Back in the Okanagan Valley

Some of you are wondering what I’m up to, as I haven’t posted in almost 2 weeks. I’m in Kelowna with my Dad at the moment, but here’s the catch-up. Way back on the 8th, we had the best of days and the worst of days on the same day. We sold the cabin, and Kayla got very sick – the emotional rollercoaster was difficult.

Kayla failed rapidly, and spending over $800 at the vet accomplished nothing. There was no diagnostic reason for her failing, she was just old. On Monday the 11th, I made the extremely difficult decision to have her euthanized.

Huskies Monty and Kayla
At 11:00am on Tuesday, I flew out of Whitehorse on my way back to Kelowna to give my Dad a hand for a week. This is probably the best aerial shot of the city I’ve ever gotten – conditions were perfect.

Aerial view of Whitehorse, Yukon
The main block of buildings is Yukon College. At the lower left are the old and new prisons, the young offenders facility is to its right, and at the lower right is the oldest of the mobile home parks in Whitehorse, Takhini. The new $75 million prison opened last year, to much controversy about it being more of a hotel – see this article at CBC News.

Aerial view of Yukon College at Whitehorse
Fish Lake, just north of Whitehorse. We flew into the clouds a couple of minutes later and I didn’t see anything until we were low on the approach to our landing in Vancouver.

Aerial view of Fish Lake, Yukon
Looking across to rain showers on Vancouver Island as we neared touchdown.

Aerial view of Georgia Strait
As usual, I had just over 2 hours to wait for my next flight from Vancouver to Kelowna, so I had lunch and wandered around the airport looking for photo ops 🙂

Aircraft at YVR, Vancouver International Airport

Aircraft at YVR, Vancouver International Airport

Aircraft at YVR, Vancouver International Airport
At 4:50, the Fraser River was below me just before we went back into the clouds.

Aerial view of BC's lower Fraser River
Just 10 minutes later, the clouds started to break.

Aerial view of BC's Coastal Mountains
The massive Highland Valley Copper Mine, located at Logan Lake south of Kamloops, produces both copper and molybdenum concentrates from their open-pit operation.

Aerial view of BC's Highland Valley Copper Mine
Nicola Lake, in dry-belt cattle ranching country.

Aerial view of Nicola Lake, BC
Just 1 minute later, Douglas Lake. At the far (north) end is the famous Douglas Lake Ranch, founded in 1886 and now Canada’s largest working cattle ranch.

Aerial view of Douglas Lake, BC
This photo of a logged area north of Merritt clearly shows the riparian protection zones surrounding creeks.

Aerial view of an old logging area at Merritt, BC
This was the first time I’d done an approach to Kelowna airport from the south. It’s much more scenic this way, and this photo got a nice reaction on the YLW airport’s Facebook page.

Aerial view of Kelowna, BC
The weather has been quite dreary for most of my week in Kelowna, but Sunday was nice so I went exploring up Westside Road, to the north along Okanagan Lake. My first photo stop, though, was just 3 blocks from Dad’s house, at a little park overlooking Shannon Lake.

Shannon Lake - West Kelowna, BC
There are some wonderful vistas, as well as lots of well-hidden coves and side valleys. Not until I looked at Google Earth did I realize how many homes there are up Westside.

Kelowna, BC
There were dozens of cars parked at Bear Creek Park, a very popular hiking area. Winter must be over 🙂 Just past Bear Creek, I met this California bighorn ram right beside the road. These sheep were in this area historically, but a few years ago they were re-introduced and with no hunting now, they’ve done very well.

California bighorn ram at Kelowna, BC
More sheep. On this narrow, winding road, there aren’t very many places where it’s possible to stop, so luck counts!

California bighorn sheep at Kelowna, BC
Just south of the Lake Okanagan Resort, the most deluxe of the handful of properties on this side of the lake.

Kelowna, BC
The huge La Casa Cottage Resort was a surprise.

Kelowna, BC
At the north end of the Westside Road is a large block of Indian land, home to 1,500 people according to the sign. The Okanagan Indian Band is one of the richest Indian bands in Canada, but you’d never know it from the homes surrounded by junk cars that are common here. This piece of Indian land will soon be the site of a gated community with 78 homes for sale to non-Natives at prices starting at $200,000. Indians can’t sell their treaty land, so while the homes are purchased, the land they sit on is leased.

