Monday, September 29, 2008

The road to Creston - day 2

We left the RV at Crawford Bay to continue on with this beautiful scenic drive that will take you through Sirdar with a pub and general store, on through Wynndel with many berry farms and then leads you onto Creston, B.C.

Historic grain elevators

Creston, B.C. with a population of 5201 is situated at the south end of Highway 3A where Highway 3 and 21 meet. Hwy 21 takes you to the U.S. border 11 km (7 mi) south of town. The Creston Valley also has several dairy farms as well as orchards in this fertile agricultural region, one of the mildest climates in B.C. It proudly boasts these grain elevators, two of few remaining in B.C.

Creston reflections
This pretty little town has much to offer with a diversified economy in tourism, manufacturing, brewing, agriculture and forestry. The downtown has several murals to view as well as a variety of shops to browse through on a lazy summer afternoon,

                                                                Mt. Skimmerhorn

Mt. Skimmerhorn is a beautiful view from downtown Creston with the sun shining thru the clouds to highlight the beauty of the mountain face. We made more than one trip from Crawford Bay into Creston for our main shopping and had a variety of weather for these trips but the views were great no matter what the weather brought.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The road to Creston, B.C.

To RV along Highway 3A from Kootenay Bay, BC. to Creston, B.C., 80km (48 mi) will take you through several small communities with their own uniqueness. The highway follows along the lakeside of Kootenay Lake once you leave Crawford Bay. The scenic windy road with 270 curves makes it a favourite with motorcycle riders.

Kootenay Lake from hwy 3A

The drive will take you through Grey Creek which was settled in 1906 and is home to Kootenay Lake’s oldest general store. Grey Creek community follows the road for several kilometres and has several RV/campgrounds and other amenities along the way.

Secluded beaches

There are several beaches as in the picture, along the lakeshore. Some are private and some would only be accessible by boat but there are many with public access . You’ll also pass through Boswell, a lakeside resort community and home of the Lockhart Beach Park.

                                                                 the Glass House

The Glass House was created by David H. Brown after he retired from the funeral business. He gathered over 500,000 empty embalming fluid bottles and put them to practical use, by building the quaint house as well as several other structures, including the lighthouse, which offers an incredible view of Kootenay Lake. Tours are available during summer months.  Between Boswell and Sanca is the Glass House, a must see on your travels.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Boating on Kootenay Bay, B.C.

In a quiet cove on the west side of Crawford Bay is the marina on Kootenay Lake, one of the spots in B.C. we love to RV. There are several sailboats moored and I can understand why they would choose this location. 

Crawford Bay Marina

This is such a beautiful lake and one could have some wonderful trips just sailing on a sunny day, practically in their own back yard. I believe some of these would belong to sailors from surrounding communities as well. There are also several motor boats, some of which could be considered great RV for the lake, with all the comforts of home.

                                                              RV'ing sailboat style

Kootenay Lake has more boats in the summer time, but we’ve been here in other months and it is fairly quiet, just the occasional motorboat, fishing boat or sailboat.
The lake is so large that it is not likely ever crowded. There are marina’s scattered all around the lake. We saw more on our trip up 3A to Creston, B.C., with access to boat launches at Boswell or Kuskanook or the ferry landing at the end of Kootenay Lake Rd.
We often talk about how nice it would be to boat around the lake and enjoy the scenery from that perspective. Maybe one day……………..

Thursday, September 18, 2008

RV'ing in Crawford Bay, B.C.,

We RV’d our way to Crawford Bay, B.C. after crossing the Kootenay Lake on the ferry from Balfour, B.C. to Kootenay Bay. Crawford Bay is located 10 km (6 mi) from Kootenay Bay, so is a very short drive into the Creston Valley on Highway 3A.

