A Great Hike!

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know I am deathly afraid of the squiggly things that come out in the heat. For that reason I stop hiking in the summer because the Okanagan is a popular home for the RS squiggly thing … okay now I am totally creeped out and can’t keep my feet on the floor so let’s move on 🙂

Yesterday we took our first hike since the spring with our niece who recently moved to Castlegar, B.C. to take on her first job out of university.

It was definitely more of a challenging hike than we should have done to get back into the swing of things but the view and the company made it totally worth it!

The Brilliant Overlook Trail climbs up for 2.5 kilometres, with switchbacks crossing rockslides and follows along the cliff ridges. There are a few benches, hand rope rails, and a cliff side foot bridge which help out along the trail but honestly this is not an easy hike. We hiked up to the lower and upper viewpoints, which overlook the Kooteny River, the city of Castlegar and Brilliant Dam.

The trail started off easy …

Our hike started off with blue sky but it did cloud over by the we got to the top.

And it was lined with pretty thistles …

The sky was blue and the scenery was very pretty …

It’s hard to tell from this picture but the trail began its upward climb …

As we got higher we started to see some of the amazing views …

We climbed through a large area of shale rock where I was so busy trying to get over the rocks and not twist my ankle that I forgot to get a picture. In the picture below you can see the tail end of the really rocky area …

And then finally we hit what I thought was the end of the steep climb so we sat down on a bench, had a little rest, and enjoyed the view …

But I was fooled and as soon as we got around the next corner we began to climb up again over rock and through a narrow trail, and once again I was to busy staying alive to take pictures J Finally we reached the top of that climb and enjoyed some nice hiking trails that gently went up and down.

   

We finally came to the first look out and the view was so good that I became inspired to see the next lookout, which of course meant more uphill!

Can you see the path here? I couldn’t so it was a good thing our niece had done the trail before!

We did come across some wildlife; we saw a snail and this caterpillar 🙂

I had a good friend that was as terrified of caterpillars as I am of “large worms”, I hope this picture doesn’t scare anyone!

A sign told us we were almost at the top …

And then we came out at the top and all I can say is WOW what a view!

   

It took us a little over two hours to get to the top and just over one hour to hike back down. The hike down had some challenges as well especially the rocky part near the bottom, but we made it safely!

Looking at the pictures now I think we must have been up the mountain for a long time because apparently fall came while we were up there!

I can’t believe how much more like fall these pictures looked compared to the first picture on the blog when we started our hike.

As we approached the truck my niece pointed out where we had been … thank goodness she didn’t tell me that at the start … I probably wouldn’t have got out of the truck!

Sure wish I hadn’t forgot my Fitbit at home 🙂

Although it was tough hike it was totally worth it and we had a great time. Of course we had to follow up with a stop at the pub for dinner and some great craft beer and conversation 🙂

Until next time …

Advertisements

Goodbye Kelowna, B.C., Hello Castlegar, B.C.

We had a nice easy drive today and really enjoyed leaving Kelowna by a different route than we normally take. Rather than head south across the lake and down Highway 97 to the border crossing in Osoyoos, B.C. we headed northeast along Highway 33 towards the Kootenay’s.

We bid farewell to the dry desert like area of the Okanagan …

Past remnants of the recent Philpot Road Forest Fire …

And continued along Highway 33 enjoying the scenery.

Two years ago we had a camping trip planned to Kettle River Provincial Park on Highway 33 near Rock Creek, BC. Fortunately for us our plans changed at the last minute because a huge forest fire ripped through the area.

A girl I worked with was staying at the campground with her family on that fateful weekend. They were enjoying an afternoon on the beach, along with most of the other people in the campsite, when all of the sudden they all found themselves running for their lives across an old railroad bridge over the river and up a trail along the other side where eventually they were picked up and driven to safety. There was damage to the campground and I think a few RVs where lost but fortunately no lives were lost and most campers were eventually able to return and pick up their belongings.

This was the first time we had been down that way since a few weeks before the fire and we were amazed at the amount of area that had burned.

I couldn’t get a great picture of the fire area through the windshield of the truck but it was nice to see some of the underbrush growing back.

Our original plan was to stop at the old hotel in Greenwood, B.C. for a late lunch but when we arrived we found it had gone out of business.

After a stop in Grand Forks for lunch we continued on to Castelgar where we are settled into our campground until Sunday.

 Until next time …

It’s Hitch Up And Go Time

The past few days have been busy getting all the last minute chores done like filling up my flour and sugar canisters, washing all the bedding, stocking up on toilet paper, cleaning out closets and the basement storage, taking out summer items and putting in winter items like Christmas decorations, the list goes on and on … as does this run on sentence, but I’m sure you get the idea 🙂

Today is the day we start another snowbird adventure 🙂  Lot’s of warm squeezy hugs, and a few tears shed by me, and off we go.

First stop Castlegar, B.C. and a visit with our niece.

Until next time …

Goodbye Bear Creek, Hello Grandchildren :-)

We hooked up and pulled out of Bear Creek Provincial Park this morning and I was sure glad I had my checklist! This is the first time we have parked Maxx for more than three months, he spent five months at the park, and I have to admit I was a little rusty on the pack-up 🙂  We really enjoyed our time at the park and it was sad saying good-bye to everyone, we even had about eight campers come and wish us well.

