We've just come back from another trip to Oliver. I think we've averaged about one trip a month this year, so not bad use of our vacation cottage/potential retirement town. Since the farmers markets are still happening, we leave on Monday and come back home on Friday. Monday is one hectic day. I'm usually trying to get a few batches of jam made before we leave, and then there are a few other things that I figure 'must' be done before we leave. Things like peeling and freezing that box of ripe pears sitting in the fridge in the garage. Or doing something with some of the ten ice cream pails of plums sitting in there also. Which seems to end up meaning that we never quite leave at the time we planned, which now means with the shorter days that we end up doing the last part of the four hour drive in the dark.
On the Wednesday of last week, it was cloudy and a bit rainy, but only a bit rainy, unlike the downpours that happened back at home. We took the dogs down the dyke south of town. Calli was in her cart. It just brings a big smile to my face to see her go. This is a 13 1/2 year old dog that has been using her front legs to do most of the work for the last seven years. Support that back end that has been slowing her down, and she is off and running. Or trotting fast at least. A lot of the enthusiasm is because this is a place that she has only been a few times. Here she is setting off at the start of the walk. Larry got a workout.
I got a workout trying to catch up to them.
I love the scenery along this stretch. Fall colours have started.
Right above where the dogs are, on the other side of the dyke, is a bunch of unattended grape vines gone wild. I'm always on the lookout for something like that, Queen of the Freebies that I am.
I carried some back in my hat, but I wanted to get more.
There is lots of vegetation that we aren't used to.
We stopped to let Calli have a drink in a pool where the creek ran into the river. She was looking for a rock:)
We were walking for a good hour or more, and Calli still was trotting out ahead of us all the way back to the car.
So I was determined to go back and pick more grapes. Maybe ride the bikes down there and get some. That just didn't seem to work out, so I had it all figured out that we'd walk the dogs there again on our way back home to Abbotsford. We were hoping to find an access to the dyke that would land us closer to the grapes, so wasted a lot of time driving down dead end roads but weren't in luck. We headed to the grapes from the other direction this time though, and it was shorter. I had a backpack to carry them back.
I start picking the grapes, and Larry backtracks a bit to a spot that had a decent river access, so that Calli can get a drink. She is in her cart again. I get a big bag of grapes picked, climb back onto the dyke were Jake and Luna have been waiting, and I tell them to go find Larry. They disappear around the curve, and when Larry comes into sight, I notice that he is standing on the dyke in bare feet, and his pants are wet to mid thigh. Calli is all wet too, including her head. So then I got the story.
Larry let Calli go down the bank in her cart to the river. There was a relatively shallow spot where the rocks from the bank and been pushed into the river by people going up and down right there. All was well until Calli went just a little too far and stepped off the shallow spot and was no longer standing on the bottom. The air filled tires made the cart float. Calli tends to put more pressure on the right side, so suddenly the cart flipped on it's side. A figure 8 shaped saddle supports Calli's pelvis, with her legs fitting through the circles. So when it flipped it flipped her as well. So now she is on her side in the water, and her head goes right under. The leash is still attached to her collar, and Larry is pulling her in. I think she rights herself, and then flips again, and then he pulls the collar right over her head. He had already started to take his boots and socks off, just in case, and then had to get in the water in a hurry as she was starting to be carried downstream by the current. Yeah....so lesson learned. If she goes in the water with the cart, make darn sure she stays in wading depth. Oh, and maybe tighten her collar up a notch too:(
Didn't scare her at all though, she was all set to go straight back into the river.
I ended up with enough grapes to make 8 cups of juice, which makes about 12 cups of jelly.