22 July 2011
Penticton is famous for its beaches at either end of the city: Okanagan Lake beach to the north, and Skaha Lake beach to the south. While the weather has been a bit unusual this year, with more clouds and summer showers than usual, we have still had pretty wonderful weather, especially considering the extreme weather conditions so many other places have suffered.
While the beaches this summer aren’t as crowded as they usually are, and while the lake waters are cooler than normal for this time of year, the sandy shores are still a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
As always, our lake waters are beautifully clear. Snapshots of sand or pebbles in the water look as if there is no water covering them!
Our beachside walks attract families, singles, and of course romantic couples, enjoying the warmth and beautiful views. Ducks and geese also enjoy our shoreline, and have little fear of humans – which some folks enjoy, like the little gal and the gentleman walking among a feathered flock in these pictures, while of course some other folks disapprove of the “mess” the migrating flocks leave to remind us of their visit. The water birds also enjoy a float along the shoreline and find a good stock of their favorite snacks in the waters.
The famous statues of “Children romping” has been moved from its former location by the secluded Japanese gardens to a more public spot on the shoreline, where these brass children mingle with their lively human counterparts. It is hoped that this new location will also be less inviting to unfortunate vandalism.
While less folks than usual have been braving the waters this summer, many still spread their pale bodies under the summer skies, enjoying the warmth and hoping for a tan. A good book or simply a pleasant nap add to the enjoyment. And although hookah bars have not come to Penticton yet, some folks have decided to enjoy their own version while sitting on benches enjoying the beach view. It seems that the many warnings of skin damage just cannot compete with the draw of sand and sun. Here’s hoping the sun worshipers have spread lots of sunblock on themselves.
Children and young adults are still likely to brave the waters for a quick dip despite the chilliness of the lake this year, and of course water activities like floating devices, waterskiing, parasailing, water slides, and sandcastle building overcome the hesitation of many. On the other hand, rentals of kayaks and other watercraft are down this year, much to the sorrow of the entrepreneurial sorts who hope to make a profit off the sun worshippers.
Penticton recreation department has a very popular summer day-camp program, and it appears that the numbers of children enthusiastically taking part this year are probably as numerous as usual. If you are hungry, there are always vendors ready to fill your empty tummy, including at Okanagan beach’s famous “peach” (which was once rolled down the beach to the water by a group of overly enthusiastic young folk, errr rioters). On the other hand, it is also quite common to find very young entrepreneurs at their family gate selling lemonade and fresh cherries or other fresh-picked fruit from the trees in their yards.
For those folks who have had enough of the beach, there are always other free activities nearby – how about a game of bocce in the park, or a multi-person bike ride along city streets, or a game of catch with a friend, or perusing the newspaper on a quiet park bench, or even a nap in the mall after a pleasant game of chess? Something for everyone!
Summer is only half over, so if you haven’t made it to sunny Penticton yet this summer, come on!