Found

Okanagan Lake continues to rise about 3cm a day and that is causing havoc for lakeshore homes with docks. In fact if you are missing a piece of your dock we found it this evening  🙂

This piece of dock washed up near the cement pad that I use to check how much the lake has risen. It’s a good thing it washed up because without we can’t reach the cement pad to measure the water level 🙂

We haven’t seen the end of the rising lake and probably won’t until mid June. While I have been enjoying the warm sunny weather, and temperatures are expected to hit 30C (86F) over the weekend that will only cause the snow pack to melt faster. I suspect we may have a few flooded campsites before this is all over.

Fortunately we are far enough away from the lake that we should be okay. So I will continue to monitor the lake and enjoy the wild roses that are starting to bloom.

I know the leaves on this plant look different than the picture below but it’s the same plant. One picture was taken with a flash and the other wasn’t.

Soon the park will be alive with pink roses!

There are also a few other plants in bloom. I have no idea what they are but they are pretty so I have to share them 🙂

Until next time …

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY!

Kelowna is in a serious flood situation! At one point 400 homes were evacuated and at this point many of those people are still out of their homes. While the creeks have started to return to lower levels …

Picture taken two weeks ago

Picture taken May 15th, the creek dropped almost two feet overnight!

All that water has to go somewhere and now Okanagan Lake is only 30cm from the flood mark and rising an average of 5cm a day!

Picture taken May 2nd

Picture taken May 7th

Picture taken May 12th and I had to stand in water to take the picture. I can no longer get a picture of the shore without wading out into the water.

Since May 15th I have been using the concrete step down to the beach as a marker for how fast the water is rising in the lake.

Picture taken May 15th, water is just starting to come over the concrete.

Picture taken May 16th, water is just coming over the metal lid.

Picture taken May 18th, water is completely covering the metal lid.

I mentioned in a previous blog that Okanagan Lake’s surface area is 351 square km. I saw this on the news this morning and thought it really put into perspective how much the lake is rising every day. A 1cm rise in lake water equals 3,510,000 cubic metres of water, which is equal to 1404 Olympic swimming pools! The lake has risen at least 2cm since yesterday, that’s 7,020,000 cubic metres of extra water … and we are not done yet 😦 We are still getting snow at the higher elevations and it has been raining off and on over the past few days in the valley. Next week the forecast is for sunny warm temps in the high 20’sC (low 80’sF) and while that is awesome for people like me who have really missed the warmth, it’s not so good for the lake and rivers. The higher temperatures will cause the snow pack to melt faster than normal and will add more water to the already high water levels, so Kelowna and surrounding areas are into heavy flood preparations around the lake. Fingers crossed that all that work is just a precaution and isn’t really needed … time will tell.

Friday marks the beginning of the first long weekend of the summer, Victoria Day, and the campground full sign went up first thing this morning. Hubby has been helping out all week with repairs to the bridge that were caused when two large trees came down a few weeks ago. The bridge needed to open today so that campers could get into the third loop of campsites.

Photo taken May 6th

The work was completed this morning, just in time to open the third loop which is fully booked from today through Monday 🙂

There was also a push to redesign the site that washed into the creek a few weeks ago. This is a popular site and is fully booked for the summer.

You can see the old picnic table in the creek. It was washed away when the end of the site fell into the creek.

Newly redesigned site, it turned out pretty good!

Tomorrow is a district wide Pro-day for the teachers so our daughter is bringing out the kids to camp with us for a few nights. I think I’m hoping for good weather but then again I don’t want the snow pack to melt to fast … hmm I’m not sure what I’m hoping for 🙂 

Until next time …

Escapees Lunch

If you have been reading my blog since Christmas you may remember that our son and daughter-in-law gave us a membership to the Escapees for Christmas. We haven’t done a lot with the membership but we did join the Boondockers chapter in Ajo, Arizona for happy hour one afternoon in late February.

The main reason we were interested in the membership was to find more boondocking places and have the opportunity to join other people in some of those locations. The other thing we were interested in was getting to know the people in the Okanagan chapter of Escapees and yesterday we had that chance.

On the second Tuesday of every month the Okanagan chapter meets at the Grand 88 Buffett for lunch so we joined them this month. They were a very friendly group of people and we had a great time. We also learned they are holding two rally’s, one at the end of this month and the other one just after the September long weekend. Unfortunately, due to our commitment as camp hosts, we won’t be able to attend the rally’s 😦

We did pick up information on some new to us RV Parks, one of which is an Escapees Park where we get a cheap rate. We are looking forward to checking that park out this winter and we also hope to join up with the boondockers as well during the winter.

Time will tell whether or not we want to renew our membership but we really appreciate the gift and the opportunity to check out the club 🙂 

Until next time …

Bear Creek Canyon Trail

The weather held out long enough Monday morning for us to hike up Bear Creek Canyon. We have tried a few times to make the hike this year but so far the weather has not cooperated, other than on the weekends and it’s just to busy then.

Bear Creek Canyon trail has three loops that begin in the parking lot at the base of the canyon. A quick fifteen-minute loop takes you over a footbridge across Bear Creek and then back to the parking lot.

The Saskatoon bushes are all in bloom.

The Mid Canyon trail is 1.4km and provides excellent views of the canyon and waterfalls.

The trails are lined with Okanagan Sunflowers.

Today we took the longest trail, 2.5km. This is a more demanding hike offering spectacular views of the creek and the surrounding area. There are several areas with steep climbs and two areas with many stairs, the longest one has 149 stairs and the other one has 79 stairs. There are many viewpoints along the trail and at one end a bench where you can sit and enjoy the view of Okanagan Lake and Kelowna.

We watched the osprey nest at the top of the tree until we realized mommy osprey wasn’t going to return until we moved on.

