Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Day 31 - Okamino and Beyond

Pondering many things, not least of which the last day of the year, many, many hikes and why so many. What to do next year? A friend suggested I do an Okamino style month in my home town Blind River, Ontario. There are beautiful hikes in and around the town, around lakes, with the Trans-Canada Trail and most likely with friends who would be willing. Sounds like an intriguing prospect worthy of exploring.  Lovingly, it might be called Blindamino? I am open to suggestions.

A nasty rhinovirus is doing battle with my immune system and both of us were up at a ridiculous hour to get our son and his wife to the airport for 5:00 am, which is why I forgot any photographic device, which is why you will just have to believe that this was the hardest climb up Knox ever. Sunny and cold and I was once, glad it was over. 

Happy New Year all!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Day 30 - Okamino and Beyond

Thought better than cross country skiing at -19C at Nordic so did the extended WRT hike with our son on his last day in Kelowna. Brilliant sunshine is such a treat in the Okanagan in the winter.

Coming down a different way by road. Fabulous view!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Day 29 - Okamino and Beyond

A fierce northern wind and patchy blue skies means the temperature is dropping and you will get an ice cream headache if you don't wear a hat, like I did. Followed the roads from our house to Clifton Road to the new path/park back to Paul's Tomb and then downtown. Brought my GPS and once I figured out how to upload the trail on a map, will do so.

It had snowed a couple of days ago and this was too much like shaving/whipped cream to pass up.

Blue skies to the north.

Waves hitting the shore sounding like the ocean.

Fighting the wind to keep the scarf around my head and neck. New mittens from The Bay are lined with fleece, though I could do without the GO and red maple leaf stitching in the palms.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

 Day 28 - Okamino and Beyond

Like the proverbial girl scouts, we were prepared with our ice treks today for the top of Knox and further towards Paul's Tomb. Accompanied by our son, we had pleasant conversation on many topics. Its good to have young people around who challenge us.

Used my GPS for the first time today. It fits nicely on my pack's straps and keeps all kinds of information of which I'm only beginning to understand.  One day, I won't need my son to figure out how to turn it on and make it do what I want. Will probably have to take a course.

Day 27 - Okamino and Beyond

Snow changes everything, creating a different landscape than the one you just saw yesterday. The WRT hike was really slippery this morning. Should have had our tracks on, but it was great getting out regardless.  

Glenmore patchwork of apple, cherry and peach trees. 

So adorable, these tiny seeds poking out of the snow.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Day 25 - Okamino and Beyond

Merry Christmas everyone!

It will be a short hike today, what we call around the Lakes of Wilden, but first, preparations are underway for supper with family and friends.

Saved the biggest butternut squash from my garden, a special specimen that had hardly any seeds and is mostly flesh. Keep some of those seeds for replanting next year.

At Wilden, Christmas morning and raking the leaves. Not the Christmas weather I remember as a kid.

One of the lakes of Wilden, frozen, good for skating later.

Day 24 - Okamino and Beyond

Christmas Eve, at the top of Knox with our son Marc and full on fog. What a treat!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Day 23 - Okamino and Beyond

Another uneventful Knox Mountain hike, distracted and joyful for the season and the company of Don. It strikes me almost at the bottom of the hill that I haven't taken a single photo and so lean out over the rail and take this one. Not very inspired, but you can see there is no snow, is is mild and the snow level in the distant mountains.

This is what our tree looks like in the daytime, with our gift offerings in some bags that are quite a number of years old. It is much prettier at night with the lights on, encouraging the fir smell of a live tree.

Spencer, the son of friends of ours playing the trumpet on Monday evening, putting us in the Christmas mood. Good job Spencer. 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Day 22 - Okamino and Beyond

A stupendously beautiful day on Knox.  
Yogi and Fizz, these two Spanish Water Dogs we met going up Apex were well behaved and posed for the camera. Their owner tells us that they get clipped once a year and it is an ordeal for them and the groomer.  I could have taken these two home with me.

Coming back around after going down near Paul's tomb, these clouds caught the light and were radiant.

Day 21 - Okamino and Beyond

A very warm and sunny day (7C) on the shortest one of the year. Such a delight after the rain and fog of the last week or so, perfect for locating and dragging a tree home. Can't bring myself to having a tree that never lived.  
The Kelowna Art Gallery is having an exhibition of Emily Carr in the new year. She was on my mind when I took this picture on my hike today. 

