The clock is ticking on warm weather but September and October are two of the best months for outdoor recreation in the Okanagan for many reasons.
Tourists are gone. Power boats and personal watercraft have been put away for the winter. Temperatures are cool but the sun is shining, mostly, as we enjoy what used to be called Indian summer. (It’s known as “gypsy” or “poor man’s summer” in Bulgaria. In the mountainous regions of Europe, it is called the “old women’s summer‚‘ and in Slavic countries, it is known as “women summer.”)
So the Sheriff and Constant Companion Carmen took advantage of the opportunity to kayak from Sutherland Park in Kelowna’s North End northward past Paul’s Tomb Bay.
We saw only one powerboat and a roaring personal watercraft doing a series of sharp turns. The water was flat to slightly rippled to “confused” as we headed back south.
Surprisingly, there were a number of people on small beaches but no one at this week’s Secret Okanagan Spot: the Lochview Beach Access with a large log perfect for enjoying a quiet lunch.
We also took Sunshine Coast visitors Suzanne and Gerd, on the Kal Crystal Waters Trail overlooking the north end of the Okanagan Rail Trail. Suzanne rode CCC’s e-bike for her first lesson under power with much pleasurable squealing at how much fun they are.
For our Hills and Thrills 3.1 outing, the Pleasure on Wheels Facebook group explored more East Kelowna territory last Saturday. Our guide Dave took us to a new off-road trail between Ball Court and Luxmoore Road (checking out a turtle pond off Ball Road). We also revisited the wonderful downhill trail through a draw nicknamed Gulley Trail (located between the two paved sections of Gulley Road). A third new trail will remain a secret, for now.
Feedback from reader Bob: “Went for a ride up the KVR yesterday and was kind of stunned to find cars on the trail north of Little Tunnel (one of them parked right by the entrance), and signage that said no vehicles over six metres or 20 feet. There’s no gate or post to limit vehicles up there. Well, idiot decisions abound. I don’t mind the little ATVs, but cars and trucks? That’s just plain stupid. Always figured this would always be preserved for cycling, hiking and small ATVs. Time to write the MLA.”
Most outdoor enthusiasts don’t know that non-motorized use of the provincial government’s 1,420 kilometres of abandoned former rail corridors is limited to small sections like the Kettle Valley Trail from Penticton to Little Tunnel and Myra Canyon. The vast majority are “multiple-use” and a dozen sections of the Trans Canada Trail have been turned into logging roads by the Ministry of Forests.
That improved four-kilometre section north of Little Tunnel provides one-lane, multi-use access to a motor vehicle parking lot near Little Tunnel.
Telemark Nordic Club will hold its second annual Team Telemark Bottle Drive Fundraiser on Sunday (Oct. 3). Last year, the inaugural bottle drive raised $4,300 that organizers hope to beat this year.
You can drop off your refundables today at 3651 Glencoe Rd. in West Kelowna. “Just ‘drop (into large apple bins) and go,’” says organizer Sonya Bridge. To make it even easier, the club can also pick up cans and bottles. Text 250-899-0354 for pick-up. At 10 a.m. Sunday, members will sort and count cans and bottles.
A reminder that season passes are available on the Zone 4 registration page with early-bird discount rates available until Oct. 31. There are bi-weekly draws for $1,100 in prizes from Fresh Air Experience and Kelowna Cycle.
Instead of participating in the annual Canadian Cancer Society’s CIBC Run for The Cure, local breast cancer survivor Tena McKenzie has organized a Riding for the Cure in Lake Country at 10 am. on Sunday.
“Last year, we chose to ride our e-bikes instead of running around Wood Lake and we all felt like a motorcycle club. So this year, I am calling my team: B.O.A. — Boobs of Anarchy. We will be in black biker T-shirts with pink feather boas and I will lead the pack with my Breast Cancer Pink Pedego e-bike,” said McKenzie, who is marking her 10th anniversary as a breast cancer survivor.
Last year with the sponsorship of many local businesses, she raised more than $6,000. Space is limited for the ride from Gatzke Farm Market and refreshments afterward.
BC Parks has approved improvements to the Golden Mile access of Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park off Lakeshore Road in Kelowna. Large machinery started working Thursday.
On Sunday, Mountain Bikers of the Central Okanagan (MTBco) hosts Cranksgiving in Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park. The start/finish is at the Stewart Road East Trailhead and will utilize Lost Lake Trail to Teddy Bear Junction, Pink Highway and numerous trails between these two trails.
A $500,000 provincial grant — plus contributions from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District Electoral Area E and District of Sicamous - will launch preliminary work on a 19.8-kilometre section of the 50-kilometre Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail (from Armstrong to Sicamous) allowing the public early access.
The work from Sicamous to Mara includes rock scaling, road crossings, bridge decking, safety signage, preliminary grading and erosion mitigation.
“With this recent announcement, we have now secured more than $1.2 million in grant funding, and $200,000 in corporate and community donations in under a year,” said Alex de Chantal, fundraising strategy coordinator. “However, we’re not done yet. Significant fundraising dollars are still needed to reach our $8-million goal.”
J.P. Squire, aka the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff is a retired journalist.