Stepping Away…

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Monday Musings is currently on hiatus while I tend to other projects. I’ve left links below to some of my more popular topics in case you’d like to browse. I promise most of them include gorgeous photos.

Or you can pop over to my bookshelf or excerpts if you want more information on my books.

I’ll see you all in a few months. Happy reading!

Link to:  My experience with torn and detached retinas

Link to:  Cruising around historic Cuba

Sunday Funday Adventures – Exploring the Okanagan

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Link to:  Beautiful beaches and hiking trails on Vancouver Island

Link to:  Monkeys and more at Sandos Caracol and Riviera Maya

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Link to:  Fun in Palm Desert and San Diego, California

Steamboats on the Old Man River, trolley cars and beignets…Adventures in New Orleans

Icebergs and rowhouses…Exploring Nova Scotia and Newfoundland

Favourite Furry Pets – And a few not so furry ones, too

 

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Sunday Funday Wrap-up

On a Sunday Funday in the middle of July, Hubby and I set out to explore Kathleen Lake. Access to the trail is off Knox Mountain Road, and we intended to drive to the top of Knox Mountain, then walk the short distance down the road to the trailhead. What we didn’t know is that on Sundays the road is closed to vehicle traffic until noon. So we hiked up the Apex Trail to the first lookout, then took the road up.

An elevation change of eighty metres is listed on the entrance sign, and we found the trail easy, without any real steep sections.

1 Kathleen Lake Trail 2 Kathleen Lake Trail

We got a peek or two at Kathleen Lake along the first part of the trail.

3. Kathleen Lake Trail

As we climbed higher, the small lake came into view.

4 Kathleen Lake Trail

At that point, we branched off onto the Glenmore Ridge Trail. It appears to have been an old service road and vehicle tracks serve as the trail, which is lined with a multitude of Inuksuk.

6. Glenmore Ridge Trail 7. Glenmore Ridge Trail

Some of the Inuksuk are quite large and elaborate.

8. Glenmore Ridge Trail 9. Glenmore Ridge Trail

I found this little notebook inside an Inuksuk and wrote a short greeting in it. What a lovely idea.

10. Glenmore Ridge Trail

Our lunchbreak view of Dilworth Mountain and the Glenmore Valley. Even a glimpse of the lake in the opposite direction.

11 View from Glenmore Ridge Trail

5 Glenmore Ridge Trail

Hello up there.

12 Glenmore Ridge Trail

Back on the Kathleen Lake Trail, we followed another old service road. Very unusual to see green foliage in the middle of July. There’s usually little green to be seen midsummer in the Okanagan.

13 Kathleen Lake Trail 15 Kathleen Lake Trail 21 Kathleen Lake Trail

The upper lookout on Knox Mountain is visible in the centre top of this photo.

14 Kathleen Lake Trail

Kathleen Lake from a better vantage point.

16 Kathleen Lake Trail

Such a look of concentration on my face as I inch my way down the precipitous slope to the lake. After my tumbles on Okanagan Mountain, I’ve grown a tad cautious going downhill.

17 Kathleen Lake Trail

The small lake was lush and green and peaceful. Well worth the trudge down and back up the steep incline.

18 Kathleen Lake Trail

Way back when Hubby and I were first together, I once explained to him while on a road trip that I was so blind, I couldn’t tell a bear from a stump. Over the years, he’s teased me many times: “Look, there’s a bear!…No, it’s just a stump.”

Maybe this time, I’m right. Look – there’s a bear! (Dead centre)

19 Look, there's a bear, Kathleen Lake Trail

Oh, no…it’s just a stump.

20 No, it's only a stump, Kathleen Lake Trail

Well, it could’ve been a bear. We were definitely in bear country. And although we didn’t come across any actual bears, I finally got my first deer sighting on Knox Mountain.

22 My 1st deer sighting on Knox Mtn

The following Sunday, we hiked up to the Rose Valley Reservoir on the Westside, one of my most and least liked hikes of the season. I loved how well-marked this regional park’s trails are. There’s even a clean porta-potty at the trailhead.

We started off on the Bunchgrass Trail, a short .6 kms and rated moderate.

23 Bunchgrass Trail, Rose Valley Regional Park

Bunchgrass meets up with Yellow Bell Loop, which is 3.1 kms and also rated moderate. A small pond borders the start of the trail.

