About Maxxtrails

Hubby and I retired in 2013 and started our life as full time RVers in the fall of 2013. We hope you enjoy the stories of our travels.

Another Blogger Meeting :-)

Last Wednesday we came home, after looking after our grandchildren for the evening, to find a pleasant surprise sitting on the table outside Maxx.

A selection of beer all the way from Ontario ☺

We were puzzled as to who had left us this nice little surprise but fortunately the beer did come with a note … a rather wet note since it had rained all evening. It turns out the beer was left for us by Adventure Dawgs a blogger from Ontario. I have followed her blog, which is all about her travels with her three dogs, for many years now and really enjoy it. She was in BC for a visit and decided to stop at our park for the night. We were able to have a quick visit the next morning and I really hope our paths cross again.

Hubby is in full prep mode for our trip south this winter and spent a day last week waxing the rear of Maxx, and it looks awesome!

I forgot to take a before picture but you can see how bad it was in the section he hasn’t completed yet.

All done, and the ladder even got a coat of paint!

Until next time …


Fall Is In The Air

The arrival of fall is bittersweet. On the one hand I love how quiet the campsite gets, watching the leaves change color, and looking forward to our winter adventures, but on the other hand we will soon be packing up and leaving our family and friends … yes very bittersweet.

Nice sunrise this morning and no smoke in the air … that is suppose to change today ☹

Yesterday there was a mass exodus from the park, families heading home and getting ready for school today. As much as I love summer I do look forward to less people around 🙂 This morning less than half the sites where full, although this will change over the weekends … especially if the weather is nice.

And a few weeks ago Furb arrived back in the park … okay I don’t know for sure that it is Furb but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

He is all grown up now … I think he missed us so he came back for a visit 🙂

Until next time …

A Bike Ride Along The Kettle Valley Rail Trail

Last Monday hubby, one of our grandsons (ten years old), and I headed up to Myra Canyon to spend a few hours riding along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. The drive up to Myra Canyon takes you through orchards and vineyards with beautiful views of Kelowna.

The last seven kilometres is up a windy, gravel road but is easily traversable by any type of vehicle. There is a large parking lot at the Myra Station entrance and you can also rent bikes there if need be.   Once we had unloaded our bikes we were off … this is an easy ride for all ages, as the grades never exceed 2.2%.

The City of Kelowna lies down in the valley. The Kettle Valley Railroad did not serve Kelowna directly. Passengers connected with the line by stage coach.

The Kettle Valley Rail Line was built between 1910 and 1915 after silver was discovered near Nelson, located in the Kootenay area of British Columbia. The steam trains of the time were a vital connection to transport silver and people from the Kootenay’s to the coast of British Columbia. The last trains passed through in the early ’80’s and by 1990 the last of the railway line was abandoned.

One of the most scenic sections to cycle is the eleven kilometre section from South East Kelowna through Myra Canyon to Ruth Station. This portion of the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) runs along a steep-walled canyon. Originally built by hand at the turn of the last century, this impressive landmark is highlighted by two tunnels and eighteen trestle bridges that are truly spectacular. In 2002 this section was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

In 2003 a massive forest fire burnt twelve of the trestles and blackened over 20,000 hectares. Through the efforts of the Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society, private individuals and several layers of government, funding was secured and the trestles were rebuilt and reopened in 2008.

The Kettle Valley Rail Trail and the Columbia & Western Rail Trail is the longest rail trail network in British Columbia extending from Hope to Castlegar. Once a comprehensive railroad system, the decommissioned tracks are now home to an extensive recreational trail providing almost 650 km (400 mi) of connected pathways throughout the region. Hubby and I have ridden many sections of the KVR and hope to continue riding other sections of this awesome trail.

In 1930-1931 this wooden trestle was replaced with a steel structure. The steel trestle was built around the wooden trestle to avoid any interruptions to the trains.

This is the largest trestle in Myra Canyon. Its 200 metres (726 feet), and 55 metres (180 feet) high.

While some of the trestles along the route are a 1,000 metres in the air, don’t let that worry you, there are solid railings, planks along the center of the trestles, and the trails are smooth and easy to ride.

With a lunch break (we packed a lunch as there are no food facilities along the trail) it took us about three hours to ride the twenty-two kilometre return trip section (13.67 miles) … of course that included many stops for pictures 🙂

This trestle was saved from burning by the heroic efforts of firefighters in the 2003 forest fires.

Until next time …

Is it? Could it really be???

Yes it actually was blue sky yesterday morning, I almost didn’t recognize it, it had been so long!

