The days are getting cooler and summer is now behind us. Hubby and I enjoyed an action packed few months, exploring our valley by foot, bike and kayak. As anyone who frequents this website knows, I like to document most everything I do with a picture or twenty. Hubby has learned to patiently pause and smile when I ask him to. He’s not quite as patient when I ask him to take the photo. Especially if it’s with my cell phone. Somehow, he manages to do weird things to the settings and the photo comes out like this. Or he gets his thumb in the way, like this. To throw in a little variety, he occasionally does both at the same time. So funny. As part of Hubby’s rehabilitation program to strengthen the muscles around his knees, we began taking advantage of our beautiful region’s many nature trails. Knox Mountain is a local favourite and we hiked there several times. I could do the lower Apex trail and out to Paul’s Tomb (5.5 K round trip) or I could do the upper Apex Trail (a steep 3.4 K), but I never managed all three at the same time. Maybe next year. Lower Apex Trail View from lower parking lot On the way to Paul’s Tomb View from the Upper Apex and trail down On days when we wanted a milder walk, we strolled the length of our waterfront park. Roxy played tourist with Ogopogo We spent some time with the grandkids at the Rotary Marsh, saying hi to the ducks and turtles. I’ve posted more photos of Knox Mountain and the waterfront here: more photos
We went to the Kettle Valley Trestles with Hubby’s dad, one of my favourite places. I often took Roxy with us, carrying her in a sling, but for a while I had a pinched nerve thing going on, so I became one of those people. What can I say, she liked it. Kayaking was a new adventure for us, and we only made it out in the water three times, but we look forward to many more years of exploring the multitude of lakes in our area. Sutherland Bay area The south side of Okanagan Lake We set a goal to cover the length of Mission Creek greenway, from the lake to where it ends in Scenic Canyon. A total of 16.5 kms each way. We covered it on four different trips. The largest section is relatively flat and runs along Mission Creek from the lake to Ziprick Road. A total of 15 kms in just over 3 hours. The second section is a little more hilly, not always near the creek, and probably the least scenic, unless you go off the main path. Part of it detours onto a city street. Only 6 kms, which took a leisurely one and a half hours. The third section starts at the opposite end, in Scenic Canyon. We’d never been out this way and had no idea how difficult the terrain might be, so set a time limit. I loved that hike the best of all. Quite a variety of trails and we covered a total of 6 kms in 3 hours. Layercake Mountain Rock Ovens The last weekend of the summer, we were able to finish the last section. Definitely the most arduous of the entire trail, it took 4.5 hrs to hike 6 kms. Sign at the beginning of the trail. The old trail is shut down because of erosion. I knew there was a detour, so we followed the trail to where it came to an end at the creek’s edge, but saw no sign of a detour, so circled back and went in the opposite direction from the sign. We soon came across the Grasslands Trail sign and started the long climb up. At the top. From there the trail was once again varied, and not near the creek for the most part. The half K of vertical switchbacks was a real challenge to me, although Hubby seemed to have no problem. He motored up them (and all the other steep inclines) like a machine. They were much easier going back down, although a good pair of hiking boots would’ve come in handy. We came across some mallard ducks, apparently out for a stroll, and in no hurry to get out of our way. This was the closest we came to seeing any hoodoos reportedly in the area. It’s kokanee salmon spawning season, so we were able to see a few making their way up the creek. There were plenty of other lovely sights to see as well. We also enjoyed several long (for me) bike rides throughout the summer. Our first lengthy ride took us down the Abbott Street bike lane, starting behind the hospital, then continuing through the waterfront, and on to the base of Knox Mountain and back. I didn’t bring my camera, which was unfortunate because we happened across a sweet little deer on the trail beside Brandt’s Creek. My first off-road adventure was on a part of Mission Creek Greenway. I learned three things very quickly. I suck pedaling uphill, I’m a tad nervous going downhill (especially near the water) and I need work shifting gears. Once again, Hubby easily left me in his dust. He’s such a boy on his bike, and it’s so evident he spent a lot time on one as a youth. I didn’t start riding a bike until I was in my teens and it shows. We rode the Rails to Trails bike path in the north-end of town. Nice, relatively flat path that gave me plenty of opportunity to practice shifting gears. We also rode about 15 kms of the Mission Creek Greenway. This is a popular route for both walkers and cyclists, and I found it a bit hairy at times, but all in all, good fun. And so an incredible summer of fun draws to a close. If we’re lucky, we’ll still get in a little more hiking and biking this fall. And I’ve already started planning all the places we can explore next year.