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P e o p l e A rts H o m e s F o o d G a r d e n s r e c r e at i o n H i s to ry Summer 2008

Life in the West Kootenay/Boundary Region

Stories in the stones

Oh Organic! Grand Forks farms provide healthy foods for the Kootenays

Trail’s rock walls inspire a society and the creation of a book

Fast water, big fun

From family floats to white-knuckle whitewater on the Slocan River

Inspiration ‘En Plein Air‘

Painter Alf Crossley expresses his love of the outdoors through his works Summer 2008 Route 3

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editor’s message


elcome to the premiere issue of Route 3 — the new quarterly lifestyles magazine for the West Kootenay/Boundary region! After my husband John, our two daughters and I moved back to Rossland after an 11-year absence working for various publications in Alberta and B.C., one thing we thought the region needed that many other communities have is a magazine celebrating the fascinating and diverse people of the region. So after several phone calls, emails and meetings with members of the Glacier Media Group — publishers of the Nelson Daily News, Trail Times and Grand Forks Gazette and this magazine — we bring you Route 3. It took some effort and a fair bit of coffee to come up with an appropriate name for the magazine, and hopefully you'll approve. Highway 3 is the backbone of our region, though we will definitely be reaching our tentacles beyond it, to the tertiary highways and backroads that snake up the Slocan Valley, along the Kootenay and Arrow Lakes and Columbia River, and through the Boundary region. In this inaugural issue, we bring you a range of stories from all over the area, as we hope to do with every issue. Our cover story focuses on some of the organic farms in the Grand Forks area and the essential job they do. We've in no means mentioned every farm, so you'll just have to go exploring yourself to find more of these treasures. In keeping with the theme of taking good care of our Earth, gardening columnist Vanessa Farnsworth discusses water-wise gardening

and the various methods you can use to achieve it. Castlegar-area artist Alf Crossley has always had a firm connection with the outdoors and his art clearly shows it. I've loved his work for years and it’s a treat to showcase him in our first art feature. We then switch from art in the outdoors to outdoor adventure when Andrew Zwicker and his girlfriend tackle whitewater kayaking and their first time through the “Faschenia” rapids on the Slocan River. For a more peaceful, but by no means lazy outdoor pastime, Art Harrison tours us around Trail’s myriad rock walls and explains their history. Lace up your walking shoes and start climbing those West Trail streets. For the ultimate in peace and calm, Amy Robillard visits Mountain Waters Spa in Nelson and experiences the relaxing watsu treatment. Besides the full-service spa, Mountain Waters also has a retreat centre nestled in the forest just outside Nelson. Our home story this issue features Zac Grimble’s renovation/restoration of Rossland's Old Fire Hall, including his fabulous condo and the hot jazz bar that urban centres would die for. We end this issue with a Q&A with Everett Baker, the organizer of this year’s Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament, and a spectacular photo by Nelson-based photographer David Gluns. Enjoy! — Shelley Ackerman

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contents Publisher Sandra Barron Account Representative Chris Hammett Editor & Art Director Shelley Ackerman Production manager John Snelgrove Route 3 is published quarterly by Glacier Media Group

Eileen Pedersen

Telephone: 250-442-2191 or 1-877-443-2191 Fax: 250-442-3336 email: Courier and Mail: Box 700, 7255 Riverside Drive, Grand Forks, BC V0H 1H0 Route 3 is distributed through the following newspapers, and on racks throughout the West Kootenay and Boundary regions.

The Munter Street rock wall in Trail, as it looks today.

Cover Story


Local Forage

Stories in the Stones

Taking good care of the earth and providing healthy foods for the region are what organic farms in the Grand Forks area are all about, page 10



Inspiration “En Plein Air” Painter Alf Crossley expresses his love of the outdoors through his work, page 7 Outdoor Adventure

Fast Water, Big Fun

Endless Adventure in Crescent Valley offers family floats to white-knuckle whitewater, page 15 Homes

Rekindling an Old Flame Rossland’s Old Firehall features three heritage condos and a jazzy wine bar, page 19

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Route 3 Summer 2008

Trail’s rock walls inspire a society and the creation of a book, page 22

Sense of Calm

Escape for an hour or even a few days at Mountain Waters Spa and Retreat in Nelson, page 24 Gardening

Water-Wise Gardening

Xeriscaping: A landscape method requiring little or no irrigation, page 27 Q&A with

Everett Baker

The man behind the Grand Forks International, page 29 Special Places

Photo by Dave Gluns, page 30

Printed in Canada on recyclable paper. Copyright 2008 by Glacier Media Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article, photograph, or artwork without written permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden. The publisher can assume no responsibility for unsolicited material.

