Fun With Bloggers :-)

Another busy week and lots of fun was had … we have almost 450 km on our new bikes! 🙂

Another great Kelowna bike lane. Abbott Street on the left, bike lane in the middle, sidewalk on the right.

The last time we rode down Abbott Street by the hospital this building with the coffee shop in the bottom was not there!

Last Tuesday we met up with 5C’s Que Pasa and Six Saturdays and a Sunday for an Okanagan Blogger Fest, which consisted of a happy hour and dinner. Blogging is a funny thing, you write a blog … and as we discussed it is usually because you want your family to know what you are doing … and strangers start to follow you, the next thing you know you are blogger friends and know so much about each other, and yet you have never met!

Well in our case we had met both Colin and Contessa of 5C’s Que Pasa and Rod and Sylvia of Six Saturdays and a Sunday before, but this was the first time the six of us had gotten together (and the first time the other two couples had met) and it was a fun filled five hours … we even closed the restaurant down (I felt very sorry for the servers when we finally had a lull in our conversation and realized the restaurant had closed an hour before!).

Colin, on the left took this picture. After the photo was taken Contessa had us all hold our positions then she stepped out and Colin stepped in on the left. Contessa took the picture again and later Colin photo shopped himself into the picture … now that is talent!!!

We started with happy hour at Colin and Contessa’s beautiful home on the shores of Duck Lake, as it is know by long term locals or, as I recently found out, is now known as Ellison Lake. After a few hours of non stop discussion, mostly centered on travelling, we headed over to the Italian Kitchen for dinner. The comradery didn’t stop after happy hour but continued on in full force through a three hour dinner!

We sat outside on the patio and it was very pleasant.

We had such a great time and we really hope that this will become an annual event!

Until next time …


Okanagan Rail Trail

Yesterday we did our long awaited bike ride from Winfield, B.C. to Vernon, B.C. (54.2km/33.68mi round trip). We began in Winfield because there is one section of the Okanagan Rail Trail from the Kelowna Airport to Winfield that has not been completed and you have to ride along Highway 97 … nope not for this girl!

They are building a nice picnic/seating area along Oyama Lake. We saw a similar set-up being built just south of Vernon along Kalamalka Lake.

When CN Rail decided to discontinue their run through the Okanagan local governments, with financial support from the Province of British Columbia, purchased the land, at a cost of $22 million (CN Rail was asking $50 million), and developed the Okanagan Rail Trail. In 2016 a two year community fundraising campaign and several grants raised $7.8 million to develop the first phase of the trail.

Kalamalka Lake (which translated means lake of a thousand colours).

Today the trail runs from Okanagan Lake in Kelowna to the north end of Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, 51km 31.7mi along lakeshore, creeks and unique natural environments. Well it almost runs that whole length but as I said above there is a 2.3km section that has not been finished … I’m told the planned completion is September 2019.

Riding along Kal Lake is, in my mind, the prettiest part of the ride … the colour of the lake is just so beautiful!

Within 500 of metres of the trail there are twenty-two parks and twenty-one recreational and cultural points of interest for bikers and walkers to visit.

Economists project that an additional 107,400 visitors will be attracted to the Okanagan each year specifically to use the trail and hubby and I are doing our part by sending lots of campers out to ride and walk the trail 🙂 It is estimated that these visitors will bring in an additional $6.7 to $8.7 million to the local economy, and about 66 new jobs in related businesses.

Now we are on our way back. We enjoyed a nice lunch with our neighbours from Yuma, who live in Vernon … no pictures of the nice pub on the lake because we were to busy talking ☺

The Okanagan Rail Trail is an easy ride because at maximum there is only a 1.3% grade. It is estimated that by the end of the first five years 588,000 people will have used the trail … and hubby and I are happy to be two of those people!

Some very expensive homes along the trail.

And some homes who are not to happy to have all the bikers and walkers running through their property … they probably preferred the occasional train to all the people!

