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A Winter Wonderland….

Snow, snow, snow….

After thinking weren’t going to get any, it arrived, with a vengence. Shovelling is going on, on a regular basis right now. The snowfall has been a lot worse this year, possibly the worst since we got here. We’re running out of space to pile it at the moment. If you’ve read Alex Garland’s novel, "Snow", you’ll get an idea of the thought’s going through my mind right about now….

So, news; We’ve had Holly’s play, The Wizard of Oz, which for me, was the best one so far, along with the school xmas concert. School ends tomorrow, for 2 weeks. Sam’s soccer is over until January, The Missus is working full time and I’m tutoring, covering for people.

The other morning, as I looked out the window, at the lake, steam was rising off the surface. At -25C, it was cold….

Steam (1)....

Steam (2)....

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The Snow is here….

Well, it’s been forcast for the last few days, but it’s finally arrived….

View of Mount Boucherie....

Holly has been out every moment she can, in the snow, which is a bit slushy at the moment, being that it’s been raining all day, making a snowman in the back yard. She and the missus are now constructing the xmas tree, whilst Mojo hides in the boxes….

A bit of success this afternoon. Sam has been in his room for a couple of hours creating a skateboard and snowboarding collage picture from his magazines. We were going to our weekend swim, but I don’t want to stop his concentration for now. It’s rare for him to get engrossed like this in a creative project, so I think we’ll leave him for now.

On a side note, after the elections, we’re no longer Westbank, or Westside, we’re now, West Kelowna…. mind you, the First Nations, are remaining Westbank. So, go figure that one out…

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Kelowna United….

He made it….

We were keeping quiet about it until we knew for sure, but over the last 3 Friday nights, Sam has been attending the try outs for Kelowna United U12 Boys. He played over the summer for them, but this was the real deal. Started out with abround 90 boys all fighting for a place, more than we were expecting, that needed to be whittled down to 30. There were 6 coaches all grading the boys, each week “culling” them as we went along.

At 6.30pm, last Friday the group was split into 2, when the roar went up from Sam’s group, it was job done. He and 2 of his mates all made the grade.

So, we have a soccer, or football star in the making, it seems. early days, I know, but he’s on the way. Now we just need to find the cash for it. Some travelling is now going to be required, maybe even down into the U.S., which will be interesting….

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Mission Creek Regional Park….

One of our friends has given us a bike rack for the Jeep, so we finally got round to using it last weekend, when we took them over to Mission Creek Regional Park, in Kelowna….

Mission Creek (1)....

Mission Creek (2)....

The ride is about 6km each way, as you cycle along the creek heading down to the lake. Bears had been sighted but not by us, of course…. all we saw was a couple of cranes, herons and ravens, along with the first few kokanee salmon heading upstream for the spawning season. The missus saw an osprey soaring past with a salmon still wriggling in it’s mouth, but that was it. Boring, eh!….

Mission Creek (3)....

With the kids back to school and the temperature cooling off, we’re going to try to do a bit more of this before the snow appears in a month or so….

On Yer Bikes (1)....On Yer Bikes (2)....

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Of flat tyres and Oyama….

A couple of Sundays back, we took  trip up to a new beach in Coldstream, just outside Vernon….

Jade Bay....

Just before you get to Vernon, is a turn off to Coldstream. You drop down to the lake, where there is a lovely sandy beach on Kalamalka Lake. (“Kalamalka” meaning “many coloured, and from the photo, you can see why.) A great little general store appears as you get down to “lake level”, where they stock many things, as well as their own home made bread and rolls. We managed to pick up some organic cherries and peaches for a couple of bucks.

So, onto the lake, and Jade Bay. Silver sand, crystal clear water, a little chilly, a little walk down to the actual beach, but well worth it. We got the cooler box down there and stayed put for the afternoon.

Chillaxin....

As we left, we got talking to the “Smoothie Man”, a tanned Buddhist, we think, who we have seen many times at the Farmers Market, but never managed to get talking to. He’s always too busy. Anyway, he was packing up his wares after an afternoon lugging trays of various flavoured smoothies along the beach and getting ready to be picked up and dropped off back in Kelowna, to carry on selling. And this was at 5pm! He’s flat out through July and August it seems, making 300+ of these smoothies a night, hawking them round the markets, festivals and beaches of the Okanagan. Where he finds time to make meals for the homeless in Kelowna, running a yoga session for them whilst renovating his house, I have no idea. Great man, a real nice guy. As we were getting in the car, he came over, “I’m giving you guys a smoothie each.” Tasty. A strawberry one, a pina colada one and a pineapple one, all in bio degradable cups. We’re gonna have to buy a couple next time we see him now. We’re hooked.

We left Smoothie Man and headed for the mountain and home, an adventure, see somewhere new. We started well, a little unsure of where we were going, maps and signposts, not being the best in Canada…..

And then, on the way up the mountain, (I say, “up the mountain, we were on the mountain, deep in unknown territory……), Leigh and the kids heard a weird noise, which on investigation, was a flat tyre. A sodding flat! The first one and it had to be in the mountains, miles from anywhere, with no cellphone. And then, as I was figuring out how to attach the jack to the Jeep, Bob turned up…. who helped me jack the Jeep up and get us going again, so many thanks. His questioning about English swear words was hilarious! You meet some real nice people in the middle of nowhere. It’s not always like those “horror films”!

After changing the tyre, in the middle of nowhere, in the mountains, kids panicking about bears and cougars, whilst I lay on the floor, getting eating alive by the mozzies, we finally got back underway, nearly an hour later, Bob following us as far as King Edward Lake, to make sure the tyre was OK. He was camping there doing a little fishing and said it was a great place to come camping, he did regularly with his nephews. You can see why….

King Edward Lake....

And then as we started our descent, we found a layby, with a breathtaking view, north to Vernon, and down to Oyama….

Oyama....

Trees everywhere to our right, in a large valley, water north and south, mountains all around, no sounds other than nature, a couple of bald headed eagles doing there screeching calls and not another person in sight. As the sun went down in front of us as we came off the mountain, dropping into Oyama, we all thought, “What a fantastic day!”, even with the flat tyre and the mosquito bites.

JB on the Mountain....

I’ve just noticed the length of this post. By far the longest in the history of the No Going Back blog. With the temperature at 32 degrees as I sit in the shade,think I’ll call it a day. I’m off for a smoothie….

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