Sunday, 30 November 2014

Day 30 - Sunday, November 30, 2014

Embrace winter we used to say when we lived in Ontario, useful advice as it stretched on from November to April.  But something happens when you move to the Okanagan. It's not so much that you don't like winter, but those first couple of years, you are lulled by the warmer weather.  Heck, sometimes, you see flowers popping up along the lake in January and you get the feeling that winter doesn't happen here. I didn't need winter boots till I went to Ottawa a couple of years ago.

Which is all the more surprising when it does.   We know cold weather, so this morning's BIG CHILL of -15C didn't faze us as we headed out for my last "official" Okamino hike to Black Mountain. 

Luscious blue skies, milky white snow frame our destination, the top of Black Mountain.

The smile is frozen on and my disposition happy because it's relatively easy going and we can see that a couple has preceded us. We are not alone in the woods.

Rounding the corner to the forested side, it becomes clear that the couple before us are the only ones who've broken trail. The snow is at least 12 to 14 inches deep. 

This shot is looking westward, slightly north.

Almost at the top, we can hear some hooting and hollering, people having fun. We had stopped to change socks and warm up toes when Tim and Tom (I'm not making this up) were on their way down from the top. We had a talk about the state of becoming a wuss after a few years of living in the Okanagan. Thanks for making it a little easier going down guys!

Tom took this excellent picture of us.

At the top, looking down towards Layer Cake Mountain at the left most side of the picture and Kelowna in the distance.

Making sure the fire won't runaway and burn down any forests (ha!). Badly needed to warm up hands and feet.

The middle part of this hike was in the shade, so coming down, we were happy to see the sunlit slope.

I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to try this little experiment. I've learned that hiking for 30 days straight means that you have to set aside big patches of time for what you normally do. This is probably why most people who attempt such things travel to distant places and so are not distracted. That's not to say it can't be done at home, but I'm fortunate in not having work or other serious responsibilities to interfere with the time issue. I'm also grateful to my husband Don for his support and encouragement. 

Mostly, it has been fun and I will continue to walk on.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Day 29 - Saturday, November 29, 2014

A friend suggested that I've left this project a little late in the year considering the temperature. A month ago, the weather was sunny and warm without the least bit hint that this cold arctic grip was coming.  It is a shock to think we were still eating vegetables out of the garden that short while ago. It was -13C this morning at our home and -10C when we headed out for Spion Kop hiking trails lodged beautifully between Wood Lake and Okanagan Lake. This was a first for both of us and we will return.  We had to break trail halfway up and snowshoes would have been useful. We fared badly on the number of kilometers as people's toes were starting to freeze. Give us an A for trying.

I love maps and at the trail head were boxes of these to help you find your way. First class.

Looking down, little ice columns rise from the ground.

Wood Lake.

Unusual folding and refolding of rock near the summit.

Looking east and north that may be Silver Star in the distance. Skiing is under way at Big White today.

Sunlight breaks through these trees and a bit of haze from the cold cold air.

There are two underpasses from Pelmewash Parkway under the new Hwy 97. 

The north wind whipping up Wood Lake.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Day 28 - Friday, November 28, 2014

What a windy, blustery morning for Kelowna, unusual in that it usually isn't windy in the Glenmore Valley. 

From my home, I went roundabout through a whole host of streets I've never walked before to get to downtown. Then I walked the path along the lake, by Abbot Street, all the way to Barrera, Casarso, then Benvolin and back to Cooper where prince charming came to pick me up.  By my Google calculations I walked about 19.5 kms.

Standing tall against the wind.

Clifton Road is still not open. The folding of these tarps remind me of roses.

Dropped into the new BC Tree Fruit Market for the first time. If you haven't been in there since they've moved off of Clement, you must make an effort.  The ladies don't have to dress up with parkas any more.

Coming from Northern Ontario, the plenitude of the Okanagan is sometimes overwhelming. 

A bright new attractive locale.

Since this is a day for exploring new places of business, I also dropped in to Sandhill Winery. Couldn't stay because they weren't officially open for the day. Will go back to check it out.

I'm not sure how this photo makes me feel as it reminds me of squirming eels.

Along Casorso Road, well trimmed trees are reminiscent of European back roads.

OK, I get it. That's the arctic airflow predicted to drop our temperatures to -12C by tomorrow. Dramatic anyway.

This is a sculpture by local artist Crystal Przybille and it is her vision of Father Charles Pandosy standing, well leaning, at the Father Pandosy Heritage Site on Benvolin Road. The bronze is full of symbols and meaning and well executed. Bravo.