Beautiful fall colors

Crawford Bay sits near the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake. It is a small community with much to offer locals and visitors alike. There are clothing, jewellery and gift shops, a general store with gas pumps and restaurants nearby and the market across the road from our RV park, which carries the fruit and vegetables as well as garden and pet supplies. Kokanee Chalets & RV park offers facilities for all, and well known Kokanee Springs Golf Resort nearby that attracts visitors from far and wide. The RV park has an airstrip right next door that allows many of the clientele to fly in and I’ve heard several small planes and helicopters while we’ve been RV’ing here.

                                                      North Woven Broom Co.

Crawford Bay, B.C. definitely seems to have more than their share of artisans, although there are many throughout the Kootenays. I think the distinction is made by the fact there are several artisan shops to visit while in Crawford Bay offering opportunities for visitors to view them at work. There is weaving, glassblowing, a blacksmith, and broom makers who demonstrate their talents and offer their products in their own stores, six working studios in all. The broom making shop shown in the picture uses original broom making equipment from the 1890’s. Although I didn’t get to see the equipment in action, it is amazing to just know that it is still working and offers a product from times of old that can still be made today.

To see more fall colors, visit the Peace River country.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Black bear out shopping

We were out sightseeing in this beautiful countryside and this black bear
crossed the road right in front of us.
He wandered across the road concentrating on his shopping mission so he was oblivious to our approach. He started up a residential driveway but as we got closer he spooked, turned and ran back across the way he’d come to the safety of the dense trees. We may have saved someone a mess of garbage in their yard when they returned home. At this time of year the bears are trying to fatten up for hibernation and are on the hunt for all they can eat. Garbage cans are an easy target and once they know about them they will come back.

                                   Kokanee Chalets and RV park in Crawford Bay, B.C.

The Kokanee Chalets and RV park we are in had that very problem with the bears so they’ve taken all the garbage cans away and we’re turning in our daily garbage to the office and they keep it inside then discard it. A nice safety feature and we’ve not seen any bears in this rural campground.

Our Rv’ing friends were over for a visit and their bear story convinced me that bears aren’t just garbage scavengers but really do like honey. They have some beehives on the roof of a backyard shed at home to harvest some honey. They’d noticed that one of them was moved a bit and wondered how it had happened until they caught the bear trying to get into the hive. They can be quite inventive on their quest for food. The bear was not easily spooked like the one we’d seen nor willing to run too quickly so our friend took a shovel and hit the bear and managed to scare him away…….. but do not try this at home!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

RV'ing from Balfour,B.C. to Kootenay Bay on the ferry

Osprey 2000 arrives in Kootenay Bay

We took the Rv across the ferry with no problems, there is plenty of room for all RV vehicles, no matter what the size. The Osprey 2000 is one of two ferries used on this run. There is an upper deck on the ferry with chairs to sit in to enjoy the magnificent views no matter which way you look.

                                           View of the Kokanee Glacier from Kootenay Bay
Kootenay Bay, B.C. is located in the Creston Valley along the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake on Highway 3A. It is the eastern terminal for the Kootenay Lake ferry system, 35 minutes from Balfour, B.C. across the lake, by way of the longest free ferry ride in the world.


When RV’ing to our destination, we had to take a ferry from Balfour, B.C., Canada. Balfour is a small village located on Highway 3A, south of Kaslo, B.C., and 35 km (22 mi) northeast of Nelson, B.C. It is at the junction of the North, South and West arms of the Kootenay Lake and offers some incredible scenery.

Our ferry ride arrives
The 35 minute ferry ride is the longest free ferry ride in the world and travels from Balfour to Kootenay Bay across the lake. Summer and winter schedules vary so be sure to check the times so as not to miss your ride to another beautiful spot in the Kootenays.

                                                 Incredible views on Kootenay Lake


The beautiful Kootenay Lake

There is no place like home but Rv’ing comes in a close second!! And what a wonderful way to see our beautiful country. So many places that we’d love to live just to be able to enjoy it but we’re able to actually live in them all!! Wherever we wander, we can call home for a short time then we can go back home. And in our case, we visit many places each year for work. So for K. it is work, for me it is a holiday, so I like to call it a working holiday and it covers both of us.