Just as we were almost back to the truck a warm wind and dark clouds rolled in … I think our timing was perfect!

Until next time …

We Have Put In Some Miles :-)

Our week started with a visit from the Vintage Car Club. I wrote about their visit two years ago and it was really nice to see them back in the park again this year … there was a lot of cheering and clapping as they drove through.

We planned four fun bike rides this week starting with one to Lordco to pick up a part for a friends RV, yes any excuse for a ride 🙂 That ride was 22km (13.67mi) and we enjoyed a couple stops along the way.

It was a beautiful day and we thought we should enjoy a drink with a view ☺

On Tuesday we rode to coffee, did a few errands and then headed back home, about 20km (12.5mi). Wednesday we again rode into coffee and since we had no errands to run, and it was a nice day, we decided to ride up a section of the Rails For Trails that we hadn’t done yet. That trip took us up to the University along a nicely paved trail with pretty views.

Since we just happen to arrive up at the university around lunch time we thought we should drop into the new pub up there and try it out before all the students return and it gets busy.

Did I say it was a really warm day, of course we had to rehydrate ☺

Last Saturday we had dinner at our daughter’s place and I did a few loads of laundry. Somehow I forgot my drying mat at her place so we decided to ride back past her house to pick it up.

Another nice bike lane.

Wednesday’s ride was 37km (23mi) so of course we had to up our game on Thursday and we planned a 70km (43.5mi) ride 😀 Thursday dawned warm and sunny but also started with a phone call saying the people we were meeting in Vernon for lunch, and the purpose of our long ride, had an unexpected change of plans and had to cancel. Oh well, we will do that ride next week, but since we had planned to be away from the campsite anyway, we came up with another plan … a day on the beach. Now we do have a beautiful beach at the campground but we wanted to go somewhere different so we went five minutes up the road to Traders Cove Regional Park.

It is a steep, but pretty, walk down to the beach.

There is a lake down there!

Nice beach but lots of boats. In fact given the hike down to the beach I think this is more of a boat access beach.

At least you can cool off once you get down to the beach but by the time we were back up at the parking lot we were ready for another swim ☹

Amongst all those miles on our bikes we had hubby’s mom, sister, cousin, our daughter and family, and our son’s son for dinner on Monday evening. We also had the opportunity to catch up with a long ago coworker of hubby’s who was staying in the park. And best of all, okay not really, we had the opportunity to be up from 12:30 a.m. to 1:40 a.m. one morning to try and convince some noisy campers to go to bed. Yes just another busy week in paradise 🙂

This was a whoops shot but I kinda like it so it got added to the keepers folder 🙂

And the excitement doesn’t end 🙂 Today our daughter-in-law from Edmonton is stopping by for a visit with our two youngest grandchildren. We get a nice visit with the three of them and she gets to tire them out before they make the three hour drive to the coast to see her dad … yes life is grand!

I will leave you with this series of pictures of a mountain sheep we saw when we were down at the beach.

Until next time …


So What’s New This Week

Well as it turns out not a lot 🙂 But in retired life that’s a good thing, unless of course I was able to tell you we won a million dollars on the lottery, but sadly that didn’t happen … we won $20.00 and a free play so I’m not complaining.

We came around the corner of Westside Road and saw a herd of Mountain Sheep, lucky for me I was holding my camera at the time so was able to get this shot through the windshield.

Then I was able to get the next two shots through the open side window.

I got this shot on our way back, again through the windshield so the colour is off.

The weather this past week has been a mix bag but we have still managed lots of bike rides, although one ended with a ride home in a torrential downpour … okay maybe not torrential but it felt that way on a bike! Last week we took a ride with friends on the KVR Trail, which I have written about before. It wasn’t the nicest day but we did have a good time and the company was great!

It did clear up a little but then the rain started again.

A few days later we took a ride on the Okanagan Rails for Trails and had a great time.

The path is mostly flat so we didn’t need to use any assist and the views were beautiful as we road along the shores of two lakes.

