West Coast Traveller Roadtrip: The road to Creston – stunning scenery + good friends on a new adventure

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Installment 3 in our West Coast Traveller Roadtrip: Nakusp to Creston, B.C.

Our trip continued on Highway 6 until it met up with Highway 3, the route from Hope across southern B.C. Along the way we stopped to visit our friends, who are now beekeepers and makers of honey.

One of the highest year-round highway passes in Canada, the Kootenay Pass on the Salmo-Creston Highway, is known locally as “the hump.”

And a hump it is, climbing to a height of 1,775 metres (5,823 feet) through a rocky, rough terrain that is often closed by avalanches and slides.

Paul drove the pass in his typical fashion, white-knuckled and muttering curses, pushing the gas pedal to the floorboards and watching the rear-view camera like a hawk as we inched our way up the mountain.

The Kootenay Pass is on the Crowsnest Highway, which technically begins in Hope, B.C. and stretches all the way to Medicine Hat, Alta.

READ MORE: West Coast Traveller Roadtrip: Discovering B.C.’s Kootenays via the spectacular Hwy. 6

We weren’t absolutely sure of our day’s destination. We planned to stop first in Nelson and then play it by ear. In fact, throughout the trip, we rarely had a set destination each day.

We’d heard great things about Nelson, and were determined to stop by for lunch at least, only to have our hopes dashed by a lack of RV parking (at least we couldn’t find any).

Undeterred, we pushed on toward Creston.

Heading across the country in an RV is like going on a great escape, seeing new country while hauling our little home behind us.

We were ecstatic to be escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, and to be finally hitting the road after a pandemic-induced version of house arrest.

Grain elevators like these in Creston are seen in many towns in the Kootenays. Fiona Anderson/Triumph Social Media photo

READ MORE: West Coast Traveller Roadtrip: The road less travelled – tough lessons learned by veteran travellers but first-time RVers

READ MORE: West Coast Traveller Roadtrip: RVing 101 – Driving past the fear of the unknown

As part of our cross-country odyssey, we were determined to visit the ultimate escape artists, Jeff Lee and Amanda Goodman Lee, who not only escaped the pressures of working in daily media, they gave up on the city – lock, stock and barrel – to start a new life as beekeepers.

They had been working as small-scale beekeepers on the side while living in the Lower Mainland. But an opportunity presented itself in Creston, and faster than a bee buzzing back to the hive, they sold their home and bought Swan Valley Honey, deciding to give working in the bee industry full time a try.

While sipping rosé and luxuriating in a warm summer breeze on their back patio, Amanda and Jeff fed us a variety of their honeys.

They specialize in wildflower honey and comb honey sourced exclusively from the Creston Valley. Their comb-honey, lightly spread on a simple wheat cracker with a slice of tart cheese, was brilliant, a revelation, a taste experience that’s practically as old as time itself, but new to us, and never to be forgotten for its sublime pleasure.

One of the great advantages of travelling with a small travel trailer is you present a light load to any friend you might drop in on. All Jeff and Amanda had to do was run an extension cord to our trailer and we were as snug as bugs in a rug, self-contained and hardly any burden at all.

We spent the next morning exploring the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market, buying produce, listening to local musicians and, of course, buying honey from our friends.

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Fiona Anderson and Paul Bucci are travelling across North America this year, first by bicycle from Florida to California and now by truck and travel trailer from B.C. to Northern Ontario and back. Both are veteran writers, editors and social media marketers.

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