Some final pictures from the park that I have never posted.

The last week was spent completing final dental appointments, picking up the items we can’t get while in the United States, and wrapping the last of the Christmas presents. I had all the important last minute appointments to keep … hair, nails, shopping 🙂 Hubby on the other hand wasted his time cleaning the carpets and furniture, doing maintenance on Maxx’s under-belly (he added See Level sensors on all our tanks and did some other odds and sods) and he also washed and waxed Maxx so he is all sparkly for his trip … okay don’t fret I know how lucky I am to be married to such a hard working man!  We also had a chance to have a final happy hour with Rod and Sylvia of Six Saturdays and A Sunday and Driving Miss Murphy joined us as well (we missed 5Cs Que Pasa, hopefully they can join us in the spring) … what a fun time as usual!

We arrived at our daughter’s place around noon and our eight-year-old grandson ran out, with his safety vest on, to help grandpa pull into the driveway. I told him pretty soon he was going to be so well trained that I would be able to leave him and grandpa to park Maxx and I can go inside, have a glass of wine, and visit with his mommy and daddy! It is nice to be back here and hear the cheery “Hi Grandma” every time they run past the trailer:-)  We are in the driveway for the next five nights and then we are off for another year south!

Until next time …

YAHOO RAIN!!!

I never thought that would be the title of one of my blogs! After more than three months of no rain (I’m not including the maybe three days when we had about four rain drops) we finally had an actual rainfall and boy do we need it. The rain cleared out some of the smoke and hopefully it helped with the forest fires surrounding us.

What we didn’t need was the thunder and lightning that came with the rain but so far I haven’t seen anything in the news about new fires, so we maybe it didn’t do any damage. There were a few bolts of lightning and cracks of thunder that were right on top of us, and one that took out the power for a second or two, but fortunately it didn’t last to long.

While we really need the rain I did feel sorry for some of the tent campers who finally packed up and headed home just before 11:00 p.m. 😦

We are getting more rain today but then it looks like we are back to dry, warm weather again … let’s just hope it is enough rain to help with the forest fires!

I will leave you with some pictures of the blue heron that I visit with every morning …

The haze filled sky makes for some interesting pictures.

There was a little less haze a few days later.

And some more smokey sunrise pictures. These are from two weeks ago, there has been so much smoke in the sky this past week that I haven’t even seen the sun through the haze!

Until next time …

Canadian Beaver

A few days ago I realized I had never posted pictures of the beaver I came across during one of my early morning walks. I have heard from many people that beavers are mean and aggressive but from my encounter, the Canadian Beaver is true to Canadian spirit and was very friendly. He wasn’t the least bit concerned that I was standing right beside his path from the lake to the trees. He barely gave me a look!

Shortly after his visit to the trees he headed back into the lake and again could have cared less that I was right along his path.

The fur trade was instrumental in the development of Canada and at the heart of the fur trade was the beaver, whose pelts were used to make everything from felt hats to robes to winter coats. The Hudson’s Bay Company, who was a main player in the fur trade, put the beaver on their coat of arms in 1621. The beaver has been our national symbol for over 300 years and is featured on our five-cent coin.

I have seen beavers before but usually from a distance and close to a beaver lodge. This was the first beaver that I have seen up close and it was truly awesome to see our national symbol right in front of me 🙂

I thought I would add this note for my blogger friends in Ontario who are writing about rain and fall weather. Even though we are now into September we are still in the mid 30C, 95+F, with no rain and it doesn’t look like this will change for the near future. The last time we had any significant rain was May, when we had major flooding, and believe me with all the forest fires we now have, a really good rainstorm would be welcomed!

Until next time …

It’s A Tough Life We Lead!

Not much has happened over the past week but I did have a few thoughts rolling around in my head, so here you go 🙂

We safely enjoyed watching the Solar Eclipse last Monday using a pinhole camera made by Driving Miss Murphy. Kelowna had about 83% coverage of the sun but I really thought it would get a lot darker than it did. What we noticed the most was how much it cooled off! For a brief period it felt much cooler than the 35C, 95F temps we had that day.

If you want to see some awesome pictures of the eclipse check out Life On The Road who was in Cody, Wyoming last Monday!

Yesterday we spend another warm, sunny afternoon out on Okanagan Lake with friends of ours.

Someone has put a lot of work into this painting of Mary in a little grotto along the shores of Okanagan Lake!

Some excitement!

Seriously! I’m sure the people who own this house have this conversation … “Honey do you want to take the seaplane today, or should we take the boat? Or maybe we should take the car, no actually let’s take the helicopter it’s close to the house!

Just some of the many award winning vineyards along the lake.

As we cruised along the shore looking at the views I couldn’t help but think about what an amazing life we lead. We spend our summers at home, surrounded by family and friends, in one of the most beautiful areas of British Columbia, where temps in the mid to high 30C, 95F to 100F are the norm, and we spend our winters travelling the southern US enjoying sunny skies and warm temperatures … and when we return home at Christmas, if there is snow, we don’t have to shovel it, because our house is still south were there is no snow! Yes we lead an amazing life 🙂

Until next time …