Cover photo by Chris Hammett: The Devries family of Jerseyland Organics take a moment from their busy schedule to show off a new addition to their herd of Jersey cows.


contributors Always willing to experiment with various mediums, Stephanie Dawson is currently a weekly columnist for the Nelson Daily News and The Weekender, as well as a mother, early childhood educator, teaching assistant, performer, musician, dancer, and songwriter living in Nelson. To all who know her, Stephanie is fiercely outspoken and passionate about artists, musicians, writers, actors, and craftspeople making a living with their art. After teaching in South America, Darcy Falkenhagen spent a number of years working as a literary editor in the book publishing industry of New York City. Her passion for reading and writing then took her into the classroom as an English teacher. Last year, she and her musician husband decided to improve their quality of life (and number of days on skis) and relocated to Rossland. Darcy continues to teach, write, and edit. Vanessa Farnsworth is a B.C. certified Master Gardener, lifelong gardener and newly transplanted resident of the Kootenays. Her articles on gardening and the horticulture industry have appeared in publications across Canada. When she is not gardening or writing about gardening, she can usually be found flipping through gardening magazines. She prefers to be described as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;passionateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and not as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;obsessedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Nelson-based photographer David R. Gluns has captured moments in many special places in the world, creating images for numerous magazines, books and commercial clients, but â&#x20AC;&#x153;nothing beats the Kootenays as a place to live and photograph. I love the challenge of getting a great image whether it be flying in my plane, making food look great for the latest cookbook, or just hiking in the backcountry!â&#x20AC;? He can be reached at After numerous years as a camera store and photo lab owner/operator at the coast, and 30 yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience as a professional photographer, Chris Hammett decided it was time for a change, so she moved to Grand Forks to enjoy the slower paced, rural lifestyle. It was a chance to unwind and be inspired in a region of spectacular scenery. Exploring the backcountry in her Jeep, she still shoots professionally while being true to her own creative vision.



Why Selkirk?

Art Harrison, a life-long Kootenay resident, is an employment counselor at the Skills Centre in Trail as well as a reporter for the Trail Daily Times. He writes short stories, has published poetry, and has ventured into the world of blogging on the web. Although he currently resides in Rossland with his daughter Karli, he considers the whole West Kootenay region as home and enjoys the diversity of the landscape and culture. Karen Rapaport grew up in Los Angeles, and has always loved to read, write and draw. Some of her earlier, somewhat precocious efforts found their way to the principalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office in conference with her justifiably horrified, old-world-European parents. After that episode, she fled to Canada to start a new life. Karen and her non-fugitive husband now own an organic farm at Christina Lake and play truant officer to dozens of fiendishly clever animals. Amy Robillard is freelance writer based out of Nelson. She is a regular contributor to local papers and publications as well as a business writer for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rising Womenâ&#x20AC;? magazine, based out of Calgary. When not playing in the mountains or writing, Amy can be found in her kitchen mixing up a batch of gelato for the company she founded and manages, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Little Miss Gelato,â&#x20AC;? a local ice cream manufacturing company based in Nelson. Born and raised in Grand Forks, Michael Wirischagin moved away only once to live the college lifestyle while he attended the University of British Columbia to obtain a degree in Urban Geography. Falling one term short of his goal and in love, he, his fiancĂŠe Jessica, and their two kids found their way back to the Forks to raise the kids in the serenity and peacefulness of the area. Writing, sports and politics are his passion, and so is the town he calls home. Andrew Zwicker grew up in Nova Scotia before his snow addiction got the best of him. He then spent three years following the snow through Sun Peaks, New Zealand, Maine, the Gaspe Peninsula, Australia and finally Whistler where he settled for five years before setting up shop in Rossland. Andrew is now a reformed alpine skier who has ditched the training heels, loving the tele world and the looks he gets landing switch on twin-tip teleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s.

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Stephanie Dawson

Inspiration ‘En Plein air’ Painter Alf Crossley expresses his love of the outdoors through his works

Photos: Janet McIntyre.


lone, strong figure surrounded by the outdoors and braving its varying elements breathes life onto a canvas surface… ready to capture the light and to express a love of nature. Expressing a love of nature comes quite easily for acclaimed artist Alf Crossley who lives in the rural setting of Pass Creek, 10 kilometres north of Castlegar. His style combines both impressionism with its emphasis on light, and expressionism depicting the artist’s internal/emotional world. The rural setting outside Castlegar is perfect for painting oils en plein air in the West Kootenay, a region well known for its bountiful nature and landscapes, trees and rivers, lakes and streams. Working en plein air is a French phrase meaning ”in the open air” that was coined by the

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Route 3 Summer 2008

Janet McIntyre.

Janet McIntyre.

impressionists. Crossley says that the outside atmosphere, temperature, weather, and time of year all have an effect and a relationship to the painting. “I never work from photographs — it’s the experience of being out there and being part of nature; I can’t help being constantly charged and inspired by my locale,” he enthuses. The physical discomfort of painting outside in various weather conditions isn’t daunting to Crossley. In the winter he will dress in long johns, two pairs of insulated coveralls, a heavy coat/ parka, and a windbreaker or two to keep warm. It takes a certain kind of physical dedication that can’t be found in the comfort of one’s studio. “I like to be out in nature; I am an outdoors-type person and always have my skis or kayak with me. I usually take my van for several days at a time, find a location and do a couple of paintings.” Some locations include Bear Lake between Kaslo and New Denver, the north end of Slocan Lake, and Summit Lake between New Denver and Nakusp. Generally he sticks with the West Kootenay, but has gone to Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the West Coast. Besides being a pristine setting, the outside gives needed ventilation from the oil paint fumes. Crossley also now wears gloves all year round to keep the paint off his fingers. Oils are his favourite medium due to the fact of colour quality and being more flexible; they don’t dry as fast as acrylics or watercolours. “I work in the heat sometimes and it’s hard to work with water colours in the sun and heat. Because oils are so slow drying, you can change the painting or move the pigment around and scratch into it to get back down to the canvas,” he explains. Ideally, the process first involves drawing for half an hour, putting it aside to then paint saying, “The two are not related necessarily; they are in themselves separate entities that are done almost simultaneously. When the painting slows down, I go back to drawing; moving back and forth between the two. I do not usually refer to the drawing in a visual sense while painting. When the painting action begins to lose direction or flow, I return to drawing. This provides fresh energy for painting when the time comes to get back to colour. The two mediums seem to

