Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It was then onto the Pilot Bay Lighthouse near Kootenay Bay, which involved a short dive (less than 5 km) and a short hike (less than 1/4 mile). The lighthouse is no longer used, but it's fairly well maintained and you can get good views of Kootenay Lake and the surrounding area.
How to get across Kootenay Lake? Well, by the (worlds longest) free ferry between Kootenay Bay and Balfour. The ride takes about 30-minutes, and allows for some nice views of the mountains, lakes, and towns along the lake. Once in Balfour, you can go north to Ainsworth Hot Springs, or south to Nelson, which is the route we chose today. Nelson is a fairly large town, with many Victorian homes from about 100 years ago. There is a main Street, Baker, with many stores and restaurants, as well as the "uphill" neighbourhood that you can take a driving tour and see many of the Victorian buildings of yore. We were actually disappointed with Nelson (perhaps because it was later in the day), but it seemed busy, the stores weren't as quaint as we hoped, and the Victorian buildings were most easily seen via a driving tour, and we would have preferred to walk. It does seem like a nice town, though, with some beachfront, so we just may not have hit it on the right day (for us). At Nelson, you're equidistant form Creston, whether you go over the pass or take the ferry, and since the ferry takes about an hour more (wait time & sailing time), we drove back via Rte. 6, then Rte.3.

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