Boarding the B.C. Ferry in Departure Bay that takes Bob and me to Horseshoe Bay on mainland Vancouver we begin the drive to Kimberley in the East Kootenays, an area over 27,000 sq. kilometers in south-east British Columbia stretching from Spilimacheen down to the Montana border and lies between Banff and the Kootenay lake; tucked between the Purcell, Monashee and Selkirks of the Columbia Mountain system and the Canadian Rockies.
From Horseshoe Bay we drove on the # 1 hwy to Hope then took the Coquihalla or the #5 as far as Kamloops, then back on the #1 that took us up into the high mountains and through the Glacier National Park to Golden where we spent a night, making it an eleven hour drive. (not including the two-hour ferry ride). From there it would only be a two and a half hour drive following hwy 95 directly south down to Kimberley.
Last year I was here at the end of May and first weeks of June and it was HOT, but May? I’ve been here for four days and although cooler it’s been sunny and windy. Friends back on the coast are still getting lots of rain and single digit temps. Too bad. 🙂
I’ve tagged along with Bob because he is working again in the area our daughter and her partner live, so we can get in some visiting time, me more than he unfortunately as his hours are long without days off for the two weeks we’re here. A visit made even more special because our daughter is in her second trimester with their first baby! They had also booked a week “pre-delivery” vacation to Mexico that coincided with our second week here so we’ll happily look after the four-legged grand babies Dexter and Jackson, their two chihuahuas, for a week. When they return Bob will be finished his work and we’ll have more relaxed time to spend a few extra days with them.
Thought I’d take this opportunity to share a little more on my recent excursion to Kimberley, B.C. – My daughter, along with her partner Don, were super hosts and kept me happily active with hikes, paddles, bike rides, swimming and great eats! Since I had accompanied Bob out to Kimberley because he was working a shut down at the mill in Skookumchuck for ten days (outside of Kimberley) he didn’t get as much visit and play time as I got.
Nearly as soon as we arrived my daughter and Don loaded us up to drive 40 minutes out of Kimberley to climb the Fairmont Hoodoos in the Columbia Valley. The rest of the time was just my daughter and me. We took a 17 Km bike ride on the North Star Rail to Trail. Where once were railroad tracks they have been taken out and paved. You can cycle to cranbrook 30 K away.
It was good to get away, I was certainly restored, and I can understand why my daughter who even though was born on Vancouver Island near the ocean fell in love with the Kootenays. With big fresh water lakes, meadows, foothills, rivers, and of course mountains, I didn’t miss the ocean either. Not to mention great snowy winters and hot summers. Kind of a full package. And only a days drive away- ok a long (long) days drive, but I consider it in my backyard. Lucky me.
Pining for a road trip, I came across a few photos.
Amazing storms we witnessed when driving to and from Ontario a few summers back. One of the things I find absolutely exhilarating about the Prairies is the sky – whether it’s endless, blue and open or robust, dark and brooding like these shots capture. Every day that particular summer was a storm watch day. Not to mention constant tornado worries as the radio and the TV weather channels we were glued to each night in our hotel room seemed to warn of just as we would be leaving an area or driving into an area.
You can see them come from miles. I was in a constant state of open-mouthed awe and terror. I was like a kid, “lookit that!” and ” Oh man it’s massive!” to “Shit that was lightning RIGHT THERE!” and “Is that a funnel cloud starting?!” It was fun.