Monday, 20 May 2013

Escape From the Long Weekend

We knew we didn't want to be climbing at Skaha over the long weekend. Been there, done that, with 100+ cars in the parking lot and climbers everywhere. No more!

So we headed just down the road to Summerland -- also known as "Slumberland" to our friend Ellen who lives there. Ellen's house is in a very quiet area on the hill above Okanagan Lake, with a view that would make anyone pea green with envy. We were still very active over the weekend but managed to avoid the long weekend crowds.

Friday night started with a very heavy rain storm that foiled a few climbers' plans at Skaha on Saturday, at least for the first half of the day until things dried up. We were in dry comfort by this time!
Rainbow over Okanagan Lake. View from Ellen's house.
On Saturday we joined Ellen and four of her friends on a hike up to Divide Lake. It was interesting going through an area that had been devastated by fire ten years ago and seeing the comeback of plant life. We had a reasonable elevation gain of about 2000 feet in just over 5 km. Good training for the friends upcoming trip to Kilimanjaro!  (See Andrew's blog post for more photos.)

On the hike to Divide Lake
Ellen, Andrew & I at Divide Lake
View of Okanagan Lake from the trail up to Divide Lake
On Saturday morning, after borrowing bikes and helmets from one of Ellen's neighbours and a tire pump from another, we took a leisurely bike ride in Summerland, checking out the lakeside trail to Echo Beach.  In the afternoon, Andrew and I hiked up Giant's Head. 
Looking towards Penticton from the summit of Giant's Head
From the summit of Giant's Head
Sunday night we treated ourselves to a lovely meal at Local Lounge & Grille -- a waterfront restaurant in Summerland featuring fresh, local ingredients and a local wine list. The menu has plenty to keep everyone, both meat eaters and vegetarians, happy.

And then on Monday Andrew and I biked part of the Kettle Valley Railway trail (which is also part of the Trans Canada Trail). As you can see, we had plenty of stops along the way. Now this is my kind of biking!
Refreshment (lunch) stop #1
Refreshment (lunch) stop #2
Refreshment stop #3 (Summer Gate Winery)
Refreshment stop #4 (The Beanery)
A new use for Ellen's bike bag!

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