feed upon each other and provide the needed stimulation.” Painting a piece doesn’t stop with laying down his brushes for the last time; Crossley keeps a painting record that is available for the buyer, which talks about his technique, weather, and order of events. He also writes in a poetry/prose journal about his favourite subjects: life and nature. Growing up as one of seven children in Rossland, Crossley remembers having a strong connection with nature and the outdoors. He recalls that he received his inquisitiveness from his father who was a research scientist. “I started walking and hiking as soon as I could walk. Mom and Dad always took us on hiking and camping trips, and huckleberry picking in the summer. In the winter, I would snowshoe 10 to 15 miles at a stretch. During my teen years, I must have done hundreds of miles, going every weekend,” he recalls. Crossley first started painting when he was 13 and got into oils when he was 16, as well as first learning to draw during the preteen years. “I still have some original paint from then under my fingernails,” he jokingly says thinking of his 50-plus-years experience painting. Throughout his teen years, Crossley thought about being a forester but instead his high school art teacher convinced him

Stephanie Dawson

Carved through majestic pines

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Alf Crossley at his home in Pass Creek.

to pursue an art career. The school of choice was the Vancouver School of Art, later called the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, from 1961â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1965 studying with such Canadian greats as Jack Shadbolt, Reg Holmes, Takao Tanabe, and Don Jarvis. Today Crossleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paintings can be found in private collections all over North America and Europe. In addition to art, Crossley is also a musician, playing harmonica, guitar (which he brings on his painting trips) and piano. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I like to start the day with music and end the day with music.â&#x20AC;? He has always managed to support himself by living simply, growing his own food, selling his work, and occasionally teaching painting while still managing to raise three sons who are now grown. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think if you work hard, are focused, and persevere at it, you can do it but you have to enjoy it. I have never done it for the money â&#x20AC;ŚI donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like the idea of painting solely for selling. I do it because of the love of nature and the love of life which drives me toward it,â&#x20AC;? he reflects. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It takes patienceâ&#x20AC;Śsometimes a painting comes easily, other times, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a struggle from the beginning,â&#x20AC;? he adds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;From those times you learn strength, perseverance, not to give up. Some of those times resulted in my strongest paintings.â&#x20AC;? Watching him work, Crossley cuts a striking, strong figure with his gloved hand ready to lay down some brush strokes laden with colourâ&#x20AC;Ś not only capturing light but reflecting manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love of nature.

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Summer 2008 Route 3

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cover story

Story by Karen Rapaport Photos by Chris Hammett

Local Forage Taking good care of the earth and providing healthy foods for the region are what organic farms in the Grand Forks area are all about

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Route 3 Summer 2008


After moving to Christina Lake and leaving big-city life behind, my husband and I quickly twigged to the fact that many small businesses just don’t seem to advertise in the “in your face” kind of way that we were accustomed to seeing. Word of mouth is often the name of the game when seeking a product or service, though sometimes it takes a little digging. Our new friends and neighbours were generous in sharing their favourite food finds, but of course we were eager to make our own discoveries. So we drove around in search of the gems we knew had to be tucked away in the region. Some we stumbled upon right away, and some we have yet to discover. Between “right away” and “yet to discover,” there have been some amazing finds; many of which I’m happy to share with you here. It’s also a perfect opportunity to celebrate the passionate, hard-working and unbelievably energetic people who own and maintain organic farms in and around Grand Forks. Some are well known throughout the region, others less so. All have very similar tales to tell.

