Monday, July 29, 2013

The Campervan: Day 4 Kaslo - Trout Lake

Kaslo from above
Although the weather we were getting was much hotter than anything we had experienced in Canada, the nights were still freezing cold and you'd get up just because it was warmer to move around than under the covers. The winds were roaring through the valley straight like it was a natural wind tunnel from the Arctic (it probably is actually) and straight in through our ventilation window even though the skies were blue and the sun was out. We spent the morning running some errands in the town before tackling the lookout trail above Kaslo which was a horrifically steep incline and I huffed and puffed my way up - I am going to blame this unfitness on my short legs, or maybe just poutine. I cursed myself for struggling up this mere 800m climb when 10 months ago I was tackling 5985m with comparable ease. Up-close Kaslo had a bit of a restored-for-tourists pioneer town look to it but from the lookout, Kaslo could easily be shortlisted for one of the best located towns on the planet.

Back in town we did some groceries and continued our tour of Canada's tourist information trail. Alas Kaslo's tourist information was merely a booth at this time of year with some information on local B&Bs. So we left Kaslo in the direction of our instincts which turned out to be much better than using a map. We passed over the Duncan River towards the 'town' of Argena which was another contender for the best located town with grand lake views and beaches as well as an osprey spotting! After another of our stops for the team to top up their tans - or burns- we headed along a dirt track to Fry's Creek Trail. I would go on again about my unfitness and inability to cope with heat but this trail took us to my favourite spot in the whole of Canada - almost mutually agreed within the group.

The trail on the map was long and so we were only going to go as far as we thought we could bare but we met a woman who told us to at least get as far as the bridge and then loop back around the lake-shore. The walk took us through forest which gave us tempting glimpses of the views ahead until we reached the creek. The bridge opened up into a gargantuan crashing waterfall tumbling into the lake before rising back up into the Kootenay Mountains.

We ate our lunch at the foot of the waterfall before heading along the lake shore. Its safe to say we all thought the waterfall was the special treat here but I was more blown away along the lake shore - it was the typical desktop screensaver and a reminder of how beautiful this country can be. There was one particular stop where I would never actually be able to take in at the time how nice it was - let alone do it with justice with words later on!

My favourite spot
We sat and enjoyed our surroundings and crossed some ice-cold rivers which seemed like a good idea as you would burn your feet in the sand otherwise! In Canada you either get extreme heat or extreme cold - no in-between! On the way back we got a chance to go at a slower pace - I think the rest were getting concerned about my purple face- and it was nice to get to chat to everyone without the use of an inhaler.

The drive to the next destination (which was a town called Trout Lake) was along Highway 31 but in Canada that means an endless dirt track (did we mention that we aren't meant to go on dirt tracks according to the contract with the campervan company? What a boring trip that would have been!). We stopped at a bridge over Trout Lake - the lake obviously- and saw huge fish (I assume trout...) eating the few mosquitoes not eating me. It is illegal to fish at certain times of the year in certain places - that is why the fish get so big.

The sun was setting and it all looked very idyllic and we thought that was the cherry on our already pretty perfect day but a bear cub ran out in front of our van just as we left the bridge - both relieved and disappointed that Mamma bear didn't appear too. The town of Trout Lake was like a ghost town or at least solely reserved for holiday homes but I certainly think it should have been called Mosquito Lake rather than Trout Lake. The little buggers made sure I was inside the whole evening! Not that I was complaining much as I was ready to collapse as soon as dinner was done!

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