The village of Ducaj near Boge, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Tirana Airport, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Sunday, September 9, 2018


Yesterday morning, we did a nice bike ride along the Similkameen River. It's an old railway line that's been turned into a horse/walk/bike trail. So far, it's only 4 miles (7 kms) long, so 8 miles (14 kms) return. But there are plans to extend it, and based on how they've done it so far, it's a fairly expensive trail!

It was another beautiful day, and the temperatures have cooled off a bit. High of about 75F (24C).

We set off around 11:30am, with plans to meet up with Tioga George for lunch at a local Mexican restaurant.

At the trailhead.

Lots of informational signs along the way.

Neat property!

The trail crosses the old rail bridge.

The bridge has been completely renovated.
How did they come up with the money to do this?

So we're peddling along and enjoying the scenery. Ruth was in front of me, and all of a sudden she swerved recklessly and I saw why! She had just about run over a rattlesnake!

We got off our bikes and went back to take some photos. It was odd, but there wasn't much noise coming from the rattle. He was making a sort of a hissing noise though, and as he slithered away he never took his eyes off us.

We have never seen a rattlesnake in the wild.

Interesting stuff.

We carried on to the dam where the trail currently ends, and then turned around. We had made too many stops along the way though, and had to make good time to get to our lunch appointment at 1:00pm.

The dam.

This is a big fruit growing area. 

In fact, because of the number of orchards... grapes, apples, peaches, nectarines, pears... there is a large hispanic population because the orchard workers come up from Mexico.

And as such, there are a lot of Mexican amenities here, such as several taco stands and a good Mexican restaurant. George offered to take us to lunch, so we were quick to take him up on that!

Lunch is served!

We had fun talking to the waitress in Spanish. She only arrived up here recently, and she is from the community of Uruapan, Michoacan. She was surprised that we had been there and knew a lot about the area.

Thanks for lunch George!

Here's is George with Sr. Transito, and Scampy!

We went back to our overnight spot at the trailhead by the orchards. 

We were just getting supper ready, when a car drove up. Hmm. That's odd. And it parked very close to Sherman!

A lady got out and came over to our front door.

She explained that she had been talking to this guy about his lost bird over at the park, and that she was going to tent camp at the park. But the guy with the lost bird (George!) suggested that she come over here, and told her that we would be here as well. She asked if it would be okay if she set up her tent near us.

Sure she can. And then we invited her over for a glass of wine!

Later on, George showed up as well!

Kevin, Arlene, and George.

Arlene is originally from Vancouver, but has been living in New Zealand for more than 20 years. She was just back here visiting and doing some work for the company she is with. She is an avid hiker and outdoors person, and so we had lots to talk about, including our upcoming visit to New Zealand. Not that we have an upcoming visit to New Zealand, although it's a lot closer now that we've met Arlene!

Definitely have to make it there sooner than later.

Not sure what's on the agenda today, but we have to get some laundry done, and we'll probably take the kayak out on the lake if the winds stay calm.

The popular Coleman Quad Camping Chair with Cooler is on sale! Any time you can get them for under $20, it's a great deal!

And in Canada...


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, Boid is still around Kevin and I found him twice yesterday in the park. He actually seems pretty happy and perky and has no interest in going back to his cage or his food. :-(

  2. How cool to meet Arlene from New Zealand. That is high on our bucket list as well!

    1. It was very interesting talking to her, and now we want to go to New Zealand all that much more. I know that we would love it there. :-)

  3. If I had seen a rattlesnake, getting away from there fast would have been my objective!!

    1. Once he slithered off to the side of the path he wasn't upset at all so we weren't too worried about it and we definitely stayed far enough away that we weren't in any danger. It was very interesting to watch.

  4. Sounds like a great day. I imagine that snake hasn't seen too many humans either, just wanted privacy

    1. It was a wonderful day.

      I think the snake was just enjoying the sun when we came along and disturbed it.

  5. Mr. Rattler was probably out on that bike path getting himself some warm sun and you surprised him. As long as they are never cornered and have a way out of a situation, rattlers will not coil, then rattle and strike.

    1. We are pretty sure that is exactly what he was doing. He was never once coiled up but it did startle me, just like I probably startle it.

  6. The Rattler was probably basking in the warmth of the Sun so he was probably not happy about being disturbed.
    Nice to meet up with George and Arlene.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Yep, we are sure it was enjoying the sunshine until we disturbed it. I won't be happy either if somebody did that to me. Glad that we got to see one "fairly" close up the wild.

      It was a wonderful evening of conversation in Sherman with both George and Arlene.

  7. I love that your travels are sprinkled with interactions with friends both old and new!

    Here in S. California we see rattle snakes fairly frequently during summer hikes. Always a jolt to the heart when we do, nonetheless. The only 'war ing' we ever received was in Guadalupe Mountains Nat'l Park in Texas. I've never jumped so far backward in one leap in my life!

    1. It's funny but that is something that we love about travel. You just never know who you might meet along the way. :-)

      No doubt you and Mike will have come across a few of them when you do lots of hiking and live in an area where that they inhabit. I am sure if I would have been on foot, I most likely would have jumped really high and back as well. ;-)

  8. Glad the run in with the rattler was not worse. Back in my hunting days and boarding ships at grain docks, I had my share of contacts with them. They are nothing to fool with and as far as I can tell, they have no sense of humor!

    1. So are we, especially because I was only in sandals. From now on I think I will be biking in shoes whenever we are in rattlesnake country!

      There is definitely no way we will be fooling around with any rattlesnake!

  9. Replies
    1. It was delicious, it made us want to get to Mexico all that much faster! :-)

  10. OMG snake! I've almost been bitten several times...each time I managed to dodge the strike. Once in Montana while hiking, a rattler sprung and I saw it from the corner of my eyes, I screamed, and jumped. I swear that jump cleared three hurdles in one go haha. I was told by bro in law to watch when stepping out of vehicle on the road cuz they will lay coiled along shoulders...maybe to get warm. My nephew, on the other hand, has been bitten twice by a rattle snake at his home near Casa Grande, AZ where he lives on five acre ranch. He says he can smell snakes now if they are close...don't know if I believe that.

    1. P.S. the other rattler strikes I dodged were in intercity hiking trails in Phoenix. I had hiking trek poles so I managed to flick the pole fast enough to fling the snake away from me. I get the creeps hiking in deserts in summer or grassy areas. On the same intercity mountain trail, it got dark on me and I could hear a rattler near a ravine I had to cross so I three rocks to determine where it was coming from before I ran across.

    2. Well hopefully that will be our one and only "close" encounter with a rattlesnake. We enjoyed stopping and have a good look at it though from a safe distance and then we left it be to enjoy it's solitude once more.

  11. While riding my bike, I almost ran over a big timber rattlesnake on a bike trail in Pennsylvania. Yikes, I yelled. We turned around and took his picture, and he lazily slithered off the trail, but didn't seem aggressive. We warned others heading his way that he was there, so be careful! Kinda takes your breath away, being that close, doesn't it?

    1. That sounds almost exactly what happened with us. It was a little ticked off but not aggressive, but it did certainly keep its eyes on us. Yes, it sorta does take your breath away, even if only for a moment.


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