Sometimes, you come across something entirely different.

Day 27, Thursday, November 27, 2014

Many years ago we went for a holiday to Columbia with friends. Our suitcase full of new clothes didn't show up in Cartagena. We had been told that if we went back to the airport later in the day that there was a good chance it would show up on another flight from Toronto. When my husband got back from the airport to the hotel that evening he announced that we probably would never see that suitcase again. I was ready to have a meltdown. He took me by both shoulders and said "We're here now. You can decide to have a good time or a bad time. It's up to you." I chose the former and we all had a great time.

That was a defining moment in my life, one that I repeat to myself now and then when I'm ready to feel sorry for myself.

The reason that I make mention of this is that I was feeling like a loss-luggage-morning. My radio wouldn't work, the trail was not tramped down, large trees were strewn across the trail and my shoes took on water like the Titanic. I thought, Columbia. It helped.

Today's hike was a repeat of day 22, but I went further onto Lakeshore via Gordon and back to KLO road. I was going to take the bus back up, but friends spotted me and I rode in luxury back to my car. Google says I walked 19.1kms.

Layer Cake Mountain in the fog and distance.  I was once told that a footbridge existed here across the Canyon and that these cement structures were the anchors. Would have been an interesting walk across.

Many mighty trees fell with the thick wet snow we had.  Made me think about a certain CBC radio personality who's fall from grace was equally spectacular. 

This 9 year old girl was holding an expensive camera like a pro. 

Saw this beautiful vision, a woman in a long dress and a flowered crown interviewing the young photographer's mother. Wendy McAlpine is doing a project of her own: a portrait a day for 365 days. The interview is for CBC Radio. 

Go check out Wendy's website:

Cool ice colours and dramatic trees, lovely.

A bank with a bear mascot.  How does that encourage me to do business with them?

Lucienne from Red Deer and my friend Vreni giving me a ride to my car. Thanks!

Pauline who has been diligent sending emails for the  Central Okanagan Outdoors Club has this as a tag line :"I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list."  It resonates with me too.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Day 26 - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It was a shock to wake up to this unexpected snowfall, a good 5 or 6 inches of sodden wet snow. It wasn't anything like what Buffalo experienced, but by lunchtime, our street was still not plowed. Similarly, no sidewalks were plowed either. A long hike in the woods was out of the question, so I settled on hiking up the Apex trail at Knox Mountain, thinking other hardy souls would have broken trail. I was partly right. However, halfway up whoever it was that went before me turned back and so it was a good bunch of exercise getting to the top with my ice cleats.

A nearly colourless morning makes for good black and white photos.

First set of steps on the trail.

A moody look towards lake Okanagan north.

Looking up towards the trail.

Deer in the distance.

Day 25 - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It was a HeArt Fit day both in the morning with painting and in the afternoon with finding art along my route. I had not prepared a hike, thinking I would let it be a random choice as I left the Rotary Centre for the Arts. 

Warning: Boring Details of the Route Below
It turned out to be a very long walk along Ellis across the highway, weaving my way to Gordon and back to Pandosy. The bridge is still out at the Mission Creek, so I ended up on Gordon Road all the way to DeHart.  Turned left there to Swamp Road back to Casarso, back to Gordon, found my way to Ethel, Bernard and home, about 18.5 km. 

My skinny long feet were tuckered and I couldn't have gone dancing last night if the prince himself had been willing.

Faith and Karen admiring the communal art project to be given to Tara,a  mutual HeArt Fit friend.

A beautifully gnarly tree, impressive in its size, good for a pencil sketch.

Art is everywhere!

If not beautiful, artfully colourful sign at the international Hostel on Lakeshore.

Further down the road on Lakeshore is this homage to wilderness. Didn't have the nerve to photograph the backyard which was equally adorned.

Astounded to find this fence further down Lakeshore.  I'm starting to see the pattern of the day.

Art is sometimes defined by the way we use materials in an innovative way. Love this clever way to hold the house number and the river rocks in contrast.

It is a gray day, with valley cloud hiding the top of Blue Grouse Mountain in the far left.

There was just something about the confidence and ease these two showed with their boards. Makes me hopeful for the future generation.

Darkness is falling earlier and earlier in this 30 day experiment and the realization is that I will have to hike mostly in the morning.

Bernard avenue looking festive all of a sudden - a little sad too because it is so empty of the summer tourist throngs.