C2H: The old man climbeth

C2H — Close to Home is my attempt at a new summer series. Thanks to impending (f)unemployment and the price of gas ($1.44 a litre!) in the Okanagan, our adventuring will be a bit limited. Shep and I will try to explore the regional parks around Kelowna and find adventure less than 50 kilometres from home.

It seems like almost too much of a coincidence.

I chose Glen Canyon Park to start our Close to Home summer series, highlighting adventure opportunities in Kelowna and the Okanagan.

At 74 hectares, it’s large enough to split into a few different days, considering Shep is getting on in years and isn’t as nimble as he used to be.

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It’s adventure season!

It has felt like one long, cold winter.

That’s with apologies to my friends and family on the other side of the Rockies, of course … from Alberta all the way to Atlantic Canada.

Helloooooooooo, Newfoundland! Have you dug out of those snowbanks yet?

In Alberta, I was known to break out the camera for January and February adventures, heading out to ghost towns or on hiking day trips.

Not this year in British Columbia. For some reason, no weekend seemed to be the right time.

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We have a new home … again

Life can change in the blink of an eye.

About a month ago, I was furiously packing up the apartment in Kamloops and getting ready to move Shep and me to a new home. I knew from the moment I set foot back in Kamloops last November that it was a temporary stay, no matter how many times my newspaper colleagues threatened that my position would become permanent and full time.

Trouble is, I’ve grown out of newspapers. The internet is too much fun. So, I took some time while on Employment Insurance to look for the right job this time. (I hope to find time to write more about that on That Angela this week but between a job, client work and being only five hours away from Spokane, I don’t get much free time to write for myself. This is a treat.)

I work in Kelowna now. I live in Summerland.

sandy beach in Summerland

I wake up in the morning, go for a 10-km run and enjoy coffee on my patio, while the sun rises over Naramata.

I get home from work to my favourite smiling face, pour a glass of wine and watch the stars twinkle in the clear, dark sky while bats whizz back and forth over my head.

It’s magical. It’s calming. And it is paradise.

I breathe deeply now and I sleep.

Those are new. They’re still strange to me. But I welcome them to my life.

And Shep smiles a lot.

He has a big backyard and a five-minute drive to water.

Shep at the Summerland dog beach

Then there are the other bonuses. I run past the old Gartrell barn every other day:

old barn in Summerland

It’s technically in Trout Creek, where James Gartrell and his family settled in 1887, after travelling from Ontario with their apple tree seedlings.

Let’s not forget the orchards and the wineries. There are at least 10 wineries within drivingstumbling distance of my house.

Like Sonoran Estates. This is the view from the bistro patio:

View of winery and Okanagan Lake

I’d tell you I have a spare bedroom … but I did mention I’m only five hours away from Spokane now, right?

Welcome to yet another adventure for Shep and me. We have a spare bedroom.