I headed back to Nelson as a “home base” to figure out my next steps in my journey. As usual I went to Cottonwood Falls to see who was there… see if there was any familiar faces. I stumbled across a few friends and decided to hang out with them for a while. As the day went on the weather started to take a turn and it started to rain. I was going to hitchhike in the rain for sympathy points to get picked up sooner, but that would have been at the cost of wet clothes… needless to say I decided to spend another night in Nelson.
Some new faces showed up in town and as always everyone welcomed them in and we all started to do some song singing and there’s always a guitar or two strummin’ away. One of the new people who arrived happened to be a guy I had picked up hitchhiking a few months prior and we actually had the same destination (Motion Notion)! I convinced him to wait out another day until the rain stopped and we could travel together. I had yet to travel with a partner during this trip… long distances anyway and I figured it would be nice to have some company, other than myself and my harmonica I ended up finding after returning from StarBelly.
The next day a bunch of us went to the Salvation Army to get some breakfast, locals were always first of course. The breakfast was pretty good it was french toast with some scrambled eggs… my french toast is waaaay yummier but it was free so I’m very thankful :).
After breakfast we did some brainstorming on routes and where to go, I really wanted to hit up the hot springs… it was a must for my trip this summer. We ended up choosing to head to St. Leone’s Hot Springs in Nakusp and headed out just before noon… we wanted to make it before sun down. We packed up and off we went, I was a little drained and my co-hiker seemed to be filled with energy and nabbed a van for us right on the highway barely any wait time! Next we were at a cross roads for a little while, but it gave me time to practice my harmonica. My goal was to have Piano Man down by the end of my trip. After about an hour we snagged another ride up to some obscure town but it was pretty straight forward to Nakusp from there.
The town we were sitting in… wasn’t really a town it was more of a gas station and some shops attached to the highway. I had two-way radio’s and passed one off to buddy while I explored the organic shops… I wasn’t even in there for 5 minutes when I got the call ‘Hey man I already got us a ride!’. I ran out and got picked up by a super awesome dude from Nakusp, an ex special forces who has just discovered the joys of nature and how to appreciate the special things. It was a great ride to say the least. He actually suggested we change our destination to Halfway Hot Springs, which we decided we would take the locals advice. We were dropped off at a gas station about 3-5 km away from the entrance (Mind you I did start the trip walking 12 Km but I was way too tired for that).
After waiting a few hours in the hot sun with no luck my buddy and I decided to split up and see if going by singles was easier. I got picked up by a guy and his girlfriend that told me they had seen us standing there for a while, and if they came back and we were still there they’d bring us up… I guess they knew we were going to the awesome hot springs. He was kind enough to grab both of us but had advised us his tired was little low and wasn’t sure he could make it up with all of us. By the time we got to the entrance (bottom of an 11.5 km hill) he decided that he wasn’t going to make us walk up because it was treacherous… no exaggeration.
After getting to the top of the hill 45 minutes later… yeah that’s how crazy bad the road it 11 km took 45 mins. We set up camp and headed down to explore the hot springs. There was a storm coming so I hurriedly put my swim trunks on and jump into the spring hot tub. As I settled in you could hear thunder and then massive raindrops poured down. The hot and cold contrast while a storm exploding above was such an amazing feeling <3. There were many pools to explore ranging from cold to super hot. There was so much decomposition in the forest around the hot springs that everything was soft and mooshie, which was great for ground (walking around bare feet).
I was supposed to leave Halfway on the Thursday to make it to MoNo by the afternoon at the latest but it was raining. I decided that if I was going to be wet I might as well be warm and wet… so I spent the day at the hot springs. Road trip buddy decided to head out to Motion Notion that day which was fine with me. The couple I was staying with decided they wanted to hunt for some more springs so I tagged along after a yummy breakfast. I took a good 20 minute walk down some rocky river bed and found a small pool that could barely fit two people. We began excavating and made a nice secondary pool nothing too special. We carried on down the river until we hit a gully that wasn’t passable since the river was rushing down it… and it was freezing cold. We didn’t end up empty-handed… we actually found one of the best springs around with 3 attached pools up against the rock face. There was the Steaming hot one, the freezing one next to the river (would have been great for a hot day) and there was the just right one. the Three of us spent the next couple of hours making it even better and spent most of the day relaxing. Our day ended with “Gourmet” camping pasta and some fun with a laser pointer and a big warm bonfire.
The Friday morning I had headed off to MoNo ready to hike down the big hill in which we saw a cougar a two days prior… pretty majestic :). I had walked about 2 kilometers before I gave up, the roads were crap and it was hot out and my bag was super heavy. I waited around for about 30 minutes when some cute Quebec girls came and picked me up in their Honda Civic. It was funny because their car looked like it was going to fall apart… at one point the window dropped halfway and spun around. There was laughter and then they expressed that… it wasn’t actually uncommon and that they barely paid anything for it, yet it had gotten them quite far despite it’s “rugged” looks.
After exchanging some info I was dropped off at the highway and we parted ways. I waited a good hour and half before someone came by in a pickup, I threw my bags in the back where there was probably 10 cases of empties. The guy who picked me up was a little strange but very kind, he expressed that he didn’t expect anyone to pick me up to go to the ferry as I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. He was nice enough to bring me all the way despite not actually needing to go to the ferry… Even if someone is weird it doesn’t mean they don’t have a great heart; Thank you stranger!
You’ll have to hear the rest of the story next post… until next time!
“Normal is boring… Just be YOU!“