Scott Goes International, Part 6

Part 6: Horizons Unlimited Canwest

Did not do a lot of riding once we arrived in Nakusp. Nakusp is a small town, only about 3 square miles, so there isn’t much need to ride around. The campground is right on the edge of the central business district of the village.

I’m told the views of Arrow Lake are spectacular. Unfortunately, the entire time I was in Nakusp, the sky was filled with smoke from fires raging all over British Columbia. Regardless, the town was still a nice place.

The night we arrived in Nakusp, we had dinner at the Leland Hotel. The Leland purports to be the “oldest continually operating hotel in British Columbia,” having opened in 1892. The hotel has a garden and patio overlooking Arrow Lake, along with a dining room and bar/card room. The nachos are good, as was the beef dip sandwich.

Prior to Horizons Unlimited starting up, I took the opportunity to walk around the village. There are a bunch of small shops selling things from books to antiques, along with a supermarket and hardware store where you can get almost anything you might need.

Thursday morning, I had a breakfast burrito at Broadway Deli. The tortilla, some called it a “wrap,” was green, but the burrito itself was good – chock full of eggs, peppers, potatoes, and sausage.

I walked around town and picked up some souvenirs to take home, and I mailed a postcard home.

The smoke lingered the entire time I was there, but the waterfront walk was still nice. There’s a Japanese garden with colorful flowers, and many benches to sit and look at the lake.

For those who haven’t been, Horizons Unlimited is a gathering focused on traveling by motorcycle, though they welcome people in any type of vehicle. Presenters give talks on their own travels, tips on taking your own journey, and maintenance tasks you might have to do on the road. If you are looking for inspiration or information on taking your own motorcycle journey, HU is a good thing to attend.

I took the opportunity to take a class on off-road riding skills on the first day. Al, the instructor, is a Canadian police officer and police motorcycle instructor. Much of the class covered low-speed techniques that would benefit a rider both on and off road. I found the class so informative, I took it twice. Al had also set up a course on the old baseball field with some off-road-type obstacles to practice your newly acquired skills. Though, at Al’s recommendation, I steered clear of some of the larger obstacles to prevent any possible damage to my bike.

Something I like to do when I travel is to visit the local police station. I enjoy meeting other officers and learning about how their experiences are both the same and different. When meeting the officer, I always bring a patch from my department to trade for theirs. In the case of Nakusp, police services are provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I walked over to the station, which was only two blocks from the campground, and met Corporal Moffat. Corporal Moffat was more than happy to find me a patch, which took a bit of searching around the office. She even gave me some stickers and temporary tattoos for the kids!

During some down time, Greg and I took the opportunity to visit the Nakusp Airport to see the fire helicopters coming and going. After visiting the airport, we went to Nakusp Hot Springs.

The hot springs are in the Kuskanax Valley northeast of Nakusp. The road was a fun, windy two-lane road that climbed into the foothills of the Selkirk Mountains following Kuskanax Creek. The trip to the springs was worth it, if only for the ride up. The hot springs had two pools kept at different temperatures. The hot pool was said to be at 104 degrees, but felt hotter. The larger, cooler pool was kept at 97 degrees. While in Nakusp, I still had tightness in my leg, but a soak in the hot springs loosened it up quite nicely. On the way back to town, we stopped to look at Gardner Falls, just off the side of the road.

Just walking around town, I could tell that the stereotype of the polite Canadian is true. I did not meet a single person who did not greet you as you walked by on the street, and all of the people in stores seemed genuinely interested in making sure your experience was a good one. I would think Nakusp would be a great place to visit just as a relaxing getaway.