We head over the border from Alberta back into British Columbia. We don’t have plans to stop many places between Banff and Revelstoke but a photographer friend of Mr Fletche has recommended Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park so we make a detour to check it out. It’s another of those beautiful green-hued lakes, and what starts as a quick walk along the lakeshore ends up in a 5.5km circuit of the lake. (We have tendency to accidentally hike; maybe that’s a new blog waiting to be written right there – The Accidental Hiker?). It’s an easy walk though through varying forest landscapes and we only see a handful of other walkers during the hour or so we spend circumnavigating the lake.
We get back on the road, only to be delayed by construction traffic. Rather than a slow trickle of vehicles like we get back home, all traffic seems to come to a standstill for about 40 minutes. Eventually though we’re moving again, through an ever changing landscape which is decidedly more autumnal than that we have left behind in Banff. The trees around Golden certainly live up to their name. Lunch is a makeshift picnic of whatever we have in the car, namely a banana, some dill pickle flavour potato chips and a handful of peanut butter m&ms. Yes. I am addicted.
We arrive in Revelstoke. We’re staying at the Regent Hotel, a late change to the itinerary after our original b&b booking fell through. It’s a good choice though, and we drag all our luggage up to our first floor room despite only staying for one night. Mr Fletche decides a shower is in order after the drive before we do anything else; there’s an embarrassing moment when we can’t get the shower to work and call the receptionist to come up, only for her to turn it on straight away. We feel like morons.
Fully refreshed, we step outside to see what this little mining town holds for us. At this time of the evening, with not many tourists visiting – not much. There are a few bars and restaurants open, but they seem to be occupied by just one or two people. The Chinese restaurant is the only place that is full but we head back to The Taco Club that we had passed earlier, lured in by the Taco Tuesday offering and the thought of tequila. Both the tacos and the ginger ale margarita are delicious.
For the first time we have breakfast supplied with our room booking so we take advantage of the buffet breakfast before checking out. There is no bacon. And no pancakes. Which I believe are the staples of any good Canadian breakfast. We do a last sweep around town, which looks a little less like a ghost town in the morning light. We find a cosy little coffee shop and cafe called Conversations, who kindly make up lunch sandwiches for us to take away.
The sun is refusing to make an appearance but we decide to drive up Mount Revelstoke anyway. Usually the summit is just a five minute walk from the parking lot; however due to road conditions we can only get as far as 6km from the top. We’re amazed how the seasons have changed so quickly on the ascent, from fall colours to a winter wonderland. At the road closure point we’re only planning to get out and take a couple of snaps, but I find myself layering on the warm and waterproof clothes so we can walk a little further. We don’t make it to the summit – we still have a long journey ahead of us to Kamloops – but it’s a fun walk in a snowy landscape.
The journey itself is unremarkable, but the changing scenery is interesting as we leave the mountains beyond and head to Kamloops semi-arid grasslands. We’re stopping at Scott’s Inn, a motel that was highly recommended. It’s on the outskirts of downtown Kamloops, and after we’ve completed the (lengthy) check in process we dump our stuff and go for a riverside walk. We drive down to the Thompson River, which is our first mistake as its only five minutes away from the inn. It’s a pleasant walk but not wanting to venture too far tonight we decide to loop back and walk through town. Except we find ourselves walking along the side of the main road, with lots of autoshops and not much else. Our second mistake. We’ve crossed the train track, and can’t find our way back to the river without retracing our steps completely. We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto. Eventually we find our way practically back to the motel, but now we have to go back and find where we parked the car on one of the side streets.
Car retrieved, we return to the inn to consider our dining options. We’ve seen very little in the way of appealing options during our stroll, so our choices are to drive downtown or to eat at the on-site restaurant. It’s what I believe is referred to as a “mom-and-pop” restaurant, independently owned and featuring “real home cooking”. We’re the youngest in there by a good 30 years (they do a nightly “senior special”) and locals are eating there too which is generally a good sign. Mr Fletche opts for the Daily Special of pork, which includes a salad starter and a chocolate dessert. I go for the liver and onions – and manage to grab one of those desserts too. The meal is tasty and we don’t regret not venturing any further afield.
Tomorrow we continue our journey to our final stop of the trip – Whistler.