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Thread: A Three Day Journey To The Kootenays

  1. #1

    A Three Day Journey To The Kootenays

    Route Map Link: Ellensburg to Balfour, BC

    Day 1

    Departed Ellensburg and visited Wild Horse Wind Farm

    Next stop was the Wild Horse Sculptures along I90 near the town of Vantage. Unfortunately due to the forest fires it was very hazy.

    Next stop was Soap Lake 'The Place of Healing Waters' and took some pictures of the sundial in the town park and the lake.

    This route is known as the Coulee Corridor which took me to Grand Coulee City with stops at places like Dry Falls and Steamboat Rock. Also the old Cariboo Trail crosses near Blue Lake. This is where cattle were driven from The Dalles to the mines in British Columbia.

    Dry Falls

    Cariboo Trail Sign

    Near Steamboat Rock

    Grand Coule Dam sure is BIG -they claim it is the largest hydro electric facility in the USA and the largest concrete structure as well.

    Next stop was Nespelem were I went to the Catholic Cemetery and visited Chief Joseph's grave. (Last of the Indian Wars in the USA)

    The border crossing was near Danville on Washington SR 21. Since it was hot in Castlegar so I took a break at this pullout next to a hydro plant.

    And, finally arriving at about 6pm at Toad Rock Campground.

    I set up camp and so ended Day 1

    Day 2: Exploring the West Shore of Kootenay Lake

    Things started slowly since I had slept in and lounged around the campground. I walked down to the social area and they had coffee on. So I ended up having a few cups and ended up chatting with a few of the guests.

    I finally got going and headed north along the western shore of Kootenay Lake. I stopped in Kaslo and fueled up the bike and continued north until the pavement ended and I turned around and went back to Kaslo to take some pictures.

    Some Pictures taken at Toad Rock Campground:

    I stopped for a very late lunch in Kaslo on my way back to Toad Rock. This is a beautiful community. Below are a few pictures from the town.

    Day 3 The Ride Home

    My journey back to the border crossing was a quick one, regrettably. I did stop for a quick breakfast at a small restaurant near Christine Lake and was slowed down a bit by construction south of Nelson-- otherwise my return to the USA was uneventful.

    The border crossing took a bit of time considering I was only the second vehicle. The US Customs guy was very friendly, actually too friendly, he needed to socialize. He obviously enjoyed his job, thus it took about 25 minutes for two vehicles to enter the USA me and before me a retired couple from Alberta in a motorhome. Anyway better a friendly Customs Agent than the other kinds.

    My first major stop was in Curlew. I had bypassed this town on the way up and was curious to learn what was there. Below are a few pictures from Curlew.

    The bike was performing so well I was able to ride home without stopping for gas until I got back home. My ride north, though a brief journey was quite enjoyable. I hope to return to this part of Canada once again, but hopefully for a longer stay next time.

    I was quite impressed by the towns of Nelson and Kaslo. The Toad Rock Campground is a must visit for anyone motorcycling in this region. The conversations and diversity of people makes this a fun place to visit.

    The F650GS got over 65 miles per gallon on this trip and since this was my first longer trip with all my camping gear I was very happy with how this machine performed.


  2. #2
    Back road adv,

    What a great ride report!

    So much in your part of the world I MUST explore! Wow!

    Thanks, I enjoyed!


  3. #3
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Man it has been a while.

    Nice ride report, man.
    So that's what these bikes are for, huh?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by redclfco View Post
    Back road adv,

    What a great ride report!

    So much in your part of the world I MUST explore! Wow!

    Thanks, I enjoyed!

    I'm sorry so many pictures turned out hazy but we have lots of forest fire issues this time of year and when a high pressure sets in well the smoke has no where to go.

    backroad adv

  5. #5
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    For those who don't know of Toad Rock, its a motorcycle friendly campground between Balfour and Kaslo. Great place, probably the best spot in all of BC to call home for a night or several. Mary, the owner, is a fantastic lady. and her hospitality is second to none. The amenities she has assembled for her guests to enjoy are great, there's a beer fridge with an honour system for payment (no set prices) and in the morning there is always coffee on with the same open donation pot for whatever you think it's worth. Theres even BBQs, fridges and whatever else you might need that you can't carry on your bike, if its not there, just ask and Mary will figure something out for you.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

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