Friday, November 29, 2013

Kootenay Lake ~ SS Moyie ~ Kaslo, BC

We have visited Kaslo, BC several times in the past and have always enjoyed this lovely little village on the Kootenay Lake at the junction of Hwy 31 and 31A.   I have written about our previous visits in Kaslo, (you can click here to see more), but there is always more to see and enjoy.  Our visit today is a bit overcast but the sights of early snowcapped mountains are amazing to see.

Mt. Loki in Purcell Mountains 
The Vimy Park sits at the edge of town on the water and is also home to the Kaslo Municipal Campground for the RV’ers travelling this way.  The location is within walking distance to downtown and offers great views no matter where you are parked. Mt. Loki, (elev.2779 m. – 9117 ft) part of the Purcell Mountains was surrounded by clouds on our visit but offers a beautiful sight anyway. 
SS Moyie Steamboat and Museum in Kaslo, BC 
We’ve never had the tour of the SS Moyie before and today was going to be the day that we get to see the beautiful old passenger sternwheeler as she was in all her glory.  This National Historic site was first launched in Nelson, BC in 1898 and retired in 1957 after steaming the Kootenay Lake for all those years. 
Steering wheel of the SS Moyie, Kaslo, BC
The SS Moyie logged almost a million miles of travel and memories during that time, carrying generations of families making the Kootenay Lake area their home.  The legacy continued with families and workers, as well as soldiers from both world wars.  The story is told with photos and a video that are seen when you visit the visitor center nearby.
Trunks in storage in SS Moyie
The SS Moyie restoration was a volunteer project that took years of hard work to get to where she is now and restored to the Victorian design she originally had.  We enjoyed seeing the beauty of that era and have to marvel at the job well done by this small community of Kaslo in their accomplishments with this sternwheeler.  
Kaslo River follows Hwy 31A
We left town and followed Hwy 31A to see all the wildlife and beautiful scenic sights offered along this road that connects Kaslo and New Denver.  We’d last driven this section of highway pulling the RV, following the Kaslo River which travels about 48 km. (30 mi) to Kootenay Lake.  The Kaslo to Sandon Railway once made its’ way through here to deliver the silver mined in Sandon, in the Silvery Slocan area. There are many marked trails along this old railway trail.  Click here to see our recent visit to Sandon. 
Red-tailed hawk searching for prey
We’d been told there were all kinds of wildlife to be seen along this section of road but the only wildlife we did see was this hawk, circling overhead on one of our stops to enjoy the views.  We didn’t get to see what he was looking for but with water nearby, there is no doubt there were many little critters down there. 
Hwy 31A roadside 
We were able to see a small beaver dam on the river running through this area.  I don’t know the reason the water took on such a turquoise color in some spots but it sure did look pretty on this flat area among some trees.  The Kaslo River is fed by a lot of creeks running off both sides of the highway all through this area.  
Beaver lodge near Kaslo River
Another claim made was that we’d see the “biggest beaver lodges”.  Maybe that is true, this was a pretty big beaver home that looked like it had been there for awhile.  We didn’t see any of those hardworking beavers who are our Canadian national animal, but they tend to be nocturnal.  Signs of their work is more likely to be seen than they are. This was just not a day for wildlife viewing. 
Cloud shrouded Selkirk Mountains 
As much as this was not a day for wildlife viewing, we were not disappointed in the sights we did see and enjoy.  The day was chilly, not a typical early autumn day; the snow was not too far away, although that is not unusual for this time of year and we saw more beautiful snowcapped mountains.  We had a great day of sightseeing.

We’d now completed the ‘Silvery Slocan Circle Route’ and have seen the sites from New Denver, Sandon, Nelson to Kaslo and around on Hwy 31A almost back to New Denver. We have more Kootenay roads to cover and share from our travels in the Fall of 2013 as well as many from the past visits. 


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