24 Yellow Bell Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

Tiny, tantalizing peeks of the lake promised better views to come.

25 Yellow Bell Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park 26- Yellow Bell Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

Benches are placed at viewpoints along the trails, offering a chance for a breather and to take in the beauty.

27. Yellow Bell Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

Kelowna waterfront and Dilworth Mountain in foreground.

28 Kelowna waterfront & Dilworth Mtn

WR Bennett Bridge and Kelowna city

29 Okanagan Lake from Rose Valley Regional Park

Knox Mountain (where we were the prior weekend)

30 Knox Mtn

Okanagan Lake, looking north

31 Knox Mtn & looking north

Mere steps further were views of Okanagan Lake from the Westside.

33 Okanagan Lake & Westside

City of West Kelowna, with Mount Boucherie (I’ve climbed that!) to the right and Okanagan Mountain (I’ve climbed that too!) across the lake.

34 Westside & Mount Boucherie

The Forest Loop branches off from Yellow Bell. This is an easy 2 km trail.

35 Forest Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park 36 Forest Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

Next comes Bitterroot Loop, 2.8 kms and probably the most challenging and definitely the most interesting. The trail circles the top of the mountain, and at times is barely discernible, as the following photos attest.

37. Barely discernible trail, Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park 38. Barely discernible trail, Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park 39. Barely discernible trail, Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

We took a break on this rock to soak in the view.

40. Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

Close-up of Kelowna waterfront and Okanagan Lake.

43 Kelowna waterfront & Okanagan Lake

WR Bennett Bridge and Kelowna General Hospital.

42. WR Bennett Bridge & KGH

Vista view lunchbreak.

44 Lunchtime, Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

Off we go again.

46 Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

Rose Valley Summit, Bitterroot Loop.

48 Summit, Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

Great view looking north from the summit.

49 Summit, Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

Rose Valley Reservoir, a lovely oasis of water on the top of a mountain.

51 Rose Valley Reservoir 52 Rose Valley Reservoir 53 Rose Valley Reservoir

Another bench for our viewing and relaxing pleasure.

54 Rose Valley Reservoir

I made myself a little dizzy, going out on this bluff to check how steeply the trail drops off.

55. Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

It’s steep.

56 Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

The reason I’d earlier said this hike was one of my least favourite is because, although there aren’t any steep inclines, the entire hike is steadily uphill, with few flat sections. That wasn’t a problem, but steadily uphill also means steadily downhill. Not only have I grown leery of descents, they’re extremely hard on my feet. By the time we reached the bottom, my Morton’s Neuroma was screaming, making every step an agony, and my two big toenails had partially lifted from their beds – owie painful.

57 Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park 58 Bitterroot Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park 59 Yellow Bell Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

We took advantage of the last bench on the trail to rest my feet and enjoy one final view of the lake. Total distance walked, about nine and three-quarter’s kms. And yeah, I’d do it again, with different footwear.

60 Last viewpoint, Yellow Bell Loop, Rose Valley Regional Park

We had company on our last Sunday Funday in July. My eldest son and his family came to visit from Alberta, making this Grammy very happy. We spent a gloriously sunny evening at Waterfront Park.

61 Waterfront park 62. Waterfront park 65 Waterfront park 66 Waterfront park

Even the dogs came along. And we won’t mention that Sukie, the lab, fell into the lagoon when she went for a drink. 😉

63 Waterfront park 64 Waterfront park

Fantastic panoramic shot my daughter-in-law took.

67 Waterfront park

And that’s a wrap-up of our Sunday Fundays…at least for now. Go to first Sunday Funday post here.

Not All Sundays, But Certainly All Fundays

On the last day of June, Hubby and I took advantage of one of those two for one deals to take a trip to the Kamloops Wildlife Park.

We left early that morning, and the two-hour drive was lovely in the sunshine. Needless to say, we immediately got lost in Kamloops. In fact, I can’t remember a time when we haven’t gotten lost in that small city.

We arrived at the park in time for the grizzly bear feeding. I envisioned them tearing away at chunks of raw meat, but reality is far different. Staff actually hide the food – salmon, berries, veggies – all over the enclosure, and then release the bears to hunt for it, much as they do in the wilderness.

