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