Monday, May 6, 2013

Flowers on the Mountain

This last trip to Oliver was short and busy.  We only spent three nights there.  Not much time for sitting around reading and drinking wine.  I think the only reading I did was after dark, and before long I had fallen asleep sprawled across the furniture.

The first morning there I was determined to go out for a run.  So probably went about 5K, since it took me 31 minutes to do the route I had picked. I took Jake and Luna with me.  Larry and I had arranged (we thought) that he would come down to the river to meet me and start walking in from the bridge where I planned to finish.  At times we almost seem we have ESP, I can be thinking of something and suddenly he will start talking about that very same thing.  At other times we just don't seem to communicate properly at all.  Yeah well, you guessed it, this was one of those non-communicating times.  After me hanging around at my bridge for 10 minutes or so, and wondering where the h@#% he was, I headed home.  After he hung around at his bridge for a long time, wonder where the h@#% I was, he headed home too.  I had got home first, and thought I would go back and try to find him, and figuring that Calli would be tired out.  So I got a bike and the bike trailer out of the shed, got it hooked up, then found out I didn't have room to get it past the car in the carport, so had to move the car, and by this time I was all hot and sweating again as I was rushing.  So as I'm just about to hop on the bike, Larry and Calli appear.  We were both mad at each other, but in the end we agreed on a naming system for the different bridges that cross the river.  There are only a couple of road bridges, and one main pedestrian bridge but quite a few narrow crossings at the weirs.

After we got over that, I made some jam, and then in the afternoon we went on a 13km bike ride to a part of Oliver that we hadn't been to before.

The next morning we hiked up the mountain to the radio tower.  Jake and Luna did not seem impressed at all with that decision.  The first section is really REALLY steep, and loose and slidey.  I'm sure Jake is looking at Larry and wondering WHY he is heading up there.


Arrow-leaved balsamroot  Balsamorhiza sagittata  They were everywhere.



Some of the flowers were massive, easily 5" across.


At the other end of the scale was the  Long-leaved phlox Phlox longifolia

And Jake was still wondering if we were SURE we wanted to go up this mountain.  He mostly stuck to the trail, which kept him out of trouble.  Luna, not so much.  I pulled cactus out of her feet a few times.  I don't know if it was fresh growth, but this time they were incredibly difficult to pull out. I almost thought she might bite me one time, it was very painful trying to get them off.  They are vicious things.  I had some stuck in the rubber sole of my runner and really struggled to get rid of them.  After that I made a point of keeping her on the trail, and relatively close.  I was wondering if there were any rattlesnakes out and about.  The air was pretty cool when we started off, so thought we would be okay, but as it got warmer I was on the alert.

There was some of this, as of yet unidentified.


The fresh greenery and the view was gorgeous though


The trail was quite steep in parts (which never seems to show up well in a photo) and it was getting hot, or we were getting hot, and the shade was nice to take a breather in.


And then onward again.


Still lots of the balsamroot


Almost reached our goal


We hung out at the top for a while, since we had brought binoculars on this trip.  We had also remembered the dog water bottle, so the dogs kept well hydrated.  Luna suddenly started barking, and down below us on a knoll was a guy with a backpack kind of hanging around a tree.  Maybe he was waiting for us to leave?  First time we've seen anyone else up there, although the trail is obviously well used.

We took a different route part of the way down


And then we spent some time trying to find a trail that went a bit more to the north and connected into the little road that wound up to the water tower, which would bring us out closer to home than where we started.  I think some of what we followed were game trails, but we did manage to find a way.  We put the dogs back on leash at this point, as the trails wasn't very distinct and we wanted to keep them out of the prickly pear cactus.

Almost at the end.


And then back home to more reading and wine cutting up lemons for marmalade.


  1. Beautiful wild good to see! Looks warm there. I can almost smell your Jam cooking:)

  2. I too enjoyed the flowers. Wouls you believe it snowed again this weekend! But the snow is melting very fast and the snow did not stick. WOn't be long now.
    If it were me I think I would have headed down to that lake in the looked hot and dry onthat hill top!

  3. It wasn't that hot that day, the next day was warmer. That was when we took the dogs to the lake for a swim, although the water was pretty cold still.

  4. Looks pretty DRY there. What is the rainfall in comparison to your full time home?

  5. Oliver gets 1/5 the rainfall that we get here in Abbotsford. The last few years the wet cold Springs here have really started to bother/depress me. Yes, Oliver is considered a desert area. There is ample water available though, from ground water and the lakes and rivers.

    1. That would be roughly 12" compared to 60" in Abbotsford.

  6. What a gorgeous hike. Love those pretty flowers
    Benny & Lily

  7. And, how far are the two homes apart? Quite a difference.

    1. Oliver is 250 miles directly east of Abbotsford. Both places are between 8 and 15 miles from the US border.

  8. Oops, Oliver is 250 miles by road. Only about half that distance if you could drive straight east. A lot of mountains to work your way between and around and over, so it is quite a zig zaggy route.


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