Zero to Cruising http://www.zerotocruising.com Travel, Adventure, Fitness - Making it happen! Sat, 26 May 2018 14:47:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 No, we haven’t been captured by pirates! http://www.zerotocruising.com/no-we-havent-been-captured-by-pirates http://www.zerotocruising.com/no-we-havent-been-captured-by-pirates#comments Fri, 25 May 2018 02:23:07 +0000 http://www.zerotocruising.com/?p=36050 There was a time when, if I didn’t post something on the blog each morning, people would wonder if we were OK. Had the boat sunk? Were we lost at sea or had we been captured by pirates? Beyond that, I’d actually feel off if I didn’t take the time to reflect at the start […]

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There was a time when, if I didn’t post something on the blog each morning, people would wonder if we were OK. Had the boat sunk? Were we lost at sea or had we been captured by pirates? Beyond that, I’d actually feel off if I didn’t take the time to reflect at the start of the day, to record my thoughts and occasionally details of our adventures. The act of writing had become that much of a habit for me. Now look where we are though… it’s been an entire month since I’ve posted! Rest assured dear friends, in spite of the lack of blog activity, we’re still alive and still doing our best to make good things happen.

These days, with a (somewhat self-imposed) work schedule that leaves little time for adventure, I find myself quite unmotivated to write for this blog. While our new job is going exceedingly well, the details of our day-to-day lives have little fodder for those seeking an avenue for escapism from their own work weeks. There is no sailing from pristine anchorage to anchorage, nor are there any hike-a-bikes over steep mountains or through lush jungles. Instead, there is a 9-5 routine, similar to that which many of you are used to yourselves, or more accurately for us, a 7-7 routine.

Some might read the above two paragraphs and get the idea that I am complaining. I can assure you, that is far from the case. On the contrary, I feel that Rebecca and I are extremely fortunate. We have found a place where we can, once again, work together, something that both of us enjoy. Our new positions as resort managers/caretakers are also challenging, giving us plenty of opportunities to learn and grow, and from all indications, we are doing well and our efforts are appreciated. Of course, the resort’s busy season has only just begun!

The dirty details

For those looking for the dirty details, it’s difficult to put into words just how much has gone on here during the past 6 weeks, the total sum of our employment. When we first arrived at Tween Lakes Resort, it was raining cats and dogs and the grounds were a full-on construction zone with open trenches through the entire property. With no more than 5 minutes to throw our meager belongings into a cabin, the dwelling which would be our new home, we were whisked away to town to obtain corporate bank cards and to have the company vehicle’s insurance transferred into our names. Both we, and the two board members who were largely responsible for our indoctrination, Diane and Linda, laugh about that day now as it truly was comical how quickly it all came together.

Our new job came complete with detailed manuals listing operating procedures for the resort. Month by month the caretaker’s duties were laid out in black and white. The only problem with the manuals is that we had no idea what most of the duties being described actually meant! Unfortunately, the previous caretakers were no longer on site so there was no formal (or informal) hand-off, and the responsibility for training us largely fell onto the two board members who were local to the property. Each day we would compile a list of questions which we would pose either by email or text, or when possible, in person. I’m happy to report that our questions-to-ask list is shorter than it was early on but it has by no means disappeared altogether.

A year like no other

The previous year, by all accounts, was an extremely difficult one for Tween Lakes, and for the region in general. “It was a year like no other,” we have heard many times. The resort was subject to biblical flooding, a fact that we were aware of before taking on our new positions (we had done a bit of research). It was this flooding that forced the huge infrastructure upgrade that was, and still is, ongoing. Although, no doubt, a terrible turn of events, the silver lining of that flood is that the resort now has brand new systems in place, a benefit for the members, and for us, the staff charged with looking after the facility.

Our first month on the job was largely spent conducting site cleanup and working with the contractors who were immersed in the facility upgrade. It has only been the past two weeks where we’ve had the chance to meet many of the members, the community that inhabits the resort during the summer months. I’m happy to report that everyone has been extremely welcoming.

In addition to looking after the facility itself, we have also been tasked with overseeing the hiring and management of a small staff, largely comprised of teen children of the site owners. From what we’ve seen thus far, the kids are wonderful, reminding us in many ways of the boat kids that we met while cruising the Caribbean.

Still making it happen

As the season ramps up, and as we get more systems in place to streamline our operations, I expect our day-to-day duties will shift more towards member service and away from organization and site cleanup. That said, we’re still very new to the job so can’t say for sure. We’re taking it one day at a time and simply doing our best to take care of what needs to be done. As always, we’re still doing our best to make good things happen and trying to have fun in the process.

Note: I do have an adventure to share and a good one at that. Stay tuned for my next post. It’ll be some fun reading for you. I promise!

