November 21, 2015
I was fast asleep when I heard Nita at the entrance of the tent. “We’ve got less than an hour before it starts raining” she said with a smile. The idea of packing up the campsite in the rain was enough to rouse me from the comfort and warmth of my sleeping bag. We packed quickly but not fast enough to beat the rain that hit about 30 minutes after I woke. All packed a breakfast at the Smittys in Osoyoos seemed like a good idea as we could see the weather breaking to the west.
With food in our bellys, coffee in our blood and the weather clear we set out west continuing along HWY 3. Our destination was Nelson – a great town nestled to the south of Kootenay Lake which was home to some roads I’ve been dreaming of riding for years. The road out of Osoyoos was simply breathtaking. Almost immediately it began twisting itself upwards toward the peak of a neighboring mountain. The twists became tight switchbacks until finally, we reached a 280 degree turn with a pullout. From this point we could clearly see where we were going and where we’d been. After some pics and plenty of “wow’s” the road took us back into the valley and into more wonderful wine country. As we rose and dropped over the meandering roads it was hard not to imagine a different life moved into this peaceful place. It would be quieter – less cluttered.
As we approached the turn north on HWY 3a to Nelson the temperature began to quickly drop and the rain began to gently fall. Again. It seemed as though every day would deliver us cold and rain on this trip. But it was great. We felt like we were pushing through barriers and that made the treats at the end of the day all the more wonderful.
Rounding into Nelson it was busier than I remembered. The roads were filled with people doing their thing and again my headset had packed it in after being unable to charge them in Osoyoos – a problem I’ll have to sort in the future. Pulling up to the hotel I couldn’t believe how great the location was – we were lakeside with a great view of the valley. Nelson itself seemed different that the last time I was there – it was more transient with plenty of seemingly homeless people walking the nearby train-tracks. Still, the main street was as fabulous as ever set with a mix of great restaurants and coffee bars – not to mention streets filled with the requisite number of hippies and extreme athletes :)
After wandering up and down the streets, we grabbed a coffee and headed back to the hotel for dinner, drinks and a hotel room movie.