1 Grizzlies, Kamloops Wildlife Park 2 Grizzlies, Kamloops Wildlife Park 3 Grizzlies, Kamloops Wildlife Park

The Birds of Prey Exhibit holds many winged hunters, including this great grey owl.

4 Great Grey Owl, Kamloops Wildlife Park

A red-tailed hawk.

5 Red tailed hawk, Kamloops Wildlife Park

The bald eagles and golden eagles share the same enclosure, but they’re not real chummy. When a golden eagle invaded the bald eagles’ side for a drink of water, a noisy ruckus ensued.

8 Golden Eagles, Kamloops Wildlife Park

6 Bald Eagle, Kamloops Wildlife Park 9 Golden Eagle, Kamloops Wildlife Park

7 Bald Eagle, Kamloops Wildlife Park

I obviously don’t measure up well with a bald eagle.

10 Kamloops Wildlife Park

The Bactrian Camels were snoozy in the sunshine.

11 Bactrian Camel, Kamloops Wildlife Park 12 Bactrian Camels, Kamloops Wildlife Park

The Llama was snoozy in the shade.

12a Llama, Kamloops Wildlife Park

Snoozy seemed to be the theme of the day.

We tried twice to find the elusive Kermode Bear, but the closest we got to seeing him with through the camera’s zoom.

14 Kermode Bear, Kamloops Wildlife Park

Bighorn sheep

13 Bighorn sheep, Kamloops Wildlife Park

Rocky Mountain Elk

15 Rocky Mtn Elk, Kamloops Wildlife Park 16 Rocky Mtn Elk, Kamloops Wildlife Park

The cougars and lynx were disappointing no-shows, and we only caught a glimpse of a moose lying down.

24 Moose, Kamloops Wildlife Park

The two grey wolves reminded me of large dogs. What handsome creatures.

17 Grey wolf, Kamloops Wildlife Park 18 Grey wolf, Kamloops Wildlife Park

A park employee roused the black bears with the promise of snacks. The female woke up first and headed to the pond in search of apples.

19 Black bears, Kamloops Wildlife Park 20 Black bears, Kamloops Wildlife Park

When the larger male arrived, the female backed away.

21 Black bears, Kamloops Wildlife Park 22 Black bears, Kamloops Wildlife Park

My first close encounter with a coyote. Kinda cute.

23 Coyote, Kamloops Wildlife Park

The peacock was strutting its stuff, as peacocks tend to do.

25 Kamloops Wildlife Park

I flushed this little marmot out from under a cart and he rushed to ‘hide’ in the corner, keeping an eye on me through the reflective window. Clever fellow.

26 Marmot, Kamloops Wildlife Park

Our three-hour visit ended in the discovery centre, where this adorable little burrowing owl lives.

27 Burrowing Owl, Kamloops Wildlife Park

We took Roxy to Kelowna’s Waterfront Park the next day for Canada Day festivities. And mini-donuts!

28 Canada Day 28a

I was thrilled to get a glimpse of the baby osprey, and even more pleased that my crappy little camera sort of captured a shot of one.

29 Ospreys, Rotary Marsh 30 Ospreys, Rotary Marsh

The first Sunday Funday in July was especially fun because our daughter-in-law and Daisy joined us for a hike up the Boucherie Rush Trail. Mount Boucherie, the nub of an ancient volcano, is on the west side of Okanagan Lake, and this was our first time exploring it.

31 Mount Boucherie Rush Trail

At approximately seven kms, roundtrip, and with an elevation change of 274 metres, the Boucherie Rush is almost twice as long as Knox’s Apex Trail with a similar change in elevation. I prefer the leisurely switchbacks over Apex’s steeper route.

34 Mount Boucherie Rush Trail

Daisy loves to lead the way.

32 Daisy, Mount Boucherie Rush Trail

Impressive lake views were plentiful.

33 Mount Boucherie Rush Trail 46 Mount Boucherie Rush Trail

Volcanic rock lined the trail, a reminder of this mountain’s origins.

37 Mount Boucherie Rush Trail 44 Mount Boucherie Rush Trail 45 Mount Boucherie Rush Trail

Refreshment break

36 Daisy getting a drink, Mount Boucherie Rush Trail

Shannon Lake

38 Mount Boucherie Rush Trail

Okanagan Lake, looking northward

39. Mount Boucherie Rush Trail

Summit of Rush Trail, looking east and south. It was cool to view Okanagan Mountain, where we’d hiked the week prior, from across the lake.

