Just across the border in British Columbia, we stopped to see the Natural Bridge across Kicking Horse River! This is a rock formation that forms a bridge over the river, and allows the water to rush under. That is a grand sight! Both Johnston Canyon and the Natural Bridge were recommended by Barbara and Vic.
Our home for the next two nights is in Parson, near Golden, at Alexis Timber Inn. We have an exceedingly fine view of the Rockies! It’s very quiet and secluded here, with a wood burning stove, coffee maker, fridge, and whirlpool tub. Both breakfast and dinner are included in the price of $195 C. per day, after tax . The restaurant has a full bar, and when Phillip, our server, asked what we would like to drink, we asked for a Manhattan, a classic American cocktail. He had never heard of it, but did his best to oblige! Dinner was fresh bread with herb butter, garden salad, roast beef, potatoes, and beans. Berries with ice cream finished the meal. In the morning, we’re off for our rafting trip! We’ll even get breakfast early, so we can make our deadline!
Unfortunately, there is no Wi Fi, or TV in the room. The public computer is a very slow dial up.
A nice German style breakfast of cold cuts, cheese, and bread began our day.
Our long-awaited raft trip began with a stop at Alpine Rafters. A bus ride took us to the put in site on the Kicking Horse River. The trip is divided into three parts: upper canyon, middle canyon, and lower canyon. It’s called The Challenge! This is an all day trip, but can be divided according to choice. The upper rapids are suitable for families with younger children, and the lower rapids are class 3-4. A barbeque lunch is provided between the first and second parts of the trip. A light snack is provided before the last part, the upper rapids. Our guide, Chris, was knowledgeable, skilled, and friendly. We enjoyed our interaction with him. We met Doug and Debbie, a fun mother and son, who were on vacation. The raft trip was exhilarating! We were in a raft with 4 others, and Chris. Everyone worked together, and nobody fell out! The water rushed at us, we rushed at it, the raft bobbed up and down, and we paddled as hard as we could. It was a real challenge, and we met it! We were all soaking wet, the water was cold, and we got water in the face, in the ear, and down the back, but it was exciting! Navigating around rocks and away from huge boulders was thrilling! We loved it and are looking forward to our next raft trip! Maybe in Pennsylvania! Alpine Rafters provide all the equipment. All this for $149 C. per person.
For supper, we stayed in Golden and ate at the Kicking Horse Grill, a very nice experience! We chose a bowl of excellent corn soup to share, and we each had buffalo ribs as an entrée, with a shared chocolate ganache. Before tax and tip, it was $66 C. Kyla, our server, was wonderful. The décor is rustic Canada. http://www.thekickinghorsegrill.ca/ To close the day, we rode the gondola to the top of the mountain at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. For $13 C. per person, we took an 18 minute ride to the peaks and the most spectacular scenery! We were awed by the Rocky Mountain panorama! Just breathtaking! The temperature was much colder than at the valley level. Mountain bikers were riding up and then going down the mountain on their bikes. It looked thrilling!
A good soak in our own hot tub guaranteed a good night’s sleep.
Unfortunately, our expected breakfast at the Timber Inn didn’t happen. At 8:00, the building was still dark and locked, so we drove to Golden, and ate at Smitty’s. We chose the Skillet Special (eggs, hash browns, peppers, onions) and a bacon, eggs, and hash browns breakfast with coffee for $24 C. before tip. Recreational opportunities in Golden offer ATV tours, rafting, fishing, hiking, and winter sports. http://www.britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/?townID=3497
Then – on to Revelstoke! A drive of about an hour and half, without stops, will take you to Revelsoke from Golden. We, of course, stopped several places to take pictures or a short hike. Our first hike was at Hemlock Grove Trail, an easy, short walk through a glorious forest. Entering Mt. Revelsoke Park, the Rocky Mountains were left behind, and we entered the Columbia Mountains, 70 million years older than the Rockies. Alpine wildflowers were blooming along the road, giving it bursts of bright colors. We enjoyed our picnic lunch at the Skunk Cabbage trail picnic area with its river view, and then hiked the Skunk Cabbage Trail, an interpretive nature walk. We saw many places where the grasses had been flattened in huge patches, and speculated that it might be evidence of bear activity. Later, on one of the interpretive signs, we learned bear enjoy the flowers of the skunk cabbage, so we think we were right! Skunk cabbage, by the way, gets its name because they smell like skunk.
