Posted October 2, 2018 – Narrated by Carmen
"Come, submerge yourself within us,
We who are the flowing stream."
A soothing wind, a healing balm, a tamed beast – so, the ancients described power under control. In Canada, the thermal springs bring the mountains to their knees …
Exploring the highest points in the rugged Canadian Rockies took a toll. Perhaps we overdid it with all the hiking, kayaking, and cycling.
We had not intended to push ourselves to the limit, but at every turn, another beautiful trail appeared …
… beside another shimmering turquoise stream.
We’re thrashed and unrepentant.
We’d do it again in a heartbeat because, Radium Hot Springs!
We limped down here to the Columbia River Valley with what my nurse-sister Deborah, diagnosed as “a bad case of the mid-sixties.” (Never call a nurse when she’s expecting a new grandchild. No sympathy!)
Cold wind and old wounds.
We both have a bum left shoulder from seventeen years of bookstore work, and Banff’s icy fingers dug deep into scar tissue from our 1985 cycling accident.
But, after two weeks of relaxing spa-treatment and self-care, we’re good as new …
Rejuvenated – and feeling even stronger than when we crossed into Canada in July – we’ve wrapped up a relaxing, therapeutic two-weeks at the Canyon Resort On Sinclair Creek in the village of Radium Hot Springs bordering the Kootenay National Park.
There’s no shortage of hot springs in British Columbia and the Autumn shoulder season is a great time to sample pools.
We took a day trip to Fairmont Hot Springs.
We were lucky to see a young bear in the treetops enjoying an afternoon nosh of wild apples and berries.
Later in the week, we drove a graveled forestry road to the remote, Lussier Hot Springs in Whiteswan Provincial Park.
Only a ten-minute drive from our beautifully landscaped campsite beside Sinclair Creek is the charming village of Invermere-On-The-Lake situated beside the large recreational lake, Windermere.
Invermere is the home of Kicking Horse Coffee, a fabulous bakery, a fine German restaurant, a wonderful sausage shop, and the unsurpassed and hospitable, Arrowhead Brewing Company.
But let’s back up.
When we left icy Banff, we spent five hours traveling the eighty-mile drive – stopping frequently to enjoy the scenic pullouts and hiking marble canyon.
As we entered Radium Hot Springs the landscape popped with fall color. Instantly, we shed off two layers of clothing and relaxed into our tranquil canyon home.
There, we met seasonal residents from the Carolinas to California and “the canyon” is a favorite weekend hideaway for Albertans.
Call it “The Palm Springs of The Rockies,” the mild climate in the Columbia River Drainage Basin between the Rocky and Purcell range is an ideal location to keep a vacation condo, park model or RV.
Sure, there are more world-class destinations in The Rockies, but with the hot mineral springs, warmer climate, and a cool business district we think Radium Hot Springs is just right.
Every single day we sighted more wildlife than we did throughout the entire six weeks in Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff …
Less rugged, dusty and commercial than the higher elevations, Radium Hot Springs provided a comfortable sanctuary to simply relax and tidy up.
This was our first full hook-up site in several weeks, so we used the resources to rinse a couple of pounds of glacier dust out of our clothes and spruce up the rig, inside and out.
Beauty’s so clean we could eat supper off the solar panels.
It was almost Tommy Bahama weather.
Until the last two days, we spent our evenings outside by the fire and slept with the windows open as the creek serenaded us to sleep.
But winter arrived overnight. Yesterday, snowfall was visible on the distant mountaintops.
Last night the chill dropped to the low 30’s (-1º C).
But, thanks to the thermal springs, we’re feeling stronger in body and soul and ready to head south and re-enter the USofA.
It’s about time. We’ve been here so long that Canadian Tire ads pop up on our Facebook feed.
So, yes, it’s time … Time to gaze once more on the magnificent grandeur of the glorious and free True North … time to warm up The Beast, hitch up Beauty, set the GPS for a southern latitude and get the 4-3-2 outta here.
But first, we’d like to thank our lovely Canadian friends and hosts Darwin and Andrea …
and their wonderful children Jennifer, Justin, and Ginger.
Also, we’re grateful to Doug and Laura, and Karen and Ken. Thank you, dear friends, for your gracious hospitality, advice, and tips – and Happy Thanksgiving!
But, not so fast …
A nice perk of 4-3-2 is the long, slow goodbye.
Depending on which way the wind blows and if the elements are hospitable, we’ll visit other thermal springs along the way and, perhaps a winery or two and maybe even watch a salmon run.
Also, before crossing the border, we’d like to meet our new friends and LIB followers Pattie and Paul.
But, one thing we know for sure is that we will miss our sweet, hot, warm, comfy, soaky, cozy digs in Radium.