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Is riding around Kalamalka Lake possible? http://www.zerotocruising.com/is-riding-around-kalamalka-lake-possible http://www.zerotocruising.com/is-riding-around-kalamalka-lake-possible#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2018 14:36:28 +0000 http://www.zerotocruising.com/?p=36031 Tween Lakes Resort, our new home, lies on a narrow isthmus separating Kalamalka Lake from Wood Lake. Its name often shortened here to Kal Lake, Kalamalka Lake is sometimes referred to as the “lake of a thousand colors.” It’s still early in the season so only a few die-hard boaters are out on the water but that […]

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Tween Lakes Resort, our new home, lies on a narrow isthmus separating Kalamalka Lake from Wood Lake. Its name often shortened here to Kal Lake, Kalamalka Lake is sometimes referred to as the “lake of a thousand colors.” It’s still early in the season so only a few die-hard boaters are out on the water but that will change soon. My understanding is that the lake is a hub of activity during the summer months.

Just as we always have a strong desire to climb any mountain in our vicinity, ever since we arrived here we’ve had an urge to ride our bikes all the way around the lake. We were ecstatic to find a beautiful rail trail paralleling the western shore of the lake but it was the more mountainous eastern shore that really intrigued us.

Is riding around the lake possible? Physically possible, yes, although certain stretches of private property with locked gates present a challenge. A lot of effort is being made here to connect neighboring towns with new rail trails. I wish they’d invest a bit of effort to open up a route circumnavigating the lake. Mountain bikers would love it!

How we spent Earth Day:

Tween Lakes Resort. Perhaps one of the last pictures taken before the new 82-slip dock is built.

Here is where the ride really started to get challenging!

Kal Lake and Wood Lake in the distance.

Picnic Lunch.

Progress was slow!

This small waterfall is located on the rail trail only 6 km from our door.

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Spion Kop – Adventures on our doorstep http://www.zerotocruising.com/spion-kop-adventures-on-our-doorstep http://www.zerotocruising.com/spion-kop-adventures-on-our-doorstep#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:01:26 +0000 http://www.zerotocruising.com/?p=35988 One of the things that I love about British Columbia is how quickly you can go from civilization to actual wilderness. We noted it first in Fernie and again here in the Okanagan Valley. For example, one of the trailheads to Spion Kop, a popular local hiking area, lies just 4km from our doorstep. It was there […]

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One of the things that I love about British Columbia is how quickly you can go from civilization to actual wilderness. We noted it first in Fernie and again here in the Okanagan Valley. For example, one of the trailheads to Spion Kop, a popular local hiking area, lies just 4km from our doorstep. It was there that we met up with a couple of experienced Kelowna cyclists, Miles and Doug, for our latest adventure.

Spion Kop

We followed the red trail to the summit.

After studying the sharp elevation change on the trails, we all knew going into the day that our ride was going to be a bit of a hike-a-bike (that’s the expression cyclists use when they are forced to push or carry their bike rather than ride it). That said, I think we all did OK in spite of the oftentimes steep grade.

As it was mid-afternoon on Sunday when we ultimately set out, Rebecca and I only had a moment or two at the top to enjoy the view of Okanagan Lake before we were forced to start back down. Miles and Doug, on the other hand, had brought camping gear with them so that they could spend the night up there. We would have loved to have joined them but since we needed to be at work first thing Monday morning, camping up there is a treat we’ll have to save for another day.

Big thanks to Miles for supplying the beta and the inspiration for the trip. I’m sure it’s one that Rebecca and I will repeat later in the season.

Tween Lakes Resort lies just a 10 min. ride down this scenic roadway, the Pelmewash Pkwy.

Early in the ride. Photo courtesy of Miles Arbour.

Both Doug, pictured here, and Miles were riding fat bikes.

Photo courtesy of Miles Arbour.

Nice view of Wood Lake.

A photo of Miles riding. He was often the one with the camera in his hand taking photos.

Check out this cool piece about BC trail riding written by Miles Arbour.

We saw very few people on these scenic trails and only 1 other cyclist.

I love this shot! Photo courtesy of Miles Arbour.

A brief respite at the top.

Doug (left) and Miles, just before we left them to return home.

Our first view of Okanagan Lake.

Another great photo courtesy of Miles Arbour.

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Settled into our new digs http://www.zerotocruising.com/settled-into-our-new-digs http://www.zerotocruising.com/settled-into-our-new-digs#comments Sun, 15 Apr 2018 17:43:24 +0000 http://www.zerotocruising.com/?p=35962 It’s now been over a week since we landed in the Okanagan Valley. We’ve not only settled into our new digs but have jumped into our new roles as resort caretakers, with both feet I should add. To say that there is a lot to learn would be a huge understatement. That said, I believe […]

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It’s now been over a week since we landed in the Okanagan Valley. We’ve not only settled into our new digs but have jumped into our new roles as resort caretakers, with both feet I should add. To say that there is a lot to learn would be a huge understatement. That said, I believe we’re making the transition as well as could be expected. As past posts have demonstrated, we fully embrace change!

All packed for the big move.

Just as we had surmised, we left the snow behind in Fernie as we drove west. In fact, with each mile that ticked by, we could see the snowpack lessen and feel the temperature increase. I won’t go so far as to say that we’re now sitting out on the patio, enjoying the sunshine but I feel it’s not far off. This, while Fernie continues to get even more snow and our friends and family in Ontario are suffering through yet another big winter storm.

