Two summers ago, walking the Okanagan Rail Trail (ORT), Vernon’s Rosalie Worbets imagined a lot of things.
She pictured herself flying; pictured herself riding horses; pictured what the people who built the rail line must have thought when they saw Kalamalka Lake.
Worbets didn’t get to go on the rail trail in 2020 due to a hospital stay but she’s hoping to change that in 2021.
The native of Wahstao, Alta. – Wahstao is an Indigenous word for ‘Light On The Hill’ – which is 100 miles east of Edmonton turns 100 on Friday, Feb. 5.
“The rail trail is a wonderful thing, I’m very proud of it, and I hope to walk it this summer,” said Worbets who, five years ago, donated her age in metres to fundraise for the ORT and she challenged other seniors to do so as well.
In front of a TV crew, Worbets stood at the rail trestle in Oyama and said, “Let’s get going. It’s time to build.” She called the ORT a “health and wellness trail,” and wanted it built and to be able to walk it.
A few summers ago, Worbets and two of her great-grandchildren, Graydon and Halle, were taken on a rickshaw ride along the Kalamalka Lake portion. She knows how important this health and wellness trail has become and is incredibly proud of how the volunteer community has gotten behind this project and made it happen.
“The Okanagan is incredibly important to my family and I’m so glad I could help in a small way,” said Worbets, who lived with her husband, Bill, in Lake Country. Bill died in 2003 and Worbets moved to Vernon in 2011. She still walks as much as can in the courtyard at her seniors’ residence.
A seven-day-a-week-and-more bridge player prior to COVID, Worbets said her secret to reaching 100 has been staying positive.
“Take it one day at a time and everything is good,” she said.
Her milestone birthday will be celebrated with her family by Zoom conferencing.