I didn’t realize the helicopter was in this picture when I took it but it is fitting that a smoky sunset would have a helicopter riding by as the sky is full of them during fire season.

On Thursday we had a glimpse at blue sky, but alas, it didn’t last and the smoke rolled back in a few hours later. On Friday and Saturday we had an occasional glimpse of a blue patch but it was quickly replaced with smoke and then on Sunday the rain rolled in. It rained all day, it was cold and windy … all in all a most yucky day 😦 and the sad part was, it wasn’t enough to help the fire situation … but it was enough to bring in glorious, unobstructed, blue sky on Monday!!

I was greeted with a beautiful view of a full moon when I walked out of Maxx for my morning walk and clear blue skies as the sun came up. It is amazing how much that lifted everyone’s spirits 🙂

We have had a very busy four days with non-stop activities. Last Friday my sister and brother-in-law, along with my nephew and his girlfriend (up for a visit from Tofino, B.C.), and her mother who was visiting them from Poland, stopped by for a visit. Actually we started our visit by meeting them at Indigenous Winery for some wine tasting followed by a glass of wine, with cheese and crackers on the patio … no pictures because the smoke was pretty thick! Then the group headed back to our place for another glass of wine, a tour of Maxx (my nephew’s girlfriend and her mother had never seen Maxx and where amazed with the amount of space we have), and a lot of conversation. After they left we headed over to my cousins place for dinner and more fun conversation … phew that was a busy, but fun, day!

Saturday started out with another event followed by a blogger date with a movie and dinner. We have been following Contessa’s blog 5C’s Que Pasa for a few years now and were finally able to meet Contessa and her husband Colin. Our first meeting was at the movie theatre were we saw Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again… a really great movie and I think even better than the first one!

Photo from the interent

After the movie we really got to know each other over a great dinner filled with lots of conversation … definitely a very enjoyable afternoon and evening.

Sunday morning started early when we headed downtown to watch our daughter’s three boys take off as co-pilots in the Okanagan Dream Rally.

The Okanagan Dream Rally provides special children and their families with a fun-filled day being in the co-pilot seat of a dream car (Lamborghini’s, McLaren’s, Porsche’s, Audi’s, Mustang’s, Ferrai’s, Corvette’s, etc.). The rally left Kelowna at 10:30, after all two hundred plus cars stopped on the bridge while a CF18 did a fly over … wow that was cool!

Very hard to get a picture of a CF18. By the time you hear the plane it is already long past you! I could have borrowed a better picture from the internet but I was proud that I was able to take this one so it’s the picture you get 🙂

For the first twenty kilometers the RCMP had the highway closed off so the cars could pass by, for the last forty kilometers (which was mostly four lane highway) the cars joined regular traffic on their way to Penticton, B.C. Once they group arrived in Penticton they where able to talk to the pilot of the CF18, watch the plane do a landing and takeoff and some fly-bys. That was followed by lunch and then the drive back to Kelowna. While the boys were busy we joined our daughter and son-in-law for a long leisurely breakfast out. When we arrived at our daughter’s house for Sunday dinner the three boys were still on high from the fun they had! That is a memory that will last a life time. 🙂

Our oldest grandson in a Prowler … they rode they whole day with the top down even though it rained off and on. My grandson informed me that they were going too fast to get wet!)

Our next oldest grandson riding in a Audi TT … he informed me that they got up to 160 km/hr but his driver was paying attention to the road and not the speedometer so they probably went faster!

And the youngest of the three riding in a Mustang GT350 … he wasn’t sure how fast they went but it was fast and he had a great time!

Yesterday we picked up one of our other grandson’s early in the morning, went out for breakfast, came back to Maxx to pack a lunch, and then we headed out for another busy day … but I will leave that for a future blog.

Until next time …

It Just Keeps Coming!

I really thought we had hit rock bottom with forest fire smoke last Thursday but it just keeps getting worse 😦 British Columbia is having it’s third most devastating fire year since they started keeping records in 1950.

Picture taken June 25, 2018

Picture taken August 16, 2018. You can still see the hills on the other side of the lake.

Picture taken this morning, August 19, 2018. You can’t even see the other side of the lake!

Last year, our worst year ever, saw fires burn 1.2 million hectares. Previous to that was 1958 when 856,000 hectares burned. This year fires have burned just over 598,762 hectares since April 1st, in comparison the California fires, the worst in their history, have burned 402,060 hectares this year … overall not a nice year for either place!

Picture taken May 8, 2018.

Picture taken August 16, 2018. You can still see the hills on the other side of the lake and Kelowna through the haze.

Picture taken this morning, August 19, 2018. Normally I can see Kelowna and the bridge but not today!

