Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer Gas Prices

One of the most discussed subjects these days on the internet is how much your driving habits will change this summer with the current gas prices.

Driving through BC yesterday on the Yellowhead No.5 highway from Hope to Edmonton we could not believe how good the prices are when compared to last year. At least a third less of what fuel was last year at this time.

Here are some prices as July 29th. Hope Chevron $.989 per litre, Kamloops Esso $1.014 per litre and the Valemount Petro-Canada $1.059 per litre. All prices seem affordable, especially considering what is going on especially with a carbon tax and climate change issues.

But wait if you go to Edmonton the prices are really affordable when compared to BC. All over the city prices are $.864 per litre. Absolutely incredible, and yet some people here are still complaining especially with the price per barrel being low now compared to the price of gas.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Organic Blueberries from Red Ruby Farms

This time of year brings forth a wonderful bounty of various fruits such as cherries, raspberries, strawberries and a local favourite organic blueberries from Red Ruby Farms in North Saanich.

Known for the best quality that Vancouver Island can offer Red Ruby Farms produces a blueberry that is perhaps the best in the world. Plump juicy, firm and full of taste this fruit is well worth the premium price paid at the fruit stand located just off West Saanich Road on Clayton Road.

If you cannot get out here during the next few weeks but are familiar with the weekly Moss Street Market in Victoria they have them here. Check out the website for availability of product, you will not be disappointed.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Out of the Okanagan

We were greeted with clean air when we returned to the west coast yesterday escaping the wildfires of the Okanagan . The air quality started to improve on Hwy 3 near Keremeos and with a little rain the air was very pleasant at Princeton.

The drive on Hwy 3 from Princeton to Hope was very busy especially with traffic headed out of Hope and travelling towards the east. Through the Fraser Valley via Zero Avenue the air was completely cleaned up with lots of sun, crisp blues skies and the smell of fresh raspberries and blueberries in the wind .

By way of great timing we arrived at Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal in Tsawwassen and managed to arrive at the pay terminal at 14:45 and drove directly onto the 3 pm ferry. "What a fluke!"

In Victoria the air quality was excellent. Last night it rained so hopefully the Okanagan will get some of that weather system. In Victoria it is sunny and time for a bike ride.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Myra Canyon Trestles in Kelowna

Had a chance to cycle the re-built trestles that were previously destroyed in the wildfire of 2003. The trestles look like they were built to the original standards that allowed the Kettle Valley Railway to operate around Myra Canyon which is located near Kelowna.

There are 18 trestles in total along with 2 tunnels that skirt around the canyon walls. The views and trail going around were incredible.

Unfortunately because of a recent fire in West Kelowna that started on July 18, 2009 at about 15:00 hours created a haze over the city.

The ride around Myra Canyon took around 45 minutes one way. There are two parking lots, one at each end, pit toilets and information kiosks throughout the trail.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

West Kelowna Fire

We witnesses a wildfire today in West Kelowna from Rotary Beach which is across Okanagan Lake in the Mission District of Kelowna. The fire which started at approximately 15:00 hours seemed to grow quite quickly threatening an area of West Kelowna called Glenrosa.

By around 16:00 the fire and smoke started to build quite dramatically. At times the fire seemed to be contained. By 17:30 the fire and smoke seemed to fill the sky and certain areas of West Kelowna seemed to be getting hit badly.

Apparently by 18:30 the fire has jumped Hwy 97 into areas near Westbank. The highway is now closed.

View photographs:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lochside Regional Trail

A favourite thing to do in Victoria has to be cycling the section of the Lochside Regional Trail that goes from near McKenzie Avenue in Saanich to the Town of Sidney

To get to the Lochside Trail Parking lot go to turn north onto Borden Street from McKenzie Avenue, turn onto then follow the road past the George Tripp Substation and the parking lot near Don Mann Excavating.

Once on the trail travel north, right away there is a turnoff to the east for another trail system, the Blenkinsop Greenway, do not take this route.

From here the trail follows a path that is lined with shade trees forming a tunnel eventually coming to Blenkinsop Trestle which goes over Blenkinsop Lake. From here the trail offers views of Blenkinsop Lake, 'Roy' with the farmland and Mount Doug in the background.

Once at Royal Oak Drive the trail follows Lochside Drive through the residential area of Broadmead to Matticks Farm and the Cordova Bay Golf Course on pavement. The trail turns back to gravel and once you're in Central Saanich goes through agriculture land.

At Mount Newton X Road the trail once again follows pavement along Lochside Drive past McTavish Road to Tulista Park and the Town of Sidney. Sidney has a number of places to eat, have a beer or enjoy a coffee.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Parksville and the Englishman River

Just returned from visiting Parksville a small resort town just north of Nanaimo. The weather was great and we manged to get a reservation at Parrys RV Park and Campground on very short notice.

Parrys happened to be more than we expected. The facility was clean, well organized and very close to Rathtrevor Provincial Park and the Englishman River. Parrys website is found here

The Englishman River proved to be a jewel again and provided most of the recreation for our short visit. Top Bridge Regional Park where you can find a very nice swimming hole is located a short bicycle ride away from Parrys by using the regional trail that starts near Tuan Road and Hwy 19A. Unfortunately there is a lack of signs pointing for directions to this trail.

Once at Top Bridge Regional Park there are a number of swimming areas along the rocks and pebble beach. The Englishman River flows through a narrow gorge where a rock outcrop nicknamed 'The Nose' provides an excellent platform for jumping into a deep pool formed in the canyon walls.

The area is popular with the young kids and this day a brave person drove his 4x4 down onto the rock surface from the parking lot. Unfortunately the music that was played from the truck's boom-box did not appeal to some other people that were visiting and sharing the park at the same time.

Non-the-less Englishman River and Top Bridge Regional Park are definitely a great place to visit every time we visit Parksville.

Photos can be viewed here: