Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Sternwheeler and a Hot Springs

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.

Care to guess which is which?


  1. That stern wheeler tour was really interesting. It certainly has been restored to a great level and is really "ship shape".

    Too bad there was no rusty stuff in the engine room, it looked like it could start right up.

  2. Either Phil needs to take more photos or I need to start following his blog. Nice work Phil.

  3. Wayne would love that stern wheeler tour, we both would love the caves so this one definitely has to go on the list. Great summer you're having!

  4. SO cool to see some of BC. That underground hot spring is really something!

  5. How come the last pic is not labeled "The End"?

  6. That Sternwheeler is really interesting. Did that girl sign a waiver to publish her picture?

  7. Definitely would like to see the sternwheeler!


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