Woods Lake

Kalamalka Lake

We rode for 15km before the rain starting getting heavy so we turned around and road back into nicer weather.

It didn’t take long before we were getting warm and thoughts of a stop along the lake ran through our head … that may have been encouraged by the bottle of wine I added to our saddle bags with our lunch 😀

This week we rode into town three days for appointments and groceries … yes these bikes are getting some good use and just think of the money we are saving on fuel!  We also took one of our grandson’s out for dinner and then to see the new Lion King movie.  The computer graphics in that movie are amazing, the animals looked so real.

A beautiful waterfall along the Rail For Trails

Helicopters are used to dry cherries after it rains.

We watched this helicopter for awhile before we started riding again.

Our plan is to ride the Rail For Trails from Kelowna to Vernon and meet some friends for lunch. We will pick a sunnier day and I will take my camera along so I’m sure there will be another biking blog in the future.

Until next time …

Our New Bikes

Hubby has always wanted a fat tire bike because where we are in Yuma we need to ride through soft sand and gravel to get out of the park and onto nice bike paths. We have ridden right from the park a few times but I find it very difficult to get through the soft sand and also to not fall off my bike while riding through it.   Most of the time we load the bikes in the truck, drive past that area and then start our ride … and because of that we don’t do it that often. So yes I could see the benefit to fat tire bikes but we had really good bikes and I didn’t want to spend more money.

Our old bikes where very nice and weren’t cheap!

While at home in Kelowna we have to take our bikes into town and park at the rec centre if we want to ride. The road from the park to the highway is not conducive to bike riding, at least not in my mind!

Westside Road is considered the worst road in BC mainly because of the section north of the park, fortunately for us we head south to town. Many cyclists ride this road but it’s way to narrow for me!

As well we would have to ride down, and back up, bridge hill and across the bridge, which has a few elevation changes.

We now park at the end of Westside Road and ride into town.

And we are off to Sunday dinner at our daughter’s house, why don’t you come along for the ride ☺

It’s a long hill down but that would be easy, it’s the fact that you have to ride back up that doesn’t appeal to me.

And the bridge has a few long climbs both ways.

Here we are at the top of the first hill.

But the views are pretty!

After a lot of research hubby found fat tire electric bikes and thought I would be a shoe in for those … nope. I thought electric bikes would make us lazy. I’m proud of the fact that I can easily walk 12K (8mi) in a day, or that I can ride 35k (22mi) and still get off my bike and walk around. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the idea of an e-bike to get me through the sand and up the long hills, but I was still feeling that an e-bike was the lazy way out.

Our new bikes. This is how they came, fully set up with front and rear lights, tool kit, rear rack and saddlebags, and a kick stand. I added a mirror and small cell phone case to mine and we took the bike pumps and tool kits off our old bikes.

It took a few weeks, and many discussions with other people, to make me realize that we would probably get more exercise with the e-bikes and I gave in. Hubby had found a young man in Coldstream, B.C. that sold fat tire e-bikes for far less than any we had seen in cycle stores, and after some research he decided those were the bikes for us.

Okay let’s carry on, dinner is waiting.

Over the bridge and down into City Park.

Our bikes were delivered on July 4th and we now have 170km (106mi) on them. I absolutely love my new bike and we have been out riding all the time. I could fill this blog up with all the features and benefits of e-bikes ,but you can Google that and probably get better information than I can give you.

And before you judge us for taking the lazy way out, consider the following:

  • We have never even used one bar of battery on any of our bike rides, so we are using the assist sparingly.
  • Our bike rides have always been long ones, in fact I have blogged about some of our most enjoyable rides; Cape Disappointment to Long Beach and back, Fisherman’s Warf to Sausalito Ferry Terminal, Grand Canyon, Vancouver Seawall, so while we are not really riding any further than we have in the past, we are doing it more often. I have always had a problem riding up hill and usually get off my bike and walk it up, which means hubby has to wait for me at the top, now I can give my bike a little assist and hills are easy peasy, which again means we get out more 🙂
  • And most importantly we aren’t spring chickens anymore, and while we have a lot of years ahead of us, we have opened up our exercise to a more impact friendly way of doing things … I see us riding our e-bikes well into our seventies and hopefully even eighties … that’s twenty to thirty years more biking riding!