40 Mount Boucherie Rush Summitt 41 Mount Boucherie Rush Summitt

Daisy posed for this picture all by herself. So adorable.

42 Mount Boucherie Rush Trail

Going down was as easy as going up.

43 Mount Boucherie Rush Trail

Yes, I shared lick or two of my cone afterward.

47 Daisy enjoying an ice cream cone

We set off the next Sunday in search of great lake views, choosing to explore Stephen Coyote Ridge. This area, located not far from the landfill in Glenmore, is classified as a conservation park and has no marked trails, which made me a little nervous. Not wanting to end up as a rescue story on the Five O’Clock News, Hubby left the occasional blue breadcrumb to mark our way.

51 Stephens Coyote Ridge

With no clear directions, we wandered here and there, and here again, enjoying the peacefulness and variety of trails, but never did stumble across any lake views.

48 Stephens Coyote Ridge 52 Stephens Coyote Ridge 53 Stephens Coyote Ridge 55 Stephens Coyote Ridge 56 Stephens Coyote Ridge 57 Stephens Coyote Ridge

When thunder rumbled overhead and the sky began to darken, we headed back to the car.

58 Storm clouds coming, Stephens Coyote Ridge

On the way home, we happened across a road sign for Robert Lake Regional Park and decided on a detour to check it out. An incredibly picturesque spot, Robert Lake is a salt flat and home to several species of birds.

59. Robert Lake Reg Park 60 Robert Lake Reg Park

We saw a few ducks and lots of Canada Geese.

61 Robert Lake Reg Park 62 Robert Lake Reg Park 63 Geese, Robert Lake Reg Park 64 Geese, Robert Lake Reg Park

I thought these little guys were sandpipers, but they’re called Wilson’s Phalarope. Cute, anyway.

66 Wilson's Phalarope, Robert Lake Reg Park 67 Wilson's Phalarope, Robert Lake Reg Park 68 Wilson's Phalarope, Robert Lake Reg Park

Summer’s flying by, but stay tuned for more Sunday Fundays in the coming weeks. Go to first Sunday Funday post here. Jump to next post here.

Discovering a Turtle Sanctuary and Reaching Majestic Heights…

Hubby and I had never been to Kelowna’s Wilden area before, so on a comfortably cool and sunny Sunday Funday in June we took our grandpuppy, Daisy, to check it out. Not certain where to go, we happened across the Hidden Lake trail. What an unexpected delight!

1 Hidden Lake 3 Hidden Lake

The trail follows Hidden Lake to Still Pond.

6 Still Pond 7 Still Pond

Look close. A log absolutely covered with turtles!

3a Still Pond 4 Still Pond

In fact, turtles were sunning themselves on every available log and rock. I’ve never seen so many turtles in one place.

5 Still Pond 5a Still Pond

We took a path up from Still Pond, hoping for a viewpoint, but it led back into the community.

8 Still Pond

Besides the turtles, the two ponds are teeming with feathered friends.

Yellow headed blackbird

2 Hidden Lake

American Coot and babies

9 Hidden Lake

This colourful guy is a Ruddy Duck

9a Still Pond

As we were leaving Hidden Lake, I spotted another log, loaded with even more turtles. Wow!

10 Hidden Lake

Back at the car, Daisy lapped up a refreshing drink of water.

11 Thirsty Daisy

We then investigated another trail, eventually ending up above Blair Pond.

12 Blair Pond

The steep path didn’t bother Hubby (or Daisy) but I had to carefully pick my way down.

13 Wilden 14 Wilden

We’d set out in search of stellar views, and instead found some enchanting ones. The stellar views came a week later…

On the last Sunday Funday in June, we tackled Okanagan Mountain. Boulder Trail started out easy enough, with plenty of beautiful vistas.

15. Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park 16. Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park 17. Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park

Soon, the trail became both steep and eroded.

18 Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park

Okanagan Mountain Park stretches along the east side of Okanagan Lake, between Naramata and Kelowna. In 2003, a ferocious wildfire roared through the park, leaving utter devastation in its path, destroying 238 homes in Kelowna, along with twelve historic trestles in Myra Canyon. Thirteen years later, the aftermath of that brutal fire still remains.

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20 Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain ParkAfter climbing a short distance, we descended into the Deeper Creek ravine.