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During my fact-finding mission, I kept getting the feeling that every organic farmer in the universe is just an overgrown six-year-old who loves to dig in the mud and get dirty, squeal at the colourful, tasty, tangled things that emerge from the garden, and run around and play with the animals. It’s an endearing visual, and one that’s not at all far from the truth. Without exception, each farmer stated proudly how much they enjoy being close to the earth and taking good care of it, providing healthy foods for the region as well as their own households, and spending quality time outdoors with their families. This lifestyle choice is not easy, glamourous or even necessarily lucrative. So what is it that motivates the organic farmers in our corner of the world to spend their days pulling weeds, chasing chipmunks out of the garden, milking recalcitrant cows or worrying about rising feed and fuel costs? Let’s start with the largest and best-known farm in the area—Jerseyland Organics. For anyone new to this region or simply passing through, Jerseyland is an organic, 100 per cent grass-fed dairy in Grand Forks that produces a wide assortment of cheeses from the rich milk of their herd of Jerseys. Their floppy-eared Nubian goats slink around amiably and provide milk for a handful of goat cheeses. When your timing is good, you can also score some fabulous cow’s milk butter at their on-site store. Once we were there during churning time and the butter we bought was freshly blocked. This is without question one of life’s great pleasures. Don’t miss it in the summer, when the butter is neon yellow from the fast-growing green grass. (As of this writing, there is a waiting list for butter.) Tender, fresh cheddar curds and crumbly feta are other favourites. If anything positive can come of the current grain crisis, it’s the potential it holds for turning confinement operations into pasture-based ones out of sheer necessity. But the astute folks at Jerseyland have known all along that grass is the answer. So who’s behind it all? Keely and Jeremy deVries are the young, hard-working duo behind Jerseyland Organics, having taken over from Ric and Vickie Llewellyn in 2006. Jeremy has actually been with Jerseyland since the age of 15 (with his baby face, he doesn’t look much older than that now); and soon received his hands-on education in organic farming, as the operation went organic in the mid90’s. This is a demanding career choice, to say the least. So what keeps them answering these demands day in and day out? Page 12

Route 3 Summer 2008

 “What I find most rewarding about organic dairy farming is the sustainability,” Jeremy states proudly. “In today’s chemical-based agriculture, it is hard to see where the future of agriculture is going and what it will look like. But in organic farming, the sustainability gives me hope for the future. It is very rewarding to see my family participate in organic practices where we can leave our farmlands in better condition than when we started.” And I must step in here and say that their cows are some of the healthiest and most vibrant I’ve ever seen, munching peacefully on the lush green pastures that they’ll turn into rich, flavourful milk. The first time I saw the herd, I remember being struck by just how glossy they were. I kid you not. These Jerseys actually shine. In addition to their on-site store, Jerseyland products can be found in grocery stores in Grand Forks as well as throughout the province, with the help of their busy delivery trucks. They’re hoping to add an organic Kefir to their product line-up, to complement their selection of yogurts. There are plenty of different brands of dairy products out there, artfully stacked on store shelves to tempt shoppers. So what distinguishes a Jerseyland customer from the rest? “The consumer that buys Jerseyland is concerned about the environment and enjoys buying a fresh, local product,” notes Jeremy. “I believe the consumer is enthusiastic about buying local and organic dairy products because when they support local farms, they support local families.” Other than the taste, that’s the best reason yet.

Previous pages, clockwise from left: Danna O’Donnell from O’Donnell’s Garden Market waters their fresh, organic lettuces; Sheila Dobie of Spencer Hill Orchard and Gallery with spring apple blossoms; A shiny Jerseyland Jersey. This page, top: The Jerseyland Organics farm. Above: Jerseyland’s Pam Smith “cuts and cooks” parmesan cheese in a vat in preparation for boxing and pressing.

Danna and Brandon O’Donnell are the pair behind O’Donnell’s Garden Market. Danna explains, “We have always been gardeners. Both Brandon and I studied horticulture, and we had a horticultural services business in Christina Lake before we bought the farm.” In addition to fresh vegetables from the end of May to September, they also grow and sell starter vegetables and bedding plants. When asked what they find most rewarding about their farm, Danna enthused, “Eating our own delicious food! We can and freeze lots so we have it all year long.” All of their precious haul finds its way to the farmers market in Nelson, as top-quality organic produce fetches a premium there (a reality noted by more than one farmer in this group). Our first visit to O’Donnell’s was not long after we moved here to the region. We were driving home after doing some errands, and noticed a funky little shop along the highway. We pulled over to investigate, and walked in to find piles of crisp little pickling cucumbers; gorgeous, freshly picked young beets with their greens still attached; and bag after bag of fragrant basil leaves, containing about 20 times the volume of the flat little containers at the supermarket. And these were picked just hours before, filling the shop with their divine perfume. We piled far more bags into our hand basket than were strictly necessary, unable to resist their fragrance and freshness.  Subsequent visits each presented new and different offerings to reflect the time of the season, and did not disappoint. Check it out and discover for yourself why so many locals love this quirky little gem! Sheila Dobie of Spencer Hill Orchard and Gallery sparkles with passion for farming organically; and her enthusiasm is infectious. Eighteen varieties of apples, pears, plums and cherries grace their land, along with smaller quantities of peaches, nectarines and apricots.  When asked what she loves most about farming, Sheila mused, “I love the rewards of the land in every way … the response of a seed in the soil with water … the value of the harvest and the joy in seeing people benefit and appreciate what we grow.  I actually love the hard work — and the seasonality to that — the rhythm to it.” Like the others, Spencer Hill is a family business; established here in Grand Forks two years ago after Sheila and her partner had been out of the farming scene for about three decades. Sheila had previously lived on the coast and worked in Community Development, which seems a fitting segue into building and maintaining a thriving orchard. Her story reminded me of the words of a native elder who’d recently spoken about the current state of the earth and our place in it. He made the statement that in cutting down trees, we kill not only the trees themselves, but the rich and intricate communities that they provide for us, the wildlife and of course each other.

