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Plains   Leave a comment

We spent the last two days driving across the plains of Canada. It was actually quite beautiful in its own way. Wouldn’t want to live there. It has been two long hard days and Nana and Papa are pooped. I hope tomorrow night I have the energy to post something a little more interesting. It will be our last day in Canada and we will arrive at Lake Superior. Back soon!

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Posted July 9, 2012 by papaandnana in Uncategorized

I Bring Relief   1 comment

I know those of you at home in North Carolina and other places in the East of the US are suffering in the heat.  I have had a spirit walk here in Canada, collected the prayers and tidings of many.  I have absorbed their spirit and the spirits of the forest, sky and water and have absorbed the essence of the earthly elements.  Ales, IPAs, reds and whites, essence of the gin with the miracle tonic waters.  Nana as well.  She can actually absorb more than I.  But don’t tell her I said that.  And so I bear good tidings.  I bring you air that flows through the wilderness, over the calm waters.  I know some of you think that I only can bring hot air, based on your experience with me, but you so misunderstand the potential here.   I will try to send this ahead of our return, but be sure, it will come.  For I say so, therefore it shall be.  Await with patience for relief I send and bring to you.  Peace!

Posted July 8, 2012 by papaandnana in Uncategorized

Final Thoughts on Kelowna   Leave a comment

Kelowna, be careful.  You are dangerously close to becoming something you don’t want to become.  I am sure there are some, just like anywhere that would want the change and the profit that comes with it.  I love profit and money is great but I don’t really see much point in living in a world that does not have a Kelowna here and there.  The beauty is spectacular.  The wineries and vineyards are great, though some a little pretentious, the food offerings are outstanding, the recreational opportunities are fantastic.  Please don’t blow it.

I have already mentioned a couple of people and places that are special there, such as Andrea, Sammy and her friend, the Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm, the Myra Canyon Trestles and the Myra Canyon Ranch.  But there are many more wonderful places there and things to do or if you choose, not do anything at all.

If you stay there please stay at the Myra Canyon Ranch.  Peaceful, away from downtown but worth the drive.  Close to the wilderness with the occasional bear passing through, horseback riding, and a great breakfast.

Yes, I have already shown this. Too bad. Myra Canyon Ranch is worth going to for the homemade bread. And the hot tub with the view of the world. And, well, lots of other stuff too!

Be sure to eat at RauDZ.  Award winning and for a good reason.  Be sure to see Jerry in the bar.  Nicest bartender you will ever meet.  Mixes and matches quite well.  The food is stunning for the palate and visually.  If you can afford to get to Kelowna you can probably afford the food.

Best bartender. Jerry at RauDZ

Sweet tooth?  Well go to the source.  Get your honey some honey from Arlo’s Honey Farm.  They’re “super” if you know what I mean.  Since it is right down the road from the lavender farm and all of the other fruit and field offering you can get quite a choice in honey.  Bees on the premises so take you anti-venom if you need it!

Worker housing at Arlo’s Honey Farm.

 

Underpaid workers at Arlo’s.

 

There is much more of course.  Haven’t really talked about the wine very much.  A matter of taste but I think there are some very good wines but not as good as the prices on some of them would suggest.  Matter of taste, literally and figuratively.  But we did have fun!

 

 

 

Posted July 8, 2012 by papaandnana in Uncategorized

Rocky Ledges   1 comment

image

Just a quick post. This is the view from the door of our room at Rocky Ledges B&B below Kaslo.

Posted July 7, 2012 by papaandnana in Uncategorized

Burn Down, Build Up   2 comments

It was 2003, August, a typical summer day in the Okanagan.  Nothing was ever typical again in the Kelowna area after the day a lightening strike started a fire that became a holocaust along the ridge above that city, descending toward the 90,000 or so residents present at that time.  It was like a fiery curtain dropping upon the stage of a Wagnerian opera.  The latter true because there were great heroes in the battle to fight this thoughtless enemy.  Over 60,000 acres were scorched, hundreds of homes destroyed and many others damaged with many people displaced for over a year, if not forever.  Finally contained 36 days after it began, smoldering fires occasionally relit all the way into the spring after the snows melted.  Yet, there were those heroes during and after the fire.  During, it was the firefighters from many locations that came to battle the beast.  While much was lost, not one life was lost.  The Okanagan Mountain Park Fire had many specific affects on the people of the area.  One in particular was the destruction of 14 of the 18 railroad trestles that formed a key section of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail through Myra Canyon.  In a few short miles there were 18 trestles clinging to the side of the canyon walls at over 4000 feet, but 3000 feet above the valley and the town of Kelowna below.  The KVRT is a huge trail project but for biking amateurs like us this is the section most visited due to the incredible scenery, trestles and tunnels.  This, along with the wine, attracts many tourists to this area in the Okanagan.  But the fire threatened all of this.

