Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Days 249-252 Grand Forks to Kelowna, B.C.

Day 249, time to move the fleet out.

The start of our day was in the parking lot of the Grand Forks recreation centre.

Our beloved  Pace motorhome is back on the road, and I have been put at the helm.

Our new endurance athlete, Matt, donning the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen medal.
Nice to have the rear view camera back again. (try and keep the medal bearer close to the little red line, Monty)

Time for a medal bearer exchange

a little medal bearer celebration at the Greenwood (population around 600) visitor info center. Greenwood claims to be Canada's smallest city. It peak was around 3,000 around 1900

The relay rides (our medal bearer escort bikes and the endurance athlete's hand cycle)
Greenwood was a big mining city in the late 1800's, but they mines have closed a long time ago. They had a copper smelter here, and you can still see slag piles on the side of the highway

The city has managed to retain a lot of the downtown heritage buildings

Next stop on Day 249 was in Midway, (population around 600), which once had a population of around 6,000 in 1890. (another gold rush town) 

In Midway they have what they call the entwined trees. They had a display with pictures of when the Olympic Torch Relay went through here in 2010, I was fortunate enough to be there for the ceremony.
apparently the two trees were planted and tied together, the result.......

I hope someone helps this poor deer, (I mean relay team member) get unstuck from the tree.

apparently the two trees into one symbolizes a first nations band that was split up when the U.S. Canada border was surveyed in the 1850's. (though divided we are united- we are one)

This is the first time we have had two endurance athletes at the same time. Karim and Matt both suffered the same spinal cord injury and the result was Karim is walking and Matt is not. They have become friends, and have started an adventure tour company inclusive for all, called 9 Lives Adventures
Midway

The name was suitable for multiple reasons. Midway was halfway between Penticton and Marcus, Washington, then it's nearest railway point. Midway is near the midpoint on the old Dewdney Trail, from its beginning at Hope to its terminus at Wild Horse Creek near Fort Steele, and Midway is approximately halfway between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. 

We had a very special moment today. Medal Bearer number 17, Daniel, who has overcome incredible odds, got out of his wheelchair and walked a few steps of his 250 metre segment.  He was in a car accident in 2008, was not found for over 8 hours in minus 10 degree weather, died 4 times on the way to the hospital, was in a coma, ............... what an incredible story. Click on this link to read about his journey

we had a lunch celebration emcee'd by our very own Steph, in Rock Creek, a small village of less than 300 people.

The crowd looks on
the relay staff looks on

The local Lion's club cooked up some hotdogs and hamburgers, along with some tasty salads. Two local residents, Terry and Judy made the dessert. Thanks to the community for their hard work in making this event a success.

after lunch it was a 137 kilometre jaunt from Rock Creek to Kelowna, including a quick 4 medal bearer stint in Beaverdell, a small village on highway 33

Our end of day celebration was outside of the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna.
and the reason we are all here today, the man in motion himself, Rick Hansen is here today as well!

this man has done so much for accessability, awareness, and spinal cord research in the last 25 years, and it all started from his original around the world tour.

When we got to our hotel in Kelowna, the had over-booked the rooms, and they put us up in the residential villas. OMG. This is the view of Okanagan Lake from the balcony. Should be a pretty rough 4 days, lol!

The next morning, wow, it wasn't a dream

 The next day I went out for breakfast with one of my best friends, Tim, and his wife Cindi, who live in Kelowna. Here he is showing me a pic of their recent trip to Las Vegas, where they had a chance to play a round at the newly opened Kiss mini-golf. (yes, you do shoot the ball up Gene Simmons tongue!)
Got back to the hotel, went out on the balcony and was surprised to see Josh and Ty, chilling on the boardwalk down below.

I went for a walk along the lake, there was plenty to see.

the marina

looking back towards our hotel, (that's my room, on the third floor, 4th from the right)

the William Bennett bridge spanning Okanagan Lake

Canadian geese with their goslings.

Looking west across the lake.

There was a small bird sanctuary by the hotel, and it had a lot of bird species there, including the red-winged blackbird.

the tulips are blooming in the park behind the hotel

We will spend 4 days in Kelowna, which include a day off, which included some time off. On this day, we went 5 minutes down the road to Knox mountain park, to get a better look at the lake, the city, and the surrounding valley.
you can hike it, bike it, or drive to the views and vistas.

Looking north up towards Vernon, a town we hit on day 222 (30 miles away, and it took us 27 days to get there!)

Finally I got a shot of my daughter that she would let me use!

I have been told there needs to be more shots of me in my blog. (although I keep saying the blog is about the relay, not me!)


and then it was time to get back to the hotel, I had a big date tonight!
at the dentist! I broke one of my crowns, and I we were in Kelowna where my dentist is, so I decided to spend 3 hours in the chair. (at least I could watch one of the N.H.L. play-off games. ) so, courtesy of my dentist, here is the before.....

and the after! (sorry, just trying to change it up a little) one more night in Kelowna, then off to my home town of Penticton!

2 comments:

  1. WOW! Daniel's story is incredible. It's a testament to the human spirit that he has survived and recovered as much as he already has. It seems very fitting that he be a medal bearer.

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  2. The name was suitable for multiple reasons. Midway was halfway between Penticton and Marcus, Washington, then it's nearest railway point. Midway is near the midpoint on the old Dewdney Trail, from its beginning at Hope to its terminus at Wild Horse Creek near Fort Steele, and Midway is approximately halfway between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Houses to rent in Headingley

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