Day Seven – Revelstoke BC to Sandpoint ID
Miles: 352.5
Elapsed Time: 13;42

We were anxious to get going as we knew this would be a signature day. We had a little difficulty find an open breakfast spot but we finally asked someone and they pointed us in the direction of Main St Cafe. It turned out to be one the better breakfasts we would have on the trip. We had really wanted to go to the top of Mt. Revelstoke but we just couldn’t work it in. As we were leaving town we stopped on the old bridge over the Columbia River to have one last look at the town. It was just after 8:00 and we knew we needed to be to the ferry somewhat before 9:00 or we would have to wait another hour. We also still wanted to stop at Sutherland Falls, but could we get it all in? We reached the parking lot to the falls about 15 minutes after and saw a sign that said a 5 minutes walk. With all of our gear on we decided if we jogged the 200 yards each way we might be able to make it. We got back to the falls which fairly impressive snapped a few pics and jogged back to the bikes. We blasted the remaining 17 miles down to Shelter Bay to catch the ferry and arrived in lenity of time. There were retie may cars, trucks, and bikes lined up and we surveyed the surroundings before get on board. It turns out that quite a few in line did not make it and we had been a car in our place in line we would not have made it either. I guess the point here is that being on time is not enough one must also make sure to be ahead enough in line. As is the case in Canada all the ferry rides are majestic; crystal clear blue waters surrounded by forested hills and mountains. The best news of all is that when we reached the end of the ferry ride we were greeted with fantastic roads that we preceded to tear up. Gone were the almost interstate like roads from up north, now it was twists, turns and German engineering. We had a couple of stops identified between the ferry and Naksup but we were having such a great time we just kept riding. Before we knew we were in Naksup and we stopped along beachfront there to soak in some scenery, but as soon as we stopped we were looking for more. The town sits on the Upper Arrow Lake which used to be the Columbia River before the Keenleyside Dam near Castlegar blocked the river back in 1968. The beachfront is very nice but we didn’t stay long. Next we rode down to New Denver in the Summit Lake area and down along Slocan Lake. The ride through the valley is quite nice with 6k foot mountains on either side. Roughly 25 miles from Naksup and we were in New Denver. As I discovered in doing research for the trip a number of these towns in BC held Japanese prisoners during WWII. Of course these prisoners were Canadian citizens and the prisoner camps were known as internment camps. The US internment camps in Arizona were very well known but I had never heard of the ones in Canada; and there are many. We stopped at the Nikkei Internment Memorial Center but we decided not to go in. It was a nice looking facility but we had riding to do. We did find a nice quiet spot on Slocan Lake in New Denver near the center to take some pics. After 20 minutes we decided it was time to move on.

The 28 mile ride from New Denver over to Kaslo is one of the best rides in the area and one of the best rides of the trip. The 1600 foot climb to the summit is probably a little shorter on the New Denver side at Bear Lake. The surrounding peaks are more than 7k feet and very close to the road this offering nice turns and great views. Before we reached Kaslo we stopped at the recently constructed foot-bridge over the Kaslo River. It was worth the short walk down a steep trail. Shortly after we were into the town of Kaslo where there was some sort of street festival going on. After filling up with gas we headed to the waterfront area on Kootenay Lake where there is an old sternwheeler displayed. The SS Moyie is a beautifully restored sternwheeler that ran on the lake from 1898 to 1957 carrying passengers to the Klondike to pan for gold, and supplies to the towns of Nelson, Proctor, and Kaslo, and serving as a excursion boat in her later years. We didn’t go onto the boat we walked around and took about 20 minutes sitting on a park bench to soak in the scenery. I think it speaks well of the area for us to take that amount of time sitting on a park bench.

We needed to get going and soon we were off riding down the West bank of the Kootenay which proved to be a very nice ride. We had to catch another ferry in Balfour which left every 50 minutes so we were on a bit of a time schedule. We reached the ferry well in time and had to wait for 10 or 15 minutes before getting on with several other motorcycles. The ride across the lake was longer than our first ferry ride of the day but was equally nice. We were back riding along the Kootenay although on the opposite side now but it was just as enjoyable. Mountains on left crystal blue water on the right on a two-lane road that was far less than straight; pretty nice. After roughly 30 miles of riding on 3A we stopped at Twins Bay for a closer look at the lake. I had spotted a beach area when looking at our route and although parking was a little challenging the spot was really nice and we were able to wade into the cold but refreshing waters of the lake. Once in Creston we had to cross over the Kootenay River on an old steel truss bridge and across the broad valley in the Nelson Range of the Selkirk Mountains. Canada Highway 3 is called Crowsnest Highway in this area and is aptly named. Not long after crossing the summit we found ourselves at the border. It felt good to be back in the States, but it was only a few miles before we turned back into the Boundary Dam area. It’s about a 2 mile drive to the main office and then some walking is required. The dam is quite impressive and provides the city of Seattle with 46% of their power. We had two more dams to visit before we made it to our destination. First up was Box Canyon Dam on the Pend Oreille River. Built in 1956 it now produces 90MW of electricity. Its not the most spectacular dam but with the nearby railroad bridge it is worth a stop.

Our last stop of the day was the Albeni Falls dam. This one was a year younger than Box Canyon and sits in a state park area and it provides a nice stop with some trails. We grabbed some local craft beer and ordered a pizza to eat outside in the motels picnic area.