I’m presently in Kimberly spending time with my daughter, having taken the opportunity to go along with Bob to where he will be working for the next 10 days in Cranbrook, 30 minutes away. We chose to travel from Vancouver taking the more serpentine route of Highway 3, better known as the The Crowsnest Pass instead of the big wide Coquihalla and stay a night in Nelson on the way to Kimberly, well it was a little out of the way but in the general area all the same!
When I was a single mom I almost moved myself and daughter to Nelson in 1986 when hearing of affordable rents for big character houses in an artistically vibrant community, but was then also put off by reports that the town was so surrounded by the Selkirk Mountains that even summer daylight hours were short-lived.
I should have checked it out myself at that time. Yes, the mountains are there but on the town side they slope low and away and while being established on a wide western arm of Kootenay Lake created a charming and rather open valley. Walking its downtown streets I felt an attractive urban pulse akin to my Islands’ capitol Victoria.
I kinda loved it. Of course my daughter does too after visiting herself. ‘We could’ve lived here mom!’
In the evening, we got in to Nelson late around 8:00, we searched for dinner and decided on the Rel- ish Bistro on Baker Street, it was De-lish. Tenderloin for Bob and Butternut Ravioli for me. We left amply stuffed and contented. Next morning we walked around on the search for coffee and asking a passerby directed was directed to Oso Negro. Obviously a hot spot was bristling with patrons. Great coffee by the way. The cafe is surrounded too by a gorgeous garden and imaginative iron works.
I could live here.
After breakfast we hit the road, crossing the bridge and drove up the coastline to catch the little Balfour Ferry ( the bigger one was being serviced) that would take us 30 minutes to cross over to Kootenay Bay, followed by a 3 hour drive into Kimberley. On a side note, we snidely chuckled when riding across the water saying how we’ve come a little out of our way (which it was) en route to Kimberley just to be able to ride a BC ferry for free, the only one in the fleet. We quietly rejoiced.
Kootenay Lake is massive, felt as though I was back among the gulf islands, and gorgeous. The remainder of the drive once reaching Kootenay Bay and driving down through Creston was bucolic. Stunning country continued all the way to Kimberly.