So the last night after my sweetheart and I had enjoyed a wonderful dinner together, we decided to retire to the deck over looking the lake to sip on a nice Pinot Noir and watch the sunset. As the evening developed it quickly became clear the Gods were not happy and so rather than give us a surreal and beautiful sunset they decided to give us a light show. The video was just taken on my Samsung phone so sorry if the quality isn’t great. It was really an amazing show that went on for hours. If you go to my YouTube site (The Retiree Diary) I have a few more videos of the storm you can see. If you like what you see let me know and please share with your friends or on your Facebook page. Cheers!
It’s been a loooonnnngggg time since I last wrote my “regular” blog post of Just Another Day at the Office. Lots of things have come up along the way like family graduations, retirements, relocations and home building. Not that I am offering these as excuses really. I only mention them so you don’t think I have sat around just watching the days go by.
The area in which we chose to build our dream home borders a natural conservancy in The Creeks area of Kelowna, British Columbia. Basically 5 minutes from our door step we walk into 400+ hectares of protected nature/wildlife reserve. Cedar Mountain was the original name of this park prior to the receipt of a large private land donation in 2013. Its original name came from the Western Red Cedar tree that was the dominate form of vegetation in the park. Originally the park boundaries put it at approximately 80 hectares, and it was already considered a large park. Back in 2003, the park and surrounding area was devastated by a wildfire. Basically no trees survived the intense heat of the fire and although Mother Nature’s regeneration has been underway for some time now it will take generations before it gets to its former glory.
In 2013, the park expanded by way of a private land donation from the Johns Family of Kelowna. The added private donation of 323 hectares to the existing 80 hectares brought the size of the park up to the 403 hectares the public can enjoy today. Due to the significant size of the donation, the park was renamed to The Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park to honour them and respect their wishes of preserving the area in its natural state. Hiking up the 2500 feet in elevation for the first time, I couldn’t help but wonder what would be around the next corner?? Well it always seemed to turn out that it was just another corner and so the hike continued. The relatively short hike is quite easy but does involve a steep climb towards the viewpoint near the end of the path.
The area does have natural hazards due to the fire however charred timber was removed from the trail to make it more user-friendly. I didn’t realize that one of the natural hazards we would come across would be in the form of an extremely excited golden retriever puppy (a big one!). Now just to back up a bit, I have this fear of walking in the mountains by our place because I worry about bears and cougars as there are many of them around. My wife and I walk together but have no protection of any kind with us should we come across any of the “warm bodied hazards”. We were in a dense mist/fog for sections of our hike, so my senses were already being taxed. During our hike we had this friendly dog run up on us stealthily from behind and scare the jeepers out of us. I couldn’t help but think that if I couldn’t hear this dog who wasn’t trying to be quiet, how would I ever hear the cougar that may be stalking us as we walk? What made this chance encounter even more unnerving was this pup had a very strong physical attraction to my left leg. He ran right past my wife, mounted my left leg in one single motion and began to have carnal relations with my thigh!!! This without even having taken me for dinner or bought me flowers! Anyway, I was having nothing to do with this, so I pried him off, patted him on the head, and sent him on his way…..where were the owners? …no doubt on the trail directly below us, probably enjoying their alone time.
Once you get to the top of the trail you are treated to a spectacular 180 degree view of the Okanagan Lake 2500 feet below you. The views from this vantage point really are worth the hike and we really enjoyed ourselves. Spring can’t come soon enough so we can continue to explore nature’s doorstep, just minutes from our own doorstep. Today’s “Bloggin in the Okanagan” really was just another day at the office. If you enjoyed this post (or didn’t), have questions, etc. I would love to hear from you. Feel free to rate my posts with the stars at the bottom of the page. I appreciate it!
Have you ever gone through a time in your life where you feel like your patience is constantly being put to the test almost to the point of breaking? I am not talking about the normal work week or life event that brings about some level of frustration but them quickly subsides as you move on to something else. I am talking about a slow-moving, restricted and inhibited intolerance for delays and/or problems “without” becoming annoyed or anxious. If I could Google a definition or get a prognosis for this overwhelming feeling I believe it would come down to “Consta-Patience”. No matter how many times you bite your tongue, take a deep breath, sigh, or send a positive message to the universe it doesn’t help. There are days when it seems like (on the surface) that everyone is there just to annoy me and press the last nerve I have. This is, of course, is not the case and often a well-timed knock on the side of the head can do wonders to snap me back into the present.
In life there will be lots of challenges that come our way and test our resolution. They will stifle our ability to breath while drowning in a pit of “will you stop bugging me”? In the not to distant past I had my many moments of silence seeking hope where I could take a moment to catch my breath. I needed to take stock of what is important, focus on those things and the many gifts I have in my life that I am truly thankful for. I have great kids, the love of an amazing woman, good health that has followed me into my early retirement, and recently a relocation to an oasis of outdoor beauty with opportunities to grow. These are the things I need to focus on and keep myself steady, all while taking deep breaths and remembering to “slow down” in a sort of smell the roses kind of way. As the great American poet Jimmy Buffet says, “go fast enough to get there and slow enough to see”.
Here is a review by Richard: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1422947674