So if you are still out there riding your pedal bikes and getting lots of miles in, good on you and I do admire you! But I am now very comfortable with our decision to purchase our e-bikes 🙂

Riding through City Park, we avoid riding along the lake because there are to many people.  And there is hubby waiting for me while I take yet another picture … he is a good sport 🙂

A little off roading, again to avoid people, and we can add a little assist if we need it 🙂

So the dollars and cents. Well they were not cheap bikes ($2,000 each) but far less than most e-bikes ($4,000 plus) because the young man that sells them is just starting out and his uncle has given him warehouse space, so right now his expenses are very low. We have no doubt that the cost will go up a lot once he starts paying rent and hiring sales and service staff.

Coming out of City Park

And a friendly wave to Oggie.

We are told we will get about 65km (40mi) on the battery before it needs to be recharged. So far we haven’t even used one bar on our 30km plus rides, because we only use the assist when needed for hills, so we don’t know how far we can go, but I will let you know if we ever find out … and remember we can still pedal the bike even when the battery dies so we are not stuck when it does happen. The only time we pay for power is when we are in Yuma but hubby figures it will cost about $.09 per battery (at $.18 per kw) when it’s dead empty so that is pretty cheap!

Past the Visitor Info Booth … still don’t agree with the decision to built it right on the water with no parking available!

Past the Yacht Club … hmm maybe we should use our Quartzite Yacht Club membership and stop for a drink … nope keep peddling!

Aside from the health benefits because we are riding more, we are also saving in fuel. When we are home in Kelowna we drive into town every Tuesday and Wednesday for coffee and to run our errands, so roughly 35km (22mi) a day would use 5L of diesel at $1.239 per litre for a cost of $6.20 CND each day … wow that’s $13.40 a week we save which is a big savings over the course of the summer! Even when we have to start paying to charge our batteries we are still going to save money 😀

Behind the Courthouse and in front of the theatre … still on bike trails.

Kelowna does have a nice bike path system.

And with that revelation I have to end my blog because I’m off to do a spreadsheet to track how long it takes to pay off our new bikes … I will keep you posted.

I like the “river” beside the trail along here, hubby calls it a ditch … hubby is probably right ☺

Hmm we are close to my sister’s place maybe we should stop for a visit … nope dinner is waiting … next time sis!

Oh one final note … we found out that our full time RV Insurance does not cover bikes, any bikes! Several insurance companies told us that bikes would be covered under your home owners policy which doesn’t do you much good if you don’t own a home! So we did invest in another high-end bike lock, hopefully the locks on our bike rack and two high-end locks will protect our bikes.

Onto a nice shady path

Last picture I took, we did get back onto a paved bike path and a short bit of road before we hit our daughter’s place where we enjoyed a nummy dinner and fun company. Our trip home was the same route in reverse.

Until next time …

It Has Been A Fun Week

It took some doing but hubby convinced me we needed to buy new bikes. I was resistant because we had purchased our old bikes with money my dad had left me when he passed five years ago, they were good bikes and I was emotionally attached to them, but he was very persuasive and I finally gave in. We picked our new bikes up last Thursday and then of course we had three days of rain 😦 Finally on Monday we were able to get out and take them for a spin. Since Monday we have put just shy of 100km (62m) on them, made a few trips to Costco for groceries, hit many other stores running errands, and toured some neighbourhoods we have never visited before. Perhaps next week I will write a blog about our new bikes but for now I will tell you about all the fun we had while riding them this week 🙂

Of course there has to be some flower pictures!

This bee photo bombed my picture!

