Friday, April 27, 2012

Days 240, 241, and 242 Creston to Nelson, B.C.

I'm Back! after nights in Nelson and Castlegar with little or no internet service, I am going to attempt to catch up in the next  few days. Day 240, looking in my mirror back towards our motel (the Hacienda, I do not recommend) and Creston, Jake and I head out with shuttle 2 north about 76 kilometres towards Crawford Bay

Two ways to go to Nelson, hwy 3, which takes you over the Salmo-Creston Highway. Or hwy 3A, which is a beautiful, yet windy road all the way to Crawford Bay.

and a short little ferry trip and your in Nelson.

A last glimpse of the Creston Valley
The road was pretty much windy like this the entire way.

Most of this stretch of highway is along Kootenay Lake. (total lenth 104 KM) 

Crawford Bay is a funky little artisan (they have their own website) community of about 350 people

Leona, one of our medal bearers today, showed me a picture she took of Rick Hansen when he wheeled through Crawford Bay 25 years ago. Here is her story:

Simply put, for more than a couple of decades now, I have led a team of fellow community members whose sole mission is to look out for our

neighbours. We seem to focus on the Christmas season, as the need is greatest at that time, although we lend a hand { or rather; several }

anytime throughout the year. 90% of us pool our resources: food, cash,clothing, toys,bedding etc. and share with the 10% of us who need

them! I have been a fundraiser - most recently helping to find the resources {$ 850,000. } to build community facilities onto our new school.

Lastly, I have supported the Heart&Stroke Foundation's work for many years through community campaigns. I feel blessed to belong to our


Our meeting point was in one of the community facilities at the school that Leona talked about.

Here's Jessica, one of the school nominees, showing off medals that she has won in the sport of Goalball. (Jessica is vision impaired.)

The Crawford Bay school won a 2009 SAB award (sustainable architecture and building)
Jake and the Crawford Bay difference makers (l to r, Terry, Leona., Ries, Jessica, and Glen).

Andrew  (our pilot) doing either his King Kong, or Godzilla impression.

I was really excited to go on the Kootenay Lake Ferry. It has probably been 30 years (OMG!) since I was last on it.

A  truck runaway lane for trucks this close to the lake?
The long narrow strip in the middle is Kootenay Lake, this map is not going to show well on the blog!

Along the shore by the ferry terminal.

Looking back towards the vehicles waiting in line. Most of them belong to the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen relay. 

Looks a lot like the west coast of British Columbia.

Here comes our ride. It's only an 8 kilometre trip and takes around 35-40 minutes.

He's such a poser!

and so is Jake!

There's Jordan up in the bridge, giving a little introduction about the relay and one special medal bearer to the crew and the other passengers.

Our endurance athlete Joey passes the 25th anniversary medal to Sharon, who is our EMT (extraordinary mode of transport) medal bearer today

another wow!

getting close to Balfour Bay, end of the line.

Bag-pipers were at the end of the ferry dock, welcoming us in true Canadian fashion. The community of around 480 had a huge reception for the relay crew.

Jake and I carried on to Nelson (population just over 10,000), our home for the next three nights. I have spent a lot of time here over the years, it is one of the historical gems of British Columbia.
Crossing Kootenay Lake looking towards town.

Our second meeting point of the day was at the Nelson and District Community Complex.

Jake prepares for another medal bearer briefing.

The community had one of the paintings created during the Olympic Torch Relay in 2010.
and an autographed Rick Hnasen painting that some high school students had done when Rick came through Nelson on his orginal man in motion tour 25 years ago.

Jake prepares the difference makers for their segments.

Let's do this!

the on-board cam always catches the smiles.
Our difference makers carried the medal around downtown Nelson, as we drop off one, I can see the convoy coming around the corner.

Barn, who was an escort today, poses with Kristi and her dog. Here is Kristi's story:

I work with kids with special needs as a Teacher Assistant in Nelson,BC and they inspire me everyday. Even with the challenges they face they

are some of the most outgoing kids with super positive, fun loving attitudes that whenever I feel I'm having a bad day I just have to remember

what they go through and it changes my mood instantly! I also worked as a volunteer with the WASP(Whistler Adaptive Sports Program) for a

few ski seasons. Watching the paraplegic racers ripping down the mountain in their sit skis was something else as well as witnessing average

people with disabilities newly take up the sport with big smiles on their faces at the end of the day when they finally learned how to make turns.

