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Steeves/Trail Mix: Lots happening outdoors

Mission Creek was boiling along, spilling over its banks on the weekend, but even staying away from the edges of creeks, there
Mission Creek was boiling along, spilling over its banks on the weekend, but even staying away from the edges of creeks, there's still lots to do for outdoors people in June.
— image credit: judie Steeves/Capital News

Above the rushing sound of the water, the deep thunder of large boulders knocking into each other could be heard as they passed by in the violent flow of muddy Mission Creek.

At first, I couldn’t figure out what that clunking sound was, because normally you would not hear the sound of huge rocks hitting each other unless big earth-moving equipment was at work.

But, this wasn’t heavy machinery moving these boulders, it was the force of the water which had risen in the river that is mis-named Mission Creek, until it was spilling over its banks and into the undergrowth on either side.

And, this was upstream from where a number of normally-small creeks would enter Mission Creek and add even more force and quantity of water to the flows in what is normally a fairly placid body of water.

But, heavy rains and melting snow have swollen the creek in the past week until it reached what is believed to be record high flows over the past weekend, and even though the creek’s level has dropped, there’s no end in sight.

More rain and showers are forecast for the weekend, and there’s still lots of snow at high elevations around the valley which has still to melt and run off into Okanagan Lake.

And, the lake is expected to rise higher than its target level this year, although perhaps not as high as last year, which will mean localized flooding from that source as well.

Late Wednesday, the bridge over KLO Creek carrying McCulloch Road was closed because of damage to one of its abutments, and that has inconvenienced not only the residents who live beyond that bridge, but also everyone wishing to reach Myra Canyon from the Myra end.

Volunteers with the Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society plan to clear three slides off the Trans Canada Trail through the canyon this weekend, and they will now have to use the longer route in, up June Springs Road to Little White Forest Service Road, and into the canyon through the old Ruth Station.

Luckily, board member Ken Campbell was up there Thursday and said highways crews were grading the Little White Forest Service Road so it shouldn’t be in bad shape for those wishing to access the canyon, until the Myra Forest Service Road is again accessible from Kelowna.

The society held its agm recently, and Ken says it was well-attended and resulted in some new volunteers, which will be helpful when it comes to the maintenance work that needs to be done on the trail.

All the board members were re-elected by acclamation, including Denis Davis as president, Vern Merwin as vice-president, Maury Williams as Secretary and Karen Merwin as treasurer.

The Friends of Fintry also held their agm last weekend, and added five new directors to their board: Sandy and Duncan Anderson, Gretchen Aird Dawson and Linda and Maury Williams. President remains Michael Berry, with Michael Recknell as vice-president.

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Earlier this year, the Friends of the South Slopes also held their agm, electing Al Bischoff president, Isabel Pritchard vice-president, Pete Spencer treasurer and Penny Gubbles secretary.

Other board members include Vivien Blair, Jessica Hobden, Andrew McIntosh, Teresa MacKenzie, Marty Stephan, Marilyn Westlake, Brad Wright and Moshe Yarosky.

All these groups and many others working on outdoors projects in the Central Okanagan welcome new blood, so don’t hesitate to track down their websites, or contact one of these people to find out how you can help.

Upcoming

Volunteers with the Oceola Fish and Game club welcome everyone interested in helping out this Saturday with a reclamation project along Winfield Creek near Wood Lake elementary school. Meet at the dog park on Woodsdale Road just west of the Greek House Restaurant at 9 a.m. with work gloves, wire/bolt cutters and shovels if you can.

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Remember that the Okanagan Trail Riders Association is holding a Ride for Dad on the Bear Creek Off-Highway Vehicle trails Sunday, June 24. President Carol Boyd reports that the new Bear Creek Day Passes, required for trail users, are available at the Aspen Trailhead on weekends as well as online at: www.okanagantrailriders.com/members/ as well as at: M&M Performance Banner Recreation, Innovative Motorsports Kelowna Yamaha, Valley Moto Sport in West Kelowna and Kelowna, and Kelowna Honda Powerhouse.

The OTRA is looking for volunteers willing to work on expanding the trail system and is also hiring trail crew workers. There’s a training session for volunteers Saturday at 9:30 a.m., meeeting at the Aspen Trailhead. Contact Carol if you can make it at: carol.boyd@okanagantrailriders.com

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The Peachland Sportsman’s Association is organizing a fishing derby for youngsters at Shannon Lake in West Kelowna Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rods, bait and tackle will be supplied, but if you have your own rod, bring it along.

There’ll be a barbecue and prizes.

No fishing license is required during the Family Fishing Weekend this weekend to encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy local lakes. Fishing regulations must still be followed, even though a license is not required.

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Members of the Lonely Loon Fly Fishers are also holding an event for youngsters and their families at Bear Lake, also known as Lambly Lake, west of West Kelowna, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 17, with gear, tips and barbecued goodies available.

So, dress for the weather and get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

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