Yesterday afternoon I was pondering what I could write a blog about this week and all I could come up with was our 70km, 43.5mi bike ride.

We don’t often see nice sunsets at the campground but this one a few weeks ago was very pretty.

We rode into coffee last Wednesday and then up to the Kelowna Brewing Company to meet my sister and brother-in-law for lunch.

I was surprised to see bullrush along the Rail Trail, the last time I saw them was when I was a kid living in Richmond, BC

They have put in a new viewing station at Carney Pond so we made a brief stop to watch the birds and drink some water … it was a very hot day!

After lunch we decided to ride the last section of the rail trail that we have never done, so instead of turning right back towards downtown, we turned left and headed towards the airport.

It was a really nice ride to the north end of the airport where the rail trail ends.  Eventually, hopefully, they will be able to continue the rail trail so that it meets up with the next section which runs from Lake Country to Vernon.  Someday we hope to be able to ride from the top of the hill before the bridge all the way to Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, roughly 60km (37.25mi) or 120km (74.5mi) round trip

On our way back home, we veered off in many directions to do different errands and ended up putting in a lot of kilometers!

And that folks is where the blog was supposed to end … until Friday night around 7:30 p.m. when all H*$L broke loose!

Hubby was up the road helping friends work on their house, I was in bed reading and must have nodded off.  All of the sudden I was woken up by a helicopter that was, in my sleepy state, landing on the roof of Maxx.  Maxx was shaking as I was jumping out of bed.  By the time I got out of bed and up to the window another helicopter flew just above the roof and I could see flashing lights at the entrance to the park.

By now I knew what was going on and it wasn’t good 😦  I knew there must be a forest fire close by and honestly we have been expecting it, there are fires everywhere in British Columbia.  We are in drought conditions, I can’t remember the last time we had rain, and we have been having temperatures in the high 30’sC (100F) and low to mid 40’sC (113F)

I was too busy to take pictures of the helicopters bucketing from the lake so you will have to imagine them out there 🙂

I quickly got dressed, put on my Camp Host vest, and was just walking out the door when hubby arrived home, he had seen the helicopters and knew there was a fire.  We, along with another staff member, went to each campsite to advise people that the campground was on evacuation alert and they need to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.  Of course, being a sunny Friday night, there were lots of kids running around without their parents who needed to be gently told to go back to their campsite and stay with their parents, and parents who needed to be told to round up their children and keep them with them.

Hubby and I have were evacuated due to a forest fire in 2003, but this time was even more terrifying because we couldn’t just look after ourselves, pack up our important items, and leave the park.  This time we had to help out staff and campers and put our needs at the bottom of the list.  Fortunately, we did have some time to get Maxx ready to move out if necessary.  I am so grateful I made a checklist for getting Maxx ready to travel because in my haste I would have forgotten to do a lot of things and that would have resulted in damage or a big mess.

Many campers packed up and left, which was probably the smartest move and would make it easier if we did have to do a mass evacuation.  It was about three hours later when we were able to give campers the news that BC Wildfire Services “Liked what they saw” although campers still needed to be prepared to leave.

Around midnight an RCMP officer gave us and the staff an update that the fire departments were pulling out but BC Wildfire Services had two crews that would be working on the fire overnight.  It was a sleepless night for me and I’m sure many others, but by 10:30 Saturday morning we had the news that the fire was under control.

We did set Maxx back up again, but given the way things are going this summer I didn’t completely set up inside like I normally would when we are set in for a long stay … this just may not be the last time we have to go through this.

And to all our family and friends who reached out to us with offers of places to stay, a place to park Maxx, and just love and support … thank-you, we love you all so much!

Until next time …

Way to Go Kelowna and You Suck Kelowna!

We have been riding our bikes everywhere the past few weeks and having a great time. Kelowna has done an awesome job on bike paths around the city and we are easily able to get to most places without having to travel on streets. So Way to go Kelowna 🙂

Riding across the bridge into Kelowna.

This past Tuesday we rode our bikes to coffee and then back downtown for lunch.

There are some pretty flowers in the park where we meet for coffee.

