A recent four-day trip through the South Okanagan, Central Kootenays and the Shuswap Valley reminded me of the benefits of slowing down. I would have liked to really get to know these landscapes and villages — what you see here are only glimpses. Thanks to co-tourist Dominic Kotarski for bringing his global perspective, and to the excellent Hume Hotel for a welcome in Nelson.
Many of these towns — Princeton, Hedley, Midway, Greenwood, Kaslo, New Denver — were at their peak in 1900 or before that, riding a boom in silver. Our guide at the volunteer-run historical centre at Sandon said the now-abandoned town was “the Fort McMurray of its age,” the place where young men came to make their fortune.
Osoyoos, Nelson and Salmon Arm have thrived. Each has an urban village and interesting walks. Nelson’s vibrant cultural scene makes it one of the finest towns of its size in Canada, well worth a stop for anyone who is crossing southern B.C.
One of my favourite locales is around Rock Creek and Midway in the West Kootenays. Laid-back charm and small town hospitality abound, and the scenery is spot-on gorgeous!