revelstoke, b.c. – the ups and downs

spent a wonderful three days with my son, Blair, camping at martha creek campground on lake revelstoke.  really nice campground, quiet setting, a chilly ice green lake, and close to town.

the highlights for both of us was a fast ride down the side of a mountain at revelstoke mountain resort on « the pipe coaster » a small sled on a tube of steel and a joystick!  later we visited to the « giant cedars » forest boardwalk in mt. revelstoke national park before heading back to camp.  the next day we headed back to the park to climb the summit trail to miller lake, 5.5 km in each direction. it took us 2 hours up and down with a few rests along the way.  my dog, max led the way and was a real trooper until the final kilometre down, when he ran out of steam (he’s has pretty short legs 🙂   you can see some photos here.

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5 on a boat

an early morning start to rendezvous with the captain at horseshoe bay.  after paying $16 to get on board and wondering why i was paying more than i was for a much longer trip home from saltspring island ($9),  i learned that it’s a roundtrip fare and includes a second ferry if you’re heading further north to powell river or lund.

five guys can be pretty chatty, so giving those around you a heads up softens the alarm when we all get going.   off we go on a morning cruise and soon arrive at  langdale where we head for gibsons and some stocking up on food stuff.  off again, only to spot a pickup full of fresh corn which couldn’t be ignored (it made a great addition to a supper).  the captain’s a good navigator but had us wondering when finding the road to the boat posed a small challenge, however, we made it to rvyc moorage in garden bay.  before heading out,  we wandered up for some of the best fish and chips at lavernes-grill  which set us into the right mood, as we prepared to load up the boat and get underway.

first day, find our nights anchorage as we got a late start in the day.  heading west and past the southern tip of texada island we sighted the first island for our an overnight stay. we threaded our way past jedediah and jervis islands before arriving at a small bay on the northern end of lasqueti island, alas, it didn’t feel very welcoming and was a bit crowded with derelict boats and a rusted sailing boat seeking a new owner.  so, off we went, rounding the northern tip of the island where we soon discovered our spot, (the oddly named) false bay where we dropped anchor for the night.  crystal skies and water, smooth as glass, made for an enjoyable night.

 

 

up bright and early to see an awesome sunrise and a hearty breakfast (cooked by moi).  then underway for a crossing of the salish sea to the southern gulf islands. it’s been a longtime since i’ve been seasick (1971 to be exact when i worked on a tramp freighter out of gibralter) but sure enough the heaving waves, one to two metres high, soon had me heaving too 😦  but not for too long as the crossing took only 3 hours or so.  our destination was another bay between thetis and penelakut (formerly kuper) islands.  cruising amongs the rocky islets and sheer sided gulf islands must rank as one of the most rewarding pastimes i know of.  sunny skies, light breezes and fantastic scenery, including a lone killer whale that swam by and several seals.  we dropped anchor in the late afternoon in clam bay and then set off in the to explore a canal between the islands in the pontoon dinghy and a  telegraph bay at the other end where we picked up some ice and a home made blackberry pie and some jam at a local outdoor market on pilkey point road (pay on the honour system).  back to the  boat

 

 

 

 

 

mountain highway

the second leg of our journey took us from kaslo to golden, jasper and grande prairie.  our usual habit is to travel up highway 1, the transcanada and head north just before lake louise via the banff-jasper parkway.  it is usually a winter trip and often we feel we have the parkway to ourselves as it ices over in many areas which, no doubt, discourages many drivers. this year however we were travelling in the fall, for the first time, and are glad for it as the leaves are turning to their autumn colours and we often followed a ribbon of gold as we zipped along the road.

this is our 20th or is it 30th trip up the parkway and we never tire of its wonders. here are some random shots taken through the sunroof of the car or side window.

a bit of trivia:

the two segments of our holiday: « kootenay bound » and « mountain highway » totalled 3,300 kilometres and include some of the highest passes in canada:

Mountain Passes
Bow pass
Sunwapta pass
Kicking Horse pass
Roger’s Pass
Allison Pass
Sunday Summitt
Blueberry-Paulson Summit
Anarchist Summit
Nancy Greene Summit
Surrey Lake Summit
Coquihalla Pass
2.088m
2.035m
1.643m
1327m
1342m
1282m
1535m
1236m
1575m
1444m
1244m
Banff-Jasper Parkway
Banff-Jasper Parkway
Yoho National Park
Glacier National Park
Manning Provincial Park
East of Manning Provincial Park
Christina Lake to Castlegar
East of Osoyoos
Christina Lake to Rossland
North of Merritt
Highway 5, 60 km from Hope

kootenay bound

our annual trip north began with a drive along highway 3, the crowsnest which i consider the best (read most scenic and pleasant) drive to the interior of b.c. our destination the « kootenays » my old stomping ground and where many friends still live amongst the mountains and lakes.  we dawdled along, taking pictures of old building, mountains, rivers and the ever changing foliage as autumn descends.  being familiar with the route we did not stay long in any one spot but we did take some extra time to explore greenwood, a relic of days gone by and apparently still thriving and a stop for a picnic in grand forks.

we stayed with a friend in trail, an old mining town know for teck cominco, the worlds largest non-ferrous smelter, still going strong and dominating the town as it sits on a high plateau above the columbia river.  our friend recently moved back to trail after living for many years in vancouver.  she gave us a guided tour of the town, through the old italian neighbourhoods clinging to the cliff sides and along the river to parks and more upscale  developments.  we dined at the long standing  colander restaurant in the downtown core.  it seems to have been there forever, serving copious amounts of pasta, chicken and meatballs….mmmmm.

next day, after a lazy start, we headed off for kaslo.  visiting old haunts where i had lived for several years.  following the west arm of kootenay lake we first visited nelson, b.c. and my old hometown during the 70’s, following the west arm of kootenay lake through to balfour where you can cross the lake on one of the longest free ferry rides in the world.  the last leg took us to kaslo, past ainsworth hotsprings, noted for the very hot caves and majestic view of the lake and the purcell mountains.  following the steep shore of kootenay lake we arrived in kaslo, a jewel on the lake!

i lived and worked in kaslo for a couple of years before moving back to vancouver, it still feels like home and friends there make it tempting to return for the remainder of my retirement years.  with a population of about a thousand souls it has a friendly atmosphere and no shortage of charm.  one of our friends is half owner of the treehouse restaurant and, in my opinion, the best place to eat in town. visiting another friend we had three encounters with bears within an hour, two, we suspect were the same bear!  the first was enormous and fortunately unaware of our proximity, the second however was too close for me and had it not been for max « the bear dog » we would not have been as ready to bolt into the house as it sauntered by.  a walk through the side streets brought us the next bear!  enough! we headed back to our hotel and a relaxing drink of wine.

kaslo is full of history and has been well preserved by the residents and business community alike.  for more info, visit their website.

here is an assortment of images taken on the way to kaslo, bc.

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