Day 2 distance: 142 miles
Total trip distance: 524 miles
Another sunny and warm day with temperatures starting in the mid 50s and rising to the mid 70s.
Today was an intentionally short day. My destination, Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort has hot springs pools and I wanted to have time to enjoy them. 🙂
I left Kettle Falls at 8am. It took about 30 minutes for my tent pad, moist from the condensation from the ground, to dry. In the meantime, I ate a muffin I brought from Seattle.
Coffee came in the form of a latte from Ritzes, the same coffee shop I stopped at on Day 2 of my 2016 Northern States Tour.
The owner actually recognized me, probably because I wear the same riding gear. She remembered I write a blog but didn’t remember any details. Still, pretty amazing memory!
On that 2016 ride, Hwy 20 east of Colville had a 10 mile stretch of road that was freshly oiled. This time the surface was ideal.
I rode Hwy 20 east until reaching Tiger, and then turned north on Hwy 31 to head for the border. This road follows the Pend Oreille River and has some slow sweepers and is in overall great condition.
I stopped at the Box Canyon Dam vista point.
The border crossing at Nelway, open 8am to midnight, was very quick. I didn’t have to wait and was on my way in less than 5 minutes.
I stopped in Salmo to exchange some money for those times when cash is needed.
Nelson was a bigger town than I expected. Seemed like a nice town with a lot of tourist traffic, but things moved along pretty quickly. Among the many restaurants, I found a bakery that made lunch sandwiches and stopped. But once inside, I found a very long line and decided to abandon those lunch plans. 🙁
Following Hwy 3A along Lake Kootenay Lake, there was a solid line of traffic until I passed Balfour, where a ferry takes cars to Kootenay Bay.
I continued north, now on Hwy 31. There was a short but fun section of narrow and twisty roadway through an avalanche prone area. Soon after I arrived at my stop for the day. I guess it was shortly after 1pm. My room was ready so I unpacked and jumped on the opportunity to use the pools.
Yes, there is a small cave that you can soak in, stalactites and all. Inside the cave, the water towards the back is approximately 110 degrees while the rest of the cave is closer to 104.
There is also a cold plunge. And a great view of the mountains across the lake. This place is pretty cool.
Dinner was on premise, at the Ktunaxa Grill. I had skillet roasted mussels for a starter followed by Wild Sockeye Salmon. The restaurant sources food as locally as possible. It was all tasty and filling. I had a window table, having made reservations some weeks ago.
Tomorrow I’m looking forward to riding Hwy 31A between Kaslo and New Denver. It is reported to be one of BC’s finest motorcycle roads.