Published in Peachland

Not a whole lot new to report since my last post … actually, there’s pretty much nothing new to report since my last post. But when has that ever stopped me from filling up more than a few paragraphs of what many would likely describe as filler. So be it.

Welcome to Peachland, BC.

With work projects being more than a little elusive of late, I’ve spent a fair bit of time hiking some of the local mountain trails (and occasionally improvised trails). Not surprisingly, I’ve yet to tire of the Okanagan Valley. Although, I would like to return again in the summer sometime. August, in particular. My last summer-stop here was in 2015 as part of my Kitchener-Vancouver-San Diego-Florida cycling tour. And it was then that I had the absolute best peaches. Ever. Peaches have alway been my favourite but I didn’t know peaches could be SO good. I kind of feel bad for all the other peaches to which these Okanagan peaches will forever be compared.

Other than hiking, the biggest excitement of late here in Peachland was probably the Family Day event at the local riding club. While there were no horses in attendance, there were a couple of skating rinks. And a fire pit – I didn’t think fire and ice would react well together but in this case they did. There was also some free food and beverages, a tug of war, and about 60-70 people (and a couple of dogs) in attendance – all seemed to be enjoying themselves. I didn’t bring any skates with me or have any access to said equipment (which may be for the best as I haven’t skated in, well … a while) so I opted to take the drone up for a quick flight for fun and to document the event. Of course, with all the new regulations surrounding drones, I had to be somewhat selective as to my flight route – not that I thought anyone in attendance would care but it only takes one person (with nothing better to do) to complain. In the end, all went well.

I ended up taking some additional amateur (i.e., unpaid) footage from the ground and put together a one-minute highlight reel of Family Day in Peachland. I’d say it wasn’t really my intention to do that but since I had taken my camera with me clearly I thought it was a possibility. Have to keep busy after all.

I also submitted one of the drone photos to the local weekly newspaper, The Peachland View, and they ended up using it on the front page. I’m famous!! Or, my photo is anyway. Actually, this is third consecutive year one of my drone photos has ended up in the paper – the previous two were of the annual Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day. Despite the multiple publishings, fame and fortune has not followed.

I’m famous! Well, my photo is anyway.

Let’s see … what else is there to tell? Oh, have I mentioned that the Okanagan Valley is beautiful? Well, it is – if you like mountains, anyway. And I very much do. This past week has been especially nice with the sun and blue sky treating us to stunningly beautiful days and equally beautiful, clear and star-filled night skies. The latter being thoroughly enjoyed during my evening 5 km walks.

Sadly, my time out here is rapidly coming to an end for another season. For the previous two years my winter visits here have been for close to three months and included multiple house-sitting gigs. This year there is just the one. However, yesterday I had a great reunion with Rodger (of Rodger, Heather, and Jack the dog) for whom I house-sat in 2018 and 2019. Rodger and Heather stayed local this winter which means I won’t get a chance to visit with Jack the dog. For those unaware of my time with Jack, well … simply put, he’s my favourite dog. Ever. Seriously. That’s not to meant to diminish any of the MANY dogs I’ve taken care of and/or played with over my many years – it’s just that Jack the dog is, well … Jack. So, without a visit with Jack in 2020 I’ve opted to recycle a few visual memories (video below, photos in the Photo Gallery) of Jack from last year’s sit. Who’sa good doggg?? Yup, Jack is. And he SO knows it. But in a good way.

Oh, and while I’m posting videos … as I mentioned before, I haven’t had much to do in the way of work-related video editing lately – this video would be a good example of how to NOT make the most of some spare time.

Back Where I Belong

Admittedly, today’s headline leaves a fair bit of room for interpretation. I mean, where do I REALLY belong? If I was currently somewhere with a temperature that never (or at least rarely) went below 25°C (77°F), well … that would certainly put me back where I belong. The same could be said for being back on my loaded bike, cruising down a hill (gentle or steep) with a friendly tailwind (and probable dehydration) as my companion. However, that’s not the case either. It would seem there are a few places I belong.

As morning views go, I like this one.

As it stands, I currently find myself belonging at “home” … in someone else’s house. For the third consecutive year – and after an absence of a little over ten months – I now find myself house (and dog) sitting in BC. Peachland, BC to be precise. And yes, it’s as beautiful as always – with a name like Peachland, how could it not be? Side note: While Winter is certainly scenic here, I really need to look into coming back here in the warmer months – specifically early August. As I discovered as I pedalled through the area back in 2015, the peaches here are … well, perfect. And peaches have always been my favourite.

One notable adjustment I needed to face upon my arrival was getting used to shorter days again. Just as Ontario was starting to enjoy sunset times beyond 5:00 PM, I found myself once again facing sunsets of 4:30 PM. Well, 4:37 PM to be exact. On the upside, after being here a week, sunsets are approaching the 5:00 PM threshold. Oh, and there are mountains. And a lake view. So yes, things are pretty good out here.

Personally, I prefer nature’s cloud over the online version.

As for those mountains, on one of my first mountain hikes last week, I found myself walking in a cloud. Literally. And while I spend my fair share of working-time making use of the internet’s version of a cloud, I find nature’s version of clouds far more impressive. That said, nature’s version doesn’t allow me to work remotely – ANYWHERE. For that, I need the online version and a decent internet connection. Fortunately, I have a great internet connection here in Peachland … now all I need to do is find a project in need of a video editor!

While I wait/hope for an influx of editing projects, at least I have time to work on some small personal projects and take the opportunity to explore the mountain trails in the area. I have to say it’s VERY nice living on the side of a mountain and being able to hike in the mountains without having to drive anywhere first! And it’s pretty remarkable the difference just a few hundred feet make when it comes to the amount of snow on the ground. On one hike, we (i.e., me and the dog) started walking on a thin layer of snow. A few hundred feet of elevation later and it was knee deep. And with the aforementioned dog being a cocker spaniel, well … knee deep for me was dog-deep for him! Commendably, he was a trooper and pressed on … although, I’m not sure he entirely approved of my improvised trail used to descend the mountain. In hindsight, I probably could have found an easier (and safer) route. It was fun though!

Either way, the question still remains … Where do I REALLY belong?

154 Days Until Summer

Once again, as Fall has moved into Winter, updates to this site have been more than a little lacking. Actually, they’ve been non-existent. I know, I know … not the best way to gain (or even keep) followers. Summer really can’t come soon enough! On the upside, the winter solstice is behind us and each day is once again giving us SLIGHTLY more daylight hours (or minutes) to enjoy. The downside being that warm weather remains a distant memory. And hope. This was particularly true as I took to the roads on my winter (aka. beater) bike. However, despite the cold, wind, and snow, it was a generally successful ride … the ice hiding under the snow only got the best of me once – with no damage being done to either bike or body. But it does make we wonder if this is why skis were invented … then again, where’s the challenge in that?

© 2020: Mark's Midlife Crisis