How fitting to discover that Sheila and her partner had originally met while planting trees on the Queen Charlottes! The image of trees as extended families and communities is a powerful one, and it’s what kept tugging at me as I learned about Spencer Hill. Sheila notes, “We sell directly as much as possible, as we can make the connect to the customer and make this a meaningful connection to local food production

Bill WIlliams of Mobetta Farm is building up a local clientele for their fresh asparagus and other organic veggies.

Summer 2008 Route 3

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Route 3 Summer 2008

— something we need to see more of, supported diligently by our customers — with their wallets and their votes and their political action.”  She and her family have not just established an orchard that is in harmony with the environment and that thrives without the use of pesticides (wisely, they keep a flock of chickens for efficient pest control); they have built a community of vibrant nourishment and succulent sweetness that draws their own family together and provides seasonal gifts of fruit throughout the region. They also maintain an artisan gallery and offer farm tours, so plan a visit! Mobetta Farm is owned by husband and wife Sheryl and Bill Williams, who moved here all the way from the Pemberton Valley to take advantage of our great growing climate. Organic farming has been a love of Bill’s since the early ’80s, and a farm of their own is a dream come true. They were fortunate to find a property that was already certified organic, and lost no time in planting dozens of varieties of vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini. When considering the rewards of farming, Sheryl has a ready list of what brings happiness: “Being outside every day, working for ourselves, seeing the seeds grow into food-producing plants. We just love growing veggies. Being able to supply people with a quality product. Being able to work together with our family.” While much of their bounty finds its “Knowing the farm way to shops in Nelson and Slocan; more immediate locals from our neck of the and the farmer woods come back week after week for their just-picked produce at the Grand leaves no question Forks Farmers Market. Sheryl notes, “Our food tastes better because it is organic, natural, not artifiin your mind that cially fed and is more nutritious. Knowing the farm and the farmer leaves no questhe food you are tion in your mind that the food you are buying is exactly what it says it is.”  buying is exactly Their loyal and well-fed clientele has built up steadily, as more and more what it says it is.” people are waking up to not only the superior taste of all things local and organic; but the inherent wisdom and good sense of bypassing the thousands of food miles, pollution and time it takes to put foods like these on the shelves of big-box stores. And really, nothing can compare to freshly harvested vegetables still frosted with bloom and grown by a friend and neighbour; foods that have never met up with pesticides or GMOs. And a short drive down the road transports them from garden to market... it doesn’t get mobetta than that! Writer Karen Rapaport and her husband, Kurtis Staven, own Wild Thing Organics pasture-based farm in Christina Lake. They sell free-range eggs, and provide herd sharing for cows, goats and chickens. Most of their running around with the animals involves passports and long-distance chases. 

outdoor adventure

Andrew Zwicker

Courtesy Endless Adventure


Fast Water, Big Fun Endless Adventure in Crescent Valley offers family floats to white-knuckle whitewater

hanging on and battling through the J-Rapids, the third in a series of five rapids along the magnificent Slocan River. Flowing undammed and natural from the south end of Slocan Lake, through the picturesque Crescent Valley before merging at its confluence with the Kootenay River near Shoreacres, you can feel the power this river has over all who come in contact with it. It’s easy to see how anyone could fall in love with the natural beauty of the area. “We came out to visit this place, and we just kind of never left,” joked Chris Ryman, owner of Endless Adventure, and our kayaking guide for the day. It may have been the reflection of the sun on a bright and warm spring day, but when my girlfriend Kelly and I met Chris outside of his shop as we arrived, you could genuinely see the passion for his life and what he does glinting in his eyes. Along with his wife Andrea and loveable dog Whisper, they are living their dream day in and day out, sharing their passion for whitewater with the young, old, corporate groups, families, friends and all comers to their slice of paradise.

Chris Ryman

“The rapids get bigger than this?”asked Kelly sheepishly after

Top: Family Fun on the Slocan River Above: Writer Andrew Zwicker (right) and Kelly McLean at the put-in at the Crescent Valley Bridge Summer 2008 Route 3

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Endless Adventure, Crescent Valley 250-359-8181 Endless Adventure offers a multi-sport adventure centre with kayak, rafting and bike tours, kayak instruction, rentals, and a full service campsite overlooking the Slocan River. Their goal is to share the magic found in the lush landscape of the West Kootenay via mountain bike, kayak, or raft. WildWays Adventure Sports, Christina Lake 250-447-6561 Based out of Christina Lake, WildWays offers tours and custom clinics from beginner to moderate difficulty exploring the beauty of the Kootenay/Boundary region on the Kettle River and Christina Creek as well as multi-sport paddling and hiking trips to the 34m high Natural Arch, and the signature Christina Lake champagne sunset paddle. Kootenay Kayak Company, Nelson 1-877-229-4959 All abilities are welcome to explore the glacier-clear water of 120km Kootenay Lake on tours from a few hours to a few days including multi-sport adventures, and customizable trips departing from the funky city of Nelson. Kaslo Kayaking, Kaslo 250-353-9649 Based out of “B.C.’s little Switzerland” in Kaslo, no experience is required to enjoy guided day or overnight tours camping on the remote beaches of Kootenay Lake or relaxing in a cozy B&B. R.O.A.M, Nelson 1-888-639-1114 Experience the entire Kootenay region with ROAM on multi-day multi-sport excursions encompassing all that makes life in the Kootenays so enviable, including kayaking the Kootenays’ massive interior lakes and river systems.

