Aug 24, 2016

The Rail Trail

The rail trail is a very long, 50 KM route of rail line that has been purchased by a bunch of levels of govenermtnet in order to remover the rails. In their place a proper trail is to be built for hikers, walkers and bikers.

The rail trail is a very long, 50 KM route of rail line that has been purchased by a bunch of levels of government in order to remove the rails.  In their place a proper trail is to be built for hikers, walkers and bicyclists.

Towards the end of July, early in the day befgore the heat became impossible we took the girls for a walk along the trail.

Towards the end of July, early in the day before the heat became impossible, we took the girls for a walk along the trail.  The rail line had been pulled up but there were stacks of ties all along the trail.

The trail is not open yet but many are using it including these ATV's which are NOT allowed on the trail.

The trail is not open yet but many are using it including these ATV’s which are NOT allowed on the trail.

There is a plan in place to develop the trail one step at a time.  The first stage was to raise $500,000.00 which was done this summer and that money is to be used for design and access control.  I am happy to say that I did donate to that first level.

A mere $160.00 will fund the developement of one metre of the trail.

A mere $160.00 will fund the development of one metre of the trail ( 3.28 feet ).

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The plan is in four stages.

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But the $160.00 covers all four stages for the one metre.

There is a lot of work to do.

There is a lot of work to do.

Here we are overlooking our park ( Holiday Park Resort ) and the golf course. Our lake is in the backgroujd.

Here we are overlooking our park ( Holiday Park Resort ) and the golf course. Our lake is in the background.

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We crossed over a lovely stream.  This is the stream that in the spring brings down an enormous amount of water from the mountains and hills and often is the reason for the rise of our lake in the spring.

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Can you imagine being able to travel 50km/31 miles along a few lakes?  What a legacy we are able to leave for those coming behind us.

 

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These are the numbers.

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So happy that this is happening within my lifetime.  Such a gift to this area of the Okanagan.  It is my intention to alter my will within the next few weeks to give to this marvelous trail.  What a legacy!

 

Sadly Carmeh began to limp and Colin carried her back. Had we continued we have been told that there are some fabulous views of our lake as the trail continues lakeside.

Sadly Carmeh began to limp due to the large pebbles and uneven trail and Colin carried her back. Had we continued on, we have been told that there are some fabulous views of our lake as the trail continues lakeside.

Caeli kept plodding along. The rails ties in the rpeviosu photos

Caeli kept plodding along.
The rails ties in the previous photos and the dry brush along the side are serious fire hazards at the moment. One of those rail tie piles is what caught fire a few days ago which is when we evacuated.

Here we are back at the entrance to Holiday Park where we left our golf cart so that the girls would not have to walk so far.

Here we are back at the entrance to Holiday Park where we left our golf cart so that the girls would not have to walk so far.

Yes that is a large RV from Alberta hooking up to a large boat.  Hey they make the economy work around these parts 😉

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 22, 2016

Fire, smoke & more fire

I really can’t remember the exact time but sometime around 11:45AM yesterday, I looked out the window and down the street.  At first I thought I saw some very light wisps of smoke in the distance but decided that my eyes just needed an adjustment from being at the computer.  About 10 – 15 minutes later I looked out again. I am trying to get up every 15 – 30 minutes and walk around a bit in order to keep my back from getting sore.

This is what I saw.....

This is what I saw, the end of our street and the one beyond so 2 short blocks away.

First thing I did was to call the front office.  After about 18 rings the phone was answered.  I asked if we should evacuate.  The girl at the end of the phone told me that the fire department had been called ( I still could not hear any sirens ).  I asked again if we should evacuate, she finally answered that she did not know 😯   She was unable to get in touch with management!  I told her that they were all on the golf course for a tournament and to send someone there on a golf cart.

Things were looking worse. I called Colin who was on his way home. He and I both made a decision.

Things were looking worse. I called Colin who was on his way home. He and I both made a decision.

It was obvious to me that the fire was just behind our park on the soon to be ‘rail trail’.  The rail line had been pulled out this spring but the creosote rail ties were laying along the path.  Who knew how long it would take for the fire department to actually get water on the fire, access was difficult and I knew that with our dry conditions, dry brush along the trail not to mention the rail ties, it was time for me to go.

