Day 2: Fernie to Nelson [324km – 5h04min]
Fernie to Moyie Lake
We stopped at Moyie Lake for lunch. There’s a good sized provincial campground here, and a nice picnic area too. A large grassy swath is dotted with trees and picnic tables leading to a long sandy beach and a shallow entry to the lake. We spent an hour here, could have spent more.
Moyie Lake to Creston
I am not a Kokanee drinker, but I can appreciate their impressive marketing of the 80s and 90s. We stopped to pose for pictures on the front lawn of the Columbia Brewing Company. A tour was just starting as we pulled in, we skipped it, and instead grabbed a half sack in Sasq’s honour.
Creston to Crawford Bay
The tight winding curves along Kootenay Lake are gorgeous. There are many pull outs to stop and admire the view, and we grabbed a couple to stare in awe at the towering mountains and deep water. It bore a similar air to the Sea-to-Sky highway, the lake looking a lot like Howe Sound. It was here, as the rain pitter pattered down, that we felt like we were home – grey skies, dark water, large mountains, rich trees – it just felt like BC.
Crawford Bay to Nelson
The Kootenay Lake Ferry is the longest free ferry in the world. All interior ferry routes in BC are free, which seems odd to me. There is a way around to get from Creston to Nelson without taking the ferry, yet the ferry is still free. We lucked out on the Monday of a long weekend and scooted ahead despite most other big campers being stuck for a 2 sailing wait.
When we arrived in Nelson we headed to the Rotary Lakeside Park. The plan was to BBQ some smokies, but I couldn’t find any regulations on barbecues in the park. Nobody else had a hibachi set up, so we hit the concession for a big plate of fish and chips, an organic burger, and chicken fingers instead.
The Lakeside Park is beautiful. Large, old trees shade a huge lawn, there’s a wild playgrounds for the kids to crawl, and just a few steps down the promenade is a sandy beach leading in to the Kootenay River. We stayed here for a couple of hours before heading up to the Baker St Inn for the night.