Friday, October 11, 2013
On Wednesday my hiking group went up towards Hannegan Pass. This hike is in the US in the Mt Baker outdoors area. Because of the government shut down, the ranger station where we register when we go on hikes in this area was closed, but the trails were open.
It was an amazing hike. Some in the group are mushroom lovers, they got several bags full, 'tis the season. Our hike started in no snow, in beautiful autumn colours and ended on a pure-white snow slope. We didn't make it as far as the Pass, because the snow was deep and with a crust on top, the leader had a workout like a stair climber on the highest settings. We took turns leading. We hiked until 12:30, stopped for lunch, then came back down. The views and colours, be they fall vivid or fresh-snow pristine, were stunning !! It is an interesting transition, just a few weeks ago, we were walking in mountain meadows above the tree line, now the snow has arrived and capped the mountains.
Wow, I am in Vancouver today with fast internet, that whole blog with photos took about 5 minutes to load, at my rural home it takes 5 minutes per photo, sometimes I spend an hour or more uploading a blog
Yay for fall colours and fresh snow !!
Sunday, August 25, 2013
The ride down the mountain
We stopped at Chute Lake and resort for lunch, this lake was a high on the mountain .
We had a real live rattlesnake incident. This area is hot and dry, not like the wet Fraser Valley we come from. The lake edges are green, but the rest is toasted brown and there are rattlesnakes in the hills. Coming down, there was one across the road sunning itself, the first rider to see it screamed startling the snake into coiling, it struck, it could have hit her, or it could have gotten wrapped in the spokes, instead it missed and the next rider saw a snake appear behind the first rider's back wheel scaring her as well. In the end, luckily, nothing bad happened, the next rider heard the rattles, but the snake scuttled down the hill and none of the rest of us saw it.
The road came out above and eventually down to Okanagan lake and through the vineyards. This valley used to be a fruit orchard valley and is increasingly seeing more and more wine production.
That was the end of day 2, a sometimes rough rattley mountain ride down with great views. That evening, the husband of one of the riders made us dinner, grilled chicken, romaine-sliced yellow beet -pecan-goat cheese salad, chickpea, tomato and greens salad and roasted asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, peach pie for dessert, acommpanied by local and other wines. So good and such a treat !!
We had no flats on the ride down, but the next morning two of the bikes had flat tires. Before we left the husband of one of the ladies had shown those of us who didn't know, how to change a flat. We changed the flat tires and went back the way we had come the first day, from Penticton, down Okanagan Lake, along the canal, along Skaha lake, and along the highway back to Oliver.
Our total mileage, 40 + 80 + 40 = 160km or 100 miles.
I had to take a photo of this to believe it, these grapes all grew at the bottom of the vine. So handy for harvesting, don't you think?
On the drive home we stopped for fresh fruit.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Monday - Wednesday, August 19-21, I went on a bike ride with my hiking friends. It was well organized, so nice to have friends that do this well.
We left the Fraser Valley on Monday morning
arrived in Oliver about noon
and set out on the road, Oliver to Okanagan Falls.
At Okanagan Falls, we picked up the Kettle Valley Railroad trail along Skaha Lake with the final destination being Penticton.
We stopped at a lakeside park for lunch and then continued.
The next leg was along a canal that connects Skaha Lake with Okanagan Lake and there were lots of people on floaties going down the canal. Ducks swam beside the ones who gave them food.
End of day 1 - arrival at the home of one of the bikers and our rendezvous point
Our total mileage for the day was 40 km or about 25 miles.
Morning of Day 2 - we got transported to the Kettle Valley Railway bike trail at Myra Canyon to start our 82 km ride back to Penticton. The Kettle Valley Railway used to be a rail line, then when it wasn't used for trains anymore, it became a popular bike route from the mountainside down to the lake with more then a dozen trestle bridges along the way. There was a devastating forest fire in 2003 that burned down the original trestles, but the ride was so popular that the trestles were rebuilt.
I didn't get very good photos of the trestle bridges, and they were a main feature of this ride. Here are two photos, one of the bridge as we went on, and another of a bridge across the valley.
I am at file capacity, to be continued on the next blog
Friday, August 09, 2013
My hike yesterday was glorious, the trail was a gradual incline and brought us through the forest, above the tree line into the flowering alpine meadows and we had great views of snow-capped Mt Baker and a few other Cascade mountain peaks. It was 8 miles and 5 hours total, and according to my fitbit, 400 flights of stairs.
Trail start and the lower forest
There was this amazing creek on the way up, the water streamed over a rock slab face, it was like a designed fountain. There is a fountain like this in the Vancouver airport, it is so soothing and relaxing while in the line after a tiring flight to hear and see that water sashaying down a rock wall.
The trail broke through the tree line and on to the ridge, where there were peaks and a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains.
Mt Baker from further away as part of a panorama shot in the above photo
Surrounding panorama on the upper ridge
Cascade range Mt Shukshan - 9127 feet
And finishing with a shot of magnificent Mt Baker - 10,781 feet
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