Ian arrived from Calgary late Saturday night. He took a spectacular picture of Castle Mountain, in Banff national Park, as he wended his way west. He has a "new" car which unfortunately developed a problem on the way over. It may mean he has to leave the car here to be repaired, go back to Calgary on the bus and come back on the bus to pick it up. We're hoping he can get it fixed quickly. If it only takes a couple of days he will just wait and drive it home.
But today was sunny and warm enough to be comfy with a light jacket. We lazed around until one o'clock, then went to town for lunch. After lunch we drove up to the Oliver Visitor's Centre, which is an old railway station.
The flowers and shrubs are spectacular. The fall colours are past their height, but still lovely. We both took photos of the flowers and foliage. I'll do a separate post with more autumn colour pictures.
After walking along the river we decided a drive was in order, so we got on the road and headed toward Penticton. We turned off at the Okanagan Falls road and drove up a very twisty road for about a half-hour looking for the falls. (We found, as we came back, that they were only about 100 metres from the highway. We drove right past them without seeing them on the way in. I'd call them "rapids", rather than falls, but....)
We saw some beautiful country on the way in. There were gorgeous vineyards on the bench-land, and large stands of ponderosa pine. These are the most beautiful trees you can imagine, with long needles, cinnamon-coloured trunks and huge pine cones. We started talking about the predictions that the *&^)( pine beetle is going to wipe out all the pines in BC in the next few years.
What a catastrophe this would be! Many of the pines on these slopes are hundreds of years old. What will the landscape be like without them? No nesting spots for birds or chipmunks, no trees breathing out oxygen, no trees to stabilize these loose hillsides, no trees to keep the watershed clear and clean. But just to think that our generation will be the one to watch them all die, and that it will be hundreds of years before our descendants can stand in awe at an enormous pine again. It's enough to make you weep.
We stopped along the road and picked some mullein leaves - they make a wonderful medicinal tea to clear up chest congestion. We found some interesting cactus, sort of like an aloe plant.
On the way back we stopped and bought ice cream at a place called Tickleberries. Yummy ice cream! See our double chins? Sadly they aren't from eating ice cream like this every day.
It was a lovely day all around. Now if Ian can just get his car fixed without losing the engine....