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.