We reached the bench but it was full so we moved on.

The waterfalls are pretty spectacular because of all the rain and melting snow.

And we saw our first Indian Paintbrush of the year.

It’s still pretty green along parts of the trail and you can see evidence of last year’s forest fire.

About half way along the trail makes it way down to the canyon floor and a footbridge crosses over the creek.

As we climbed back up the canyon we began to get raindrops but it didn’t spoil the hike … but we did speed up a little because I had left the pamphlet rack uncovered back at the campsite 😦

Soon Kelowna came into view on the other side of Okanagan Lake.

We took a slight detour up a hill to get a picture of the campground, although all you can see are the trees but take my word for it; it is a really pretty place!

With one last look at the creek we head back to Maxx.

Just as we walked back into the campground the rain really started to come down, so I would say we timed it perfectly 🙂 

Until next time …

Life Goes On :-)

Well the water is subsiding and hopefully all those Kelowna residents that were evacuated are able to go home soon.

Sunday’s are a quiet day at the park because most people head home but a lucky few were able to stay and enjoy the sun and warmth.

It is easy to tell the water in the creek is going down because the picnic table is becoming more visible 🙂

Even the level of Okanagan Lake rose considerably over the last few days, which is no easy feat considering it’s surface area is 351 km², … that’s a lot of water that has come in from creeks and rivers!

Picture taken yesterday

Picture taken the previous Tuesday

The ducks are enjoying themselves, the other day they were trying to swim in the raging waters of the creek.

A young visitor to the park presented us with a craft they had done over the weekend. It is very nicely done and now holds a place of prominence on our pamphlet rack.

When I have the pamphlet rack painted and fully stocked I will post a picture of the whole thing … that’s this weeks project 🙂

Until next time …

Damage :-(

Before we went to bed Friday night we took one last walk around the campground and saw that a tree had landed in one of the sites along the river. It was getting dark and I hadn’t brought my camera so I figured I would go back Saturday morning and get a picture.

So yesterday, armed with my camera and a cup of coffee, we started our walk around the park. We barely got out of our site when the Park Manager stopped to tell us they had lost a campsite and a tree had come down over the bridge! And we blissfully slept through it all!

Good thing they made the decision not to open the third loop even though the campground was full Friday night!

You can see where the tree was ripped from the banks, and the fence that was once anchored is now flapping in the water.

As we walked around loop three we could see many signs of the water rising and flooding some areas. The tree that had come down last night was from this loop. Rushing water ripped it from the bank and the tree came down and landed near a site on the other side of the river.

Where the top of the tree landed on the other side of the creek.

The tree that came down sat on the edge of site 109. This use to be a popular site on the mouth of the river but sometime during the night a good portion of the site was swept away by the river 🙂

Picture Friday evening and you could see the bank was starting to wash away.

The fire pit and picnic table where swept down the creek!

I took this picture from site 109 looking out to Okanagan Lake a week ago.

This is what it looked like yesterday!

We found the fire pit at the mouth of the creek.

And we found the picnic table in the middle of the creek not far from site 109 … I managed to spot a corner of the table when I was taking pictures.

Now the cleanup begins … the Park Manager had his work cut out for him!

Once the debris was cleared we could see another tree that didn’t look too sturdy!

About five minutes after I took the above picture we heard a large crash and immediately knew that the other tree had come down 😦

It will be interesting to see what today brings!

Until next time …

Evacuation?

The heavy rains, thunder, and lightning, continued throughout the day making the creek rise considerably! Before we even began our walk around the campground yesterday morning we had questions from those people camped along the creek.

Our first sign of how things were going was when we walked down by the beach and noticed all the dark “chocolate milk” water entering the lake from the creek.

The mouth of Lambley Creek is on the right behind the tree.

As soon as we walked down along the creek we could see the Park Managers had taped off the banks and were beginning to ask people to move out of the creek side sites.

You can see a definite line between the blue water of Okanagan Lake and the brown water and debris flowing out of Lambley Creek!

Fortunately the campsite on the other side is in the loop that is still closed for the season.

Trees were being pulled into the creek and had begun starting a bit of damn effect.

This is the part of the creek the woman wanted to walk through the other day so that she could get out of the park early! Good thing hubby showed her that the gate would open enough for people to get through.

I have been taking pictures of the creek everyday since we arrived and it is definitely higher and flowing faster than when we first arrived!

The creek the day we arrived almost three weeks ago.

Picture from Thursday.

The creek yesterday morning.

Before lunch we started to take a hike up the trails towards the falls, the creek was flowing quickly and the water levels are much higher than they were.

We climbed the 149 steps …

And started to enjoy the views, especially the Okanagan sunflowers.

But before we got any further the rain started up and the downpour forced us back to Maxx … I didn’t want my camera to get wet!

So tucked all warm and toasty inside Maxx we watched some TV until we lost power briefly, but fortunately the inverter kicked in and it was business as usual 🙂

View out of Maxx’s window.

Throughout the day we managed to get out for a few more walks around the campsite but we came back wet every time.

Fintry Provincial Park, which is 28 km up the road from Bear Creek Provincial Park, had been evacuated early Friday morning due to the high water level in Short’s Creek which runs through the area. The Park Managers of Bear Creek Provincial Park monitored the creek all day, but fortunately, other than having to close off the sites along the river for safety, the campground did not need to be evacuated.

The weather is calling for sunny, warm days with no chance of rain for the next three to four days, which is nice for the campers, but the warm weather will cause the snow pack to melt, and that means the water level in the creek may get higher.

And in case you were wondering how the tenters survived the rain the other night, they seemed to be okay and didn’t pack up and leave, even though rained all day 🙂 

Until next time …