Kelowna, BC
I kept on driving and driving, and ended up at Highway 97, which runs from Vernon to Kamloops. Just east of that junction is the historic O’Keefe Ranch, founded in 1867. It’s a historic site but was closed so I didn’t get to look around the property.

Kelowna, BC
I started back south at about 2:30, and made a few more stops. This is looking across the lake at some of the huge homes that have been built there. If you’re in the market for a home in the $2-7 million dollar range, you could live in one of them 🙂

Huge homes on Okanagan Lake, BC
I made one last stop at an old logging camp for a few photos. A few minutes later, a nasty storm hit, with snow and high winds that lasted a half hour or so!

Old logging camp site on Okanagan Lake, BC

Today, I’m having lunch with a high-school friend, then tomorrow morning I fly home.


Back in the Okanagan Valley — 13 Comments

  1. I am so sorry about Kayla. I always love to hear about the dogs, and their adventures with you. You have some beautiful pictures of her, to remember the good times.

  2. First and foremost I am sorry to hear about Kayla. We lost our little dog about a year ago (in April) so I know how painful that can be.

    Interesting blog…a wide range of subjects. I was surprised not to see any snow on the ground in Kelowna…is it close enough to the coast that it doesn’t get snow?

    You got some great aerial shots. Seems like I always get a dirty window on and airplane and can’t get any good shots. The last time I flew I got my little hand held GPS out to see if it would pick up on the plane. To my surprise it picked up the satellites and showed our position and speed. It did work better if I held it close to the window.

  3. Thanks to you both – I wanted to say more about Kayla but ended up in tears again.

    Neal, I used to bring my little Garmin Summit but twice had flight attendants tell me that I couldn’t use it – idiots. Yes, it worked well if held right up to the window – many of the planes I fly in don’t have GPS readout screens, and I like to know where I am.

  4. I’m so sorry about Kayla. We all know how much this hurts. You did give her the best life- ever. And I bet she loved you for that.

  5. Sorry to hear about Kayla and know what you are going through. The memories will stay on forever and all those pictures of her will help you get through the tears.

  6. Murray, I’m sorry to hear about Kayla. Since I found your blog upon moving to Whitehorse 1.5 years ago, I’ve always enjoyed seeing your energetic dogs in many of your photos! I hope you find the comfort of your family, friends and photos forever more.

  7. I am very, very sorry to learn about Kayla, your loyal companion-in-exploration. Even though you had mentioned at times that age was catching up with her, it must still have been a dreadful shock when she went down so rapidly and you had to do what you had to do. How is Monty?
    I hope your Dad is much improved, too. We really enjoyed the O’Keefe Ranch and the history of the family. Your aerial photos were really interesting – I can sympathise with Neal’s comment about dirty plane windows spoiling good photo opportunities! Lovely to see the ‘rain over Vancouver Is.’ photo & visualise the Canadian part of our family back home after enjoying a flawless February here with us.

  8. Very sorry to hear about Kayla. I’ve enjoyed her adventures with you. It’s good that you can spend some time with your Dad. Please let us know how he doing since the accident.

  9. Very sorry about Kayla as it always difficult to make that decision. As usual love the photographs and the comments and for once I have been to some of the places near Kelowna that you visited.

  10. I am so sorry to hear about Kayla. It’s so hard to say goodbye to our furry companions, and she has seen so much with you.Those memories are good for the soul.

    Those are beautiful aerial pics- especially the one of Whitehorse! Winnipeg is under about 10 feet of snow right now- it feels like spring hasn’t arrived yet, so the pics of Kelowna made me long for seeing evidence of warmth!

  11. I too am sorry to hear about Kayla, you and Cathy were wonderful “parents” and you gave her a wonderful life.
    As always, I enjoyed your pictures and stories.

  12. Sorry to hear about Kayla. Dogs add so much to our lives, and your Kayla had a great adventurous life!

  13. My farewell to Kayla, you will be remembered and missed by all who loved you.

    There is nothing I can say to ease the sadness, but from experience, it’s the memories that always bring the tears. My sympathy for Kayla’s passing.

    My initial encounter with Explore North was Everything Husky, many years ago, Everything Husky is a treasure. Murray, Kayla will always be with Monty and you when you go walking.