Hiking the Spion Kop trail

When you make it to the summit of Spion Kop in the Lake Country, it’s like being on top of the Okanagan.

The name Spion Kop is Dutch for “Look out hill.” From the top you can see Okanagan Lake on one side and Wood Lake on the other. It’s a beautiful view of the Valley.

Below are some pictures we took while hiking the trail. Also, scroll to the bottom for a pdf of the trail, which is available in brochure format at the trail head, and directions on how to get there. The driving directions are in the brochure.

photo 1We’re still smiling after making it to the top.

photo 1(1)The trails were well maintained in parts, but in others, it was challenging trying to navigate the loose rocks. Parts of the trail were clearly chewed up by ATV riders and dirt bikers.

photo 2Our dog Odin had a long nap after we got home.

photo 2(1) photo 4This truly is a million-dollar view. What an amazing place to live.

photo 5 photoClick the image below for the full trail guide.

Walking trails

Vernon Winter Carnival was a good time

Vernon Winter Carnival is one of the Okanagan’s oldest events.

This year’s event was super-hero themed and packed with action. It was a place to see hot air balloon pilots show off their skills in the popular Hot Air Balloon Fiesta and watch the floats go by during the annual parade.

The two-week carnival lasted Feb. 7-16, and it got good reviews. The Vernon Morning Star says the “Carnival delivers the goods.”

We brought the kids to the Kids Carnival at the Boys and Girls’ Club. There were bouncy castles, face painters, big building blocks and hotdogs. It was a good time.

Okanagan photographer Wayne Emde got some great pictures of the event. Were you there? View the massive photo gallery.

Fright Nights in Vancouver

Frightnight

We were looking for a Halloween scare.

Heading to Vancouver at the end of October and looking for some freaky fun, we stopped in at the PNE.

The amusement park was dressed up for Fright Nights, complete with haunted houses, actors playing ghouls and lots and lots of fog to make the walk throughout the grounds spooky.

Our thoughts on the event after the jump.

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Winning the lottery

Okanagan Spirits, a world-class distillery, held a lottery for whiskey lovers to win the chance to buy a rare bottle of its single-malt. We were lucky enough to pick up a bottle. But not just any bottle.

ImageOkanagan Spirits is renowned for its distilled creations, including gin, vodka and fruit spirits. It made only 264 bottles of single-malt whiskey. The first 40 are kept by the owners. Bottles No. 41 and 42 go to the Mayor of Kelowna Walter Gray and the premier of B.C. Christy Clark, who is also the MLA in West-Kelowna.

Bottle No. 43 landed in our hands!

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Here’s how Okanagan Spirits describes the whiskey:

After six years of barrel ageing in French and American Oak, this Single Malt is smooth, non-peated and combines solid forest notes of toasted oak with more delicate tones of vanilla, plum, raisins, caramel and spice.

We simply describe it as delicious.

Why not visit Okanagan Spirits?

Their distilleries are located in downtown Kelowna at 267 Bernard Avenue and in Vernon at 2920 28th Avenue. They do excellent tastings for $5, and a tasting is free if you buy a bottle.