We aren’t sure why we came back from Mexico so early – in hind site we should have waited until at least mid April to return. The weather in Alberta and Western Canada in March, is usually undesirable. So we will keep that in mind for future travels! Regardless, we were home for a couple weeks hanging with family and friends, celebrating birthdays, etc. We packed up Ruby and headed to the Okanagan valley on Apr 5th.
The valley is usually 4-6 weeks ahead of Alberta on spring. We landed at the fairly new RV park called Peachland RV – just off highway 97C, above Peachland. This location is so amazing! (http://peachlandrv.ca/) A quick ride down to Peachland, and about 5 minutes from Westbank area of Kelowna. The RV park is great for big rig units like our Ruby. The plan for the next 7 weeks was to walk, hike, bike, golf and play pickleball to our hearts content! Mother nature wasn’t in her glory….lets just state that! It took a while for the temps to rise, and just when the temps started to go up, we had to make an emergency trip back home to Calgary. Todd’s mum was in hospital with heart issues, so we weren’t sure how long we were going to be home for. Angie @ Peachland RV park didn’t mind that we locked Ruby up and left her for an undetermined amount of time. She even said they would keep our spot for an additional 2 weeks and to not hurry back! This was a great relief as we headed back, and we didn’t have to worry about Ruby. Todd’s mum had a major/minor surgery and was back at home and on her feet in no time. Exactly 8 days later, we were back in Peachland to get our groove on!
Todd spent a lot of time in the Okanagan valley as a kid and knew about all the great outdoor activities in the area. I had not spent anytime in the area, other than 2 years ago when we were in Osoyoos. He assured me there would be tonnes of stuff to do – and that was an understatement! When we got back to Peachland, we did at least two activities a day; there is so much to do. Here is the list of the hikes we did:
- Trepanier Trail
- Hardy falls
- Goats peak
- Bear Creek waterfall hike
- Kalamoir Park
- Glen Canyon
- Naramata Falls
- Fintry Falls stair climb
Here is the video of Fintry Falls (Fintry Falls (rumble.com)) if you’ve never been to the area, we highly recommend it, even for a day trip. About 34 km north of Kelowna on the west side of the lake is a small town, that was originally an old homestead and farmland, dating back to the early 1900’s (you know that is old history for Western Canada!). There are old historical farm buildings, a great beach and campground.
We also spent alot of time on the bikes all around Peachland, Summerland, Trout Creek and a few times through Kelowna and done parts of the KVR trestle trail from Km 0 on Naramata road to Naramata falls and then from Naramata falls to the last parking lot (22 km each way). We were hoping to make it all the way to Chute Lake – but it was 29 km one way! And we weren’t entirely prepared for that….Todd said he will be ready for it next year!
When we weren’t busy doing all that….you could find us at the Pickleball court in Peachland or the driving range or golfing!
Our last weekend in Peachland was a bit rainy, but we had visitors come out from Chilliwack to hang out. Les and Wendy made the 3.5 hour trek to venture out and see what we were up to. Had a couple of great campfires and meals and stories to reminisce on! Although I don’t have any evidence that we actually saw them….why didn’t I take a picture?
Headed out early on the Sunday to travel a mountain range over to Golden, BC. This is a ski town, located on Highway 1 – and a place that we both really haven’t spent anytime at. Not sure why we decided to pull in and check it out, but we hung out for 6 days. We learned that Golden is surrounded by six of Canada’s most stunning national parks; Yoho, Glacier, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Mount Revelstoke. Not only is it a ski town in the winter, they have some of the best mountain biking terrain in North America including 185 km of cross country trails and the challenging downhill at Mount 7. We stayed at the municipal campground, right on the Kickinghorse river – which was flowing fast! The entire town is bikeable and walkable as there are bike /walk trails from one end of town to the next. Also, within minutes of the campsite, we could bike up Mount 7, walk to the grocery store, play pickleball at the outdoor court, play horseshoes at the club. Other activities was a bike pump park, and outdoor pool, a retired peoples activity centre, hockey rink and the list just keeps going. How does a town this small have so much to do?! We ended up biking, walking and pickleballing almost every day we were there. We took a couple of drives, one down to the Invermere Bakery and a pitstop at the driving range on the way back. And another day to Thompson Falls – which was pretty insane.
Checkout my video collage of some pics: Pics of BC (rumble.com)
We attempted to mountain bike up Mount 7 on the “green trail”. It might have been a bit more than we bargained for on the way down…Single Track on Mount 7 (rumble.com)
On a completely separate day, we drove the car to the top of Mount 7 to see what was there – This is what we found at the top of Mount 7: Top of mount 7 (rumble.com)
The municipal campground was not a place where people stopped for 6 days and stayed (like us)…it was a very transient pitstop place for tired tourists. Every night we had a slew of new neighbors from all across Canada, the UK and Europe. We met a young couple from Switzerland who were on week 1 of a 6 week tour. We gave them all the advice we had, on what to see in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and Van Island – and Todd even gave them a can of bear spray. Met another couple from the UK – who had spent the first part of their 4 week vacation on Van Island and were now in the Rockies trying to decide which route to go next. On our last night, a red motorhome pulled in and it was the support camper and team for MSBike across Canada. Todd went over and introduced himself and we met Jonathan and his team (Michael, Francois, & Yurun). What a journey this was for them! You can follow his journey, listen to his story and donate for the cause here (Journey with Jonathan – MS Bike Across Canada)
We loved our time in BC and were so happy we got to see all the things in Peachland, Summerland, Kelowna and Golden. We will definitely be back someday!