Monday, April 20, 2015

Blue Sunday

I was listening to North by Northwest on CBC Radio Sunday Morning and Sheryl MacKay asked people to post what the weather was like in their area and what they were planning to do this Sunday morning.  I thought "Why not." and posted "In Kelowna it's blue as far as the eye can see, which will be even farther once I reach the top of Knox Mountain this morning."

Looks like I was right.  Here are some pix of Sunday Hike #5:

 Along the path to Paul's Tomb

The hills are alive with Arrowleaf Balsamroot

 At the 2km mark looking towards Vernon

 Pitou LeChien and Maximus Decimus Meridius

 Sunday sail near Riverside Forest Products

Along the Pavilion Trail.

The dogs and I did the 9km hike in about 2 hours while hubby golfed.  I later learned that Ms. MacKay read my comment on air, so I can add NXNW to the CBC radio shows I've been on, or been mentioned on.  So far I've been quoted, performed on or been played on Hot Air, Radio West, Daybreak, After Hours, Richardson's Round Up, Free Style, This Morning, and BC Almanac.  Don't think I'll ever be on Q, but I dream of being on The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers.

NOTE:  a reminder to email me at if you are a family member or friend reading this post.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Canyon Falls From Above

My first Okanagan hike was with a group that meets weekly to hike or snowshoe Okanagan trails depending upon the season.  I was in my mid 40's and I'm fairly sure that other than my hiking partner, the rest of the hikers were well over 65.  We climbed for a couple of hours, up a steep trail that overlooked Rose Valley. I lagged behind all the way.  Even the guy who'd recently had a heart attack was far ahead of me. 

Last week while searching for a Sunday hike I stumbled across a great online source called Hiking Addiction.  They reported their members were in their 20's, 30's and 40's.  Remembering my first hike, I joined the site because I really think they needed to have some members in their 50's and up, representing the grey haired set.

Hubby planned to golf Sunday morning and Hiking Addiction helped me find a hike shorter than our last few, that ended at Canyon Falls.  Mid afternoon, we took the round about route starting with hike along our dog favoured Kuiper's Peak, as opposed to the short jaunt from Canyon Court in Crawford.

Here are a few snapshots I captured using the Panasonic Lumix G2.

 Our goal is the green area, top right corner.

 The view from Kuiper's Peak

Bellevue Creek

 Almost at the falls

 Apparently you can hang onto these ropes and make your way down to the bottom of the falls.  I wasn't comfortable relying on rope that had been there who knows how long, put up by someone I don't know.

 It was quite difficult to capture a photo of the falls from above but I tried...

 Heading back up the peak with the pooches.

Now that golf season is in full swing I don't think we'll be hiking every Sunday.  Stay tuned for the next hike which will be a lot greener as we make our way north and out of the 61,776 acres (250 square kilometres) burned in the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park fire.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dominica: Nature Island of the Caribbean

Anyone who blogs knows how time consuming it is.  Believe it or not, it can take upwards of four hours for me to get a post online and even then I still have typos or bad grammar yet to be discovered.  Those four hours aren't always spent at once but it all adds up.  I enjoy the process of blogging and it's a way to share my life and photos with family and friends.  I'm getting the impression that my demographic has changed and I'm curious about it.  If you fall into the family/friend category, I'm hoping you could send me a quick email - .  Thanks!

In the meantime, here's a few photos taken in Dominica, the lush island we visited for the last week of our vacation. As I said on Facebook, it's like they took Wells Grey Park without the mosquitos  and dropped it into the Caribbean, giving it warmer temperatures and more beaches.  It's a beautiful green island full of waterfalls, forests and jungles.  It's not very developed and the roads are pretty bad.  It's not overrun with tourists.  We did four hikes and only ran into one group at the end of one trail.  The local people are very friendly and helpful.

I'd like to share more details about The Mermaid Secret, a great location we enjoyed on the east side of the island. I hope to make a separate post on that in the next week or two.

 The Ruins Rock Cafe in Roseau

 Our cottage at the Mermaid Secret

 A view down the river from the Mermaid Pool

Our hosts at the Mermaid Secret

 On the hike to Sari Sari Falls

Had to traverse the river a couple of times, over slippery rocks.  Fell in more than once and ended up just tromping through the rocky water in bare feet... a bit painful.

 The waterfall was stunning and we were told you can get into the pool, but the rocks were quite slimy and it seemed rather treacherous so we took a pass.

 This little piggy was seen on the way back from another hike to another waterfall which ended abruptly when we came across a giant tree across the trail and I couldn't make my way over it.

A quick snapshot of the luscious rainforest, from Mike's iPhone.

 On the west side of the island the beaches are beautiful.

Fort Shirley

We took a hike up to an old cannon at Cabrits National Park and saw some interesting plants and animals along the way.

 Old termite nest

 "The Shacks"  - a bunch of little restaurants located beside Ross Medical School in Portsmouth

For you Lulu!

The Rastafarian lifestyle is quite evident on Dominica and I just had to post a photo of this woman's amazing dreads.  You can't tell her age from this photo, but I would have put her in her 60's.

The next group of photos were taken on the north part of the island near Calibishe

We met Lennox (pictured below with Mike) working as beach security on the beach above.  We mentioned we were trying to find the Red Rocks and he offered to take us there.  I doubt we would have found them without his help and he took us to a few other spots we would have missed.

Taking in the sunset from our deck at the Coconut Cottage, our home on island's west side.