Lastly I just wanted to say I was in Grade 7 when Rick wheeled into BC Place at the end of his tour and we sang and did a dance for him. The

energy i felt in that moment is indescribable but recently I watched footage of that very emotional day and it brought tears of joy to my eyes.

He was then and still is now such an inspiration to so many people both able bodied and physically challenged all around the world and one of

my heroes which is why it would make me so very proud to carry his medal in the relay in my community.

Here comes the final medal bearer for day 240, Ed. Hear is a bit about what Ed had to say:

“What I want to say is this, it doesn’t take miracles and it doesn’t take heroes and it doesn’t take hope. What it takes is it takes work. When we get together as a society . . . as a country as people, when we get together we can accomplish just about anything,” added Natyshak, who had the pleasure of meeting Rick Hansen during his recover period at G.F. Strong after being paralyzed during a mountain bike trek that saw him break his neck at the C7 vertebrae.

The ladies from a local drago boat team provided an honour guard.
Besides Ed being supported by friends, family, community, and other medal bearers, a Samba band walked with him and added a real festive atmosphere to the relay!

The "orangemen" (a promo from a local radio station)

Ed inspires the crowd.

Marilyn sorta fits in with her orange vest.
the community really supported this event.

ah, the warm-up dance!

Day 240, one of many memorable days on this journey. It was overcast, but what a view from our hotel, looking down Kootenay Lake towards Balfour.

Day 241 was an event day. Those of us that weren't rostered had a chance to look around Nelson (whick is built on a hillside, originally a silver mining town) and do some reviews for the Rick Hansen foundation Planat website. (accessibility for buildings and businesses)
Kootenay Lake and the Kootenay river.

Came across this old piece of equipment from the Sullivan Machinery Company.

spring-time, the skunk cabbage has appeared.

back downtown, the history of this town has been very well maintained

circa 1900

one of the events put on by the community today was a ball hockey tournament. The relay put in their own team, but they were no match for the young kids exuberance and endurance.

more downtown historic buildings
the shell of this building has been preserved for future renovations, looks like a movie set.

the court house.

day 242 was a day off, (yup, another one), it was time to catch up on the chore, Ross and I hit the laundromat.

Then we went for a drive on part of the Selkirk Loop, a series of roads and trails that cover parts of British Columbia, Washington, and Idaho.

Yes, it was a very nice day, here we are overlooking a very calm Slocan Lake

What can I say, the pictures don't do it justice. If you get a chance to do it, go for it, the trip from Nelson to New Denver to Kaslo and back is around 200 kilometres.

 Mning equipment outside of the museum in Silveton. (these were buckets that were cabled from the mine high in the mountain down to the processing site in town. This once vibrant mining town has become B.C.'s smallest municipality with a population of 250.

The next stop was New Denver (population about 500), another cool little mining town on Slocan Lake. Here is the old Bank of Montreal building.
an old hotel that is no longer in use.

Then we took highway 31A from New Denver to Kaslo, and instantly it was winter again!

Evidence of an earlier avalanche.

These building were right on the side of the highway, we thought they were deserted but on closer inspection we could see someone lived in the place on the left. They were all alone on a 48 kilometre stretch of road.
Kaslo (population just over 1,000) is another hidden gem, I'm sure the locals want to keep it a secret, although it does get a lot of tourists in the summertime.

Kaslo sits on the western shores of Kootenay Lake

We had lunch at a local hotel restaurant, it was nice enough to sit outside and enjoy the view.

Pilings from busier days long gone.

The centerpiece of the town is this old sternwheeler, the S.S. Moyie, which is no longer in operation, but is impressive all the same.

on the way back to Nelson we say a farm that was dotted with what we thought were cattle, but on closer inspection there were quite a few deer,

and even some elk out grazing the field. Enough play, tomorrow's anothe relay day!

1 comment:

  1. So much fun to read this post. I have family in Riondel. My step dad apprenticed with John Smith, the blacksmith in Crawford Bay and was the Blacksmith at Expo '86. He's now a doctor with a paractice in Nelson and he lives in the Slocan Valley.

    I haven't been up that way in awhile, so it was nice to get a peek. 21 more days till my turn!! Can't wait!

    In the meantime, I was accepted into a gallery show in Pt. Coquitlam that ties into the Relay. It's called Dispelling the Myth: Disability & Art and will be on at Leigh Square from May 10th-June 11th. So excited about that-my first gallery show in Canada!