CRESTON, was another town that we came across with Murals painted everywhere. They really do bring the Tourist's and help the local economy.
A walking tour map with locations of each mural is available from the Visitor Centre. The Visitor Information Centre is at 121 NW Blvd., and it is here we saw the a Mural depicting how logging was done in the past. Logging, is still an important industry in the Creston area.
I like the one on the Creston Valley, there were swans, farmers, curling, wildlife, etc. The Murals telll the history of Creston and how it was from 1908.
Once again, the Murals are well done, I think it would be especially hard making them look so real on the old wooden buildings.
Next stop on day tour....5
Next stop is Castlegar, and here we found Verigins Tomb, a Doukhobor burial place located in Brilliant, which is a short distance north of downtown Castlegar.
We had never heard of Doukhobors, so it was with interest we read the burial notice on the Tomb, and learnt that there was a historic village located nearby.
In the Tomb, there are 5 people buried, all of which, are descendants of Peter V. Verigin - the leader of the Doukhobors between 1908 to 1936. This Tomb is his burial place and of his son Peter and their wives Evdokia Grigoryevna and Anna Fyodorovna. Lower down the hill, in the memorial garden, is the final resting place for the daughter of the Doukhobor leader.
The grounds are kept beautifully, they have lawned & garden areas, a Gazebo and beaut views of the historical bridge over the Kootenay River. It is located on quite a high hill.
Towns 3&4 on scenic day tour....
Continuing on our way, we passed through magnificent scenery, high in the mountains, and then coming down the otherside to a good view point with views of Trail and the mighty Columbia River.
Here we easily saw Trail's Cominco smelter, which is the world's largest zinc and lead smelting complex, processing 700,000 tonnes of concentrates annually.
They do regular guided tours of its huge smelting operation, with hands-on exhibits and video presentations, I did not do it, but you could check times if you wish to.
The Complex produces much of the nation's silver.
This riverside mining town is located in the south of Kootenay Country.
And located quite close, is the town of Rossland which is situated inside a now extinct volcanic crater. Rossland is home to the Le Roi Gold Mine which once was one of the world's largest. Tours of the mine tunnels can be taken, and the 'Gold Rush' days can be relived at the Rossland Historical Museum.
Salmo, THIS was the 1st Town on our scenic day tour.
We found Salmo to be a small quaint heritage town, with lots of old wooden buildings. Of interest, were all these Murals, only this time, they WERE NOT PAINTED! There are seven, and they were made by students from the Stone Masonry Training Centre at Salmo. They are made out of local stone, and depict the mining, forestry, big rigs and game in the area..
I can't remember where they all were, so head down Salmo's Main Street to view some of these unique stone murals depicting Salmo's past.
2nd Town on day tour
Nelson is situated on Lake Kootenay. It has a lot of heritage listed buildings. Quite a few Movies have been made here. You can take a ride on a fully restored 1925 Street car, 1.2ks for $2.
A short distance from Nelson, is Blaylock mansion.
The drive to Nelson from Castlegar is scenic. It follows the the Kootenay river. There are 3 dams on the river.
From Nelson head to the town of Balfour. Here, a FREE ferry, will take you for a 35min ride across to the other side of the lake to continue your trip back to Creston
Still travelling on Route 3A, following the Kootenay river, this River had many Dams located along it.
Another impressive one, was Bonnington Falls Dam, located on the Kootenay River between Nelson and Castlegar.
Bonnington Falls is the site of a hydroelectric generating station. Construction of the dam and plant started in 1905 and now supplies approximately half the power requirements for Nelson and its surrounding neighbourhoods.
Departing from Castlegar, we followed Road 3A along the edge of the Kootenay River towards Nelson.
Along the way, we saw the magnificent Brilliant Dam, spewing water at full force, what a sight it was!
This dam was constructed during WWII, using mainly local Doukhobor men who were military-exempt. They provided 60% of the workforce during the project.
Since equipment and machinery were in high demand during the war, permission for the project was not granted until September, 1942. The dam is 42.6 metres high, and spans the width of the river. It has eight sluice gates and four operating units.
In 2003, more work was being done so that excess water that spills through the sluice gates will be diverted through a tunnel south of the existing plant, passing through the turbine and discharged below the outlet of the dam, bringing increased power generation and a healthier fish habitat downstream.
What an impressive sight it was!
The Doukhobor movement began in 18th century Russia as a Christian peasant reaction to the excessive opulence of the Orthodox Church.
Doukhobors practised a simpler form of religion, and found refuge from persecution, in Canada, where they were granted conscientious objector status, and were exempted from military service.
Some 7500 Doukhobors, nearly a 3rd of the total existing population, settled on the Canadian prairies in the early 1900s, establishing dozens of communal village settlements on government granted homesteads in what is now the province of Saskatchewan.
From the village museum, we learnt about these people we didn't know anything about.
There are stacks of displays depicting the farming, pioneering and cultural history of the Doukhobor people. Here we saw what types of clothes they wore, these were made from hemp and wool.
Village buildings are a blacksmith, weaver shop, gallery, textile display, gift shop and farming shed. The Village Gallery has Doukhobor Arts & Crafts, CD's, books, videos & cards for sale. The Village Bistro Restaurant features vegetarian Doukhobor food, as well as a Canadian food
Doukhobors today, ARE active pacifists and preserve their traditional values, Russian language and customs.