There's nothing I like more than being outside than being near books.  Mosaic's downtown made their fake tree originally.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Day 20 - Okamino and Beyond

Our daughter worked for an experienced geologist who dragged an umbrella around in the field in case of rain. I always think of him when I take my umbrella hiking.  Works for snow too, especially the stuff we had today that melted on contact, big fluffy wet flakes.

My constant companion has a Skookum coat which repels the rain. No raincoat needed. This was a typical Kelowna snowfall, straight down, no wind. Up and down Knox again with a million things to get done before the family arrives from Ottawa.

Day 19 - Okamino and Beyond

'Twas the night before and the spouses of the guys who work at HNZ Topflight in Penticton were toasting the season. There are times when I don't wear hiking clothes.

At the Starbucks in Penticton I made Wiz's acquaintance. He's well known for his troubadour (ing)  across Canada. He even knew where Blind River (Ontario) was. Wiz is a renaissance man, writing, doing film, television and music.  Peace man.

Back at the Lakeside Resort, the pigeons were a bit skittish about me getting closer to the patio door and took off. 

Someone left these adorable mittens at the top of Knox, our hike for the day. 

Getting close to the shortest day of the year, it is almost dark by 4:00.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Day 18 - Okamino and Beyond

Beyond Kelowna today, to Penticton for my constant companion's office party.  It was a day of celebration, a new hike, lunch with an old friend at a new restaurant and the party itself. Woohoo!
Chose to walk the Kettle Valley Railway Trail from Penticton to wherever it would take me in 1 1/2 hours and back. From all accounts, it looks like I walked about 15 kms on a flat, well maintained trail.  Don't hesitate about coming to Penticton to do this trail. I will be back in the spring to go further and stop at some wineries. 

Had a strong wind at my back on the way.  What you say, wind in Penticton? Can't be.

My winery friends will know the name of this style of vine training and pruning. Haven't seen it near Kelowna. Then again, maybe I haven't looked closely enough.

Shirley and I introduced ourselves at the trail head and walked together with her beautiful standard poodle. We had a great chat about all many of things but the take away was to "not wait" to do the things you really want to. Good advice on any level Shirley. Thank you. 

Maybe we'll meet up again on the trail. 

A trestle spanning a deep ravine leading to the lake.

Now this is worthy of some paint. Maybe a watercolour.

There were three young women, five dogs, two babies in strollers and one in the oven out for a walk when the Weimaraner had to be attended to for cactus on its face, body and feet. The ladies keep pliers with them for that very reason. They worked fast like the doctors in a war zone.

The trail takes you along the tops of the cliffs which are under the "Penticton" sign that you see from the highway across the lake. I always wondered how I would get there. 

The strangely calming and eerie look of southern grassland coming back to Penticton in the distance. 

Stayed overnight at the Penticton Lakeside Resort (Convention Centre and Casino). It fairly popped Christmas in there.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Day 17 - Okamino and Beyond

WRT hike

We've settled into the Okanagan winter with temperatures hovering around the freezing point and the sun a hopeful but occasional visitor. We are a week away from Christmas eve. I like the simplicity of the decorations of this entrance way 

Nothing simple about this, the fiber optics for the development along what used to be my  'wild" hike. The Telus guy seemed perplexed why I would want to take a picture.  "Just 'cause its beautiful" was my answer.

Didn't know this till the weekend. Your telephone's camera takes the highest resolution/pixels away from you. The selfie's megapixels are reduced considerably.  Not hard to tell from this picture.

It's a lot harder than it looks. Just straight on walking is hard enough, so riding a bike even more so.  Way to go, older guy!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Day 16 - Okamino and Beyond

Some days just start off that way. After cleaning the fridge early this morning, a misplaced door shelf spilled its contents. Like the vase, it was time to let go and get a new bottle of Tobasco anyway.

All this happened before before heArt fit, Tuesday morning's joy. 

Ate at the People's Bistro again before hiking up Knox. This egg/cheese/ham English muffin cost $3.15 with tax. Makes my thrifty heart glad.

These knots on the Knox Mtn fencing have been calling me for weeks now. The light was perfect for this shot today.

Gray/dark gray/light gray/blue gray/pinky gray/white...that about sums it up.

One wonders why you would need to be told.

So nice to see Allison another hiking club friend and her friend Linda. Brought some colour to the day. Thanks