Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sandon ~ New Denver ~ West Kootenays, BC

Day 2 of our West Kootenay tour began with some blue sky and sunshine which was a lot prettier than our trip to Nakusp the day before.  After a breakfast at the hotel, we began our next adventure following Hwy 6, which will take us to the Sandon Ghost Town and into New Denver for a visit before we reach our final destination of the day in Nelson, BC.

Selkirk Mountains at Summit Lake, BC
Fresh snow means it is getting colder but it’s dressing up those mountains to look even better. We did stop at Summit Lake to take in the wonderful view with the welcome sun shining on us.  This is also an important breeding sight for the Western Toad.  There are times during the year that traffic will be stopped in order to protect them and let them cross the highway on their way to or from the lake to breed then return to their habitat; this happens three times a year. 
Klondike Silver is still occasionally used
We left Hwy 6 at New Denver and went up Hwy 31A to the ghost town of Sandon.  That town has a great history and one you can learn by visiting the museum there.  We had only planned to look around the one place that was open but we didn’t realize the museum has no heat, so much for warming up on a cold day! 
Silversmith Powerhouse, Sandon, BC
The fee into the museum included a tour done with photos. Andrew, the tour guide definitely gave us our money’s worth and shared lots of history about Sandon.  The town once had 5000 residents but now has only 12 who live here.  The Silversmith Powerhouse is the oldest operating hydro station in BC and supplies hydro to Sandon.   
Main Street Flume of Sandon, BC
 These are the remains of the wooden flume that channeled Carpenter Creek through town for almost 60 years.  The structure was covered by a wooden Main Street after the fire of 1900 but the flume survived many spring run-offs until a log-jam destroyed it in 1955.
Molly Brown's Brothel
 In the 1890’s, this was one of many bordellos in Sandon.  The history of this silver mining town would not be complete without acknowledging that these were a big business in those days.  This is being restored now and is a private home so no tour offered.  
Slocan Lake at New Denver, BC
I don’t recall the elevation of Sandon but it is high and it was darn chilly when we were there.  We soon headed back down to New Denver and spent more time at the peaceful looking Slocan Lake on the Mori Lakeside Trail.  It was not warm but was quite a change from the visit in rugged cold Sandon. 
Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre, New Denver, BC
 The Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre is dedicated to remember the 22,000 displaced persons during WW2.  12,000 of those were sent to internment camps in remote areas and this was one of those camps.  In 1992-1994 it became the memorial centre and has since been designated as a national historic site of Canada in 2007.  
Gardens of Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre
 We were one day late to visit the Nikkei centre as they closed for the season at the end of September but we were able to look inside the gates and feel the memories of the tragic events that created this camp.  
Kohan Reflection Garden, New Denver, BC
There is also the Kohan Reflection Gardens nearby on the lake and that is open all year. We walked around this peaceful area to enjoy the serenity offered in a Japanese garden.  The work is done by volunteers and reflects some of the history of the Japanese people. This is located adjacent to Centennial Park and the Municipal campground.

Our road trip continues.


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