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 …

A Beautiful Day!

We finally had a sunny Okanagan spring day yesterday, the weather was so perfect, a high of 24C, 75F 🙂

With the heavy rains from the other night and the warm weather melting the snow pack, Lambley Creek (also known as Bear Creek) is flowing pretty fast!

You may have noticed that I love photographing flowers, especially pink flowers!

Our feathered friends were also enjoying the sun.

Mrs. Mallard Duck enjoy the scenery

Other than a look, she didn’t flinch as I kept getting closer.

I guess all good things must come to an end and that is what happened with our sunny Okanagan day. Overnight the thunder roared, the lightning was blinding, and the rain was heavy and loud … and all I could think about was the poor tenters  😦

Until next time …

On Duty :-)

We have our duties and wow is it simple … meet and greet guests … yup that’s basically it! This is such a great opportunity for us, we get to spend the summer in our favorite campground and talk to people … right up our alley:-)  There are other things we can do to help out which is awesome because we like to be busy, but we can work those things around our schedule.

We were sitting in bed yesterday morning around 6:30 a.m. drinking our coffee and watching the news when we noticed a lady wandering around our campsite. The gates of the campground are locked from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and one of the reasons we are locate where we are is so that we can open the gate at night in case of an emergency. We suspected this lady wanted the gate opened so hubby went out to chat with her and sure enough that was what she wanted. When hubby explained the gate hours she said it was okay, she would walk through the creek around the fence. This time of year that is definitely not safe so hubby opened the gate, which really was no biggie because we were up anyway.

Definitely not safe to walk through that water, the creek is running way to fast!)

Before we headed into town yesterday morning to meet our Tuesday coffee group and run our errands we headed off around the park … camera in hand 🙂

We were in the one loop that is still closed and as we walked around a corner we came across four deer. They wasted no time running off into the bush but I was able to catch a picture of one of them running along the shores of Okanagan Lake. Like dandelions, deer are much nicer here than in our front yard at home.

The sun was out and the lake was very calm and I would have loved to grab my book and sit by the lake for a few hours, but meeting up with friends was also tempting and in the end it won out.

There is an interesting story behind this houseboat which I may do a blog on some day.

I had to stop by the apricot tree and take some pictures, and yes Delma there are many bees working their magic 🙂

We did have a little scare last night when someone came by to tell us there was a forest fire in the hills above the campground, fortunately it turned out to be a controlled burn!

Until next time …

Up To Date!

We have been home for a little over three weeks and we have finally dealt with the mail that arrived while we were away for the winter … I’m so glad that pile is off my table!

Other than that, yesterday was pretty uneventful and we had cloudy skies so I don’t have any pretty pictures to share. I know some photographers say that pictures turn out better when the sky is overcast since you aren’t competing with glare from the sun but sunny skies make me happy, cloudy skies make me not so happy 🙂  So here are a few pictures from our walks yesterday and while they aren’t filled with blue happy skies they do make me look forward to the rest of the week when the blue happy skies are supposed to return!

The Oregon Grape continues to bloom.

I saw a glimpse of pink in one of the campsites and after a closer look I think it is a wild cherry bush, which I have never seen in the campground before.

The Douglas Maple trees are really starting to show their leaves.

Several times we crossed paths with a group of bird watchers, they of course saw many interesting birds, while I was only able to spot one of them and I wasn’t able to get a decent pictures. However I did see many of our everyday friends 🙂

This little lady was particularly noisy today!

This male mallard duck wasn’t interested in posing for a picture he just wanted to know what I had to feed him and wasn’t at all shy about coming to find out … I had nothing to feed him because it is not in his best interest for me to give him food.

Hubby had a good time watching the tug working on the log booms.

We were very surprised to find an apricot tree in full bloom by the beach. When we walked in that area before we went to Edmonton I completely missed it because it wasn’t in bloom.

When we were eating our lunch hubby looked up to see a large deer grazing on the grass beside our site. By the time I got my camera out the deer had made it across the road and up a hill … I guess he was camera shy 🙂

Until next time …