21 Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park 22 Bridge over Deeper Creek, Okanagan Mountain Park

Deeper Creek was actually not very deep.

23 Deeper Creek, Okanagan Mountain Park 24 Deeper Creek, Okanagan Mountain Park

The most challenging section of Boulder Trail ascends the ravine on the other side of Deeper Creek. We climbed straight up for half a kilometre. The entire time, I kept thinking about negotiating my way back down again. Yikes!

25 Steep trail bordering ravine, Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park

A scenic spot to catch our breath and have a snack.

26 Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park 27 Stopping for lunch, Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park

The incredible views kept getting better.

28 Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park

More stark evidence of the ‘03 wildfire.

29. Burnt trees from 2003 fire, Okanagan Mountain Park 30 Burnt trees from 2003 fire, Okanagan Mountain Park

Slow but sure signs of regrowth.

31 Seedling amongst burnt trees from 2003 fire, Okanagan Mountain Park

As we hiked by a house-sized boulder, I mused that if our adventurous middle son was here, he’d want to climb that rock to see what he could see. Moments later, we were scaling that massive beast and this is what we saw!

33 Okanagan Lake from Okanagan Mountain Park

The trail grew steep again as we cleared the junction with CN Trail and neared the viewpoint.

34 Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park

Almost there!

35 Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park

Best seats in the house for lunch.

37 Lunch at Boulder Trail viewpoint, Okanagan Mountain Park 38 Lunch at Boulder Trail viewpoint, Okanagan Mountain Park

Heading down to marvel at the panoramic lake views.

39 Boulder Trail viewpoint, Okanagan Mountain Park

Looking northwest, Gellatly area and Mount Boucherie on the left, Knox Mountain and city of Kelowna on the right.

40 Boulder Trail viewpoint, Okanagan Mountain Park

West Kelowna (Westbank)

41 Boulder Trail viewpoint, Okanagan Mountain Park

Southwest, toward Peachland

41a Boulder Trail viewpoint, Okanagan Mountain Park

Soaking it all in and feeling quite accomplished.

42 Boulder Trail viewpoint, Okanagan Mountain Park

Didn’t feel quite as accomplished as I hunted for the rock I’d set my poles and bag on.

43 Looking for my trekking poles, Boulder Trail viewpoint, Okanagan Mountain Park

Found them!

44 Found my trekking poles, Boulder Trail viewpoint, Okanagan Mountain Park

Back down, we went.

45 Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park

Descending the steep trail bordering Deeper Creek ravine was as difficult as I’d feared. I fell a time or two, luckily escaping with only a few scrapes and bruises. Without my surefooted hubby’s helping hand, I might’ve been in worse trouble, especially when a tumble off the path could result in a fall down a deep ravine. Note to self: buy footwear with more aggressive tread.

46 Boulder Trail, Okanagan Mountain Park

At approximately seven kilometres, round-trip, and an elevation sharply rising 300 metres, Boulder Trail was a challenging, exhilarating hike, and I’m so glad I experienced it.

That hike may have been the pinnacle of our Sunday Fundays, but there are plenty more to come… Go to first Sunday Funday post here. Jump to next post here.

Funky Camels & Gorgeous Lake Views, As Sunday Fundays Continue…

We spent our mid-May Sunday Funday at the Calgary Zoo. Hubby hadn’t visited that zoo since 1993 and, before that, way back in 1978. It’s changed (and improved) immensely over the years.

One of my favourite additions is the penguin exhibit.

Humboldts

1 Humbolt Penguins, Calgary Zoo

2 Humbolt Penguins, Calgary Zoo

Empires

3 Empire Penguins, Calgary Zoo

Macaronis

4 Macaroni Penguins, Calgary Zoo

The robotic dinosaurs in the recently updated Dinosaur Park totally impressed us.

5 Calgary Zoo

The massive Brontosaurus is a longstanding fixture at the zoo. Here’s Hubby in front of it in 1978. (Can’t believe my terrible picture-taking skills!!)

6 Calgary zoo

My boys and friends on a rainy day in 1993. (At least I got the dino head in that shot)

6a Calgary Zoo

And Hubby again, this year. (Only missing the tail this time)

6b Calgary Zoo

We were wildly excited to view the mama gorilla and her very new baby. I got a good video of them, but they’re barely discernible in my photos through the glass.