I decided to evacuate and started to load the car with Colin’s cameras, his latest hard drive, the laptop and the girls.  Meanwhile a few other neighbors were leaving in their golf carts as well as a few in their cars and heading to the front office.  It took about 15 – 20 minute to load the car.

THis was the last shot I took before I looked the door. It was then that I heard sirens.

This was the last shot I took before I locked the door to the house. It was then that I heard sirens.  It took a very long time for the fire trucks to show up.  Meanwhile Colin could see the smoke from the other side of downtown Kelowna.  He was concerned.

I had already planned where to meet Colin outside of the park and proceeded to leave and to meet with him.  Besides, who knew how bad the fire was and how long it would take to tame the flames.  As I exited the park there were many gathering to watch the fire which was just outside the compound where our RV’s are stored as well as several storage units.  I met up with Colin and we moved a few miles away and gathered in one car.  Right away I realized that I had forgot to take a hat to keep the sun off my face nor did I take any food for the girls.  I did have water and granola bars.  Clearly I need to make a proper evacuation list.  Clearly the park needs a better way to communicate re whether we should evacuate or not.  There is a clear procedure on how to get out of the park, three different routes, but not on how to tell us to go or not.  Fortunately there is a management meeting in a few weeks and I will be sure that this is discussed and resolved.  There are over 540 units here in the park which means many many people.  As I left I saw vacationing folks enjoying the pools but who would tell them if they had to leave.  Personally I did what was right for us and that is all that is important.

Colin and I and the girls went in my car to check out the fire form the other side of the tracks.

Colin and I and the girls went in my car to check out the fire from the other side of the tracks.  On the bottom right of this photo is a pile of rail ties.

It looks like it was a grass fire ( ???? caused by a tossed butt ) that spread to the rail ties.

It looks like it was a grass fire ( ???? caused by a tossed butt ) that spread to the rail ties.

I am glad that I left as a just in case.  It is never wrong to be prepared and to act in what one believes to be the correct thing to do.  Between the two of us we had everything back in the house in no time.  It certainly was not my plan for those few hours but time well spent in the just in case scenario.

As the dinner hour came and went the wind picked up.  Our TV is on a swivel and the wind turned it almost 180 😯   Strong, strong winds.  During the middle of the night I became aware of smoke.  I got up to check that the rail ties had not flared up.  They had not but I suspected there was a new fire somewhere near.

However just before 11 PM a fire started jsut acorss the lake

Just before 11 PM a fire started across the lake.  So strange that today is the 13th anniversary of the big fire as we call it.  We along with several other RV’s evacuated the evening of August 21st, 2003.  We had taken possession of our site that very day.  We will never forget the sight of the fire coming along the mountain to us.  Hence our healthy respect for fire.

Folks were rousted from their sleep at Bear Creek Provincial Park last night and with no notice nor time to pack anything they were evacuated on foot.  Also campers at Fintry Provincial Park run by fellow bloggers Teresa and Derek were evacuated due to falling trees on RV’s caused by the strong winds.  The same winds that were fueling the Bear Creek fire which at the moment is 30% contained with 52 hectares burned.

This morning much chaos was found around Kelowna, all due to those heavy winds that did gust up to 70km/h.  The yacht club reports close to 200 boats with damage as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to the docks themselves.

Crushed jet skies.

Sea- Doos thrashed about and splintered.

Even a float plane was thrashed. sadly this is the one Colin is supposed to use to do some arerials next week.

Even a float plane was thrashed.  Sadly this is the one Colin is supposed to use to do some aerials in next week.  We really feel for the owner.

It has been a horrific 24 hours in this area.  There is even a structure that was blown off a high hill called The Bluff where rock bands used to perform years ago.  Fortunately we had heavy rain for a few hours this morning, cooler temps and showers the rest of the day.  It has helped with the fire.  There were also fires in a few other ares of the Okanagan last evening.  Not a fun way to end the summer.

Rather strange that our first day of ownership here in the park, 13 years ago would result in evacuation, only to be repeated yesterday.