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Route 3 Summer 2008

Courtesy Endless Adventure

Courtesy Endless Adventure

Whitewater Tour Operators

Growing up around the Ottawa area, Chris began his ten-year-plus paddling career working for a major paddling company on the Ottawa River where he met his wife Andrea who shortly after became a kayaking fanatic herself. In 2003 the lure of a new land, big rivers, bigger rapids, and a new adventure drew the couple west to B.C. where they followed around the competitive whitewater festival circuit, providing video and photography services as a means to pay for their gas to continue following the dream. During that time they happened across the Slocan Valley and fell in love with the area. “When we first saw this place, it felt like home. The river, the valley, the people, we were like ‘wow we have to find a way to make it happen here’.” For several years they managed the WildWays Water Sports Shop and Tour Company in Crescent Valley before the opportunity-of-a-lifetime presented itself and they were able to buy the business and accompanying 2.5 acres of land a stone’s throw from the river. Endless Adventure was born. “I never saw myself as a land owner. We kind of lucked into the right deal at the right time, and couldn’t turn it down.” Back on the river, after pumping up our inflatable kayaks that would carry our two first-time whitewater kayaking bodies down the five-kilometre stretch of river, we put in at the Crescent Valley bridge, a short drive up the road from the Endless Adventure shop, and were ready for our own adventure. Lazily meandering down the upper and mellower section of the river, perfect for families, children and first-timers like ourselves, Chris imparts a small slice of his wisdom teaching us about the river and how to navigate it safely as we get used to our crafts. With a major focus on family tours, the upper section of the river is a great place to learn and have fun on the water, be it to learn new skills to tackle larger rapids one day, or simply to splash around and have a water fight with friends for the less adventurous. The inflatable kayaks, Andrea Ryman’s specialty in which she is continually pushing the boundaries of the sport, are remarkably stable and manoeuvrable, giving us an immediate sense of security to tackle wilder rapids ahead. One of Chris’s attractions to the Slocan, being an outdoorsman and hobby environmentalist, is the naturalness and cleanliness of the river. There is little development immediately adjacent to the river, its banks are clean, and Chris’s river-loving personality sees him picking up and collecting any unwanted litter in the river, with thoughts to creating some type of sculpture out of the river debris one day. “I really see the world as being one big living thing, and the rivers and

Andrew Zwicker

creeks are kind of like the veins, arteries and lifeblood of the planet,” shared Chris, along with many other stories on the wildlife, biology and history of the area. It’s his love of nature and the river that has lead him to developing new products, tours and ways to have fun on the water. New this summer, beginning in mid-July, guests will be able to incorporate snorkelling and fish viewing into their kayaking or rafting trip. Utilizing waterproof radios and a raft, guides will tour guests around the underwater world of the upper, mellow section of the river. After a kayaking injury last year, tearing his intercostal muscles on a 20-metre waterfall descent that kept Chris out of his boats, he was looking for other means to stay in shape and discovered the beauty of the underside of the river, snorkelling around and making friends with the resident trout population. “There’s nothing better than to crank up the Bob Marley in my waterproof I-pod and snorkel around, just hanging out with the fish.” Having followed the whitewater festival circuit around B.C. competing and taking it in for several years, Chris and Andrea are now in a unique position to give back to the sport that sustains them. On July 5 and 6 they will be hosting the fifth annual West Kootenay Whitewater Festival at their on-site campground just behind the Endless Adventure shop overlooking the valley and river below, complete with on-water competition, live music and getting the whitewater community together for good times in a spectacular location. “Last year we had East Coast rapper Josh Martinez perform in exchange for a river trip. This year it will be more of an instrumental, bluegrass, folkFrom far left: Endless Adventure whitewater rafting tours, music type of vibe.” Chris and Andrea Ryman, Kelly McLean surfing her first small After successfully rapid. navigating down through the gradually larger rapids from the Crescent Valley beach — Initiation, J, and the unique Elevator rapids which you can ride multiple times as the natural eddies in the current carry you back upstream along the shore to paddle it again — we were ready for the biggest rapids of the trip. The thought of bigger things to come rose our stoke through the roof as we followed close in Chris’s path through the exhilarating S-Bend or “Faschenia” rapids. No river trip would be complete without a dunk and swim in the river, and as we shot through the ender-hole rapid Kelly was bucked out of her boat, laughing and smiling as Chris immediately had her safely out of the water and back up on her boat ready to take on the next challenge. We finished our day through the Boulder Garden rapid and pulled out at the Shoreacres bridge as the sun dipped into the scarlet horizon. Enjoying a few organic sodas, we reflected on our day, and eagerly anticipated our next chance to get out on the water and come back and visit Chris, Andrea and Whisper to join them again on their endless adventure.

