11 July Fernie to Nelson

11 July

We wandered around Fernie for a bit. It is a small winter ski town that is developing into an all year tourist town, & it kind of shows, but isn’t a bad place. The mountain biking is apparently pretty good, but we went for a walk instead. We headed up the chairlift at the ski field (after taking care to park the caravan in a spot with space to turn around) & then walked down the hill.

After successfully making it back down the hill we drove on to Nelson, BC. To get there we had to take a free ferry across the lake. It was basically a barge with ramps at each end & was a bit of a novelty .We are now a day earlier than Brenda had arranged with her friend Leeanne. We also had and address which some would consider vague. But neither Shari nor I complained. We were too busy looking for the stucco house with lime green trim just off the main road. Which we found.

Then Brenda is tired of having to back caravans into slots, and tells me to park it. This involves a 90-degree backwards turn to park on the side of the road. Because Brenda & Shari are busy talking to Leeanne I get to do this based on estimating where the edge of the caravan & road are. But I back it straight in, nice and close to the curb first time. Brenda suggests that it would be better a metre or so further back, but I suggest that it would be fine where it was & unhook it.

Little did I know at that point that I had won the job of backing the caravan into all of the spots from then on. Little did Brenda know until she read this that I count that as one of my biggest flukes & the reason why I wouldn’t shift it any further back is it would have been a complete mess. Hey, there is skill in knowing when to stop: And I do have that skill occasionally (although those of you still reading will no doubt be questioning this.)

Nelson BC is eerily similar to Nelson NZ. It is near a lake & mountains. The biggest industry is tourism. The second is being an unemployed bum, the third is growing dope. Leeanne, who is a vet, said that the biggest single cause of after hours vet callouts on the weekends is when the cat or dog eats the hash cookies. Leeanne said that there was more to looking after a high cat than making sure that there was food around in case it got the munchees though.

Nelson BC is also roof rack country. All cars here have them, even more than the rest of the country. I don’t think these people have heard of travelling light. I would have thought that if all of that stuff was really essential, rather than tying a bundle to the roof of the car that is as high as the car itself, it would be better to get a car that isn’t a Honda Civic. Though why you would put two mountain bikes on the roof rack of a ute I still have no idea.

After we finished comparing Nelsons we drove off around the lake to Cody cave & took the tour in. The cave was pretty good, but a fairly easy path in, no crawling through tight gaps or much climbing. On the way back we stopped at the hot springs at Ainsworth, which are similar to the ones at Hamner. The temperature of the hot pool was 44 degrees, and there was a cold pool to provide contrast, which was 4 degrees.

After this Shari decided that she had to escape and used the pretext of visiting her nana in Trail to do so. In the evening Brenda decided that she needed a horse fix, and we went to see Leeanne’s horse Murray. Leeanne & Brenda decided that they were up to the challenge of teaching me to ride, so I did. I could see that this caused a great dilemmas for Brenda. Should she hope for me to fall off, at the risk that I would break some limb, and then she would have to travel with a damaged Pat for the rest of the trip? I am not sure what she decided was the best option, but she did seem to be very enthusiastic about me trotting Murray rather than just walking him. But I didn’t fall off.