Monday, October 13, 2008

Thanksgiving Roadtrip

This past weekend, we had made plans to visit my folks in their home in Creston, British Columbia. Creston is an easy 4 and a half hour drive South of here and is right on the American border. Keith and I decided that as well as the Thanksgiving visit, it would be a great opportunity to have some quality time together and take a quick mini road trip! Keith has been a busy boy this month - it is his busiest time of year at work and he has been spending lots of time away from Chateau Keith and Leslie.

The area North West of Creston is called the West Kootenays and it is a recreational paradise of lakes, rugged peaks and a milder climate than here in Banff. In summer time, it is a busy destination with lots of beaches, lakes and holiday homes on the Arrow Lakes, Slocan Lake and Kootenay Lake. In winter time, when all of the people go away, the area is often grey and overcast and receives pant loads of powder snow. The thing that always amazes me about a road trip through the Kootenays, is the size of these lakes. Kootenay Lake is the largest natural lake and it is shaped like a bow and arrow, with the Main Lake (63 miles/100 km long in the North-South direction) being the bow, and the West Arm (21 miles/34 km long in a westerly and southwesterly direction from Balfour to Nelson) being the arrow.

From Banff, we drove to Revelstoke and hopped on the Arrow Lakes Ferry, one of the gateways to the Kootenays. Yeeeeeah! Sunshine and a warm car. Love it. The scenery was pretty good, too!!

Enjoying the Sunshine on the Galena Bay Ferry, Arrow Lake, B.C

We had great weather for our drive through the Kootenays and enjoyed glimpses of the shoreline and some beautiful scenery along the Arrow Lakes, through Nakusp, Slocan and Slocan Lake. On Slocan Lake, the wind was blowing and making some huge white caps across the water.

Love my honey!

We rolled into Nelson late in the day, where we stayed with our friends Christy and Steven and enjoyed a great feed and a short but sweet visit.

Who doesn't love Nelson?? Nelson, B.C and Kootenay Lake

Next day, with the clear weather, we decided to take the extended shoreline drive to Creston along Kootenay Lake. We hit the Ainsworth Hot Springs, had lunch and giggles in Balfour, before taking the 35min. ferry across to the opposite shoreline.

It is always warmer in the Kootenays. The view of Kootenay Lake at Ainsworth Hot Springs is awesome, as are the hot springs themselves. Nothing like a soak with a view!

In Balfour, it was nice to enjoy the trip on the ferry minus the summer crowds. More importantly, we didn't have to fight the small children to play on our favorite toy!!


After the pleasure cruise on the ferry, we hit the twisty turny road to Creston which never fails to make me car sick. We rolled into the folks place mid afternoon to enjoy a visit. Their place has a great view and its an easy place to spend time just relaxing and enjoying the view. My brother and his family rolled in a bit later and that evening, we had a yummy Thanksgiving feast and caught up with each other.

Did I mention, I took 6 days off running?? It was sweet! But it would have been morally wrong to not enjoy a run on such a beautiful day, so Keith and I headed out for an easy hour before driving the 4+ hours home.

Country Roads

Dads' Water Garden


Anonymous said...

Hey Leslie,
sounds like a good trip. there are some awesome trails around nelson...
is the food at the bakery by the balfor ferry still good? (it was supposedly changing hands in september)

Leslie said...

Hi Ian!
Yup, the bakery was where we lunched it was awesome - the home made pizza is legendary and they had fresh pumpkin pie. Mmm-mmm!!The same people were still there working, so I don't think it's changed over. The best thing about Balfour is "The Digger"....we love the digger!!

Backofpack said...

Happy Thanksgiving Leslie! Looks like a fun trip, and restful too. I'm amazed that you get carsick though - I didn't think that happened to the likes of you!

JeffO said...

I want one of those toys!
More great photos.
Whenever I see that much water, I feel the need to dip a scull in the pond and row.
Sounds like a great diversion you had.

Anonymous said...

breakfast somosa's

Anonymous said...

beaauuutiful pics as always, leslie!

^ this made me think of you.