Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kaslo, B.C., Canada

While RV'ing home from our recent visit to the Kootenay's, we were so fortunate to have this beautiful sunny day to enjoy and to also see the first snowfall of the year off in the distance. The clouds were hanging just below the mountain tops and it was an awesome sight.

Snowcap view from Vimy Park
Kaslo, B.C., population 1029, is 70 km (42 mi) north of Nelson on Hwy 31, and a beautiful RV drive along the Kootenay Lake shoreline. Kaslo is the oldest incorporated community in the Kootenays, built in the silver boom of the 1800's. Nestled in the incredible Kootenay Rockies, Kaslo, B.C. was voted one of Canada's prettiest towns, and once you're there, it is so easy to understand why. They've restored the heritage village and offer quite a shopping assortment, ranging from restaurants to galleries with works of local artists and artisans, and many other shops, as well.

Vimy Park at lakes edge has Kaslo Municipal campground with an incredible view of the mountains.The campground is open from May 1 to Sept. 30th yearly with an easy walk downtown.

Sailing on an autumn day

Kootenay Lake is the largest natural lake in the Kootenay Rockies region and the third largest in B.C. The lake offers many ways to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Sailboating is a favorite for many but pleasure boats of all kinds are seen enjoying the lake as well. Fishing is a great sport in this area with fish up to 12 kg (26 lbs) caught, with the north end of the lake being good for the Kokanee trout. Kaslo Bay Park, with a boat launch just west of this photo, offers great summer fun for day visitors at the lake and a view of the majestic mountains in the background.

SS Moyie
The SS Moyie is the worlds oldest sternwheeler. Since it's retirement in the 1950's, it has become a Provincial Heritage Landmark and a National Historic Site of Canada. This beautiful sternwheeler museum is a testament to the group of volunteers who worked on her restoration for 40 years and she sits proudly at the shores of Kootenay Lake in downtown Kaslo, B.C.

                                                    Fall colors frame a downtown church

The colors of fall always add such beauty to a sunny autumn day and Kaslo is a town of many colors. If only I had a way of getting aerial pictures of town to show, but I am happy with just being able to enjoy the colors. This quaint town is home to many heritage style buildings and shows a community pride. There are many activities and events planned throughout the year, bringing many visitors to enjoy the splendor of Kaslo, B.C.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ainsworth Hot Springs, B.C., Canada

Ainsworth Hot Springs, B.C. (pop. 100) is approx. 47 km (28 mi) north of Nelson, B.C. on Hwy. 31. Long before our RV'ing days, we were among the many visitors coming to the natural hot springs. That was in the 60's when there was only a simple pool and the horseshoe shape caves were so dark, you only hoped you wouldn't step on someone sitting in there enjoying the heat of the water.

Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort
 The unique caves offer the natural hot spring water with soothing minerals. The resort there today has a hotel, restaurant and gift shop and Ainsworth appeared to have some shops developing to browse through on our next visit.

                                                             A view from Ainsworth
At the height of the mining days, Ainsworth was home to 3000 people and six hotels. Mining declined and fire destroyed most of the town but the Mermaid Lodge and Motel was spared and is still there to this day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kootenay Lake, B.C.

The entire region surrounding Kootenay Lake offers incredible RV'ing opportunities. So many sights to see with a great history to enjoy. We have RV'ed in many places but not all of them yet. We still have lots to see and enjoy but we will share some of the great pictures we have and stories we've learned about the towns and communities that enjoy the grand Kootenay Lake and all it has to offer.

Kootenay Lake, B.C.

Kootenay Lake is 144 km (90mi) long and is bound by the Purcell Range on the east side and the Selkirk Mountain Range on the west. The average width is 4 km (2.5 mi) and 8 km (5 mi) at the widest part and is up to 152 m.(500 ft) deep. The lake was formed during the ice age which created the farmlands around Creston rich in glacial till.

This beautiful lake also has wetlands at both ends of the lake as well as at Crawford Bay. There are 7000 hectare in the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area which is host to over 260 species of birds, which include pelicans and swans. The fact that the lake remains ice-free in winter makes it available year round.

There are large populations of coyote, mountain goats, deer, elk, moose, bear and cougar that share this wilderness with the many people that live and tourists that visit this incredible part of the country. One needs to remember that and respect the wildlife and their habitat.

                                                            SS Moyie sternwheeler

Some of the many communities, towns and villages that surround Kootenay Lake were accessible by sternwheelers only until the 1950’s, Highways now link them all but ferry service makes some trips much shorter by offering free ferry service across the lake. That means more opportunity to see the lake with incredible mountain views to enjoy. The SS Moyie, located in Kaslo, B.C., Canada, started service in 1898 and discontinued ferry service in the 1950's.


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