The border 5/5 – 5/8 2022

Finally! Finally, it was a time we could cross the Canadian border and go see friends we have not seen in about 3 years. As we all know the border was shut down or had very strict restrictions for a long time. Now, for us being from the United States we could get into Canada with fairly easy rules. We just had to show proof that we had the 1st and 2nd vaccine shot for covid. We have that so not a big deal. Well, not a big deal to me to show that to enter another country but I am not into showing it to do anything in my own country, screw that. The other thing we had to do is log onto the ArriveCan website and fill out the information and download vaccine proof within 72 hours ahead of crossing the line. Done and done. Now let’s go already!

After work we would drive up to the Kingsgate / Eastport border crossing. We would stay a night on the Idaho side of the line. There is a short trail that goes to Copper Falls with a wide spot to park at the trailhead there. Nothing saying that we could not park overnight, so we did. We had the whole place to ourselves, and it was very quiet.

Our spot for the night

Plenty of room to park out of the way.

There are also a couple picnic tables for day use and even a clean pit bathroom right there. It is bear country, grizzlies and there are warnings about that there.

We slept well and after a quick breakfast we went on the short 1-mile hike to the falls. The information sign said the falls were 150 tall. I found some other information elsewhere saying other heights, but I will stick with what the signs say there at the location. The trail had several interpretive signs, benches to sit and take in the sounds, smells and sights. Railings for safety and bridges as well. A well taken care of trail. Oh, and someone had placed a geocache there to go look for too…bonus!

Sign about the falls.

The falls

One of the bridges

Pretty.

Found the geocache.

Joanne and I having fun.

The road to the trailhead is great.

After the hike we gathered up our things and drove to the border crossing. It was raining on the start of our drive but overall, we had pretty good weather. Just a few showers occasionally.

I see Canada!

Our distention today was to Fairmont Hot Springs in British Columbia. It would only be a 2-hour drive for us that would take 6 hours. We planned it that way. We wanted to geocache along the way and stop and see the sights. We actually could have spent a heck of a lot more time seeing the sights but, in the end, we only had so much time available.

Along Moyie Lake.

We stopped in Cranbrook at Elizabeth Lake and walked a bit while looking for geocaches. They have a nice little trail system there and the lake has lots of great bird watching opportunities.

Cranbrook welcome sign.

Our next stop that was longer than a quick stop to look for a geocache was at Fort Steele. Fort Steele is a heritage town park, where you can find lots of old buildings, a train and people who play the part as well. There is a small entry fee to enter. This time of year, there were not a lot of things open yet, nor any other people playing the old town ways parts either. Still, it was a fun visit, and we could enter some of the buildings as well. We talked about coming back to this place when all the happenings are going on.

Entrance.

Had to stop and pet the horses.

Imagining the people who rode this car when it was active.

Looking down one of the streets.

Inside the dry goods store.

We had a great time and ended up spending a little over an hour there, even with so many things closed during this off-season time.

Our next stop is a place I have wanted to visit for a long time…the source of the Columbia River. We have spent a lot of time along the river and been along it from part of the way in Canada over at Trail BC and all the way to the ocean. At some point I want to travel as much as I can by road along the river on the section we have not done yet. We did get a good portion done on this trip up to Golden BC. Still have about 350 miles more to finish that goal though. But seeing the source was amazing to me. The walk to the source is an easy 1/2 mile or so from the parking area in Canal Flats BC.

Source of the river sign.

The source of the river.

There it goes on its long journey to the ocean.

Our next stop was along Columbia Lake. There was a great pullout area to have our lunch. Wow, the views were really great.

Our lunch stop.

The view out the camper window while having lunch.

After lunch we made our way to Fairmont Hot Springs. That was very close by but yes, we still took our time getting there. There were more geocaches to find. I also needed to top off the fuel. About $8.00 Canadian per gallon. It is what it is, and I am not going to stop a vacation because fuel costs more. Why would I? I am not going to be on my death bed wishing I would have gone somewhere and just spent that extra 40 bucks in fuel to go see the things I wanted to see.

Hoodoos along the way. Also, where I got fuel.

We got checked in at the hot springs resort. Soon we were ready to get into our bathing suits and sit in the pools. Fairmont is a resort kind of place. The pools are manmade but nice. The resort offers a lot to do though, and you could easily spend a lot more time doing things other than sitting in the pools.

Our spot for the night.

Early season and not many people there.

crossing the bridge to the pools from the campground.

Runoff stream below the bridge.

A view from the hot pool. Look at those mountains.

I wished the water was hotter, but it was perfect for Joanne. The temperature I like Joanne cannot sit in though. It still was great to sit in the pool and relax and look at the mountains.

We eventually called it a night and went to bed. It was very quiet there in the resort especially since it was the offseason and not many people there.

The next morning while getting our day going, I watched some hooligans causing hell at the playground behind our camper.

Party animals.

We walked around checking the place out and finding a couple geocaches of course. We checked out the old bath houses. No longer functional but still neat to see.

The old bath house.

An old outdoor bath.

We then went back to the pools to get a morning soak before we left. Our next drive was about an hour and a half. Yep, it still took longer as we stopped a couple times.

Morning soak time.

We eventually made it to our friend’s house. It was so fantastic to finally see them again after far too long. They would have us park along a river that they live by near Golden BC. We got parked and then they took us into town for lunch. After that we walked a little bit in town, and we “had” to stop to find a geocache too. They then took us to the ski resort near town to check it out. Closed for the season but I could imagine myself skiing the slopes. We then ended up at Whitetooth Brewing Company. Weird, it is almost like they know us.

Finding a geocache in town.

Walking in town.

The ski resort.

Brewery time.

After the brewery visit, we went back to our friends home and had some beverages along the river they live next to. Then it was a very pleasant night at their house for dinner and conversations. It sure was great to see them once again. The border closures and tough restrictions…sucked.

The next morning, we said our goodbyes after breakfast. We told each other that we need to meet up again way before another 3 years goes by. We all agreed.

We headed south back toward the USA but of course we took our time stopping at a couple interesting places. A lot more to stop and see but we needed to get back home. We did stop in Cranbrook BC once again but this time to have lunch and do a small walk around town.

Our spot on their property.

Looking up the river.

The “world” largest paddle.

Viewpoint south of Radium Hot Springs BC.

Lunch break in Cranbrook BC.

After lunch it was back to the border and cross into the USA. From there we set sail without stops and made our way home.

Back in the homeland.

There is so much more to see in Canda just like there is still so much to see in the USA. Both countries that I will never have enough time in my lifetime to see. Making time to see as much as we can and friends along the way…that is our goal. Thank you to our friends J & S for your hospitality!

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