When the Sheriff met Constant Companion Carmen

First date memories

Anyone who knows the Sheriff knows there is always a story, and when Journalism Sheriff was working full-time, somehow he could always pick someone out of a crowd at a public event who had something crucial to say about the news story he was working on.

As a long-time equestrian, the expression “having a horseshoe up his a**" comes to mind. For those unfamiliar with this crude and vulgar, yet funny, expression, it means someone who has extremely good luck, fortune or favour because a horseshoe is thought to be a symbol of good luck.

That is evident when the Sheriff tells one of his favourite, non-news stories about Constant Companion Carmen. (She says she hates this story but always laughs). It's a longer story but it has a happy ending with the bonus of a Secret Okanagan Spot for the SOS series.

For those who didn't read previous columns in the SOS series, they are available here.

In the 1990s, the Sheriff covered a Kelowna city council meeting where anti-vice councillors decided to charge escort services $5,000 for an annual business licence. He subsequently received a phone call from Suzanne of New Acquaintances, who was upset her matchmaking company for professionals was being lumped in.

After the story was published, the Sheriff was curious and decided to check out her business.

After a dozen so-so “dates,” he was in the New Acquaintances' office flipping through the listings when he heard a wonderful laugh in the next room. Peeking through the doorway, he saw Constant Companion Carmen.

"Why don't you fill out an Invitation to meet?" asked Suzanne. The Sheriff did but CCC turned him down because she was already dating someone and she wasn't about to date two men at once. Laudable. However, a week or two later, Suzanne called, saying: "Carmen's available! Carmen's available!"

So brunch meeting for was arranged. At the restaurant, CCC flounced into her seat and gushed: "I'm tired of the dating scene? I want to get married!"

When the Sheriff recovered from her exaggerated bounce into her chair, he immediately responded: "Maybe we should date a few times before we get engaged!"

The first “non-date” was horseback riding in the Glenmore Highlands. The Sheriff led her to his favourite spot, which is now in Stephens Coyote Ridge Regional Park. On the west side of the ridge-top were several trees to tie the horses to and we sat on a horse blanket enjoying the panoramic view of Light Blue Lake below and Okanagan Lake off in the distance.

The Sheriff brought Sambuca (funny now since neither of them drink hard liquor). After a couple of shots, CCC put both of the shot glasses up to her eyes as if they were eyeglasses while they both howled with laughter. Who is not going to fall in love with a goofball like that? The Sheriff didn't want the first “non-date” to end and it hasn't 24 years later. A photo of that magical moment was enlarged and everyone signed it to celebrate at her birthday party.

So this week's SOS spot is directly up from the north parking lot of Stephens Coyote Ridge Regional Park, which has three steps, or layers, to get to the top of the ridge. The Sheriff planned to get a new photo there but the park is currently closed for danger tree assessment after the recent Glenmore Highlands North wildfire. Here's hoping that SOS location hasn't been destroyed. The Sheriff plans to check it out as soon as the park re-opens.

The Sheriff is now planning a mini-series. If TV networks and online services can do it, why not the Sheriff? Starting next Sunday, the mini-series Adventures with Wildlife, will feature four of the Sheriff's favourite stories. CCC and friends have heard them numerous times but the Sheriff now has fresh ears, and eyes, on Castanet.


In the South Okanagan, early bird memberships are available for Nickel Plate Nordic Centre until Oct. 31. Nickel Plate is also looking for a full-time staffer for the office and has openings for school instructors for four-hour (paid) shifts in classic technique. CANSI certification is provided and paid for with a two-season commitment.

New this year, Nickel Plate is offering two sessions of early-season masters three-day refresher camps Nov. 24 to 26 and Dec. 1 to 3. A work party will be held on Oct. 1 for cutting wood, trail brushing and clearing. Email [email protected], and say whether it's for wood prep or trail work. Bring hand tools (pruners, etc.) if you’re interested in trail work.


The annual general meeting of the Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club is scheduled for 6 p.m on Sept. 21 at the German Canadian Club on Harmony Road in Kelowna, with a wurst (German-style sausage) barbecue beforehand.

The AGM includes the election of five directors for one-year terms, including the positions of treasurer, snowshoe director and facilities (building and machinery) director.

The early bird deadline for memberships is Sept. 30, with a draw prize on Oct. 1 from club sponsor Fresh Air for Madshus Nordic Pro Skin Tech skis. Volunteers are needed for snowshoe trail brushing and clearing on Oct. 7 and 14. Email [email protected].


Cyclepath in Kelowna recently surveyed staff and customers who regularly commute for tips to help everyone go by bike more often.

• Start small. Commuting by bike once per week is better than not doing it at all. Starting small can lead to bigger and better results over time.

• Grab a bike bag (or two). Being able to store stuff on your bike makes a big difference. It frees you up to grab a handful of groceries on the way home or to ride to your afternoon date at the beach (without dealing with a heavy bag on your back).

• Ride to your rides. Many of us throw our bikes on our bike racks to drive to a ride but often it's only a little slower to ride there. Two of our team members tested it, and it's about as fast to ride from Rutland to Knox Mountain as it is to drive (factoring in the time it takes to load and unload the bikes) and it's only about 15 minutes slower to ride to Crawford Estates.

• Get a good lock. Unfortunately, bike theft is a problem in Kelowna. If you're planning to commute to work, it's best to ensure you have access to secure locked storage. For shorter trips, where you can't keep your eye on your bike, a high-quality lock may make your bike less of a target.

• Give yourself plenty of time and plan to leave five to 10 minutes early. You don't want to be sprinting to wherever you're going. It’s never fun to arrive somewhere social completely soaked in sweat. So, leaving early is the best antidote to this.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More Making Tracks articles

About the Author

J.P. Squire arrived in the Okanagan Valley from flatland Chatham, Ont. in the middle of the night in the spring of 1980. Waking up in the Highway 97 motel, he looked across the then-four-lane roadway at Mount Baldy and commented: "Oh my God, there's mountains." Driving into downtown Kelowna, he exclaimed: "Oh my God, there's a lake."

The rest is history. After less than a month in Kelowna, he concluded: "I'm going to live here for a long time." And he did.

Within weeks and months, he was hiking local hillsides, playing rec hockey at Memorial Arena and downhill skiing at Big White Ski Resort. After purchasing a hobby farm in the Glenmore Valley in 1986, he bought the first of many Tennessee Walking Horses. After meeting Constant Companion Carmen in 1999, he bought two touring kayaks and they began exploring Interior lakes and B.C.'s coast.

The outdoor recreation column began with downhill ski coverage every winter as the Ski Sheriff but soon progressed to a year-round column as the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff.

His extensive list of contacts in Okanagan outdoor recreation clubs, organizations and groups means a constant flow of emails about upcoming events and activities which will be posted on Castanet every Sunday.

You can email the Sheriff at: [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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