Like last year Kelowna has once again closed off about five blocks of Bernard Avenue, our main street downtown. Restaurants have built patios on the street, the city has put up play areas for kids, areas for dancing and fitness classes, an art gallery, and there are also a few presentation centers.  On Sunday the Farmers Market is also held in this area. I really wish I had taken more pictures so that you could see how pretty it all looks but I was just enjoying my ride and forgot about pictures … maybe next time 😀 After lunch we decided to ride up to the Landmark area to see if Copper Brewing still had their Blueberry Milkshake beer and were pleasantly surprised to find out they still had a little left.  The beer was great but it was when we left that I realized Kelowna can also suck 😦 I had put my purse in my bike bag and then realized that I should probably go to the washroom before we rode home. Hubby was unlocking the bikes so I just tucked my purse partially in the bag and planned on zipping it up when I came out.  It was another gloriously hot day so hubby popped back inside to grab some wet napkins to wipe down our seats and cool them off. I came out of the washroom, hopped on my bike and off we went. It wasn’t until we got all the way back downtown and made another stop that I realized my purse was gone. I phoned the brewery and they went outside and looked but it was nowhere to be seen. When I came back from the washroom, I walked up to the side that my purse was sticking out of and I’m positive I would have seen it, if it was there, and I would have zipped it into my bag but I thought hubby had done that for me. So we are pretty sure someone scooped it when hubby popped back inside to get the damp paper towel, but just in case we rode back along our route and checked, but my purse wasn’t anywhere to be found … yup someone in Kelowna sucks! I was so upset … I had lost my driver’s license, $20.00 CND and $20.00 USD, all my keys to our bike locks, and my ear buds which we use to keep in touch with each other when we are riding, but the ultimate loss and what really upset me was my vaccination card was also in my purse. I can replace everything else but I can’t, and yes I called the COVID hotline and went into the clinic, replace my vaccination card. They were all quick to tell me I can go onto my Health Portal and print off a copy but it won’t be wallet size and that’s what I want. And yes they were also quick to tell me that the wallet card is not an official document but I had just read that the Calgary Stampede was requiring proof of vaccination for some events and I’m willing to bet they are taking that wallet card as proof!

I had to share this picture of these big chairs … I really wonder how they get into them but I didn’t want to wake them up at 5:00 a.m. and ask them 🙂

What started out as a wonderful day had turned sour and we were both happy to be done our 50K bike ride. The next day I made an appointment for next week to get a replacement driver’s license (guessing that will cost at least $50.00), we stopped at Costco and bought new ear buds ($120.00), tried to get new keys cut for the bikes but that is going to take more research (and money), and I tried to find the lip gloss, that I also lost, but it is no longer made.

I was able to catch a picture of this big eagle that I startled one morning.

We also stopped and made our first plasma donation which was a whole new experience.  The Kelowna Blood Donor Clinic no longer takes blood, they now take plasma and have opened up a brand new donation centre to facilitate the process. When you donate whole blood, it goes straight into a collection bag and is later separated in a lab. When you donate plasma, the blood that’s drawn from your arm goes through a special machine to separate the different parts of your blood. The parts that are left over, including your red blood cells, go back in your body, along with some saline (saltwater) solution. Really the only downfall to the whole process is that it takes twice the amount of time and the clinic didn’t have enough staff to handle the people donating so there was added wait time as well.After our donation and all our running around we decided to treat ourselves to dinner out and play a BC Lottery game called Pacific Holdem while we were eating … and guess what??? I won $355.00! Maybe my luck is turning around 🙂Until next time …

Happy Canada Day

Happy Birthday Canada and thank you for allowing me to live in this beautiful country, I consider myself very fortunate to call Canada home 🙂

We have been having some record breaking heat with highs of 45C (113F) over the last few days.  The town of Lytton, BC has set records for the all time high in Canada for the past three days, yesterday it was a scorching 49.6C (121F), which beat out the all time hottest temperature ever set in Las Vegas at 47.2C!

Sadly the town of Lytton is also battling a forest fire and last night the entire town was evacuated. The news this morning doesn’t sound good, so while we are all celebrating the wonderful country we live in let’s take a moment to say a prayer for the residents of Lytton, B.C.

I hope you all have a wonderful Canada Day!

Until next time …

Woohoo, Second Vaccine Done 🙂

We received our notice yesterday morning that we were eligible to book our second vaccine so we wasted no time getting onto the site to make our appointment … imagine our surprise when there was a time for today!  There was only one time and we were both on separate computers so we both clicked at the same time and both got appointments 😀  Yes we were very happy people, and six days shy of eight weeks from our first vaccine.

