Revisiting a Favourite Destination: BC 2013, Day 1

Mountains over Coldstream

Mountains over Coldstream

It’s been a few years since we’ve driven through the mountains of BC.  I’d forgotten how beautifully majestic they are.

We flew into Kelowna and spent the night with friends in nearby Coldstream, before picking up our rental car the next morning for our drive to Kaslo. By the time we had arranged insurance, coordinated the GPS and bought a map for safe measure, it was time for lunch. We finally got on our way around 12:30 pm.

The air was crisp, but the sun was bright and it followed us most of the way. As usual, my finger was continuously clicking the camera button,  as I tried to capture every “great shot” that I saw. We took Hwy 97 north, from Kelowna back to Coldstream, and then turned east onto Hwy 6.

Hwy 97

Hwy 97 winding around Kalamalka Lake

The road hugged the mountains and curved along the shore of Lake Kalamalka.

Hwy 3

Hwy 97, one of many great motorcycle roads in BC

Both of these highways provide many turns that made us wish we on our motorcycle.

Logging truck on Hwy 3

One of several logging trucks we met on Hwy 6

Cattle on HWY 3

Deer weren’t the only animals we had to watch out for!

At Needles we waited for the free cable ferry to take us across Lower Arrow Lake to Fauquier, a journey of only one kilometer. This ferry has been running since 1913. It runs every fifteen minutes, so our wait was short.

Needles Ferry coming  in

Needles Ferry coming in

Needles Ferry

Needles Ferry, approaching Fauquier

Hwy 6 turns north from Fauquier and follows Arrow Lake to Nakusp, where it becomes Hwy 23, but at Nakusp we took Hwy 47 south-east to the fascinating old town of New Denver, the town we had visited for the Garlic Festival while on our motor home trip in 2010, but we had not seen the downtown. The few businesses on the main street are all colourful clapboard, reminiscent of the mining days.

New Denver Restaurant

New Denver Restaurant

New Denver Bank

A simpler life

Home Hardware

Home Hardware

Dome B&B

Dome B&B worth taking a closer look at, perhaps on our way back.

By the time we had an ice-cream and were on our way again, taking Hwy 31A to Kaslo, the clouds were floating low over the mountain peaks like smoke billowing from a non-existing forest fire.

Low clouds

Low clouds

More twisty roads

More twisty roads on Hwy 31A

We arrived in Kaslo and into the arms of family just as the rain caught up with us.






A Quick Visit to Quebec

Finding the time or inspiration to write has been difficult this summer. Most of our travel has been to funerals or memorials it seems. But I think we made our last such trip, for a while I hope, this past weekend when we traveled to the Montreal, Quebec area.

We had to stay over one night so I looked for an inexpensive hotel near to our venues. Through I found a room at the Travelodge in the Dorval area. The reviews were mixed; some were awful, so we didn’t know what to expect. It was a pleasant surprise. The building is an older one, but seems to have been refurbished fairly recently. The reception area was large and had double winding staircases up to the second floor. I could imagine a photo of a bride with a long train descending them.

Travelodge Room

The halls were bright and clean; the room was more than adequate with a queen size bed, two night tables, a corner armoire with a large TV (not flat screen though), a sofa and a desk. A coffee maker, hair dryer and ironing board and iron were also supplied.

Travelodge Room

Jim found the bed comfy

I noticed no unpleasant smells that a few reviewers had mentioned. Other than a few paint nicks and some wrinkles in the drapes and bed skirt, I could see nothing to complain about. The dining room wasn’t open for dinner, but we enjoyed a good breakfast the next morning.

After getting lost in the construction on the way to our hotel, and driving through the Dorval Airport, we settled into the Travelodge Hotel on Chemin de la Cote-De-Liesse, before venturing across the highway in search of dinner. Getting there was a challenge. Montreal is known for its one-way streets and strange angled intersections. When we arrived at Le Bifthèque and entered the grand reception area where we were asked if we had reservations, we expected to see an expensive menu.

Le Biftheque Restaurant

Le Biftheque Restaurant

We were directed up carpeted steps and into one of several dining rooms. The decor was elegant – dark stained woods, polished wooden table tops on black tables with black chairs or benches, dimmed lights and a glass-enclosed fireplace. But when we scanned the menu, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the prices were only the normal for most family restaurants. We chose the baby back ribs, which came with a choice of soup or salad, and potatoes or rice. Before our order was even taken, a bowl of tasty seasoned, crunchy croutons and a basket of freshly baked dinner rolls were placed on our table.

Seasoned Croutons

Yummy Croutons

Our Caesar Salads were ample, so when the plates of half racks of ribs and huge baked potatoes (sprinkled with salt and Parmesan cheese) were presented, we knew we were getting more than we could chew!

Ribs and potato

Where did they find those potatoes!?

And it was all very succulent. We enjoyed some of the leftovers for our bedtime snacks later that night.

Next week we are flying to BC for a real vacation spent with family. I hope to have many pictures and stories to share.