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.