“Living in Westwood must put a big crimp in your outdoor lifestyle”, said one of my old buddies while we stood taking in the view from the lookout on Pincushion Mountain.. Now, how blind can a guy be? My outdoor lifestyle sure wasn’t being crimped while I was up there on the mountain with him. No way. I have been here in Westwood sixteen months now and I wish we had made the move before my wife became ill.
That would have given us time to enjoy life together. To enjoy the freedom together that I enjoy. Freedom to come and go as I please knowing that everything is being taken care of for me. I am fed well, my apartment is cleaned, I repair my own snowshoes in the shop and build things for others and if I want to I can attend all kinds of entertainment provided by the Activities Director. I belong to my own church. I belong to the Telemark Ski club as a snowshoer. I am a radio amateur, I take all kinds of photos, I go hiking, fishing and camping and I maintain a web site and produce a newsletter for my retired teacher’s organization. If I still had a house to care for a lot of these activities would be curtailed, believe me.
Over the past several years, even before coming to Westwood, I have hiked numerous trails in the valley and on the heights. Just within a fifteen minute drive of our door we have over 50 km of trails on Drought Mountain, summer and winter. One does not have to cross the lake for there are endless trails on the Westside. Consider the McDougall Rim overlooking Rose Valley reservoir and Kelowna across the water; Shannon Heights which affords an aerial view of all of Westbank and in spring and fall a lovely little waterfall; Telemark has 40 km of summer and winter hiking trails away from the ski routes. Look out the dining room window and see Mount Boucherie where there are many trails. Check out the parks in our new city. Many of them have great hiking trails. Out of Peachland one can climb the Pincushion, or follow Trepanier Creek, or travel up the Brenda Mine Road and hike in the Silver Lake area.
Then, if one is not into toiling up mountain slopes there is the wonderful Gellatly Bay walk all at lake level. This has to be a gem in the community. A good, safe, easy walking trail runs all the way from the nut farm to the Pritchard Drive area. I know several residents of Westwood who have used this trail.
The highlight of my outdoor life came last September when I spent four days camping and hiking in the Cathedral Mountains south of Keremeos. My daughter gave me a bit of a hard time for going solo but that was the glory of it. I was out there with myself and nature. That happened because I live in Westwood.