 

 

 

 

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Aug 21, 2016

Hot Air Balloon IN THE LAKE

That same hot air balloon I posted about yesterday just landed in Okanagan Lake 😯   Here is a link to the story and a video.

http://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/173869/Hot-air-balloon-in-lake

You definitely don't want to go up with this pilot.

You definitely don’t want to go up with this pilot.

Funny thing is that this morning I commented on how it was good that the balloon wasn’t flying today as it was very windy.

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Aug 20, 2016

Hot Air Balloon

Just the other morning we both noticed a hot air balloon moving directly into the flight path of the Kelowna Airport.  Not a good idea at all.  We have often seen the Remax ( real estate ) balloon floating around but I had not noticed this particular one before.  There have been many harrowing descents over the past few years.  Balloons landing in residential streets and such.

This was almost acorss the alke from us but a tak to the left.

This one was almost across the lake from us but a tad to the left but directly in the flight path.

IF colin was here

If Colin was here ( he is doing an 15 hour photo shoot ) I could under his direction place an arrow or dot over the balloon.  It is less than an inch to the left of that tall tree ( and right above that second tree to the right of the tall tree ) and just over our Mark White kinetic wind sculpture.  Pretty close to us.

The balloon initially appeared to be landing and they rose and moved over several yards.

The balloon initially appeared to be landing and then rose and moved over several yards before it eventually touched down.  Not sure if you can see that bird just above the power line to the left of the balloon.

That particular area is both a farm and also has roaming stock.  So perhaps they had to move over to avoid landing in and stepping out onto cow poop 🙄

Colin and I did a hot air balloon ride way back in 2000.  It was my gift to Colin on the occasion of his 50th birthday.  Our particular ride was in a fairly large basket, we had about 6 -7 people inside including the pilot and we had room to move about.  What I remember most were the barking dogs.  Apparently the hot air as it is let out makes a noise that affects dogs ears and that causes the ruckus.  Once we moved more out over the countryside it became more tranquil.  When we landed and without incident, thank goodness, everyone was served a glass of bubbly.  Way back then Colin and I were strict vegans and did not drink so they provided us with a bottle of sparkling apple juice.  It was a memorable experience but quite honestly I doubt that we would do it again.  Well….unless it was at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival which is on our to do list once we are retired ( our busy season in October and the festival is usually early October ) and once the girls are gone as they could not take the noises associated with the balloons.

Never a dull moment around here 😀

 

 

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Aug 18, 2016

The two O’s

Colin continues to have free time so we continue to have fun together.  I consider this training for our retirement in two years.  I do dread how busy he is going to any week now right until we leave here the end of October.  We already have a client wanting us to delay our trip till early November.  In their particular case the building is not completed yet but why can’t they wait until the end of April or early May?

I grew up on a diet of classical music including attending every symphonic production at the Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton.  Saturday afternoons at our home were dedicated to listening to the radio broadcast of an opera performed live from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York city.  We knew what was being performed the next week so we read the libretto to understand the story.  As the four of us kids got older Mom eventually joined the Edmonton Opera Society and sang in the chorus.  Needless to say we all attended each performance.

We

So when I found out that Opera Kelowna was performing a full performance of the Magic Flute there was no question of us attending which we did last Saturday.  I knew before hand that this wasn’t the Met and to not expect much but in fact it was much more than I expected.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The music to this opera was written by Mozart and the libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. It

The music to this opera was written by Mozart and the libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder.  It was sung in German with English subtitles.  Personally I find them distracting but if it helps others enjoy the opera more, so be it.

These were profesionly

These were professional singers and they were outstanding for a Kelowna performance.  There were three performances and they were all sold out.

We never got any photos of Papageno and Papagena but it was difficult taking photos in the theater and we did not want to disturb anyone.  I was excited to read in the program that they were performing La Boheme next August, as I have photos of my mother in her ballgown when she was in the chorus of this opera years ago.

A late evening followed by an early morning. Once the girls were fed, walked and the car made up for the them we were on the road by 10AM.

A late evening followed by an early morning. Once the girls were fed, walked and the car made up for the them ( we put the back seats down and put down many pillows and make a comfortable area for them to lay between our seats ) we were on the road by 10AM Sunday morning.  Look at those vineyards along the lake.

