Okanagan travels with a closed road

4 11 2008

I have two distance classroom in BC – the Footprints Centre in Penticton and Independent Living Vernon in, um, Vernon.  Trick this time is, the main highway is connecting the two is closed along the way. 

A part of the highway was being widened, which was completely unnecessary, I have never hit slow traffic at that area until the construction started.   The moutain above the widening suddenly has a 100 metre fault that goes 9 metres deep, in the rock just above the highway.   The crack is so big a goat fell in.  Now the road is closed.  You can do a three hour detour on surrounding highways, or a more direct, mainly unmarked, series of logging roads.  Option C, the water taxi, doesn’t go all the way to Vernon.

It’s a funny reaction locals give you when you say you’re going to try it… what do they know that I don’t?  Halfway along, when I hit the snow line on a one lane road with no rail safety, I start thinking “This might have been very stupid.”  But then, going the other way comes a guy on a motorbike.  And not a “moutain dirt bike”, it’s one of those rocket street speed bikes.  So if he survived, how bad can it be?

Neat drive, especially as a part of the drive is where there were forest fires in 2002, so you’re driving through a bit of a graveyard forest.


Thursday should be interesting, I’ll have to do it in the morning to get to the Vernon grad, and then again in the afternoon back to Penticton to make a project wrap-up advisory committee. 

Western Canadian City – Victoria

26 05 2008

Today was Victoria, the Western major city in Canada on my trip, and the Capital of BC.  Took the seaplane (a first!) over this morning, taught class online from the hotel lobby from 10 – noon, and presented at the BCANDS conference 1 – 2.  This presentation was centered about our work with the Penticton Indian Band.  From there, I could kick back and enjoy the other speakers and Aboriginal community leaders, including Grand Chief Ed John.  Had a pint in a pub up the corner to watch Detriot go 2 up on Pittsburg, and then returned for the big dinner.  It was capped off with Native songs, and then a local 16 piece band (the Midnight somethings, with 7 female singers).

Snuck out after a bit and took a walk along the Victoria waterfront, snapping tourist photos as I went.  At 10 PM PDT, I scrubbed my neck with the water from the Victoria harbour – the clock is running til I can do the same in Halifax!