Monday, 5 October 2015

Little N'Kwala Blues: Monday, October 5th!

Within one linear centimeter of your lower colon there lives and works more bacteria (about 100 billion) than all humans who have ever been born. Yet many people continue to assert that it is we who are in charge of the world. -Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and author (b. 5 Oct 1958) 

Hi Jane and George, so sorry to hear about your friend. Understand completely that you will want to be there. We are coming into Vancouver on the 16th so could have dinner with you on Friday nite. Look forward to catching up and discussing your visit here in the Spring. Hugs Corinne

Hi Chloe, George, Jane and dog are not coming now for Thanksgiving due to death of friend and his memorial service on Oct. 11. So i'm fine with Mark, Krissy and dog here. Let me know what all is decided. Peter and Lynne are coming for dinner as well. Love Mom

Wanted to say goodbye to Nancy and David before they left to drive back to Vancouver so had decided that I'd drive straight to Summerland to meet hiking group there. After I thanked N/D for the lovely visit, I wished them safe travels and took off. At the IGA parking lot in plenty of time and found a very large group waiting. Twenty-five in all, by the time everyone arrived. We set off just after 9:00 am to leave our vehicles near the KVR trestle, just down from Summerland Sweets. Once we were over the trestle, Big Al and Jud divided us into two, more or less equal groups. Jud would trek to the top of Little N'Kwala, hiking counter-clockwise around the base of the mountain, while Al's group would head up in a clockwise fashion, taking a steeper, slightly more arduous route. People decided which route was best, given stamina, knee problems, and the like.  

I chose to go with Al and although he said it would be a much steeper ascent than other more gradual approach, it really wasn't very difficult, compared to some of the extended climbs we've encountered on other hikes. Still, many in our party were taking off jackets once up first grade as the sun was shining and its warmth plus their exertion had warmed them up. Chilly enough when we met at IGA and I was the only one wearing shorts. Many were also wearing gloves but I thought this was a bit much. Nevertheless, the ground we covered was quite open so going was pretty easy, most comfortable actually. Quite enjoy walking over pine needle carpeted ground, so soft and crunchy underfoot.

Monday's outings are intended to be relatively short hikes so we had reached the top of Little N'Kwala by just after 11:00 am. Lovely spot to have our lunch with a terrific view of Summerland spread out below us, made even better as we had a phenomenal sight-line to the KVR trestle we'd walked across at the very start of the hike. An added benefit was the arrival of the steam locomotive and its five or so carriages. While we munched those of us, so inclined, we were able to snap numerous photos of the tourist train as the crew shunted the locomotive from the back of the train to the front, all done on a small siding before the stat of the trestle itself. Only regret I had was that Big Al wanted to head down before the engine started up again, pulling the cars back off the trestle and up the grade, further north. Shortly after we headed back down, taking a slightly different route, we heard the train's whistle so hoped some of Jud's party had taken a few shots of the most picturesque, white plume of steam which issues from the engine's smoke stack at such times.

Fairly steep descent, initially, so felt  a bit like a mountain goat as we were edging our way, sideways, along very narrow tracks, controlled slip-sliding much of the time until we gained flatter terrain, and from then on it was literally a walk in the park. Last section was on the same "road" we'd followed on the return from an earlier hike so was able to concentrate on chatting with my companions and not have to worry about capturing and new vistas. Back on the trestle by 12:30 pm, almost to the dot of when Big Al suggested we would return. Stats fro hike:

Thanked those in the lead group, for the warm companionship, and then headed back home. Most of the group were going to Summerland Sweets for java and/or their home-made ice-cream. I had a doctor's appointment later that afternoon and didn't want to be late. First appointment with our new doctor here in Penticton. Since I was having my annual physical, which I wanted to undergo before renewing my extended travel insurance, I didn't want to risk the appointment, given the fact that we were extremely fortunate to finally find a doctor who would accept new patients! Life in Paradise!

Hello Monday Hiking Enthusiasts! A quick note to thank both our esteemed co-leaders, Counter-Clockwise Jud, and Clockwise Al, for such a de-loverly outing. Thanks to everyone else for the good spirits and camaraderie.  Sorry not to have joined you at Summerland Sweets as I'm sure it was another spirited gathering. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Wow! 24 people today! Next Monday Al will take us up Grant's (I think) Mill, north of Twin Lakes, south of Penticton. So we will depart Home Hardware in Penticton at 9 am, and Summerlanders can carpool at the IGA Summerfair parking lot at 8:40am. I know, it is Thanksgiving Monday.... We are still planning on going! Afterwards we will likely go to Opus for coffee or whatever beverage of your choosing....Pam   It's Clark's Mill, not Grant's Mill

Great Patricio, you turned the wringer on again! Cheers, Aart & Jos 

Eduardo asked me this morning to send the photo again I took on
Rattlesnake Mountain hike from 2014 that quite nicely shows that
Summerland is build in an old volcano crater. You can clearly see the
"circle" of crater remnants, that the "Summerland Valley" is surrounding by. This is no doubt why the area is so fertile and lush. Enjoy the view AND the wine! Cheers, Aart
Thank You, "Dank"   Aarturo. Ed ******

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