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We offer a huge selection of touring, recreational and whitewater kayaks including Canadian-made Riot kayaks. In addition, we stock a wide-range of equipment from Astral Buoyancy, Werner Paddles and Snap Dragon. We also carry summer clothing and bathing suits by Level 6, Horny Toad, Baltex and Avalanche. Highway 6 North ~ Downtown Crescent Valley, B.C. 1 (877) FUN-8181 ~ Summer 2008 Route 3

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Story by Darcy Falkenhagen Photos by Steve Hilts

Rosslandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Old Fire Hall features three heritage condos and a jazzy wine bar Page 18

Route 3 Summer 2008


Old Flame an


rom almost anywhere in town you can see the tower of the Old Fire Hall, standing tall and proud, an icon of a time passed. In the 1890s Rossland was a booming city, home to the hopeful multitudes in search of gold in and around the LeRoi Mine. Over a century later this sleepy hillside town draws people seeking treasure of a different sort â&#x20AC;&#x201D; skiers and snowboarders eager to find the fabled light powder snow of the Monashee Mountains and mountain bikers discovering the acclaimed Seven Summits trail. Although the population is less than half of what it was during the gold rush, there are still pioneers staking claims â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one being Zac Gribble, a self-made architect and restorer of the Old Fire Hall. The Ontario-native had been living in Nelson with his wife Lasha and their young son, Jonah. He was originally drawn to the Kootenay region because of the rich history and heritage architecture. Flipping through the paper one morning, he came across a real estate ad for an old firehall in Rossland. Summer 2008 Route 3

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The Old Firehall Wine and Jazz Bar

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Route 3 Summer 2008

Above: The Old Firehall on Queen Street in Rossland. Right: Lasha Mutual, left, Zac Gribble, right, and their son Jonah.

Hours later they climbed up the hill into Rossland for the first time and headed for Queen Street, where they quickly found the weathered, massive, red-brick building perched above town. Zac recalls, “I was immediately enamored with the place.” He describes the memory as if recalling the first time he met an old friend, with warmth, reverence, and utmost respect. “I recall the structure having a sad feeling,” he explains, “because it had been so long neglected and appeared very run-down.” Nevertheless, the building had the sort of unique character and historical integrity that Zac had always dreamed of, and the spark he hoped for was lit. Before he laid eyes on the building, Zac had been planning a move back East to attend architecture school. Upon seeing Rossland’s firehall, however, he decided to skip the books, buy the building, and learn first-hand how to restore a heritage landmark. “I definitely learned a lot throughout the whole process, perhaps more than if I’d gone to architecture school, but it was the school of hard knocks for certain,” Zac recalls with a chuckle. He took possession in October of 2006, and now, a year and a half later, he sits on the couch in his living room, reflecting on the process, only weeks away from completing the vision. Rather than developing the space for commercial use, he wanted the first floor with its high ceilings and open beams to remain open to the public, preserved as a space for the community to share in the rich history of the town. After some creative thinking, he decided to turn it into a wine bar with weekly live jazz, something Rossland had never seen. The upstairs, which had housed the city hall, he converted into three residential condos, two to sell and one — the one with the magnificent tower — he would design for his own family. He felt strongly that the spaces

John Snelgrove


he first floor of the Old Fire Hall has been transformed into a café and wine/jazz bar. The sheer size of the stable doors and brick walls create a sense of awe when you enter the space. Restored with integrity, the old bell hangs in a glass case in the window, the copper firepoles run through the glass bar-tables, and the jump stretcher even hangs above the permanent stage to act as a sound buffer. Even the old wooden truck ladder was used to create a bar along the back wall. A new local artist is featured every three weeks, their work displayed gallery-style for everyone to enjoy. Among the artwork, large historical photographs show what the building looked like a century ago — a tribute to rich history of this mining town. By day this stunning setting is home to a high-end roaster, the Rossland Coffee and Tea Company, which offers specialty coffee drinks and homemade baked goods, as well as gourmet lunch daily and brunch on Saturdays. And by night it becomes a high-calibre music venue, with live jazz, folk, and classical music offered every weekend. In the past year, artists have included David Francey, Stephen Fearing, David Gogo, Russell Jackson Band, Coco Love Acorn, Jill and Matthew Barber, and Brisas Del Palmar from Cuba, to name a few. It offers exclusively B.C. wines with forty different varieties available on any given night. The fine-dining tapas menu changes weekly and the culinary delights are carefully crafted to enhance the wine and food pairing experience. Located at 2115 Queen Street, Rossland. Visit for more info or call 250-362-5804.

