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 🙂
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.
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.
From there, we made our way to Nelson with a few stops on the way.
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 🙂 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!
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).
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.
We spent the night at the Sasquatch Lake Rec Site, but I’ll post about that later 🙂