Hiking in Kelowna B.C. | Okanagan Trails | Visit Kelowna

Making a note of this for future Kelowna explorations!  I have made it up to the trestles once so far this year and eager to get out to explore more of the amazing sights of nature in the Okanagan!

View all the hiking trails in Kelowna B.C. Each trail lists directions to the trailhead, distance, and flora and fauna you will find along the way.

Source: Hiking in Kelowna B.C. | Okanagan Trails | Visit Kelowna

Camping at Little Qualicum Falls

After all that has happened over the past six weeks, I was very happy to have two weeks off to head home (Parksville) as I normally do around this time of year.  Before leaving Kelowna, I had told my buddy I needed a bonfire to be able to torch a box of stuff and packed my tent and sleeping bag in case they were needed.  I tried doing this in Kelowna before bonfire bans went into effect but it didn’t come together in time.

The Tuesday I was home, my buddy and I went for coffee mid-afternoon and again talked about my need to have a bonfire and the possibility of going camping.  By 6pm we confirmed by text messages as I awaited dinner being cooked and by 9pm, we were at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park setting up camp.

Campfire at Little Qualicum Falls About two hours went by while we set up “Refugee Camp Alpha”.  Once camp was ready for us to crawl into bed (later), we poured a couple of rum and cokes and nestled into our camping chairs for me to begin my purge. I was not expecting it to take a few hours to get through my box of items needing purging but it sure felt good doing it!

From checking weather forecasts before we left, we knew it going to be wet.  But we also knew that if we had to, we could either sleep in the truck or pack up early and head home.  For most of the time that we were there, it rained lightly on and off.  It was light enough that we were never very wet for very long because the bonfire would quickly evaporate the dampness in our clothes.  But of course, there was a few absolute downpours that had us running for the trees to shelter us from the rain.

The on and off cleansing of the rain perfectly complimented the purging from the fire and I kept saying, “This is perfect!”

Hammock at Little Qualicum Falls By 2am, my box was empty, we were both a little tipsy and I was euphoric to be where I was, doing what I was doing and of course, who I was doing it with.  We listened to podcasts and CBC radio without this feeling of having to be talking non-stop to one another.

At 3am, a very wet, dirty dog showed up, scaring the crap out of me and would not leave.  We figured Einstein must have escaped from someone’s campsite and were somewhat okay with him hanging out while it was still dark rather then having a run in with another animal.

We finally crawled into bed when the sun was starting to light up the sky around 4am and when we got up at 6:30 (yes, much less then two hours sleep), the dog was still there.  Every time we thought he had finally decided to go home, he’d re-appear.  People tried returning “our dog” a few times before finally phoning the SPCA to come and get it.  Turns out it had escaped around 12:30am from someone’s house across the highway from the campground. Breakfast at Little Qualicum Falls

Because of how gorgeous it was, the campsite was setup and we were both off, we decided to stay a second night.  This meant a trip into town to pickup more supplies.  We went in earlier in the morning to try and get the trip out of the way so we could just relax around the campsite.

The campsite was gorgeous, practically empty (never would have known we were in the middle of four other campers sites) and I was just so much in awe that I was in the forest and out in nature.  Something I have always loved and something that made me realize I really need to get back out into nature more including camping which I know my son really wants to do as well.

After we got back, I just sat in my chair, tending to the fire while my buddy attempted to get more sleep in his tent.  Every once in a while, I would change where I was looking.  From the campfire, to the forest, to the trees overhead and the space in between them and back to the fire again.  All of which heightened my euphoria and was great for meditating!

I was not cold at any point (including at night when I am always cold camping) and other then the second morning when it started pouring at 4am and stopped quite literally, two minutes from us leaving camp, we were relatively warm and dry the entire time we were there.

During the few brief downpours that happened, we were able to seek refuge under certain trees. I was expecting the rain but was pleasantly surprised by what it added to my purging.  The rain did not make me wet or grumpy, instead, it reminded me of being home (which I was) and seemed to help in the cleansing of what I had gone there to purge which was a lot of the past 12 years as was evident interspersed within the papers I was burning.

Gratitude was very present within me during the time I spent camping, purging and just relaxing with my best buddy.

Little Qualicum Falls Gratitude for having had the opportunity to purge and cleanse, the food I was eating, the warmth of the sun, the multitude of uses from the bonfire (meditation, cooking, warmth, dryer) and forest (meditation, poles, lumber, protection, shelter) and the quality time I got to spend with a friend I don’t see often enough.

Neither of us felt the need to talk the entire time together and we both got our time to just sit by ourselves. I could have sat in my camp chair for hours (days really) longer then I did.  The campsite was empty so when I looked out over our campfire, all I saw was forest.

I would like to be doing this more frequently.  If not for the time in the forest, for having a reason to cook bacon and eggs in a wok over a campfire!

Mission Creek Park: Explore the Snow

I was going to blog about this last Sunday but forgot to get the images off my camera before heading out to blog.

Friends of ours invited us to an event that was being held at Mission Creek Park last Saturday.  This was the first time the RDCO ran the “Explore the Snow” event.  With this being the first time the event had ever been run, there was a much larger turnout then they were expecting.

When we first got there, we entered the ECO Centre and went downstairs to register.  There were multiple craft tables set up and the kids were given a booklet to check off what they discovered during our hike along the trail.  When went outside and up towards the trail, it became evident just how huge the crowd of families was.

Mission Creek Park

The first bit of wildlife we encountered was a flock of ducks.  After watching the ducks and finding a squirrel in the tree, we started climbing up the stairs to a large clearing of mostly untouched (by human footprints) snow.

Ducks

Because of the size of the crowd and the fact that there were mostly younger children, it took quite some time to get all the way up the stairs to where we were going to see what types of animal tracks we could find in the snow.  Of course, by the time we got there (and we were far from the last heading up), they person guiding us was almost done her talk which she thankfully moved to the back of the gaggle and repeated for the rest of us who were still making our way upwards.

We walked through the (somewhat) untouched snow in search of tracks left by wildlife.  There was a checklist in the booklet we received at the ECO station that listed off the types of wildlife and footprints we could find in the area.  We eventually met back up with the trail and the next set of stairs to go back down which were incredibly icy.  I am surprised that only a few people slipped on the way down.  Again, a large gaggle of people were left behind from the main group.

Sunny Kelowna

There were more activities after the trail hike but our son and his friend were more into hanging out and digging in a giant snow pit near our car.  We let them play for a while in the snow before having to drag them away.  We missed out on analyzing snowflakes and creating a snow shelter but the length and timing of the event was a bit much for our overtired child and we could see other families were also leaving at that point.

The next event they have coming up is Geocaching in Rose Valley that we are hoping to attend.