The Doukhobors were some of the first settlers in the Kootenay Valley.
The museum is open.....May 1st to September 30th
10 - 5pm
Adults $8 children $5
Known as the Brilliant Suspension Bridge, most people get to drive across it, as it spans the Kootenay River, downstream from the Brilliant Dam. This Bridge was built in 1913 by Doukhobor labourers
The 144m/473ft suspension bridge deteriorated with the wooden decking of the bridge nearly rotted away. Luckily, money was found and it was restored and now can be seen by everybody as another piece of Doukhobor history.
Best viewed from Brilliant Road, off Robson Access Road.
Creston, and I thought this was a pretty little Town. Its situation looked at some massive Mountains in all directions.
For Arts & Crafts people like me, then you may feel this town was made for you. I picked up the 7 Studio's brochure at the vistors centre, this way I had a trail to follow, and missed nothing. In the car, we followed the route, found that there was an interesting variety of Arts & Craft shops .......Sculptures, Batik, Paintings, Pottery, candles,.... and more, I looked, enjoyed, but didn't buy!
It took less than an hour to visit them all, and ADMISSION IS FREE!
Another sight was the old Grain Silo's, evidently, there are not many of this type around, and are quite historic. It is being debated whether to keep & restore them, or get rid of them, I hope at least one is restored, as it would be a shame to lose a part of history.
Creston, is know for it fruit & vegetables, and holds "Blossom Festival" in May each year. We were a week too late, but how pretty it would be with all the trees in blossom.
Nothing better than buying fresh fruit and vegetables from roadside stalls!
We love seeing wildlife in their own enviroments, and here in Creston, at the The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, there is a large area preserved for them.
We both like Birds, and this area is home to over 265 bird species, 50 mammal species, 30 fish, reptile and amphibian species, thousands of invertebrate and plant species. Its also the migration corridor for Tundra Swans, Greater White-fronted Geese, and other waterfowl and Birds of Prey.
We drove on the dirt roads of the dykes, then stopped at the pull-offs looking for Birds. We did manage to see some different ones.
I thought this was a lovely area, so peaceful & quiet, lots of luxuriant aquatics like pondweeds, duckweed just to name a few.
This is a wonderful area for people that like Bird and Wildlife. The setting is scenic, the flat wetlands, with the high Mountains in the background, beautiful!
Follow the signs from Creston, you really can't miss it!
The Interpretation Centre, located within the wetland, has displays, programs and events related to wetland science and management.
The Interpretation Centre is OPEN....May – October
Access to trails and viewing towers is year round.
OPEN.....9 am - 4 pm
Admission Prices...$3 - Adult & Senior
$2 - Child & Student....$9 - Family of 4-6
I thought prices were very reasonable and would have liked to do the Canoe tour, only we ran out of time.
Join a Naturalist on a one-hour guided canoe tour, where you paddle the ponds and channels in search of wildlife...ducks, turtles, moose - you never know what you might encounter!
Tours available May - August.
Departures: Daily when open @ 9:30am; 10:30am, 1pm and 2pm
Cost: $7 adults; $5 Children; $5 Members
To book a tour, program or for more information, please call the Centre at (250) 402 6908.
About 45 minutes drive north of Creston on the east side of the lake is a small hamlet called Boswell. The chief attraction here is the Bottle House...constructed from more than 500,000 glass embalming fluid bottles collected over 35 years by a retired mortician, David Brown.
Kootenay Lake, British Columbia, land of giants. Giant trout, that is – colossal rainbows, known as Gerrards, that weigh in at 5 times the normal size of Kamloops trout. The secret of their super-size: ideal spawning conditions on a short, gravelly stretch of the Lardeau River, a tributary of Kootenay Lake, and a rich, gourmet diet of Kootenay Lake kokanee salmon.
The Gerrard trout, named for a small community on Trout Lake, at the head of the Lardeau River, is a genetically gargantuan strain of rainbow trout that averages 6.8 – 9.03 kilograms in weight, compared to the 1.3 – 1.8 kilogram average for the standard Kamloops variety of rainbow trout found throughout interior British Columbia’s lakes and rivers. (Rainbows are a landlocked version of sea-going steelhead trout, and share the same species classification.) The Gerrard strain spawns and rears in spring on a single 300 metre stretch of the Lardeau River, producing fish that have been known to reach up to 20 kilograms in weight. (The largest Gerrard ever landed is said to be a 23.6 kilogram fish caught in British Columbia’s Jewel Lake in the 1930’s.) Gerrards also live longer than other rainbows – up to 8 years, compared to an average lifespan of 5 – 6 years for standard Kamloops trout.
Unlike other rainbows, whose diet consists of invertebrates, crustaceans, insects and eggs of other fish, Gerrard trout feed mainly on kokanee, Kootenay Lake’s landlocked version of the sockeye salmon. While this privileged diet helps them to grow big and strong, it was threatened during the early 1900’s by a drastic decline in the Lake’s kokanee population (See “The Ups and Downs of the Kootenay Lake Kokanee”.) Recent indications of a resurgence of Kootenay Lake kokanee bode well for the giant Gerrards.