Curiosity takes me to Skaha Bluffs Part 2
Hiking has become a popular past-time, a connection to nature and a way to reduce stress. Even though there aren’t jagged mountain peaks in the Okanagan, there are plenty of scenic places to hike. My posts Hikes in the Okanagan, Blue Grouse Mountain and Hikes in Kelowna highlight a few of the wonderful trails on which to experience burning muscles and incredible views.
Kelowna is using “Active by Nature” as a way to describe the healthy and active living which the city’s residents enjoy. There are a lot of fit people out and about, that’s for sure.
I had been to Skaha Bluffs once before on my own, but this time I was equipped with hiking boots, bear spray, and my partner who wanted to see the climbing spots. The trails are quite picturesque as they wind through canyons, making their way up to lovely views of both Skaha and Okanagan Lakes.
It is the kind of hiking I really enjoy as the pathways are narrow you have to climb over big rocks at times. My dog Chester was in the backpack for a good portion of the time, but he didn’t seem to mind it.
Are you the type of hiker who tries to go at the fastest pace possible to get a fantastic workout, or do you enjoy a more moderate pace? Moderate works well for me (and is a great workI was so happy that I had brought my good camera and telephoto lens, as we were treated to a black bear sow with two cubs, thankfully across a canyon. They looked very hot, and it was interesting that one cub was brown. The female’s face reminds me of the Joker when Jack Nicholson played him in Batman.
What was even more exciting (not for Chester) were the turkey vultures which flew overhead and landed on a tree fairly close by. Never having seen these in the wild, I have to admit they are not the most beautiful bird.
A few interesting facts about turkey vultures from British Columbia Magazine:
- A turkey vulture’s preferred defense mechanism is regurgitation. Get too close and you could be showered in foul smelling half-digested food.
- To cool off, a turkey vulture will sometimes defecate on its own legs.
- The bird can detect mercapton, a gas produced by carrion as it’s beginning to decay, from more than one and a half kilometres away.
After the hike, we stopped at Painted Rock Estate Winery, which is at the bottom of the road up to the park. What a gorgeous spot, overlooking the lake. I didn’t go in as I couldn’t leave Chester in the car (and I was sweaty and dusty) but my partner picked up a few bottles of their Merlot which was delicious with dinner later on.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!