7 Momma & baby Gorilla, Calgary Zoo

A month later, my nephew captured this adorable shot of the two outside, which he’s kindly allowed me to share. Thanks, Ty!

7a Momma & baby Gorilla, Calgary Zoo

It seemed most of the animals were moulting or napping, and some were moulting while napping.

Funky Camel

8 Moulting camel, Calgary Zoo

Sleeping Tiger

9 Sleeping tiger, Calgary Zoo

Lazy Yak

10 Yak, Calgary Zoo

Relaxing Bighorn Sheep

17 Bighorn Sheep, Calgary Zoo

Drowsy Snow Leopards

11 Snow Leopards, Calgary Zoo

At least the bears were active.

Yearling black bear cub.

12 Black bear cub, Calgary ZooOne of the black bears is albino.

13 Black bears & albino, Calgary Zoo

When the male grizzly noticed the smaller female had a cob of corn, he decided he wanted it.

14 Grizzly Bear steals the other's corn, Calgary Zoo

The female grizzly immediately backed off.

15 Grizzly Bear watches the other eat its corn, Calgary Zoo

Wouldn’t want to mess with these lethal claws.

16 Grizzly Bear's huge claws, Calgary Zoo

The little gophers provided entertainment.

18 Calgary Zoo

On our drive home from Alberta, we stopped at the Sicamous Creek Waterfalls trail. It wasn’t a Sunday, but I’m still counting it as a Funday.

19 Sicamous Creek Waterfall Trail 20 Sicamous Creek Waterfall Trail 21 Sicamous Creek Waterfall Trail 22 Sicamous Creek Waterfall Trail 23 Sicamous Creek Waterfall Trail

Having just returned from a trip, we were busy at home the next Sunday (lucky we’d had two outings the previous week), and we also missed the following Sunday because neither the weather nor I were at our best.

Our first Sunday Funday in June, we followed one of the Mission Creek Park trails on the south side of the creek. To my delight, we came across a turtle pond.

24 Turtle Pond 31 Turtle Pond

An idyllic setting, we spotted lots of little turtles, sunning and swimming.

25 Turtle Pond 27 Turtle Pond 29 Turtle Pond

Cute waterfowl, too.

26 Turtle Pond 28 Turtle Pond 30 Turtle Pond

We then took the Sutherland Hills Loop.

32 Sutherland Hills Loop 34 Sutherland Hills Loop

It was a gentle, scenic walk, although the vast amount of poison ivy growing right along the trail was disconcerting.

33 Poison Ivy

I’ve hiked from the bottom parking area of Knox Mountain, then over to Paul’s Tomb (2.75 kms with an elevation change of 190 metres) and I’ve hiked from the first viewpoint to the upper viewpoint (1.28 kms with an elevation change of 170 metres).

My next Sunday Funday challenge was to hike from the bottom of the Apex Trail all the way to the top (1.78 kms with an elevation change of 260 metres). And I made it!

Okanagan Lake looking south.

35 Knox Mtn

Okanagan Lake looking north.

36 Knox Mtn

I did have to stop a time or two to catch my breath, and try not to woof my cookies – which thankfully I didn’t.

37 Knox Mtn

Hubby, the machine, was barely winded when we reached the top.

37a Knox Mtn

Looking at Dilworth Mountain Park, with the Sexsmith area in the background.

38 Knox Mtn

We walked down using the paved road, as it’s easier on Hubby’s knees. Roadside view of Okanagan Lake (and Kelowna) looking south.

39 Knox Mtn

The first viewpoint as seen from the road.

40 Knox Mtn

The same viewpoint from further down the road.

41 Knox Mtn

While not particularly ‘fun’, I did enjoy the challenge, and it was lovely being in the great outdoors with spectacular vistas at every turn.

Speaking of spectacular vistas, you won’t believe what’s still to come as Sunday Fundays continues. Go to first Sunday Funday post here. Jump to next post here.

Spectacular Fintry Falls and More Sunday Funday Photos

Happy Canada Day and Fourth of July! Hope everyone had/is having a safe and fun weekend.

Picking up where I left off with our weekly Sunday Fundays…

Hard to believe, but I’d never been to Fintry before our visit in mid-April. Fintry is located about 30 kms down the infamous Westside Road on the northwest side of Okanagan Lake. Westside Road is known for being winding and narrow, and for its breathtaking vistas.

