2012 Nakusp HU Trip – Day 13

27 August 2012 – After a nice sleep, at least for me, we got up and headed down to the little cafe off the lobby for breakfast. While the food was good, we easily overheard the staff bitching about the boss and pay. The boss was stomping around until a tray of glasses crashed to the floor spraying glass bits all over, then he stormed out, got in his car and roared off. I hope he didn’t crash the car.

Packing up, we talked about the route home and by the time we had the bikes loaded, we’d figured out which way we’d go. The choices were Highway 3 through the Crowsnest Pass, then north on Highway 22 to Calgary; or head north from Cranbrook through the Invermere/Radium area and then north on Highway 93 through the Kootenay National Park. It had been years and years since we’d been through that way so it would be interesting to see it again. Beside, we wouldn’t have to deal with the wind on 22. The hope that there’d be less traffic was dashed though – there were some stupid and crazy drivers out today.

So, the Highway 93 north of Cranbrook offered nothing really special in the way of scenery.

It was flat, mostly straight, but relatively light in traffic so we made pretty good time north.

We crossed this bridge over the Columbia River …

Traffic picked up a bit as we got into the Windemere/Invermere areas. We stopped in Radium Hot Springs PetroCanada for gas and a bite to eat.

We were heading through those mountains ahead …

… through a very narrow and spectacular canyon that twists along a river …

The Kootenay Highway continues north, meeting the TransCanada Highway just west of Banff, running almost parallel to the Kootenay River.

There was lots of haze in the air and there was a smell of smoke – there were some forest fires burning north and the breeze was blowing the smoke into the valley.

We stopped at the Canmore Visitor’s Centre for a bio break and water …

I think by this time we were both looking forward to getting home …

Bypassing the TransCanada and all it’s high speed passing and stuff, we took our usual route home from here – the good old Highway 1A and so about 90 minutes later we were home.

All in all, it was a great memorable trip, with some drama, spectacular scenery and roads, hanging out with some friends and a total of over 3131kms.

Although we were very happy to be home, we were also already looking forward to the next series of trips in 2013!

2012 Nakusp HU Trip – Day 12

26 August 2012 – Today we started home and the VStrom gang was heading off in separate ways. Andrew was rocketing home to Calgary as were Rob and BigDan, well Rob was going to be heading home to Edmonton. Smurf and Pops were heading out to the west coast in Washington for an outdoor rock concert.

All of us had breakfast at the Broadway again, then headed back to the campsite to pack up.

Our plan was to get to Cranbrook, where we’d probably stay the night at the BestWestern – our usual place in Cranbrook. From there we’d figure out which route to take home.

But first we headed to NewDenver for some gas, and then zipped east on the famous Highway 31A between NewDenver and Kaslo.

We stopped for a bit in Kaslo for water and some trail mix, right outside the Kaslo Municipal Hall, undergoing some renovations. It was built in 1898 and looks like it’s in pretty good shape for 114 years old.

This is the entrance to the Library …

Wherever your mind wanders … ride after it! I wish we could live it.

We headed south from Kaslo, and were planning, sort of, to take the ferry at Balfour. But when we got there, the ferry was just pulling away, so we decided to carry on to Nelson and from there to Salmo on Highway 3. Louise had never been to Nelson, but I’d been there last year for the WeSTOC Honda ST1300 meet. One of the things that Nelson is famous for, among other things, is the bridge …

It was interesting to go past the Prestige Lakefront Hotel I stayed at on that trip. We needed water so we stopped at the Nelson Walmart down on the waterfront.

We managed to dork around for a while at the Walmart before heading out again, but eventually we were off. Next stop – Creston for a late lunch.

We’ve stopped at the Buffalo Trails Cafe a few times and the food has always been really good.

Louise and I shared a soup and sandwich, then filled up the gas tanks and carried on to Cranbrook.

Another couple of hours on the road and we arrived in Cranbrook, where we rode through town to reach the BestWestern on the east side of town.

Unpacking the bikes in Cranbrook

We went to check-in and I managed to talk my way into a Suite with a jacuzzi tub for a great price. I knew from past stays that there was no hot-tub in the pool area – only a swimming pool – so I whined and complained a bit so the girl behind the counter caved and gave us the suite for the price of a normal room.

Dusk at the BestWestern Cranbrook

One of the things that I noticed right way was the addition of Motorcycle Parking! That had been one of the complaints that I wrote about to the manager of the hotel a couple of years ago and it was nice to see that they had finally added it.

We had dinner at EastSide Mario’s, just missed getting a latte at Starbucks because it had just closed, then headed back to the hotel for some time with the jacuzzi tub and a nice comfy sleep in a giant king-sized bed and a quiet air-conditioner.