Tuesday, 9 November 2010

19/10/2010 - 29/10/2010 Seattle to Penticton

21/10/2010 - 29/10/2010 - Penticton / Adams River
After a few emails going back and forth between the Howard's and ourselves and the fact that we were only about 6 hours from Penticton - we decided to make the trip to Penticton.  It had nothing to do with the fact that Brant had Box / Suite tickets to the Penticton Vees Ice Hockey Game.

21/10/2010 - We had a great drive from Seattle to Penticton - the scenery was once again spectacular.  To see the varying colour of the leaves (Indian Summer) on the trees against a winding river made the drive very enjoyable and quick.  We decided there and then that we would come back the same way.  We arrived at Peter and Lisa's place at about 6:30pm - once again they have been very gracious in letting us park Stubbie and Shooter in their drive way.  It was great to see them both again - even though I was disappointed that you couldn't even tell Lisa was pregnant - no bump / s anywhere.  So after saying our hellos and getting set-up it was off to Bobbie and Brant's for dinner.  Dave and I both commented that it did feel a bit like coming back to a holiday home.  It felt like we had never left.

22/10/2010 - Tonight we headed off to the Vees game. This was to be our first game of Ice Hockey in the new arena - and what a great way to see it - sitting in a box.  Unfortunately,  the Vees didn't come away with a win - they really didn't seem to have their heart into this game - and the result showed with 5 -0 lose to their old rivals the Vernon Vipers. 

23/10/2010 -Today we headed over to the Howard Hacienda for yet another meal (lunch) and also to watch a bit of football.  We hadn't been there long when Lisa was telling us that her and Peter had been visiting a friend of their's (about 100 meters up the road) and that there was a Mother Bear with her two cubs in the Big Walnut tree out the back. 

So of course Peter had to take Dave, Brant and myself for a little look see.  When we got there, the three of them were having a little rest.  At first we viewed the Bears (very bravely) from behind the fence next door.  But as they were sleeping we decided to edge bit by bit closer.  Peter and I found ourselves taking pictures underneath the Bears.  Peter was taking a picture of the Mother Bear when she let out this almighty growl/hissing sound - well we had never seen Peter move so quick - he was outta there, oh okay to be fair to Peter we were all outta there, we could take the hint. 

Tonight we headed off to another Vees game.  Unfortunately, after some overtime the Vees went down 3-2, to the Alberni Bulldogs - it was a lot better game though.  We are starting to wonder if we have become bad luck...

24/10/2010 - 25/10/2010 - Another one of the reasons that we decided to make the journey up to see the Howard's / Navin's (not that we needed one - it is always great to see them) was to see the Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run.  The adult Sockeye Salmon that managed to avoid a host of predators (including fishermen) battle the turbulent Fraser River and Thompson River 500 km into the heart of southern British Columbia.  The 12-kilometre-long Adams River will be the ultimate destination of as many as two million of the returning sockeye.  Four years earlier, the parents of the returning sockeye followed the same waterways, mated, laid their eggs in the coarse gravel stream beds, and died. 

We left Penticton with Brant in the Navigators seat and Dave driving.  We had a scenic drive up to the Adams River - we did make a few detours to see more of the countryside than the direct route. We arrived at the RV Park and set-up then Bobbie and I opened our first bottle of wine, whilst the men had a beer or two, before they opened their first bottle red.  By the end of the evening we had four empty wine bottles (2 red and 2 white). Prior to arriving in Penticton we had purchased another air mattress for our Sofa lounge.  So we set this up for the Howards and then went off to bed.  Dave and I both woke up after a good night's sleep and asked the Howards how they had slept - well mmm.  Bobbie said that Brant had to fill the air mattress up about 12:30 that night. I had a look at the air mattress and yet again it had gone down.  They really don't have a lot of luck sleeping on that bed. 

