Friday, July 29, 2011

Fort Steele Heritage Town

Friday, we went to the Ft Steele Heritage Town, which is down the road about 1/2 a mile from our campground. The town has been around 1864, going from boom town of the gold rush days to a ghost town to a tourist attraction. It was originally called Galbraith Ferry. It was a major commerical center but dropped from around 4,000 people to 400 within a few years when the Railroad bypassed the town. It reminds me of places we went back east such as Plimoth Plantation and Williamsburg, where they have people dressed up as in the 1800's and you can walk into stores and homes to see what it looked like and what it was like back in those days. There are around 60 buildings, some original and reconstructed that are typical of the period between 1890 and 1905. They have theater productions, train and horse driven wagon rides.
Former Brewery, now Visitor Center

Jack Corrigan's Harness Shop

Officer's dining room

Officer's room

Court House

Jail, in same building as Court House

Some of the buildings still operate as shops, such as the Ice Cream Parlor, Bakery and Photography Shop.
There was a lot of interesting history and we really recommend this to anyone who is in this area in their travels.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beautiful day for a paddle

Thursday morning looked to be a sunny day and we decided to paddle There are a couple of lakes just up the road from the campground. I had been warned that there is no sign to Horseshoe Lake but to look for baseball caps on the fence near the small sign for Horseshoe Rd. That definitely helped.

Horseshoe Lake recreation area is set among pine and aspen trees. There is a campground that is self service with no facilites and pack in pack out. There are a number of rvs that look like people bring up before the weekend to get a good site right on the water. It was very quite, the only noise that of some kids swimming and having fun.  The lake is self fed and right now the water level is high. On our paddle, I saw what looked like a fire pit under water about 10 feet or so from shore. See table at one site in picture below that is surrounded by water.


      Another day in paradise.                                                                          

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Off to the Market

Cranbrook has a Farmer's Market on Saturdays and is having its first Wednesday evening one Cranbrook is the largest urban city in the area known as the East Kootenay. There is just under 20,000 residents in the city proper and around 27,000 in the metropolitan area. It is home to the Kootenay Ice, a WHL hockey team. There are a number of hockey players who make their home in Cranbrook Scott and Rob Niedermayer, who played on our beloved Anaheim Ducks team when they won the Stanley Cup in 2007, grew up here. In fact, they have a Hockey school in Cranbrook next week and so they are in town. The market has a lot of arts and crafts and some produce and other food products. It took place at Rotary Park. We bought some nice bell peppers which I will stuff with  quinoa, garbanzo beans and feta cheese, cherry tomatoes and whatever nuts and seasonings I decide to use.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kootenay Rockies

Tuesday we drove up north a little to check out some areas for possible camping and/or kayaking. We drove to Wasa Lake Provencial Park. The campground was okay. It was on other side of street from the lake itself but with no views of it.

We drove on up to Premier Lake. This is all part of the Kootenay Rockies and there are just beautiful views everywhere. We might come back to either this lake or Whiteswam Lake, which is a little farther north, for some kayaking. The road off the main highway was gravel and pretty rough in spots to travel with the rv, however.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh Canada

Sunday morning we crossed the border into Canada. No line and only took about 5 minutes. We had reduced our food supplies, especially fruits and vegetables. We only had 2 apples as far as fruit went and we had to get rid of them. They didn't ask for any papers for Savannah and nothing on insurance which we were surprised about. When we told them we were from South Dakota, they asked if we rented or owned a house there. We had heard not to mention we were full time rvers but when that question was asked, we had to discuss that a little. We then were told to have a nice trip and sent on our way
We drove up the road a little to Moyie Provencial Park, where we stayed one night only. It is on a lake and we were going to stay a few days. However, Monday morning was cloudy and rain expected. Since we couldn't get either Internet or satellite, we decided to go on down the road. It was a pretty park and we are looking forward to staying at some of the other parks, hopefully with better weather.

We headed up to Fort Steele RV Park, which is about 17km north of Cranbrook. They have a gas station in front of the park and we got diesel and also propane. We were almost out of propane, which was another reason we didn't stay longer at Moyie. The park is pretty nice. We have full hookups and there is free WiFi so Joe can do some work and get ahead in case we are some other places while in Canada when we can't get service.  We have a nice view of the Rockies and there are horses in a fenced in area in back of us Savannah is just fascinated with these big "dogs".

After defrosting the refrigerator(another reason for reducing supplies) we went to a Walmart and a liquor store in Cranbrook to restock our pantry and refrig. Pricing is higher than US as we knew would be the case. Anyway, we have food, drink and propane to keep us warm and so are happy. Beautiful scenery as well.                                                              

Saturday, July 23, 2011

One more stop before Canada

We took another short drive up the road a little to Blue Lake Resort which is between Naples and Bonner Ferry. This is about a thirty minute drive from the Canada border. It is a nice little campground with a small lake. Their site has the campground map showing the lake with note that no motorized boats allowed. No kidding, it is only about the size of two Olympic size swimming pools.  However, it is pretty anyway.

Well, we did another McCall  type kayak trip. Remember, we stayed in McCall near Lake Payette but didn't kayak until we went to Riggins and made the drive back for a day of kayaking Weather was a factor in why we didn't kayak when we were there. While we were in the Sandpoint area, we had some nice days. We got lazy and didn't kayak on those days and the day we said we would kayak ended up a rainy day. So here we are in the Naples area and decided to drive back to Lake Pend Oreille as the weather is nice and sunny.
We drove to the Springy Point put in which is actually on the river, not technically the lake. It is a nice boat launch right next to the Springy Point campground.

We had a nice paddle, checking out the beautiful summer homes along the banks. Came back against the wind and so another good workout.

We drove back over the Sandpoint Long Bridge. The original bridge was built in the early 1900's and was advertised as the longest wooden bridge in the world at almost 2 miles in length. It was rebuilt in the 30's. In the 1950's it was rebuilt a third time,due to heavy use during World War 11, this time in concrete in steel. When the fourth bridge was built, it was built along side the third bridge, which became a walking-biking path.

   Another nice day. Tomorrow we will be going into Canada. We plan to head up as far as Jasper National Park, with some stops on the way, and then come back south to the Banff are and go over the border into Montana by the third week of August.