Sunday, August 29, 2010

Life Flashes By at the Speed of August

I can hardly believe it's already the end of August. The time truly flew by in a blur. Perhaps the late start to summer was to blame. That and the busy-ness every weekend seemed to bring.

Bryan and I started off August with an evening at Caravan Farm Theatre. We pass their gate very often along the back road to Armstrong. It was time to take in a show and their summer production "Everyone" was getting rave reviews. Well, rightly so. It's a lovely evening of high-quality outdoor theatre. And yes, those are draft horses pulling the sets.

Photos are from Caravan's Facebook page (because y'all aren't allowed to take photos!).

And then that night, after we were tucked into bed with our respective reading material, the phone rings. Scotty and family were in Vernon, having taken an inordinate amount of time traversing the mountains betwixt Calgary and here. Yet more vehicular carnage that stopped all traffic for 2+ hours.

No matter; they arrived safe and sound the following day for a short visit on their way to a rendezvous with friends north of Sicamous.

Max went for his first (I think) road ride, on my bike up to Pillar Lake and back with Uncle Bryan. He's on his way to becoming a member of my Rogue's Gallery of Bikers - what am I saying, as of this photo he already is!

Little Miss Daisy begs Scott to "please throw my toy just one more time.....pleeeeeezzz".

And they may tell you Daisy is Max's dog but we all know Pam is her real momma!

The following weekend, Bryan and our son Marlon along with the men of my family went on a fishing trip off the north end of Haida Gwaii (aka the Queen Charlotte's). I haven't seen Bryan's pictures but at least Marlon and Scotty posted some trophy shots:

They flew back to Calgary in time for Bryan to meet up with Marc in Calgary, on his way from Winnipeg to Vancouver to visit his sister. Fall isn't complete without a visit from Marc! Heck, he was Bryan's best man when we married in September, so that just says it all.

Last Saturday, we went up on Silver Star Mountain to see the wildflowers. For a small fee, hikers can ride up to the summit on the chair (all the mountain bikers were using the express chair, complete with bike carriers), then saunter back down to the village.

"How hard can it be?" commented my gimped-up husband. He did well, but Marc and I were concerned we might have to call for motorized assistance about 2/3 the way down! Bryan's ol' back and hips just don't do this stuff so well anymore.

Up the Summit Chair.

Still lots of smoke hanging in the valleys from the forest fires.

Yes, of course we had the picnic backpack! We aren't savages. Found a vantage point from which to view both the lovely landscape and the intrepid mountain bikers.

The wildflowers were beautiful. There were even late-season lupins in places.

Closer to the village, we elected to travel the service road. You can see the swing Bryan's getting in his step. Marc was contemplating one the bike trails intersecting the road. Yes, they too use black diamonds to indicate their 'challenging' trails.

This doe was totally unconcerned about both the foot travellers and those on the chairlife just behind her out of view in this shot.

And what hike is complete without a bride and groom on a chairlift?!

Marc left Sunday to continue on to Vancouver. Bryan left Tuesday to go to work for a few months in the north country. Becca left Friday to go back to college via Grande Prairie, Valleyview and Ft. Saskatchewan. I travelled to Osoyoos after work Friday to go bass fishing with Phyllis. Talk about yer mass exodus.

The weather was completely miserable here Thursday and Friday, with gale force winds and intermittent downpours. As we drove alongside Kal Lake and Wood Lake, the violent wave action was not encouraging. In fact, I heard at work Friday morning that boats had been ordered off the lake the previous evening because of the winds. We had full confidence that the morning would bring perfect weather. Found our room just outside Oliver and settled in for the night.The alarm clock was set for 5:50am.

Phyl's phone rings at 4:45am. It's our guide, whom we were to meet at the dock at 6:30. "She's brutally cold and the water's choppier 'n a bitch, ladies. Hold off until about 10am, OK?" Fine by us.

9:30 am and the sun is shining, but the wind is picking up even as we stand at the boat launch, looking over the situation. Whitecaps in a powerboat are one thing; whitecaps in a bass fishing skiff are a whole 'nother game entirely. We bowed to the obvious (wind whipping our hair in our faces!) and switched gears from fishing trip to road trip.

View of Osoyoos and the lake from Hwy 3, looking northwest as we travel east to Rock Creek. Beauty, eh? Sure can't see the nasty whitecaps from here, but I assure you.

Looking south down the lake to the US border. Yep, that's Washington State in the distance.

Up on the plateau above Osoyoos we travelled through a large residential development that has enormous bronze sculptures at various access gates: elk, deer, eagle, raven... and then this handsome guy.

Yep, me and the ol' Sasquatch, we're tight. Too funny.

Just north of Rock Creek, we stopped at a place along the Kettle River, where the now-extinct Kettle Valley Railway roadbed is part of the Trans Canada Trail, including the trestle bridge in the background.

We rolled into Kelowna mid-afternoon and I asked Phyllis if she minded stopping by House of Rose for a bit. I wanted to pick up a few bottles of Hot Flash, their spicy big red that I like. She'd not been there, and so we stopped and visited with Barb. Then over to the newest joint on the circuit, The Vibrant Vine. Their stuff is a little pricier that others but very, very nice. And from there to Summerhill Pyramid down on Lakeshore Drive.

I need to do this!!! I love it, the best use for an old piano, as garden art. At Vibrant Vine.

Barb, you'll love this. There were multiple weddings taking place at Summerhill, and we peaked into one of their dining rooms off the main tasting room to watch the decorators set up. Isn't this a lovely arrangement? Those are fresh Granny Smith apples, picked from a nearby orchard.

I rolled into our driveway close onto 6pm, unlock the door, to be greeted by Marc! We'd told him he was welcome to stop and stay on his way back east but we'd none of us be here. He got delayed a day by weather, and my trip was shortened a day likewise by weather. That said, we had a lovely visit, walked to the pub for supper, and he was on his way this morning to be in Calgary for a stopover with Monique and Kirk.

And now the house is empty and oh so quiet. I've had my espresso fix and am contemplating the general dishevelled state of my house. It isn't completely trashed but it does need a thorough scrub. Which will not get done today. There's a whole month ahead of me, barring a week over in Alberta to visit family.

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