After getting off the ferry in Balfour BC, we made a right turn and immediately found a large pulloff to spend the night. Wow! What a view! The white dot in the middle of the photo is the ferry we came across the lake on.
Zooming in and cropping, you can see it heading back to the town of Kootenay Bay.
We then took another free ferry ride across the Kootenay River in the car over to the small towns of Harrop and Procter.
This ferry was a cable ferry - very interesting. No one directs the vehicles onto this ferry - you just follow the directions on the signs.
The next day we headed up in the car to the town of Kaslo to see the sternwheeler, the SS Moyie, the world's oldest intact passenger sternwheeler.
Built in 1898 for the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Moyie steamed on Kootenay Lake until 1957. She was the last passenger carrying sternwheeler operating in Canada.
You are free to wander anywhere on the ship on the self-guided tour. From the engine room -
All the way up to the Pilot House. For a small donation, you can even give the whistle a short pull.
The Ladies' Saloon was a refuge for weary women travelers and their children.
Men were expected to use the Men's Smoking Room, the noisiest place on the Moyie.
The ship is continually being restored, and outfitted with authentic antiques. The freight deck had a large assortment of old luggage.
They went into an amazing amount of detail. From these fake apples and pears -
To fake chickens!
Cooks, most of whom were Chinese, prepared the meals for the passengers and crew in this small galley on one coal-burning stove.
The staterooms were restored with antiques belonging to the period.
One really clever thing - in several areas, sounds were produced to match what you were seeing. Here we heard the sound of a typewriter. The tour was a wonderful experience - if you are ever in the neighborhood, don't miss it!
On the way back to Balfour, we stopped at Ainsworth Hot Springs. In addition to a pool -
They have caves where hot mineral water creates a natural steam bath. Let's see - I took one of these pictures, and Phil took the other.
I have to admit, I was a little uneasy about going to Canada, on our next stop on the Selkirk Loop, but Creston really changed my mind. What a great town! Many downtown buildings are in the art deco style of the 1930s. Very cute.
But the best thing was that instead of the usual "No RV Parking" or "No Overnight Parking" signs, there were signs that said "RVs Park Here." We stayed 2 nights behind the Visitors Center, which had free Wifi. How friendly is that?
They also have a HUGE RV dump area. If you can't turn around here, you have serious problems.
The town has a mural wall tour.
And 2 landmark grain elevators, the last in BC.
The Columbia Brewery offers tours, so off we went.
We followed Sasquatch's footprints to get started.
We saw aging tanks and fermenters and other stuff. All the beers produced here are naturally aged with no preservatives. The have 5 of their own brands, primarily Kokanee, but produce other brands too.
I was fascinated with how fast those cans whiz by. They produce 1100 cans per minute! They do bottles also, of which 98% are recycled.
The rejects - Gee... they must be good for something! They offer you a free beer at the end of the tour, but I couldn't stop thinking about these rejected cans...
The next day we climbed up a hill which promised a famous "Balancing Rock." The views of the Creston Valley and the Wildlife Refuge there were spectacular.
But the Balancing Rock was a bit of a disappointment...
Creston has a warm climate (for Canada) and has orchards galore. But this was a unique strawberry hydroponic pavilion. Yummy!
One weird thing about the town... Why are all the bushes in town trimmed this way???