Nelson - Swan Song for the Jetta - CycleBlaze

August 3, 2018

Nelson

We’re in Nelson tonight where we enjoyed a memorable dinner, finally meeting up with new friends who reached out to us through our journals.  They’re all fellow bike travelers: Eva and Al may be known to you from their Crazy Guy journals, but Roland and Murielle don’t blog their tours.  A wonderful evening of getting acquainted in person, comparing notes, discussing favorite destinations, coming up with new ideas.  We drive back to our motel mentally tearing up the playbook, trying to figure out where Mallorca and Morocco are going to fit in.  

A great evening, but it doesn’t leave much time for the journal.  So, briefly: we left Creston at 6AM this morning and drove to Salmo, where we had breakfast at the delightful Dragonfly Cafe before leaving on an out and back ride north on highway 6.  We wanted to get an early start because of threatened afternoon thunderstorms, but in fact they never materialized.  What did show up though was any increasingly smoky sky and a health alert.  There are no nearby fires, so it’s apparently drifting from somewhere far away.  Our friends at dinner last night said that it’s often smoky here now, from fires as far away as California and even Siberia.

The smoke and weather situation (a heat wave is apparently coming, with highs around 100 projected) has caused us to change our plans for the last week of the tour.  We’re going to keep the Jetta with us and continue with day rides.  It will give us more options if we find ourselves faced with unhealthy biking conditions.

The Dragonfly Cafe, in Salmo. A great little place - we had breakfast here, left for our ride, and had lunch here when we returned.
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I love the look of the Salmo Hotel - it looks like something you might see in a small town in Victoria, Australia.
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This isn’t good. Rachael didn’t see me pulled off to take a photo of the hotel, right as we left the car. She thinks she’s behind, and is racing to catch up with me. I’ll never catch her now.
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Lying away in the weeds, just north of Salmo. I’m not going to catch Rachael anyway, so I might as well stop and look. Look at that three digit phone number - it’s obviously from a long time back.
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Not far past the Towler truck is another great find - an open-air truck museum.
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The Dodge Power Wagon, manufactured from 1946 (my birth year!) thru 1963, was the first civilian 4x4 light truck. Its design was based on a military truck developed in World War II. I wish I’d gone out in the field for a closer look, but Rachael keeps pulling further away from me. She’s probably a mile down the road now, still trying to catch me.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesIn the late sixties Dodie was working as a telephone operator. She still remembers how some of the numbers would be party lines, with complicated ring tones to differentiate whose line was ringing.
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3 years ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesPhone operators! There’s another relic from the past I’d forgotten about. We had those when I was growing up in West Virginia. It really is beyond comprehension how much has changed in our brief time here, isn’t it?
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3 years ago
Andrea BrownIn the 80s we lived in rural Montana with a party line. Each of us had a different ring, and you called your neighbor (also on the party line) by calling them, listening for the ring, hanging up, then picking back up again when you thought they may have answered the phone. We had some awful gabby people on our party line, which tied up the phone, and also some incredibly nosy ones, who listened in.
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3 years ago
Hooray! We finally managed to get through on the phone, and she waited for me to catch up.
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A lot of today’s ride reminded me of yesterday’s ride along Kootenay Lake. There’s no lake today, but the outcrops lining the road are quite similar.
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Odd name for a summit. Redundant.
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We’ve been following the Salmo River upstream for eighteen miles, but never actually saw it because it’s buried down in a densely wooded ravine. We finally see it at its origin, in the wetlands below Apex Summit.
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On the return, we explored the small side road through Ymir. Finally we get a real look at the Salmo River - not that there’s anything more to it yet than a small creek.
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Porto Rico-Ymir Road is short, but delightful. Well worth seeking out as an alternative to the quiet highway.
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Crossing the Salmo on Porto Rico-Ymir Road
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We could have stayed here! Hotel Ymir, recently restored, was built in 1896 during the mining heyday and is one of the oldest buildings in the region. Roland tells us more about it over dinner and says it’s definitely worth stopping in to look around if we ever come bac’ this way.
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Bennie D. BarfieldScott, After all those P.wagons, Dodges, Internationals,a Mack and a Chevy,, How could you miss the best of all?? The red STUDEBAKER!!
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3 years ago
Scott AndersonTo Bennie D. BarfieldGood question! Actually, it did register at the time. I should have gotten a closer look at it, for sure.
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3 years ago
Let’s look at that lineup of trucks one last time. I regret a bit not getting up the nerve to walk out into the field and take a closer look.
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After returning to Salmo we tacked on a small loop south of town, starting with this bridge across the Salmo River.
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A still, very clear spot on the river - it’s almost a jade green at this point.
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Is there a geologist in the house? What is this gold/chocolate outcrop about?
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I was lucky to get this shot in frame and in focus. I hollered to Rachael to slow down, but she was too intent on filming her video and just raced by.
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Ride stats today: 50 miles, 1,800’

Today's ride: 50 miles (80 km)
Total: 1,233 miles (1,984 km)

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