Travel Journal

Kelowna - June 20-21

(Friday 22 June 2007) by Karin
Early wake up on Wednesday. Kid and I first went to the visitor information center to find out if we had to spend our time somewhere else but the beach. Decision was quickly made... why should we spend it somewhere else? Great weather, beach only a 5 minute walk away from the hostel. We couldn't find a reason not to go. So back to the hostel... change into bikini... beach... here we come. They had warned us for the "Ogopogo". The myth of the Ogopogo is old. Before the white man came to the Okanagan Valley, the Syilx people (Okanagans) spoke of a lake creature they called n'ha-a-itk who was said to live in an underwater cave of what is now known as Squally Point, 20 kilometers south of Kelowna. Over the generations, the legend gained credibility through retelling and hundreds of reported sightings. In the past thirty years many reputable persons have seen "Ogopogo" but as most of the roads are high above the lake it is almost impossible to photograph anything one might see. Descriptions vary, but certain characteristics have been repeated throughout the decades; Ogopogo is greenish in color, with a snakelike body. It ranges upward to 25 meters in length. Some say the head is horse like; others that it's reptilian, or goat like and well bearded. He may be traveling at a fast speed or lazily sunning himself. We looked out for him but no... he wasn't out there today. We did enjoy a nice, lazy beach day. After dinner we walked around the waterfront and through the bird sanctuary before retiring.
On Thursday, I wanted to sleep a bit longer but we needed to take the bus at 8:45 to go to Mission Creek Regional Park. It's a nature reserve located in the center of Kelowna. Both sites border Mission Creek which is one of Kelowna's most important natural features. It travels more than 70 km from its source in the Greystoke Mountains through natural forests, farmlands and urban development to Okanagan Lake. We were told that the first part is flat and popular with bikers, runners and inline skaters so we started the Greenway trail at the EECO center. The start was not well marked so we started out on the wrong side of the creek but some nice ladies who have met a lot of people that made the same mistake told us we were on the wrong side and we backtracked to get to a bridge to cross. From there on no problems and we did make it to Gallagher's canyon which was our goal. Even though we would have liked some more hills we had an enjoyable 4.5 hot and sunny hours on the trail. I had a spa appointment in the afternoon so we had to be back in time. Afterwards some dinner and a run later in the evening. Met Kid in the bird sanctuary and we spent some time watching a beaver at work before heading back to the hostel. North America's largest rodent weighs about 16-23 kg. the flat, leathery tail steers the swimmer, slaps the water to warn of danger, and is a prop on land. Their long strong front teeth grow continually, sharpened by grinding together. Its front feet nimbly manipulate materials for construction of intricate dams, lodges and canals. Beaver eat leaves and fruit, spring to fall, but in winter mainly woody material in underwater caches. Their preference for trembling aspen, poplar and willow are seen throughout the Marsh in the harvested willow and cottonwood. Early rise tomorrow. The Moose leaves at 8:00. Goodnight.
Ps. Picked the Angel of Serenity today and tried to remember that at times I would stress for nothing today.


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