A photo of a photo, Tween Lakes Resort front and center.

New Digs

Our new accommodations are quite cozy. We’re staying in a small cabin on the resort property which many friends, after seeing the pics below, were quick to point out appears very boat-like. I do agree, especially the salon area seating which is almost identical to the one on our PDQ 32. Fortunately for us, the cabin came completely furnished, eliminating the necessity of purchasing a bunch of new stuff.

Riding the Rails

We were pleased to find that a scenic rail-trail paralleling the coast of Kalamalka Lake begins just outside our door. Last Sunday, we rode from Tween Lakes Resort to the edge of Vernon and back, sharing the trail with dozens of other cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians (and their dogs) who were also out enjoying the spring weather. We’ve taken note that there are hundreds of kilometers of other trails in the area, either in full operation or under construction, and we’re looking forward to exploring all of them. In fact, we’ve made arrangements to meet up with another local cyclist later today to check out some other nearby trails. Our guess is that these trails will be quite a bit more challenging!

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Blogging pet peeves and our final week in Fernie http://www.zerotocruising.com/blogging-pet-peeves-and-our-final-week-in-fernie http://www.zerotocruising.com/blogging-pet-peeves-and-our-final-week-in-fernie#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 17:05:25 +0000 http://www.zerotocruising.com/?p=35925 I have a couple of pet peeves when it comes to blogging. The first are blogs that are very infrequently updated as, admittedly, ours has been as of late. The second is bloggers who make up elaborate excuses for why their blogs are infrequently updated, or apologize for their lack of posts. While I am […]

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I have a couple of pet peeves when it comes to blogging. The first are blogs that are very infrequently updated as, admittedly, ours has been as of late. The second is bloggers who make up elaborate excuses for why their blogs are infrequently updated, or apologize for their lack of posts. While I am most definitely guilty of the first, I refuse to fall prey to the second. No excuses. I simply haven’t posted because I have had nothing of note to share.

Our final week in Fernie

Almost daily Facebook questions me, “Are you ready for the snow today in Fernie?” Yes, winter is still in full effect here but this will be our final week having to deal with it. Our plan, as it stands today, is to drive with our brother-in-law to the Oyama area, our new home base, on Friday. I expect that our 8-hour drive west will take us from the full-on Fernie winter to some legit springtime weather. Or, at least, we hope that’s what’s happening in the Okanagan Valley these days. Yes, as fun as skiing and riding our bikes in the snow can be, we’re looking forward to shedding a few layers of clothing.

That said, we did take advantage of a recent snowfall by scheduling a family ski/snowboard day on Easter Monday. As luck would have it, cold snow, warm sun, and a relatively empty mountain combined to make it a truly epic outing, and one we won’t soon forget. It’s worth noting that I haven’t been on a snowboard in almost a decade but in spite of that, still managed to have one of my best days yet. It’s true, my family did try to kill me by leading me down steep black diamond runs but as my posting here today proves, they were unsuccessful. Rebecca, who grew up skiing but had been snowboarding with me the years prior to our heading out cruising, got the chance to try out some of the new hi-tech skis that people are using these days. As anyone who knows her might imagine, she looked like a pro straight away.

I either need longer arms or a selfie-stick!

When you have the mountain almost all to yourself.

Our niece Morgan showing her stuff.

Followed by our nephew, Owen.

I was the only outcast on a snowboard.

Huge thanks to our family for treating us to an awesome day on the mountain!

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Foresight: If I knew then what I know now http://www.zerotocruising.com/foresight-knew-then-what-know-now http://www.zerotocruising.com/foresight-knew-then-what-know-now#comments Wed, 21 Mar 2018 16:21:16 +0000 http://www.zerotocruising.com/?p=35901 If only I knew then what I know now. How many of us have uttered that exact phrase? To be able to act with foresight would certainly allow the decisions that we make to be better, wouldn’t it? As luck would have it, Rebecca and I now find ourselves in that very position. Facebook reminded […]

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If only I knew then what I know now. How many of us have uttered that exact phrase? To be able to act with foresight would certainly allow the decisions that we make to be better, wouldn’t it? As luck would have it, Rebecca and I now find ourselves in that very position.

Facebook reminded me that in March 2010, 8 years ago, we were working hard to diverge ourselves of all of our stuff. The sale of our house was due to close and we would spend the next few months surreptitiously living out of an 8’x8′ closet in our martial arts gym.

foresight

Fast forward to today where we have sold virtually everything that wouldn’t fit into our bike bags, we will soon be forced to reverse that procedure, to acquire all the bits and pieces that one needs to live and earn a living on land. Knowing what we know now, how will our purchase decisions be different from what they were in the past? Think second-hand stores to start!

For those who are interested in the topic but are new to this site, there are quite a number of posts that talk about our stuff-purging process. Skip to the beginning of the blog and read from there to more easily find them.

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