We have had some nice sunrises the last few days

Since today was our regular coffee get together at a park with people I worked with it was the perfect day to also get our vaccine, we were already going to be out and about.  Also, the weather in Kelowna has been typical Okanagan summer, warm, dry, and sunny so it was the perfect day to ride our bikes into town.

Early this morning we headed off on our bikes, first to coffee then, since we had extra time, a round about route on various bike trails to the clinic where we got our second vaccine.  Now that we are fully vaccinated, we will head down to the south coast of BC in a few weeks to see hubby’s mom, who we haven’t seen since last July, and our son and daughter-in-law.

I don’t want to get too excited but it almost feels like life is getting back to normal … almost, hopefully soon … but I see promise on the horizon 🙂

After our vaccines we rode back along the bike trails to a restaurant in the downtown area that we have wanted to try.  It was a nice lunch sitting out on the patio, although it was warm sitting in the sun!

After lunch we stopped just down the road to try a beer at a local craft brewery that sounded interesting but after a taste test we decided it wasn’t for us … but that’s okay because we found another one that was definitely more to our liking, so we sat inside in the air-conditioning cooling off before our ride home.

A funky interior but we had a very comfy couch to sit on … hubby was getting so comfortable that he said he could have had a nap 🙂

Five hours later we were back at the truck loading our bikes and heading home, it could not have been a better day!

We have to drive to the top of our road because it’s too dangerous to ride our bikes on it.

Until next time …

More Friends

So Mr. & Mrs. McDuck, who are still living with us, invited some friends over this morning.  I first noticed them when I was up in the bedroom and I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was a big dog off leash walking through our site. I grabbed hubby’s cell phone and took some quick pictures through the bedroom window screen.  They were cute but one of them looked like he was going for my flowers, so I came down into the living room and saw through the window that they were being polite and leaving my planters and vegetable garden alone. I was able to quietly open the door and catch a few more pictures with my camera before they meandered out of sight. Mr. and Mrs. McDuck didn’t go with them, in fact I don’t think they were very good hosts because they just kept sleeping and didn’t even say goodbye! Deer are a problem for most people in Kelowna, they eat their landscaping and gardens, but here in the park they are very respectful of nature so I am always happy to see them 🙂

Until next time …

A Wonderful Week Followed By A Painful Weekend 😦

Last week started with a belated Mother’s Day dinner hosted by our daughter. It was a warm sunny evening with a great dinner outside and lots of visiting and even snuggles with our great granddaughter … a lot of fun and definitely worth the wait 😀

We were treated to a beautiful sunset that evening!)

On Tuesday five couples from our Tuesday coffee group came out to the campsite for three nights and boy was that a lot of fun! We had fantastic weather, spent lots of time on the beach during the day and evenings visiting in a large grassy area near their sites.

No pictures of all of us on the beach but the Seagull made the cut 🙂

We had a visit from a steam boat on our last beach day and of course hubby had to spend some time checking it out. These pictures are courtesy of hubby and he did tell me details about it but honestly, I don’t remember most of it, other than it took the owner twenty years to build it and the boat was originally a ferry from Granville Island in Vancouver, B.C.

On the last evening everyone was here I went up to the bedroom to put on some warmer clothes and felt a searing pain in my big toe! I thought I had been stung by a bee and that the stinger was still in my toe because the pain was searing and went on forever. I yelled for hubby to come and get the stinger out and he finally did pull something small and black off my toe but there were no venom sacs on it and the pain didn’t stop. It took about fifteen minutes before the searing pain stopped and the throbbing started. By the next morning my foot was swollen and I couldn’t walk on it. After a visit with Dr. Google and my own doctor it was determined that I had most likely been bitten by a black widow spider 😦 I was advised to go to Emergency at our local hospital but it had been about fourteen hours, and honestly all I wanted to do was sleep, so I decided I wouldn’t go unless the swelling got worse. I slept for two full days and by the third day I could put some weight on my foot and yesterday I was able to get out for my walks … so I survived my first black widow spider bite 🙂 When I first got bit I did look down and saw something small and black so I’m guessing it was a little spider and I got lucky. And since I didn’t want to end this blog with a spider picture, I will leave you with some pretty wild roses instead.

We have more friends staying at the park this week so I’m there will be more fun times ahead.

Until next time …

Family Time

Well the May long weekend at the park was everything we expected it to be! Very very busy, pretty decent weather, lots of people we know, and best of all time with our daughter and her family 😀

An early morning view of Kelowna.