Our latest RV’ing trip is work for K. but I am here for the holiday and loving every moment of it. We’re staying at Crawford Bay, B.C. just 7 km(4 mi) from the Kootenay Bay ferry landing on the beautiful Kootenay Lake.

The Kootenay region is in the southeast corner of British Columbia and is one of many beautiful areas in the province to visit. And there are also so many wonderful areas within the Kootenays that it is impossible to pick favourites. We always enjoy the opportunity to visit here and this job brings us to a place we’d never stayed in before and that means we have a chance to see more of the area.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Quesnel Forks, B.C., Ghost Town

While we were RVing in the area, we’d heard that there was a ghost town so decided we should take a drive one evening to check it out. Most of the road into Quesnel Forks from Likely, B.C. is a dirt road but a nice drive you can enjoy if you take your time. We expected to see wildlife but only managed to see one bunny !

Main street of Quesnel Forks, B.C.
Quesnel Forks Ghost town is located where the Cariboo and Quesnel Rivers meet, 13 km (8mi) west of Likely, B.C. It was founded in 1859 as the first Cariboo ‘Gold Camp’ and was once the largest city on the mainland. Several totals have been given but according to one source, there were 5000 people living here.

The remains of the Chinese General Store

It was a thriving gold town until the Cariboo Wagon Trail was completed to Barkerville in 1865 and had bypassed Quesnel Forks so the population waned. By the late 1860’s only Chinese miners and traders lived here. In 1954, the last Chinese-Canadian resident passed away. Since that time until the mid 1990’s, Quesnel Forks has been left to suffer from the elements.

Quesnel Forks Cemetery
In recent years the Likely Cemetery Society has researched and re-commissioned the graveyard and restoration efforts have begun on the buildings in the old townsite.

                                                          Refurbishing in progress

Not knowing what to expect, we were pleasantly surprised by the work done to restore Quesnel Forks Ghost Town.  There is a 150th anniversary celebration planned for the summer of 2009.

Nearby is the Forestry Service Recreation site for camping beside the Cariboo River, which is ‘user maintained’ with no fees required.

RV'ing in Likely, B.C., Canada

Once again work takes us to a small interior community that we’ve never been to before. We have heard of Likely, B.C. but know very little about it and therefore expect nothing. One of the good things about this line of work is where it takes us but the great thing about RV’ing, it allows me to join K. on these work trips, too. One must always be willing to see and enjoy what this beautiful country has to show us.

Bridge into Likely, B.C. over the Quesnel River 

Likely, B.C. is located at the mouth of the Quesnel River at the west end of Quesnel Lake and is one of the few remaining old gold rush settlements. It is on the Gold Rush Trail and is 80 km. (48 mi) NE. of Hwy 97 junction at 150 Mile House and 80 km. (48 mi) east of Williams Lake, B.C. The Likely area can boast that it is the only inland temperate rain forest in the world.

Leaving Likely, B.C. by boat for Quesnel Lake

The population of Likely, B.C. is 300-350 people with a school, community hall, museum, chapel, library and post office. They also have a general store, restaurant, laundromat, pub/hotels and inns. There are guiding tours and operations, as well. One can partake in several sports in the area including, fishing, hunting, atv’ing, kayaking, snowmobiling and others, something for every season. There are several camping facilities in the area, including Cedar Point Provincial Park on Quesnel Lake.

                                                            Beautiful Quesnel Lake

Quesnel Lake is one of the many sources for sporting pleasures. I was surprised to learn that it is the deepest fjord type lake in North America. We joined friends on their boat for a great day on Quesnel Lake. It was perfect weather and we joined several of their friends on a beautiful sandy point and spent the day enjoying it all. Thank-you to Likely, B.C. for your hospitality.


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