Kaslo to Nelson

June 23rd: Spurred by our truck’s need of both a transmission and a coolant flush, we drove to Castlegar – the only place in the West Koontenays able to see us on a Sunday. Great success! We passed up camping in Syringa Provincial Park (too crowded, too expensive) and headed north through the park to Deer Creek Rec Site. We likely spent the money we saved on camping, on the gas to get there, but we had the site to ourselves ๐Ÿ™‚

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Deer Creek Rec Site
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Les is practicing identifying trees. This one is a Douglas Fir. Ponderosa Pines are in the background.
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I’ve never seen a loop this long in Tantrix! The yellow loop is worth 54 points! 25 is a decent score in this game! Les definitely won. Apparently the world record score for a loop is in the 70s.

June 24th: We drove back to Castlegar and had brunch at the Lion’s Head Pub. I had the BEST eggs benny I’ve ever had – caramelized onions and goat cheese.

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The road back to Castlegar.

Then we went for a hike up to the bluffs behind the pub. Our friend Kevin grew up in Castlegar so he gave us detailed and accurate instructions on how to get up there.

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The view west, up the Lower Arrow Lakes.
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And SE overlooking Castlegar.

From there, we made our way to Nelson with a few stops on the way.

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The Brilliant Dam on the Kootenay River.

We spent the night with my high school friends Kim and Jordan and their two kids. I don’t remember the last time we hung out so it was fun to catch up.

June 25th: We were rudely woken by an impressive thunder and lightening storm at 5:30 in the morning. Les loved it. We spent the day walking around Nelson, checking out historic Baker Street. We met up with Rachel – a girl I used to babysit! We had a great visit ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the last time we saw each other was when she came to visit me in Hawaii 11 years ago. At Rachel’s recommendation, we then went to Jackon’s Hole & Grill for some of the best nachos we’ve ever had. Delish!

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View of the Big Orange Bridge from Gyro Park.
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NACHOS!!!!!!

June 26th: We had a busy day. We took the longest free ferry in the world – from Balfour to Kootenay Bay. There, we checked out the Pilot Bay Lighthouse and the old smelter and tailings beach (yes, a tailings beach).

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View from the ferry.
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Pilot Point Lighthouse
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Pilot Point Lightouse
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Tailings Beach

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We took the ferry back and got on the road with Slocan area as our destination. En route, we stopped at the site of the old Queen Victoria Mine. The mine itself has been closed off to humans and turned into a bat cave. The surrounding area, however, is a super neat skarn – rocks FULL of garnet, epidote, actinolite, chalcopyrite and pyrite.

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Les should be a geologist.
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Epidote crystals.
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More epidote crystals.

We spent the night at the Sasquatch Lake Rec Site, but I’ll post about that later ๐Ÿ™‚

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