And there doesn’t appear to be an end in site to all the smoke, as we have no rain in the forecast. Our air quality ratings are sitting at 10+ and apparently it is worse than the air quality in Beijing!

Picture taken August 4, 2018, and there was a bit of a smokey haze.

Picture taken August 16, 2018. If you look closely you can see the hills through the haze.

Picture taken this morning, August 19, 2018

So what does one do with all that smoke … well we are spending the day tucked away inside, with all the windows and vents closed, planning our trip south this winter 🙂

Until next time …

Kelowna, British Columbia

Kelowna, British Columbia has a population of 194,882 and is the third largest metropolitan area in the province. It is the twenty-second largest city in Canada and the largest city in British Columbia that is located inland.

In the early day’s the Hudson’s Bay Company established a small trading post around 1861 and in 1871 a grain mill was set up. The town site was laid out in 1892 and the name Kelowna was chosen.

A view of Kelowna from the west of Okanagan Lake.

Kelowna is the Okanagan First Nation word for “grizzly bear”. Legend says a group of Okanagan First Nation once stumbled across a fur-clad, whiskered settler emerging from his underground home. The hunters saw him as a “Kim-ach-Touch” or brown bear. The story quickly passed through the community and in 1892 town planners, looking for a name for the settlement, decided on “Kelowna”.

Kelowna’s City Park from the west side of Okanagan Lake.

At incorporation the population was six hundred and the town was made up of eleven sawmills, three fruit packing plants, and two canneries. By 1910 Kelowna was gaining fame as “The Orchard City”. In 1925 the Canadian National Railway arrived.

Waterfront Park is located on the left hand side of this picture.

Downtown Kelowna from the beach at the campground during one of my morning walks.

Today Kelowna is the main marketing, distribution, and health care center of the central Okanagan Valley. The city contains many orchards, vineyards, and award winning wineries. Other sectors of the economy are forestry, light manufacturing, tourism, and more recently the tech industry has began to grow.

The Kelowna Law Courts

The Kelowna Yacht Club

Boats moored at the Yacht Club

The Federal Building with the main bus loop in front … where I spent thirty-three years of my working career ☺

With many beaches along Okanagan Lake, the sunny warm climate, and safe harbors for hundreds of boat owners, the city is a popular tourist center in the summer. The winter also brings in many tourists to the areas fantastic ski hills.

Beautiful sidewalks alongside the courthouse downtown.

The City workers do a great job on the hanging baskets!

Flowers adorn the streets in the summer.

Until next time …

A Walk Through Kelowna’s Waterfront Park

Since I promised to post more blogs showing how beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia is, hubby and I have been spending Wednesday’s wandering around the downtown area. I think I mentioned that our Fed Ex group (ex federal government employees) meets for coffee every Wednesday morning downtown so after coffee we have been walking around enjoying the sights and people watching.

If you want to park right downtown there is plenty of street parking ($1.25 an hour, for a two hour maximum) or you can park for longer than two hours by using one of the parkades. If you don’t mind a short walk you can park on the street just outside of the downtown core for free (up to two hours). We park in the free two hour parking and walk down to coffee, after coffee we move the truck to a different location and then walk around some more.

Located in Kelowna’s downtown core on Water Street next to the Grand Okanagan Resort lays Waterfront Park. As you enter the park you walk by The Dolphins … and no Okanagan Lake is not home to dolphins. 🙂 The sculpture is called Rhapsody and was also created by Robert Dow Reid, a few weeks ago I posted a picture of The Sails which was created by Robert Dow Reid.

Robert Dow Reid was born in Scotland and has always drawn inspiration from the sea. His grandfather was a sea captain, and Robert travelled the seas on whaling vessels in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Robert and his wife Isobel immigrated to Canada in 1958 and have lived in Kelowna since 1964.

The park is adorn with lush gardens and landscaping which is evident as you walk in.

A walk over the bridge gives your views of beautiful landscaping and condos lining the canal.

Once over the bridge you are greeted with sandy beaches, concession stands, washrooms, and a beach rental shop.

A boardwalk meanders along the waterfront all the way to City Park.

The Grand Okanagan Resort through the trees.

The park even contains a lock to allow boats to enter Okanagan Lake from the canal running along the high-rises and hotel.

The park is also home to Island Stage, which hosts many music events throughout the summer.

The stage is the blue roofed building. I forgot to take a picture but the stage is set in a bowl so that you can sit on the grassy hills and watch the performance.

I hope you enjoyed your walk through Waterfront Park as much as we did … it is definitely worth a visit if you are in Kelowna!

Until next time …