We set off in the morning to go to the viewing area for the Salmon.  The sockeye salmon, the second smallest of the five species of Pacific salmon, weigh an average of three kilograms when they leave the Pacific on their 17-day journey to the spawning grounds. Travelling at an average speed of 30 kilometres a day, the salmon do not slow to feed. Instead, they live off the fat stored during their two years in the salt waters of the Pacific. As their upstream battle consumes their body fat and tissue, they undergo a remarkable transformation. Their deep-sea blue-gray bodies gradually change to a brilliant crimson in their battle against such well-known obstacles as Hell's Gate Rapids on the Fraser and the many whitewater rapids on the Thompson.

By the time the Adams River sockeye reach the mouth of the stream in mid-October, the transformation from blue-gray to crimson is virtually complete. In addition, the male of the species now has become grotesquely distorted with a humped back and a sharply hooked nose on his gray-green head. The sockeye salmon pair up and then begin their search for clean gravel where fast running water will insure an ample supply of oxygen for their eggs.  When a suitable location is found, the female digs a nest from 10 to 40 cm deep while the male hovers nearby, fending off all intruders. The female deposits approximately 3,500 pinkish eggs to which the male adds a whitish milt to fertilize them. The sockeye pair then cover the eggs with loose gravel as protection against marauding fish and birds. Within the next 10 days, the crimson pair will turn a chalky gray as their tired and battered bodies slowly give up life, passing on the task of the continuation of the species to the tiny pink eggs that lay beneath the gravel.

I really didn't expect this experience to be a sad one. But for me it was so sad to see these Salmon that had made this enormous journey, lay / fertilise their eggs and then die. This part of the experience I did find sad. However, I did have to remind myself that this was their circle of life and also that these were the lucky ones who had made it back. Of an estimated 100 million sockeye fingerlings that leave the Lake in the spring of a peak year, approximately 10 per cent are expected to return. I really did enjoy the whole experience.

"Sockeye Salmon are the only animal that are born without parents and die without children." 
 After leaving the Adams River we headed back to Penticton.

26/10/2010 - Today we took Grandma Mae to lunch up to one of hers and ours favourite restaurant - The Lost Moose.  This was the first time that we had seen some long horn sheep on the drive up the mountain.  It was great to catch up with Grandma Mae - she is really remarkable at 93.  She is still living in the house on Skaha Lake and she still looks great - we did notice that her memory was not as good as last time we visited.  Dave and I enjoyed a nice glass of wine with our meal and after a little bit of coercing Grandma Mae decided that she would indulge and have a scotch and ice. Well all I can say is that it was a very large scotch.  Dave did mention to Mae that she didn't need to drink it all - but not one to waste anything it was all finished by the time we left.  Dave and I were both a bit worried that it might of been a bit too much, she did have a little bit of a wobbly boot - so we made sure that she got upstairs and settled in before we left - we were coming back for dinner.  Tonight we all met at Grandma Mae's for dinner ie. the Elfords, the Navins and the Howards.  After dinner we headed on over to the Ice Hockey to see another Vees game - and we finally got to see the Vees have a Victory over the Grizzlies 6 - 3 - a lot better game.  We are happy to report that after our visit the Vees are on top of the ladder.

27/10/2010 - Tonight we headed off to the Barley Mill for the Howards and friends Wednesday night weekly dinner.  We had a great night before heading back to the Howards for a nightcap and to say goodbye - until January, when we will back in BC doing a bit of snow boarding.  Once again we had a fantastic time in Penticton and Simmy you will be happy to know that as usual I put on weight - 2.0 kilo's in a week - not as bad as some with the Howards - I think I'm going to blame Bobbie's great cooking - oh and the alcohol.  Looks like it's back to rabbit food,

28/10/2010 - We said our thanks and goodbye to Peter and Lisa and headed off.  We are never sure what to expect at Customs / Border.  This time they were more interested in how we had registered our motorhome and asked us if it was legal what we had done - of course we said yes...  They did take our tomatoes and avocadoes - but they never seem to care that we have more alcohol then what we believe we should be taking back and forward.  We always tell them what we have, but they don't seem interested. 

We now want to get down the mountain passes and back to the Oregon coast beofore the snow starts to gather on the roads.  It is already on the mountains.