On Monday we did a trial run to see how long it would take us to ride to our Tuesday coffee group location. We hit a few stores, stocked up on a few things at Costco … good thing we both have big saddlebags on our bikes … and stopped for lunch. It was a great first ride and I think we put on about 30km.

We found this road with a great view of Kelowna.

Tuesday we rode to coffee with a group of long time friends (our children all grew up together so we have lot’s of things in common to talk about during our weekly get together). After coffee we made another stop at Costco and then headed home. Another great ride and another 30km.

The Sails in downtown Kelowna

Wednesday was another coffee date with people, and their spouses, that I used to work with … this is another weekly event that we really enjoy going to. After coffee we rode to an appointment I had then over to the bank where our daughter works to pick up a parcel she had for me and then back downtown for lunch. While we were eating lunch it rained pretty heavily but fortunately for us it stopped before our ride back home.

One more flower picture. I saw this one while walking around the park and I think it’s really a weed but it’s a very pretty weed.

The chicory finally bloomed Friday morning.

On Thursday I had a hair appointment and I did think about riding my bike but who wants to pay all that money to have their hair done and then slap on a bike helmet! Plus we had some bigger stuff we needed to pick up and the bikes were not going to work, so hubby dropped me off and did some running around. After he picked me up we drove up to Forbidden Spirits Distilling to pick up two very expensive bottles of vodka that hubby’s cousin had ordered, we will deliver them to her when we go down to Abbotsford next month. Of course while we were there we did have to try a few samples and they were really good, in fact they must have been so good that it distracted me from taking any pictures 🙂 Since we were in our old neighbourhood we decided to stop at McCulloch Station Pub for lunch. We haven’t been back there for a meal since we sold our house and it was a little nostalgic. It brought back memories of our yearly dinners on December 23 with our three children, something I started when they all moved out of the house and had spouses or girlfriends. I decided it would be fun to have one dinner a year with just the five us and December 23 was the day that worked. We enjoyed many dinners at the pub over the years but of course life moves on and the boys had families, and weren’t coming home for Christmas anymore, so our dinners with the five of us came to an end. This was also the pub my sister took me to for lunch the day before our daughter got married. We shared a lot of laughs and a lot of tears that day while sitting out on the patio. Yes it was nice to have all those memories flooding back.

This is the view from the table we always sat at on December 23.

Yesterday we figured it was time to stay home and get some things done but there was some brief talk about going for another ride 🙂

Until next time …

A Little of This, A Little of That

Not much to write about this week. We have kept busy but the weather has not been our usual Okanagan summer 😦 A few days of warm sunny weather, a lot more days of cool rainy weather, and it looks like that is what we are going to get for the next little while. So I think I will leave you with some random pictures I have never posted and hopefully I can come up with something more interesting next week.

Most of our spring flowers are gone, although we do have a few wild rose bushes still blooming in the park.

Wild Rose

Mock orange and it smells so pretty

The Pacific Dogwood is BC Provincial Flower

Not sure what these are but they are still blooming around the park.

One afternoon we looked up from our books to see a bunch of horses been led through the park down to the day use area. So we put down our books and went to check them out.

I posted a picture of Marvin the marmot awhile ago, well I’m pretty sure this is his wife Marion, she is smaller than Marvin. 🙂

The hummingbirds have been keeping us entertained … and using up most of our monthly income in sugar water, I just can’t keep the feeders full!

One morning I walked over the bridge and a Blue Heron startled me by flying under the bridge and along the creek … it was really a sight to see as his wing span is wide and the creek is narrow. For about a week after that I would see him in the creek but as soon as I came up to the bridge he would fly away. One morning I guess he figured I was okay because he sat and posed for me.

And this morning Barry the beaver sat nicely and let me get very close to take his picture. In fact he was still there an hour later when the park manager got his kids out of bed and took them down to see Barry.

He had a big tree to eat and it was all gone when I took my grandson down three hours later.

Until next time …