Ended this day, back where we’d started, over a month ago…. backing up to Yahk though, it started raining sometime during the night and was still raining when we hit the road. The continuing lousy weather put any lingering thoughts about ‘doing the Kootneys’ to rest….
It was a long….up one side of a pass….here heading for the Salmo Creston summit
up and up….saw the first and only bear of the trip along here….but no way to get a picture….
a brief stop at the rest area at the summit….the little lake there just starting to thaw out (it was the 29th day of May).
then an area of dense fog or cloud as we descended the other side….
the fog didn’t last long and soon we were in the clear….weather still dreary and drizzly
just east of the town of Salmo, we’d spotted….
Wild Turkeys! a first….of course another case of driving by, turning around, going back…and by then the skitterish birds were moving off ….
but a thrill to see none the less. There was a flock of 6 or 8 in total…
one last look as they disappear into the forest.
In Castlegar we drove around, searching for a pet food store, and finally found one as Aprils supply of ‘Nutro Senior’ was down to the crumbs in the bottom of the tin stage ~ found a nice big, new pet store there, so April could eat again, and then continued on.
The next climb brought us to Nancy Greene Provincial Park. The campground here is just a large parking lot, but we had thought we might spend the night there anyway as the alpine habitat would be different than anywhere else we’d been this trip….
BUT the gate to the campground was still locked. Why pray tell? There was no snow, the ice was off the lake, there were wildflowers and the trees were leafed out – there were even people camped in the large parking lot at the turnoff into the campground….so why couldn’t the gate be open!!!!
Those plans thwarted, there was no choice but to continue on to Kettle River and hope, being it was now a weekend again, that there would be a spot available….although, at this stage, if we had to, we could have just made a run for home.
Kettle River was pretty full, but there were spots available, so we grabbed one, just down the road from the spot we’d stayed at the beginning of the trip…..you can see everything is a lot more green than it had been then!
The river itself was a lot fuller too….
Some lupine in flower on the bank of the river. These look like a domestic garden variety that probably seeded here, rather than our native variety.
another look at the swollen river….
Those Columbian Ground Squirrels were still there….
and Mule Deer were back (we hadn’t seen them on our way which was unusual)
Yellow rump Warblers were still here too…now back to the Audubon variety with the yellow, rather than white, under the bill….
and saw the first white ‘Canada Violet’ of the trip. That evening when the park staff came to collect their fee, they said that someone had just pulled in who had driven straight through from Pincher Creek in Alberta (a long haul!) and it had been ‘snowing like crazy!’ So we were right to have made a run for it when we did!
Tomorrow, we’ll spend a bit more time exploring this park again.