Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Terry Fox Run

First of all I want to say a BIG Thank You to all who sponsored Shirley and me in the Terry Fox Run last Sunday.

This is the first year that we have had anything to do with the Terry Fox Charity Run... and I must say that I was amazed at how well organized this event is here on our little Mayne Island.  And the results speak for themselves... setting a record of raising over $18,000 this year here.

My first contact was with Elaine Marlon-Lambert, one of the co-ordinators along with Carol Haller for the Terry Fox Run here on Mayne Island.  She told me she is a cancer survivor also and has been doing this event for 10 years now.  When I asked if there was a form online that I could get to sign up people to sponsor me she said yes... but I could never find it.  But I did everything else I could do... I registered for the run and set up my own webpage.   I sent out an email with the  link to my friends and invited them to sponsor me.  It was wonderful to see people sponsoring me and sending in their contributions online.  The support was much more than I expected, I raised my goal twice and still blew over the top!  Plus, many of those who sponsored me left encouraging notes on my blog... which was really nice.

On the day of the Run/Walk there were three stations where you could register for the event or make contributions to the charity.  From the left, Rose White, Bev & Ed McKenzie.

Shirley was there to see me come in at the finish line... but I had the iphone camera in my pocket, so she took my picture standing in front of the Terry Fox Run sign.

These are the feet of Shirley after she did the 5 km walk.
These are my feet after doing the 10 km run... which according to my GPS watch was just a tad under 9 km.
As I was approaching the finish line I was looking at my time... I knew already that if I was coming in under 60 minutes the distance was likely less than a full ten km.  An old Clydesdale is not that fast!

Everyone who ran or walked in this event was given icecream with sundae toppings, including Smarties!  It didn't take Shirley long to make it disappear.

They were set up with burgers, hot dogs and fried onions... so since it was getting close to 1:30 pm... we had a little lunch there.  Murray Gratham at the grill.

Jack Lewis was one of many people from the community enjoying a little picnic in the park.

Jerry Betker taking a break from the cooking team, along with Sylvia Slinn and Jeanne Lewis.  There was a pretty good turn out... which is why this year,s numbers were over the top. 

Terry and Jim Forster managed this sales table... a lot of people bought Terry Fox 30th anniversary tee shirts and shoe laces.

There were 20 Mayne Island residents that registered as cancer survivors... for which they recieve a red tee shirt.  Everyone else can get a blue tee shirt.  We stopped and met a fellow runner, Jean Beaudet, who told us how amazed he was to do 10 km. today.  In his wildest dreams he never imagined he would be doing 10 km today!  A couple of years ago the doctors had given him 3 months to live and he is still here.  Every day is a gift from God.
See you again next year!

There is going to be a movie on TSN this Wednesday at 6 PM Pacific Time about Terry Fox and co-directed by Steve Nash... our local Victoria basketball hero! I doubt Terry ever dreamt that his inspiration would generate 500 million dollars in 30 years!  It has been the most successful charity event in Canada!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Carrot Mountain Memories

A week ago when we were in Kelowna visiting Shirley's mother, I asked my realtor friend Marvyn Baker to join me in a hike up Carrot Mountain, which is in the Okanagan community we used to call Westbank.  New signs are up on the highway saying "Welecome to West Kelowna..." so I guess the name change is official.

The trail starts out between two houses on Shannon Hills Place in the Shannon Woods subdivision, off of Shannon Lake Road.

Shannon Woods was a 7-phase 175-lot subdivision plus two condo sites that we started in 1994 and built out at the rate of about one phase a year.

That is Carrot Mountain in the background. 

It was while golfing at the Shannon Lake Golf Course on Friday that the urge to take another hike up Carrot Mountain came over me.  Years ago when we built these condos here, we named these condos Fairway 3... but then they changed the layout of the golf course and the condos now overlook the 10th fairway.

I can never forget the day when I got the phone call at about 6 pm. that the condos at Fairway 3 were burning.  I took this photo as we approached the fire from Shannon Lake Road. 

As we hiked up the mountain together I was reminded of the day we shot our annual Acorn Homes photo on the trail.  It was no small job to get this team, some with high heel shoes, up to this viewpoint overlooking Phase 6 of Shannon Woods.

For all of three years Carrot Mountain was like my own Gold's Gym membership.  Every morning during most of the year I would drive to Shannon Woods and hike up the trail to where I had hidden my pick and shovel.  Depending on my schedule I would work building the trail for an hour or two before running back down the trail and heading home for a shower and breakfast.

Behind me is the rock I call "Bridge Viewpoint."  It is one of the few spots on this mountain where you can see the Okanagan Lake Bridge.

I enjoy watching Mt. Boucherie as we climb Carrot Mountain.  As we near the top we start to see Okanangan Lake water above Boucherie... and once on the very top you can see lots of water above.

Just past this huge Ponderosa Pine on the left is a nice little strawberry patch where I have actually eaten some of the treasured berries.  There is a lot of competition for the berries!

Once you arrive at the East Summit you will see lots of cairns along the trail on the top.  It takes about 30 minutes to hike across the top to the Horseshoe Summit.  I remember  being here one Saturday afternoon when the Snowbirds were doing a show in front of the Grand Hotel.  They seemed scary close to us us as they circled over Carrot Mountain several times!

It is an awesome view from the ultimate summit at the Horseshoe Viewpoint.  I was impressed how well Marvyn handled the hike... not bad for being 75!

The ultimate "high" (pun intended) is to see the Okanagan Fame Flower in bloom.  I learned about this flower from Judy Steeves, who writes about Oakangan trails in the Capital News.  She told me that biologists from Kamloops have flown to this mountain in a helicopter just to see this very rare flower that blooms in early June on the Horseshoe Summit.  Each flower is smaller than a 25 cent coin.

Judy Steeves hiked Carrot Mountian one morning with Shirley and me.  We took pictures of flowers and visited.  She knows the names of every flower.  Later she wrote an article on our hiking trail for the Capital News.

The Desert Rose also grows on the mountain top... and I noticed it blooms earlier than the Okanagan Fame Flower.

Shirley poses on top with Mark and Carole Albrecht on a spring afternoon.  Whenever I see snow on Little White I remember what Emmerson Vaughn used to tell us.... "When the snow is gone on Little White the cherries will be ready."

You would have enjoyed watching me launch several golf balls off the summit.  I only took up about six balls that morning, but never found a single one since.  Do you think anyone else has driven golf balls from this summit?

Several groups have hiked to the top.

As we started back down I was impressed to see how well travelled the trail looked... it told me that people are still hiking up here.

It is like two different trails.  Going up on the sunny side was like going thru a desert where it is dry and you need to be on guard for cactus if you go off trail.  The trail down goes thru a shaded valley where there are a couple seasonal waterfalls and much more lush foliage.

The two waterfalls are at their prime during the spring melt.  When we hiked past them last week the moss on the wall behind where the water falls was lush green with only a few ocssional drips of water.

With a chainsaw I had cut steps into a fallen log... and after ten years or more it still works.

On this group hike we used the log steps as seats for this photo of everyone.

If you love photography, Carrot Mountain provides a wonderful opportunity to take flower pictures.  I will do a seperate blog post of just the flowers taken over the years along this trail... all done before the days of digital cameras.

Thank you for joining me on this hiking trail of memories.

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings" -John Muir