My next destination was Revelstoke, the main attraction of which is the ski resort although not in June. It was almost 300kms from Nelson and I took my time, stopping whenever and wherever the desire prompted me.
The route passed through Slocan, Silverton, New Denver and Naksup and included a ferry. I hadn’t studied the map and, when I did, realised the road stopped at Galena. Thankfully, another free B.C. Ferry filled the gap!
I set off on a beautiful morning and drove as far as Silverton where I had my obligatory morning coffee was affecting my waistline but I love cake! They also made the coffee just how I like it. On a whim, I diverted off the highway to New Denver and was pleased I did. It is a picturesque small town on Slocan Lake and was very peaceful on a Sunday morning. I parked by the water and took a circular route along the lake to the river and back down the historic main street. It was a mining town in the late 19th Century and the information boards told me its original name was El Dorado. However, it had aspirations of grandeur. The townsfolk expected it to grow bigger than Denver, Colorado so they renamed it. It didn’t.
Continuing northwards the weather changed, and by the time I reached the ferry it was grey and miserable. And so it remained for the next couple of days. On arrival in Revelstoke, the first room allocated to me in the dreary motel was not clean. The second one had a spectacular view into a staircase and was dark. Third time lucky though and I got an upstairs room overlooking the car park and the mountains in the distance. I wonder why motels/hotels assign second best rooms when there are better ones available? I rarely ask to change rooms but on this occasion I was staying several nights and found the ground-floor rooms depressing.
The car remained in the car park the entire time I was in Revelstoke. I preferred to explore on foot. After my first foray, I had to return and add more layers as the wind was bitter. All day, I removed items of clothing and put them back on again as the fickle weather dictated. The coffee shop (obviously my first port of call), was busy, so I joined three other people at a table. We chatted, and I learned that they were from Golden Bay at the top of the South Island of N.Z., an area I love. Whilst checking in at the motel the previous day I had met a couple who lived in Dorset, where I grew up, and had a cousin in Katikati, where my children spent their childhood. Who says it is not a small world?
Revelstoke has an impressive trail close to town entitled the Illecillewaet Greenbelt Pathway. It follows the course of the Columbia river and extends down to the river flats. Not having done any research, I found it by chance. I spent my first afternoon walking along until it headed into the forest. The lady in the information centre had told me no sightings of grizzlies had been reported yet this year, but I had no bear bells or spray so didn’t risk venturing further on my own. At the point I turned around, an impressive bird’s nest adorned the top of a power pole. It resembled a stork’s nest, but I didn’t think storks inhabited B.C.! I later discovered it was an osprey’s nest.
The following day, I crossed the river and walked on the opposite side in the Big Eddy area where there was a well-defined cycle track and walkway. I spent the remainder of my time in Revelstoke ‘pottering’. I had my haircut, investigated the thrift shops and roamed the town. The weather was uninspiring and I seem to descend into lethargic mode when it is.
On leaving the town, I drove up to to the Revelstoke Dam which is enormous. On the way, signs warned drivers that there was no petrol for hundreds of kilometres! The road was going into remote territory. I returned to the main highway and pointed the car towards Vernon.