Kelowna Adventures, Summer of 2014
We almost didn’t make it this year, the threat of the fires burning their way through the area and filling the air with black smoke causing us to hesitate. Still the draw of the Okanagan pulled us in as it always does with the promise of hot weather, great wine, and beautiful scenery impossible to deny.
Though I had driven through Kelowna a few times when I lived in Edmonton it wasn’t somewhere I had ever given a second thought. In fact it wasn’t until I met Kevin that I even thought of the Okanagan as a holiday spot at all, so eager was I to always use my vacation days on places I considered exotic and far from home. But Kevin had been going there for years and I was willing to give it a shot.
Now I can’t imagine a summer without a visit to the Okanagan Valley.
Though it is only four hours and a ferry ride away Kelowna feels different. It is the perfect summer destination, magical and inviting, hip and unique.
And full of adventure.
Last year it was hiking through Canyon Falls Park and braving butterflies and steep hills to see the spectacular falls still trickling despite the burning heat.
This year we decided to try something new and early on Saturday morning we made our way to Myra Canyon to rent bikes. Myra Canyon is part of the Kettle Valley Railway and boasts eighteen trestle bridges and two rock carved tunnels. The actual Myra Canyon is 12km (24km return) though serious bikers have the option of bringing their own bikes and connecting to the rest of the Kettle Valley Railway for a considerably longer excursion and a historic ride.
The canyon is stunning and the trestles are perfect, repaired and restored both from the wear and tear of time and from the fires that have ravaged the Okanagan in the past so riders and walkers can feel safe as they trek on.
The gravel path kicks up dirt as you cycle through and the steep drops seem perilously close at times, a true test for anyone who is afraid of heights, but overall it is a tame experience. The heat is considerably more bearable high in the mountains in the early morning, almost too cool at points as you ride through shady paths and carved tunnels.
The views were spectacular and our ride was delayed constantly as I stopped to take picture after picture. I could do an entire album with just pictures from the Myra Canyon, every rock is photogenic, and every twist in the trees is one you will want to remember.
We finished our ride around 12:30pm, just as the heat started to thicken the air, coating and clinging to everything.
It was an unforgettable experience, and one I highly recommend to anyone and everyone. A real Kelowna Adventure.