along the dike that looked out to the ocean.

It hasn’t changed much and honestly I was surprised it is still there.  The neighbour house has been torn down and they are preparing to rebuild.

When we were kids the ditch was much wider, it is overgrown with grasses now, and dad had built us a wharf where we could tie up our rafts, which we used to float down the ditch.

You can see the bridge which crosses the ditch but you can’t see the ditch.

We continued on and rode past my cousin’s house then out into the subdivision to check out the front of both houses.

Once I had thoroughly bored everyone with my childhood stories we headed back to the dike and began our return journey to Steveston.

More of those pretty wildflowers 


Before long we were at the hotel and, with bikes loaded in the truck, we headed in for lunch.

Do you remember a few blogs ago I commented on the fact that I was surprised to see bullrushes in Kelowna?  Well I always remember seeing them when we were riding along the dike, and they are still there 😀

Until next time …

A Vacation 🙂

Well it’s been a year but we finally went on a little vacation 🙂  Early Saturday morning I went for my walk and, while it was a little windy, the smoke from forest fires did make for a pretty sunrise.

If you look closely you can see two people in kayaks paddling along watching the sun rise.

After my walk we packed up our stuff, along with our bikes, and a potato salad and headed down to the lower mainland of British Columbia for a birthday lunch for hubby’s mother.

I noticed the usual wildflowers along the side of the Coquihalla and the connector but, as I was enjoying them, I realised that I always post pictures of wildflowers when we are south but I take them for granted in my own province.  I had to put an end to that so I did my best to get a few photos but they don’t do the flowers justice 😦

There was definitely a haze from nearby forest fires …

And clear signs of the new July Mountain Forest fire …

But shortly after the above photo the sky cleared and it was a nice drive into Abbotsford where we enjoyed lunch with hubby’s mom, his siblings, and their spouses.

After lunch we drove into South Surrey where we were spending Saturday and Sunday night with our oldest son and daughter in law … but more about that in another post.

Until next time …