1 Lake Okanagan

I did quite well with the whole windy road with no shoulders situation (of course I wasn’t driving) until right around the Fintry Delta Road turnoff. Being so close to the edge of the road, with such a large drop-off below, actually made me hyperventilate just a tad.

The Fintry Trail starts just beyond these historical farm buildings, which includes a unique octagonal dairy barn.

1a Dairy barn @ Fintry Prov Park

There are approximately 400 stairs to the top of the falls, but they’re interspersed with viewing platforms and a relatively level trail, making the ascent less of a challenge.

2 Fintry Prov Park

We soon could hear a mighty rumble, which quickened our steps in anticipation. We were told the Shorts Creek Falls can dwindle to little more than a trickle by August, making us feel lucky to experience it in such a magnificent state.

3 Falls @ Fintry Prov Park 4 Falls @ Fintry Prov Park 5 Falls @ Fintry Prov Park

I wish my photos could do justice to the powerful early spring runoff.

6 Falls @ Fintry Prov Park 6a Falls @ Fintry Prov Park 6b Shorts Creek @ Fintry Prov Park

Mist saturated the air and we couldn’t stay near the falls for long without getting quite wet, yet I wanted to linger because the sight and sound was so amazing.

7 Water mist @ Fintry Prov Park

Glimpses of the lake and land below were lovely, as well.

8 Lake Okanagan from Fintry 9. Lake Okanagan from Fintry 11 Fintry Prov Park

We climbed above the falls, and when we circled back, we had great views looking down.

10 Trail above  falls @ Fintry Prov Park 12 Fintry Prov Park

That’s Hubby on the lookout platform below.

13 Fintry Prov Park

An already near-perfect day got even better when we encountered bighorn sheep on the way back home. They’re a common sighting along Westside Road, but I’d never had the opportunity to cross paths with them before.

16 Bighorn sheep on Westside Rd 18 Bighorn sheep on Westside Rd 19 Bighorn sheep on Westside Rd 20 Bighorn sheep on Westside Rd

We also saw some deer. I was in wildlife-sighting heaven.

21 Deer on Westside Rd 22 Deer on Westside Rd

For our last Sunday Funday outing in April, we took a quiet stroll through Dilworth Mountain Park. In the spring, the park boasts stunning fields of blooming Arrow Leaf Balsam Root, which happens to be Kelowna’s official flower.

23 Dilworth Mountain Park 24 Dilworth Mountain Park 25 Dilworth Mountain Park 25a Dilworth Mountain Park

Situated above the Kelowna Golf and Country Club, Dilworth Mountain Park offers panorama views of the golf course and city.

26. Dilworth Mountain Park 27 Dilworth Mountain Park 28 Dilworth Mountain Park 29 Dilworth Mountain Park

Back in April, when we explored the Oyama Isthmus, we decided to return to bike the length of the Pelmewash Parkway, an eight kilometre stretch of road that used to be part of Highway 97.

31 Pelmewash Parkway

The road is relatively flat and runs along Woods Lake.

32 Pelmewash Parkway 33 Pelmewash Parkway

We thought it’d be a relaxing, safe place to bike (I’m not an experienced cyclist), but we didn’t realize vehicle traffic would be so heavy. With narrow shoulders (non-existent in places) and drivers ignoring the 50 K speed limit, the short ride got my heart rate up in more ways than one. Still, it was a beautiful start to May, and we were happy to be out enjoying it for Hubby’s birthday.

34 Pelmewash Parkway 35 Pelmewash Parkway

I actually had children to spend Mother’s Day with this year. We took one of my favourite strolls to Paul’s Tomb on Knox Mountain.

36 Paul's Tomb

Roxy reluctantly posed for a photo once we got there.

37 Paul's Tomb

My handsome brown-eyed boy and beautiful daughter-in-law (and Daisy!) were much more cooperative.

38 Paul's Tomb 39 Paul's Tomb

We capped the stroll off with a stop at Rotary Marsh to check out the Osprey nest. The babies weren’t visible, but the adult ospreys put on an aerial show before landing on their nest.

41 Waterfront park

We’ve had plenty of adventures since then and I’ll be back to share more photos one day soon. Go to first Sunday Funday post here. Jump to next post here.