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Dad and Kerry's 2003 Trip to British Columbia

Day 5 - Second Day in BC: Skookumchuck, Golden, Revelstoke, and 2 Ferry Rides

MONDAY, 18 August 2003

Gee, is it only Monday? It feels like Monday must have happened 2 or 3 days ago.

Before leaving our campground in Wasa...

...we had a pleasant conversation with the owner and her mother - both Filipino. [I didn't think of taking their picture until it was too late!] Dad gave the mother 4 of the accessory packs that came in his MRE meals. They had coffee, Tabasco sauce, and other stuff and she seemed delighted to have them. He also showed them both how the MRE heaters work by adding water; they were impressed!

We took off at about 10:10, after Dad was able to take a shower and I finally got my tent dry. We continued north on 93 through Skookumchuck [Map Point #2] (where we stopped for gas),...

... Canal Flats, Windermere and Radium Hot Springs [Map Point #4].

[Somewhere in there we pulled over at a rest stop that overlooked Columbia Lake - Map Point #3. It took me most of the trip to accept that the mighty Columbia River really does begin near here!]

We agreed not to take the "detour" up to Banff National Park, especially since the whole area was smoky and we wouldn't have been able to appreciate what Banff usually has to offer. Instead we took 95 to Golden [Map Point #5]via Spillimacheen and various other towns. We did some grocery shopping in Golden and were amazed at the high prices (both the exchange rate and the touristy town affected the numbers, I'm sure).

We got on highway 1 and had rather a wild ride from Golden to Revelstoke [Map Point #6]. There was a lot more traffic than we had seen for 2 or 3 days, going both ways. But we wound our way between mountains on either side, some with small waterfalls from the melting snow that was visible towards the top. There were several tunnels too, the longest of which was about .4 miles long. We stopped at Revelstoke for a sandwich and water from McDonald's, and for gas. Dad talked to the guy in front of us in the line, who had arrived on a Yamaha V-Max I think.

We crossed the bridge over Revelstoke Lake [on the Columbia River] and went south on 23 to Shelter Bay [Map Point #7], where we caught a free BC Highway System ferry across the lake to Galena Bay. We got in line just a few minutes before the ferry arrived from the other side.

The loadmaster had us drive right to the front of the ferry, on one side.

Dad and I got to watch a bald eagle dive out of a tree on the shore toward the water, but it changed its mind before it reached the water and flew back to its tree. [He's near the upper center of the picture below. You might need to squint a little....]

[Looking back toward Shelter Bay...]

We also noticed several swallows flying around near the ferry while it was in the middle of the lake. [Some of them are on top of the pole thingie...]

It turned out that they had their nests on the "boat", and so they were just "hanging around the house." [That's a nest on top of the loudspeaker...]

From the Galena Bay side...

...we rode on 23 down to Nakusp and then on 6 down to Fauquier via Arrow Park and Burton(!).

On the way we stopped to take pictures of 2 different fires across the lake.

We also got to watch one or two helicopters hauling water to a totally separate site that we couldn't see. At Fauquier [Map Point #8] we stopped for gas at a place called "Mushroom Addition" or something like that. The guy came out saying that it was 100° F outside, and they had served 450 bikers in the past 3 days (and 4000+ so far this summer), and this gas station / restaurant was the #1 stop on some list or other, and they were the top retailer for the Destination Highways books, and we may as well stay at the nice campground just up the road because there wouldn't be any room anywhere near Vernon, and the restaurant had great food, and the gas was all 90 octane at an 87 octane price, and ... so forth. We decided to push on, and stopped in line (just down the hill) for another ferry that would take us back across the lake so we could head towards Vernon. We only had to wait 2 or 3 minutes before the ferry arrived, but a few more while one end of it was hosed down for some reason.

Another motorcycle rider was in line ahead of us. We were directed to different lanes on the ferry, but he approached us as we made the crossing and we talked bikes and routes for a bit.

(By the way, this second ferry was a significantly smaller, cable-propelled job with a much shorter "hop" to make. Dad said the first ferry had 3 diesel-driven propellers.) Our conversation ended rather abruptly as we approached the opposite side of the lake. The other biker was motioned off of the ferry first, and Dad and I were next. Without any prior agreement, I decided to follow behind the man rather than pass him. He didn't seem to have had as much recent practice as the two of us had, but he seemed to know the (quite curvy) road pretty well. We followed him for probably 25 miles before he turned off, and we exchanged waves as our paths parted. I stepped up the pace, and almost scared myself on a few curves in the next 20 miles. Dad actually scraped his centerstand when he leaned into a curve at the same time that the road dipped.

On an impulse I turned into the "Gold Panner Campground" [near Map Point #9] where we decided to stay. We set up our tents...

...and I started cooking beef stew when a young-ish man and his wife stopped to say Hi and to talk - what else? - motorcycles! He had been doing forest fire-related Search & Rescue work for 4 days. He sat on Dad's Concours, told us about the '83       ?       he recently bought, and was generally good company while I stirred the beef stew and made hot water for hot chocolate. Then his wife said they should let us eat, so away they went. After we ate & cleaned up...

...Dad went to bed and I called Sue.

Miles covered today: 384
Total miles covered: 1581


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