C2H: The old man climbeth

C2H — Close to Home is my attempt at a new summer series. Thanks to impending (f)unemployment and the price of gas ($1.44 a litre!) in the Okanagan, our adventuring will be a bit limited. Shep and I will try to explore the regional parks around Kelowna and find adventure less than 50 kilometres from home.

It seems like almost too much of a coincidence.

I chose Glen Canyon Park to start our Close to Home summer series, highlighting adventure opportunities in Kelowna and the Okanagan.

At 74 hectares, it’s large enough to split into a few different days, considering Shep is getting on in years and isn’t as nimble as he used to be.

Some sections keep the trail close to the creek, too, and that’s key because … well:

maremma sheepdog

The strange coincidence sat at the trailhead on Aberdeen Road.

Our country is still reeling from the deaths of three RCMP officers in Moncton, N.B.

The trailhead is home to a memorial for Const. Neil Bruce, killed in the line of duty in April 1965. He was trying to rescue a young housekeeper who was sexually assaulted by her boss, a cabin dweller in the now Glenrosa area.

RCMP officer

I paid my respects to Const. Bruce, thought of the three others dead at the hands of some angry young man and how our collective lack of respect for authority seems to grow every day, and carried on.

It was a glorious day, one in which I felt free and safe enough to hike with my old dog. My only trepidation focused on his ability to endure the afternoon.

I felt a bit of a fool as Shep navigated every exposed root, every steep climb, every downhill like a champ.

maremma sheepdog

We walked among lush greenery — towering fir, spruce and pine — scattered with such alpine flowers as Indian paintbrush, blanketflower, fleabane and Turks cap lily.

Kelowna alpine wildflower

If you explore this section of the park, you’ll gaze upon great rock walls of the canyon, stone hoodoos and sedimentary layers.

rock walls glen canyon kelowna

There’s much more adventure left to Glen Canyon Regional Park in West Kelowna, including the historic flume trail and the section east of Highway 97 near Gellatly.

We’ll save that for another day, though.

After all, a couple good climbs took a bit out of the old man, and he’s sleeping soundly next to me while I write.

Of course, I’m not long for the waking world either.

Follow the link to the full photo album on our Facebook page.

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