Photo “stolen” without credit from a kiosk on the Myra Canyon Trestles section of the KVRT. The destruction of one of the 14 destroyed trestles, of 18 along the trail.

Faced with destruction of the trail’s trestle’s, and in the context with so much other reconstruction, the region, city, civic groups and businesses came together and completely rebuilt the trestles.  Much of it, if not most, with volunteer labor often working in precarious situations.  If you bike at all, you must come here to see the fruit of their efforts.

Sammy is a trail host for this section of the KVRT.  She is a friendly and enthusiastic supporter of the trail.  Her friends are jealous of her job which takes her outside all day, meeting and helping people on the trail.  She will fix a tire and patch up a scrape.  She loves her job and it shows.  She and another trail host clearly remember the events of 2003, though they were still young.  She and her family were evacuated but her companion host’s family lost their home to the flames.  He and hundreds of others had to live with family or friends for over a year until their homes were rebuilt.

Sammy, a trail host on the KVRT, a mature and enthusiastic supporter of the trail who remembers the horrors of the great fire of 2003.

Today, evidence of the fires is all too plain.  The boundary between destruction and preservation is often measured in feet.  Ten years later, though black  charred trunks stand like an army’s spikes the lower forest is regrowing, providing lush habitat for many animals, flowers, berries and cover.  What is not so good for us in the long haul may be best for a forest, as painful as that might be.

Lush regrowth 10 years after the fire.

Trestles hang precipitously above the canyon.

Posted July 7, 2012 by papaandnana in Roadtrip

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Deadly Changes in Canada   Leave a comment

Not so long ago I had great respect for Canada.  You could go to their largest cities and feel perfectly safe. Children could roam free and your pets rarely got run over by distracted drivers as no one even drove up to the speed limit.  Terrible things just didn’t happen in our neighbor to the north.  Canada, then part of the British Empire, fought to remain so, resisting efforts by Americans to annex this region in a war fought in 18-something or other.  Americans in the north of our country wanted to have someplace they could say was colder than they were and where they could get top quality hockey players.  Now I can understand these peoples’ reluctance to become part of the US since every other new state might have to have slaves.  They already had a lake that was a slave, Slave Lake, but this would have been going too far.  They also didn’t want to have the Northeasterner reputation of being kinda nasty to other people with mean spirited carriage drivers that spoke a language they couldn’t really understand.  They wanted to stay, well, nice!

Oh, yes, they did get involved in some of those pesky wars, like World War II, but generally try to avoid such events t hat involve shooting at things except deer or moose, that don’t shoot back, this found to be far more preferable and only occasionally risky.  There is the rare large animal, such as the aforementioned moose, that becomes rather threatening when amorous, either trying to get to a female moose or if none is available the closest available larger creature, even if on two feet.  Katy bar the door!  Not a pretty picture.

But things have taken an ugly turn in the country whose motto is the “land of not much nighttime in the summer, but, eh! who needs sleep anyway?”, but which has an alternate motto, “land of not much daytime in the winter, but eh! who needs light to sit in the pub and drink beer”.  Whilst traveling about, in an area known for its wilderness, a provincial park, where the animals are suppose to be safe and can even expect food from strangers in automobiles, kinda like asking for tips for just showing up, the following poster was seen:

Threatened baby bears, is this the solution?

I hope you will now join the ranks of those that are “Bear Aware”.  I hope you find this as disturbing as I do, that you have the humanity to stand up for what is right and fight this scourge!  Who is it that is attacking a momma bear and her beloved baby such that they need pepper spray to protect themselves!  It is an outrage!  Even this effort seems rather short sighted, it is only a temporary solution and does not solve the basic problem, though I’m not sure what that is.  But perhaps this is what we must do until a better solution is found.  I am curious, however,  how do the bears actually use the pepper spray given their lack of opposable thumbs?  But if this is what they need for now I think we should all pitch in to try and save the bears.  You can do so by sending your checks and money orders to Pepper for Bear Juveniles (PB and J), Post Office Box 12345, Yogi, British Columbia, Really Cold Country to the North.  Don’t wait until it is too late!

Posted July 6, 2012 by papaandnana in Attempted humor, Roadtrip

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Lavender   Leave a comment

While wine is the drawing card in the Okanagan, there is much more.  The Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm is a prime example.  A blog simply cannot communicate the sensory pleasure to the olfactory system you experience here.  A worker there, Andrea, tutored us in the finer points of Lavender production and harvesting as she gathered flowers for an approaching wedding.  Canadians that we have met have all been kind and warm.  She was no exception, soon communicating as if we had known her for a very long time.  Sorry that I can only give you the visual.  There is so much more.

 

Posted July 6, 2012 by papaandnana in Uncategorized