We were on our way to Osooyois to visit our friends Janet & Grant and their dog Boo.

We were on our way South to Osoyoos to visit our friends Janet & Grant and their dog Boo. Caeli seems to have found a good pillow on Carmeh’s back.  Carmeh appears to have her head next to Colin’s armpit.

At this point we decided to try the GPS 👿  👿  👿   I pretty much missed the next 60 – 90 minutes of the drive just trying to shut that stupid lady off.  First off the address did not exist and she kept trying to send us back to Kelowna.  We usually keep the GPS off but thought we should give it a try.  Never ever again.  We found the address with my Google print out map that I had printed out before we left home.  It was an almost 3 hour drive and especially so on a Sunday during the height of tourist season.  All those RV’s 🙄   We patiently put on our brakes so the odd one could cut in before heading off in wrong direction.  Guess they don’t read signs much 😯

Janet & Grant moved here a year ago and we have to say that they found a lovely area to settle in. Their home is jsut perfect and if we could move it here to our site we would be in heavean

Janet & Grant moved here a year ago and we have to say that they found a lovely area to settle in. Their home is just perfect and if we could move it here to our site on the lake we would be in heaven. We love our home but another 700 sq ft would be grand.  They have a lovely pond that they look out on and many trails to walk Boo on.  A side note here, the girls and Boo recognized each other and not a bark was heard.  They shared the house in peace. The only problem was that Carmeh thought that she should be able to jump up and off the sofa at will as Boo did.  We soon had that barricaded……after her first jump up.

Our girls just had to check out one if the three putting greens to do their business on.

Our girls just had to check out one of the three putting greens to do their business on.  Look at that huge and most lovely Weeping Willow tree at the back, in the middle of the shot.  It is massive.

Our four hours together went by much too quickly. Janet is a long time blog reader and this will be their third winter in Mazatlan and their second on the Isla. we look forward to spending much more time together. Thanks agian for the wonderful luch folks.

Our four hours together went by much too quickly.  Janet is a long time blog reader and this will be their third winter in Mazatlan and their second on the Isla.  We look forward to spending much more time together this coming winter. Thanks again for the wonderful lunch folks.  Long time readers will remember photos of Janet, Grant and Boo on the beach on the Isla.

The highway between Osoyoos and Kelowna is considered a major wine route and every mile seems to be a turn off to another winery. Sadly we did not have the time to stop and do any tastings.

The highway between Osoyoos and Kelowna is considered a major wine route and every mile seems to be a turn off to another winery or two or three.  Sadly we did not have the time to stop and do any tastings.

Their are also many orchards and gardens along this road and that means many fruit & veggie stands.

There are also many orchards and gardens along this road and that means many fruit & veggie stands.

The highway follows Okanagan Lake for close to 90 miles, very scenic. We actually cross over the lake coming into Kelowna and it remains on our right all the way to Vernon. We can't see it once we corss the drigde intot town but even here at our home on our lake we are only 10 minutes away.

The highway follows Okanagan Lake for close to 90 miles visually,  very scenic. We actually cross over the lake coming into Kelowna and it remains on our left all the way to Vernon. We can’t see it once we cross the bridge into town but even here at our home on our lake midway to Vernon,  we are only 10 minutes away.  We can’t see it but it is just over the hill to the West.

It was a very long day. we never got home till &PM and as you can see Carmeh was

It was a very long day. We never got home till 7PM and as you can see Carmeh was struggling to stay awake.  She was restless and trying out a variety of new positions.

I am fairly certain that we did something last Friday also but I can’t remember.  So here we are having a marvelous time in the middle of summer, a first for us, mostly due to business which at the moment means no work versus always working.  However now I have to try and fit in the work I need to do for our company as well as find time to post here on the blog not to mention even find an hour to read my book.  New things to learn, balance and just enjoy life.  And that ain’t all…….I am starting something new and as a couple we are starting something new.  No wonder I am too busy to post.  Don’t worry I will continue to post as it is a great diary of what we are doing.  I just have no idea as to the when.

Rae or anyone, why are my emoticons just gray boxes???

 

 

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