Posts from Lumby

Why You May Not Survive the Mystic Trail at Mabel Lake

If you ever find your way up to Mabel Lake (via Lumby or Enderby) you’ll drive off paved roads into the forest and are likely to find a quiet, out-of-the-way lake with no cell reception. If this sounds like the beginning of every horror movie you’ve ever seen, congratulations you’ve seen through our preamble.

In classic horror cliché, we arrived Saturday with fresh food and cold beer to an already in-progress birthday party. Adventures kept pretty close to the campsite that initial day due to the fact that we were a big crowd and it’s fundamentally impossible to motivate our group to much more than a 1km ‘hike.’ The sun was hot and the sand was hotter, it was about all you could do to stay conscious all day. Exploring required more effort than we would muster smoldering under a scorching summer sun. Temperatures in the shade were reaching 32º+ and borderline uncomfortably frosty dips were important to help revitalize at much needed intervals throughout the day.

Pictured Here

Pictured here: comfortable shade and not-at-all the gateway to someone’s harrowing descent into madness.

Come Sunday, most members of our group made their way back to civilization and only the 3 of us remained; myself, Mitch & Katy. I had mentioned trails or waterfalls I thought I recalled from my youth that were nearby. Back in the day, my parents and I would go camping often. Of the many destinations we visited, Sugar and Mabel Lake were pretty regular. I guess the proximity to our house in Lavington made them pretty ideal for a quick trip away from home and, perhaps more importantly, an equally quick trip back at the end of a sun-baked weekend. We were already on the hunt for firewood that day so we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone, find the campsite host, and ask about any notable landmarks. After all, there is no way this could end with us being chased through the woods by the Blair Witch.

Maybe using the word "kill" was just asking for trouble.

Maybe using the word “kill” was just asking for trouble.

Upon meeting our host, she directed us a short trip up the road. She mentioned Cascade Falls (a place we couldn’t find to save our lives) and, at 15 1/2 forestry kilometer, The Mystic Trail. A ‘magical’ little path whose name is missing about two adjectives and three exclamation points. The campsite host’s description of “a cute little area where someone carved some neat things into the hill” really undersold the horror of what we were about to encounter.

"Oh good. This isn't foreboding."

“Oh good. This isn’t foreboding.”

The trail is adjacent to a haunted bridge and marked by a staggeringly-large amount of shoes nailed to a tree that locals have taken to calling the shoe tree. We won’t speculate why and assume any reason for this name is surely lost to time. Looking back, I suppose it’s my own fault that “neat things” didn’t immediately infer that they would be unspeakably nightmarish things. Maybe I was expecting stick-man drawings on rocks, or GRAD2013, or even Robbie + Julie 4Ever in a heart. Definitely something over-emphasizing the permanence of youth.

Hindsight

Here “someone carved some neat things” like this spinal column, unpleasantly twisted into the guise of the Ogopogo’s evil twin.

Naturally hindsight is 20/20, or it would have been if our eyes weren’t plucked straight from their sockets while tempting the curse of the Mystic Trail that we absolutely didn’t just make up.

I want to believe this place is only unintentionally terrifying and probably meant to evoke feelings of whimsy in adults and children alike. Makes sense. Everyone knows little boys and girls enjoy mutilated skulls and trash dolls displayed in gruesome manners meant to mock death in many creative ways.

I See You

Even with warm, summery Instagram filters, this is only barely passable as the least paralyzing piece of art present.

Now, there’s nothing saying any of these bones or parts are from humans. For example, we escaped alive and slept through the night with only a few mosquito bites to show for it. Had this mockery of the human death experience been made of actual persons we’re pretty sure only one of us would have escaped alive. I’m half-Mexican and Mitch is the big, white guy, sooo clearly the survivor would have been Katy.

"Hey. Haunt here often?"

Especially after I literally taunted the “artwork.”

Jokes aside, it was a pretty sweet little tour and quick way to beat the heat. Just don’t spend the night inside the tiny, abandoned cabin or pee on any of the dolls and you’ll probably make it out unscathed.

That or you'll find yourself buried in this patch of Skull Daisies. Which were exactly as petrifying as you'd expect.

That or you’ll find yourself in this patch of Skull Daisies, which are exactly what you’d think they were if you were expecting them to be lots of tiny bird skulls.

Thanks to Katy (@ktken on Instagram) for snapping pictures while my iPhone cowered in the vehicle.

Fashionate: Stripes!

While it’s not unusual for the picturesque views and locations of the Okanagan to form the backdrop of innumerable photo-shoots, I can bet you’ve never seen African Safari animals involved!

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Recently L.G. photography, hairstylist Melanie Stipdonk and myself teamed up to do a creative shoot at the unbelievably unique Rawhide Ridge Zebra Ranch. With a little help from our friends at Frakas and Nateah Studios, we developed a Warrior Woman Safari setting, right in our own backyard!

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As we made our way to the distinctive farm, we were greeted by quietly perched Peacocks. There were Emu’s casually lounging about and the whole feeling it evoked was sublime. We trudged through mud until we finally came to our location, marked by a bold and striking Zebra. I pulled my high heeled gumboots up and we began what was my first-ever Zebra shoot!

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Equipped with a gorgeous Mink Pink summer frock, a Mink Pink velvet and lace top; both from Frakas, Leopord print shoes by Steve Madden, and Earrings made by Nateah Studios, we investigated gorgeous, sprawling fields in the hopes of making a little magic happen.

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What an opportunity mix real prints and textures together. Adding a pop of colour in a pair of blue shoes, a multi-print dress, or power-clashing leopard and zebra print. Don’t be afraid to wear contrasting colours or prints, just make sure there is one cohesive theme to tie the items together. Frakas is home to some amazing accessories that can help to complete your outfit, whether it’s a colour block bag or a new bib necklace.

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Love these killer shots by A-OK contributor Lise Guyot? Follow her photo postings on our blog!