Todd in Vernon, at Kalamalka Lake

Kalamalka Lake is one of the beautiful and accessible vacation spots in BC's Okanagan. 

Todd Wong paddles an outrigger canoe on Kalamalka Lake.  Todd's friend Craig brought the outrigger canoe up for the weekend.  It is 20 feet long and weighs only 22 pounds. 

Kalamalka Lake Provincical Park.

After being here for last weekend's Greater Vernon Dragon Boat race, with the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team, I returned to spend time with my girlfriend Deb and her parents at their lakeside home.  I came up on Thursday night after work.  Construction on Hwy 97 just after the Coquihalla Connection and on the new William Bennet Bridge connecting West Bank to Kelowna, stretched the usual 5 hour trip to 6 hours.

Life is relaxing here, as we spend time swimming, canoeing and kayaking in the lake.  Sometimes we take the border collies out for walks in the park.

But the Terrace Mountain fire is raging again.  Yesterday the fire jumped its fireguards and 1500 people were put on alert.  Ash and smoke filled the sky.  The sun turned an eerie orange through the hazy smoke, as it glistened on the water.  Today, the evacuation order has expanded to affect 2500 people in the Fintry area.  We are keeping our fingers crossed a fire doesn' happen in the Kalamalka Lake Park, where many people are vacationing and enjoying the recreational activities of swimming, picnics, boating and cliff jumping.

IMG_3388 by you. The sun shines orange through the smoke from the Terrace Mountain fire, and reflects on Kalamalka Lake. – photo Todd Wong

On Friday, I paddled the solo outrigger canoe that my friend Craig Brown brought up for the weekend.  It is 20 feet long, and weighs only 22 pounds.  It is a beautiful boat, and moves easily through the water.  Craig complimented me on my balance and my paddling.  I never hulied (tipped over) by accident.  I practiced tipping over on purpose, as Craig coached me on flipping the boat back over, and climbing back on.  When speeding motor boats went by, I paddled over to crash through their wake. 

“You're surfing now!” Craig called at me, as I rode the waves back to the shore.

Todd paddles solo outrigger! – photo Craig Brown.

Friday night we drove into town to find the airconditioned movie theatre.  We watched “The Ugly Truth” starring Katherine Heigl  It was pretty funny – more raunchy than the classic “When Harry Met Sally” – but surprisingly no nudity!

Saturday morning, Deb and I kayaked towards Kal Beach, along the many lake front homes.  We saw some teenagers rise sleepily from the dock where they had spent the night.  We talked with some swimmers who were friends of Deb's parents.  Then we paddled back and over to Jade and Juniper Bay.

Saturday night, Craig and I missed the big excitement.  After dinner we headed over to Alexander's Beach Pub.  While we we gone, a rattle snake was discovered in the garden.  The weather is so hot and dry, it would appear that the rattlesnakes are looking for water.  A rattle snake hadn't been seen at the Martin residence in 20 years.

Sunday morning,  Deb and I canoed around Rattle Snake Point, over to Cosens Bay.  Around the corner, we saw some teens jumping off cliffs.  We saw a bald eagle sitting in a tree, and a Kingfisher flying from one tree to the next. 

We saw 5 swimmers in wet suits, who were training for triathalons.  We had a short conversation about the benefitis of swimming and paddling in Kalamalka Lake.  They admitted they wouldn't decline a beer, even though it wouldn't be beneficial to their training.

We plan to leave tomorrow on Monday.  Possible activities will be another early morning paddle, followed by wine tastings in Penticton/Naramata area.

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