Taken at the same time but it really looks like I took this picture in the fall not a few days ago.

They were able to reserve a site a few months ago and our grandson had finished his two week quarantine on Friday, and he didn’t get COVID, so they were here for the weekend. My cousin’s daughter and her family were also here, and there were about four other families that we know that were here, so it was a very social, with masks and distancing, weekend.

A nice lunch view at the patio of a local golf course.

Along with our grandchildren our great granddaughter was here and it was fun making faces at her and watching her smile. We still can’t hold her but at least she sees us and she doesn’t make strange so that is a relief!

Everything is starting to bloom in the park.

We did have some heavy rain last night but we need it so I’m not complaining. I tried to get a picture of the torrent of rain coming off the awning but it didn’t work, you will just have to take my word for it 🙂 This morning most of the park is packing up and getting ready to head back home and by this afternoon we will be back to peace and quiet. I love hearing all the kids during the weekend but the peace and quiet is also nice. We need to enjoy that before school gets out and it is noisy all the time.

Until next time …

We Have Roommates

Last weekend was very warm and sunny so a bike ride was definitely in order and Sunday was the day.  We spent the morning at the park, since it was really busy, but by early afternoon most people had headed home so we headed out.

This really cool car spent the weekend at the park.

We had a late lunch on a patio overlooking Okanagan Lake …

And then made a stop at Vice & Virtue Brewery to sample some craft beers 🙂

We left there, pedalled along the lake and back across the bridge, and stopped to admire the view of Kelowna from the other side of the lake.

Fifteen kilometers later we were done, it was a great day for our first bike ride of the year! And I will leave you with some pictures of our new roommates, Mr. & Mrs. McDuck.  They moved in a week ago and are very well behaved so we are happy to have them around 😀

They are not shy and don’t move when we sit in our chairs outside.

Until next time …

Happy Mother’s Day

I hope all the mother’s out there have a wonderful Mother’s Day. In BC we are allowed to visit outside with up to ten people, which meant this Mother’s Day I was going to be able to spend it with our daughter and family. YAY, much better than last year 🙂

I love the city view from this campsite

But sometimes the best laid plans just don’t work out 😦 On Thursday our almost fourteen year old grandson was exposed to a friend who tested positive for COVID and that means he must isolate for fourteen days. Now he lives with his parents and four siblings which means he has to isolate in his bedroom, alone, for fourteen days. I mentioned that he was almost fourteen … well his first full day of isolation was also his birthday.  I felt so bad for him but when we dropped off his present and talked to him through the window he was in a pretty positive mood. Maybe it was because he had unlimited iPad time and was able to spend some time in the family room playing video games by himself. Or maybe it was because I reminded him he wouldn’t have to do chores for two weeks 😀 He also thought it was pretty cool that he got all his meals served to him and was able to eat in his room.  When I talked with him yesterday morning, he was still upbeat but getting a little bored and that was only day three. Oh and of course Mother’s Day dinner had to be cancelled. We had our vaccine’s this past week but since two weeks have not past we are not able to be around him, so we will have to settle with visits through the window and FaceTime and hope that he can keep his spirits up for the rest of his two weeks. Stay safe everyone and wear your masks to help keep others safe!  Until next time …

Rain 🙂

It started to rain lightly around dinner time yesterday and it continued steady through the night, and at time of posting is still raining. I woke up this morning at 4:00 with a headache, my allergies already in full force, and the patter of rain on the roof. I had decided not to go out for a walk so instead I laid in bed played my two daily games on my phone and did my daily puzzles on my IPad. By 5:30, with my head still pounding, I decided to get up and go out, even if I only did a short walk. I thought the fresh air might help my head. I took a couple of Advil and an allergy pill and headed out the door … and that turned out to be a great decision.   The minute I walked out the door the smell of fresh spring air hit me and perked up my mood considerably. When I got down to the lake, I could see the mist surrounding it and it was so pretty.  It was about that point I realized my headache was gone which I think was due to the fresh air, because I don’t think the Advil would have kicked in that quickly.   What was going to be a quick walk turned into a longer than usual walk as I puttered around taking lots of pictures and just enjoying the morning.

It may not be the nicest weather but we still have lots of campers.

And the reason for the happy face on my blog title? Well, we really need the rain, not only for everything to grow but also to help keep fire season at bay.

Bear Creek is starting to flow pretty fast and heavy.

Until next time …