Revelstoke offers many activities and sights for a family vacation. The Enchanted Forest, SkyTrek, Three Valley Gap Heritage Ghost town, several unique museums in town, white water rafting, helicopter tours, hydro-dam tour, and golf are some. We found the prices here among the most wallet friendly. Our first stop was the Railway Museum, dedicated to the railroads that were instrumental is the development of Canada. We walked through some of the old railway cars, and heard former rail men talk about “the old days” on a video. We were interested in the exhibit showing the Chinese contribution to the railways, and the discrimination they were shown. For an interesting glimpse into Canadian history, the $8 C. per person was reasonable. www.railwaymuseum.com
Along the road outside of town, we toured the Three Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town, and recreated town showing the Canada of the late 1800s and early 1900s. The town has two schools, a working church, jail, sauna house, train roundhouse, homes, and many other buildings. Railroad cars, such as a luxury car and caboose are open for visits. There are gardens. The town covers 17 acres. Allow about 2 hours. Admission is $12 C. per person. www.3valley.com
Not far away is the Enchanted Forest, a delightful place for the kids and kid at heart. 350 handmade concrete storybook and fairytale figures are along the woodland paths. See the 3 little pig’s homes, the old mill, Oz, the castle, a tree house, and other buildings, all child-sized. Admittance costs $9 C. per person. http://www.enchantedforestbc.com/ SkyTrek is another part of the park. It offers ropes courses and ziplines for children and adults at an additional cost.
Returning to the town of Revelstoke, we booked our motel, Revelstoke Lodge; a nice place with a hot tub and a pool. The pool was currently closed for renovations. Our room cost $113 C. after tax. It was big, comfortable and offered coffee maker, fridge, and Wi Fi. It’s within easy walking distance of town, with its many restaurants and shops. One of our gems is the Nickelodeon Museum! It is Canada’s only mechanical music museum! Lesley showed us many instruments in her collection, and her love for the instruments shone! Mechanical music from the 1790s up to the juke boxes of the mid 1900s are on display. Lesley’s husband, Michael, played the Aeolian Pipe Organ, built in 1913. We were most interested in the history and the stories! For a fee of $10 per person, it’s a bargain, and our recommendation for a family visit. http://revelstokenickelodeon.com/ We had dinner at Frisby Ridge Teriyaki Restaurant featuring Western, Japanese, and Korean cuisine. MaryJo chose Chicken Donburi, a succulent rice bowl with chicken, egg, onion, and spinach with tangy donburi sauce and miso soup. Greg’s choice was assorted sushi and miso soup, which he called delectable. Tea was served with the meal. We were curious about Korean wine, so we shared a bottle. It reminded us of sake, but with more of a punch! Our total was $57 C. Without the wine, it was $37. http://www.manta.com/coms2/dnbcompany_km1gfj A stroll through town with stops at some of the stores, and listening to the live entertainment in the gazebo finished the evening.
A hearty breakfast at the Main Street Café fortified us for the day. Greg’s choice was the Downy Wrap, full of bacon, eggs, Cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses with hash brown on the side. The Revy Wrap, for MaryJo, was served on an herbal flatbread. Eggs, feta cheese, onion, and peppers with hash browns on the side, was too much to finish! Two yummy lattes completed the meal. For $26 C. before tip, it was a good deal! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Revelstoke-BC/Main-Street-Cafe-Revelstoke/242901634778 Back to Alberta, and ahead an hour.
Nickelodeon Museum, Revelstoke, BC, Part 1
Nickelodeion Museum, Revelstoke, BC, Part 2
Exploring Small Towns in BC