Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hiking the Myra Canyon Trestles

There are many reasons that this hike is rated the Number One hike in the Kelowna area.

So lace up your shoes and come with Shirley and me on a most pleasant photo hike. This giant marble rock was at the trail head at the Myra entrance... and if you know us, you know we love beautiful rocks.

I was amazed at the size of these old rose hips.

This Indian Paintbrush is the first specimen we've noticed this season.

The devastating Okanagan fire of 2003 burned thru this park and destroyed most of the trestles. A small benefit was that with foliage burned off these trees it opened up the view of the valley and city below.

This park has excellent signage explaining many interesting details along the way... like we are now about 3000 feet above the City of Kelowna.

While I was busy taking this close up shot of Kelowna and the Grand hotel, which is likely 30 km away...

this little chipmunk must have smelt the nuts that I had in my pocket. I thought he was going to climb up my leg... and then he went over to Shirley and begged her for a handout.

We could see Trestle 18 well before we got to it.

Park benches were plentiful along the trail.  Notice how each bench had trestle legs... pretty cute.

With broken cloud our sunshine was hit and miss most of the morning... but it was a perfect day for doing the hike. A good rain overnight washed the forest fire smoke away and the air was fresh and clean.

An old railroad bed becomes an ideal hiking and biking trail... it is wide and close to level most of the way.  We saw many families with children enjoying the trail.

Originally the engineers planned to make a tunnel here... but the rock was so fractured they ended up cutting it all out.

This was the only trestle with a trail around. So I took the trail to get a side shot of Shirley passing by and the cross bridging.

There are many signboards here with all the story of the rescue of the trestles and their initial conversion from rails to trails... and how they got it recognized as a National Historic Site.

Then after the 2003 fire destroyed 14 of the 18 trestles, there was the costly reconstruction, financed by both the provincial and federal governments.

It is easy to see how carefully they restored the trestles using lots of bolts, washers and screws. There was no compromise in the quality of the work done... mostly with volunteers.

Over a distance of 12 kilometres they had to rebuild 14 of the 18 trestles.

Observation niche in the middle of some of the longer trestles.

Amazingly these souvenier poles near the railroad survived the 2003 fire. They carried telegraph wire attached to glass insulators. 

At the second kilometre marker there was a length of rail with a small plaque. Rails were classified by weight per yard (3 feet). The original tracks on the Kettle Valley Railway were 75 lb. rails. As heavier loads became more common they upgraded the thickness to 100 lb. rails.

Looking back we can see four trestles.

And then we came to our first tunnel.

This family on bikes travelled along about the same pace as we hiked...

Looking back at the tunnel we just passed thru this family stopped, spread out a blanket and enjoyed a picnic lunch.

I talked to them as they loaded up to come back and asked if they came here often. They said they lived in Vernon and have been coming here about once a year.

And that is why this place is the Number One outdoor activity in Kelowna. People who come here love to return again and again.

At Kilometre 4 there is bonus for those who get this far... a toilet! Not many of those out here.

We went to Kilometre 5 before turning around to go back.

Fireweed is one of the first weeds to grow after a fire... and there was a lot of it in this last kilometre we walked.

Shirley spotted this Salmonberry bush...

And we each had a little taste.  Wonderful!

There were a few other weeds in bloom... like this Russian Thistle.

We even saw a few Oxeye Daisies.

As we returned to where we started one of the first flowers I shot today called me to take another... I just love the softness of this Indian Paintbrush.

"The only thing better than a great walk is a great walk in a famous place." -Sherwin Goerlitz

No comments:

Post a Comment