I had to fly to Kelowna, BC a couple of weeks ago to spend a week with my parents. It wasn’t a pleasure trip, it was one of the trips that everyone with elderly parents dreads. My 88-year old mother needs 24-hour care as of a few weeks ago, and my father and a sister living in Kelowna can’t do it by themselves anymore. So I went down to see what I could help with.
At 08:20 on September 4th I boarded this Embraer 190 for the Air Canada flight from Whitehorse to Vancouver, and 30 minutes later we were off.
The woman who got the aisle seat beside me asked if I’d like the aisle because she prefers the window. Nope 🙂 Although much of the route was over clouds, there were some spectacular views. This is southwestern BC somewhere, at 10:35.
Approaching Vancouver at 10:41 – the mountains go on forever.
Looking north over West Vancouver and up Howe Sound as we turned onto the downwind leg of our approach to Vancouver.
The tightest connection I could get at Vancouver was 2 hours and 40 minutes. Although I don’t mind spending time at airports, that’s pushing it – a good breakfast killed almost an hour, though. I took a few photos of the action outside but was pretty stressed out about the trip so my head wasn’t really into photography.
At 1:55 pm, we left Vancouver in a Bombardier Dash 8-200. The large peninsula in this photo is home to the University of British Columbia – the airport is just to the right of it, English Bay and then downtown Vancouver just to the left.
Lilloet Lake, at 2:20.
Twenty minutes later we were over the heavily-logged region north of Merritt, and then, 55 minutes after leaving Vancouver, we were on the ground in Kelowna. If you’re thinking about visiting Kelowna, you can find great hotel deals in this area.
I arrived as things reached their worst for my Mom. She spent a few days in hospital, and helping get her home and then helping Dad take care of her was tough.
Three days after arriving I took an evening off by myself – Knox Mountain offers excellent hiking trails and views. This is looking north up Okanagan Lake.
There are some spectacular homes along the lake. Kelowna is apparently the wealthiest city per capita in Canada, and the second most expensive place to live in the country – it looks it.
A lovely calm evening on the lake.
Knox Mountain is right at the edge of downtown Kelowna. This view from the summit of the mountain is south down the lake, with West Kelowna (formerly Westbank) to the right.
Two days later, things got very exciting for a while. I was asleep in the back yard when I woke up to the smell of forest fire smoke. You can just see the smoke in this photo, shot from my parents’ deck at 4:09pm.
By 4:41, the fire, driven by very high winds, was clearly out of control!
One of the water bombers working what was now called the Trepanier fire at 4:51 – this was still shot from my parents’ deck. The aircraft is an Lockheed L-188 Electra operated by Air Spray – one of these planes (perhaps this plane) was based at Whitehorse all summer.
Incredibly, fire fighters managed to get the fire mostly under control within about 3 hours, but at 05:00am on Monday (September 10th), I went for a drive up Highway 97C (“the Connector”) for a look. This was the view from the tourist information centre! As soon as I got back to the house, I emailed this photo to the Peachland News, and it was on their home page a couple of hours later. I just noticed as I was writing this that it’s also now the header for their Trepanier fire section (which is only open to subscribers). I guess I should have charged them for it 🙂
Later that day I tried to do some photography while I was touring residential care options for Mom, but even at the Father Pandosy Mission, just wasn’t into it.
I thought about changing my flight home to give me another couple of days, but decided that I’d done about all I could, so at 05:45 on Tuesday the 11th, I boarded another Bombardier Dash 8-200 for the hop to Vancouver.
I had an hour and 55 minutes at Vancouver this time, a comfortable period that allowed for a calm breakfast. We were over clouds for much of the flight, I think, but I slept through most of both flights this morning. This photo, taken 30 minutes north of Vancouver, was one of the few I shot.
At this point, Mom has private home care coming in for a few hours a week, the province has her on waiting lists for several types of assistance to keep her at home, and my Dad, sister and a niece have a great deal of work ahead of them 🙁