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Photo: Francois Marseille

should be lived in by creative people who would be inspired by and appreciate the architecture on a daily basis. It’s clear from the moment you step into his luxury condo that Zac has succeeded in bucking conventional architectural trends that rely on large square footage and prefab design. He explains, “Houses should reflect their inhabitants. We’re not entirely rational, logical beings all of the time. So I wanted this restoration to be driven by passion and creativity, not necessarily logic.” From the pyramidal skylight, sun rays cast shadows down through the original fir beams that criss-cross the five- to six-metre-high ceilings in the kitchen and living room. The oversized windows looking out onto the mountain landscape are framed by the original exposed brick walls. In the corner sits a Jotul freestanding gas stove that brings warmth and class to the room. The furniture exhibits a simple elegance, allowing the natural features of the room to speak for themselves. The kitchen demonstrates Zac’s unwavering dedication to accenting the original character of the space while creating a modern and innovative design. Custom built from top to bottom, it integrates Zac’s interest in Japanese design and finish carpentry. Fir is used for most of the kitchen and trim work, echoing the beautiful refinished fir floors throughout. The appliances, including a gas cooktop, French-door fridge and wall oven, are simple and white, existing in contrast to the sliding bamboo tambours that lend an original and ornate feel. Loren Mazereeuw, a woodworker from Nelson, was a key player in the design. The bathroom is built into the old city hall bank vault. To enter, you pass through the enormous steel vault door, complete with combo lock, into a luxurious spa. It has built-in cabinetry under the stylish sink and a European teak jetted tub. If not in the mood for a soak, the shower is floor-to-ceiling glass casing over the exposed brick, offering a truly unique bathing experience. The tall narrow windows allow the sunlight to illuminate the complex blend of natural materials. The most impressive quality of this unconventional space is the 15-metre tower perched on top of the structure. Zac explains, “I like that it makes the living space vertical. It reflects our focus on the vertical, living in a mountain town.” Inside the tower a stairwell climbs four stories above the main floor. There are fifty stairs winding up five levels, each accessing approximately 100-square-feet of usable space, demanding a commitment to the healthy lifestyle that so many of Rossland’s residents enjoy. “This is not a home for the lazy,” says Zac. The first flight leads to the sauna level, a nice addition to any home that sees an average of 850 centimetres of snow annually. A second stairwell leads up to the master bedroom that opens out onto a rooftop patio with incredible views of Red Mountain ski hill and the billowing chimneys of the picturesque miners’ homes downtown. A third stairway brings one up to the office level, and ultimately, the final stairway leads to the studio space at the top of the tower with incredible 360-degree views of the entire mountainscape. As soft jazz plays over the radio in the corner of the living room, Zac says, “You know, we used to fall in love with the places that we lived in, places we called home… Not enough people do that anymore.” Perhaps in our world of cookie-cutter homes and bigger-is-better cultural mentality we have drifted away from the authenticity of a custom-made home. Inside the Old Fire Hall you will find a space still rich in history and creativity, offering the opportunity to love where you live. As Zac says, “Let this be an inspiration.”

serving the Kootenay/Boundary area since 1984


Windows H

7454 19th Street Grand Forks, B.C.


Summer 2008 Route 3

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Art Harrison

Stories in the Stones Trail’s rock walls inspire a society and the creation of a book

Photo Courtesy Trail Historical Society


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Route 3 Summer 2008

t is said that familiarity breeds contempt and regarding one’s hometown this can often be the case, or if not contempt, then at the very least a dismissive myopia. Perhaps for us to actually see our hometowns for what they are we may need to leave for a time and return. Often it is only then that we can see with new eyes and appreciate the character of place and recognize what has gone into its building. Such was the case with Trail’s Eileen Pedersen. Born and raised in the small West Kootenay town best known for its hockey teams and enormous lead and zinc smelter, Pedersen took little notice of her hometown for much of her life. It wasn’t until returning home from abroad that a chance conversation with a friend awakened a passion of place within her that would dominate much of her time and energy for the next five years. A teacher by profession, Pedersen taught for some years in the Trail area but eventually moved on. “I was a bit of a gypsy, I guess, I taught at schools throughout the Kootenays and had moved to the Northwest Territories and taught there for a couple years and then went away for a trip,” Pedersen said. “The ‘ah-ha!’ moment came when I was back in Trail for a visit and a friend said to me, ‘These rock walls around here are amazing, someone should do a photo essay on them.’” The statement was something of an epiphany for Pedersen and she began examining the features of the rock walls around the city, particularly the mountainside neighbourhoods of West Trail, but also throughout the entire town site. Built as retaining walls supporting streets and terracing to level building lots, the walls weave inconspicuously alongside roads and through yards, built from native stone quarried around the area. Pedersen bought a house in the Columbia Heights neighbourhood on the mountainside in West Trail overlooking the entire town and with views up and down the Columbia River.

Eileen Pedersen

Photo Courtesy Trail Historical Society

Clockwise from far left: Construction of the 68-metre-long Binns Street wall in 1960, with stonemason Carlo Di Domenico in charge; Construction of the Green Avenue wall in the ’50s; Fifth Avenue hill as it looks today, near Shaver’s Bench in East Trail; Eileen Pedersen poses with a mockup of the cover of the rock wall history book.

Art Harrison

Her explorations of the area re-familiarized her with her hometown but also opened her eyes to the magnitude of the project. It quickly became apparent that it would be more than a single person could manage and Pedersen began recruiting. “I’d just walk around saying, ‘Another!’ and realized these things were everywhere!” Pedersen said. “I thought that it couldn’t just be pictures, it had to be a book. The walls needed to be photographed but the stories needed to be told as well. I knew it was a missing piece of history.” “I began approaching people, people who were interested and had various skills and passions about the community. I knew we’d be more likely to get some kind of funding if we had a formal organization.” She eventually pulled together a group of 20 committee members and formed the Rock Wall Project Entusiastico Society, reflecting both the Italian heritage of many of the stone masons who built the walls and the passion of those involved in developing the book acknowledging their work. “We got a really nice mix of people,” Pedersen said. “One wanted to edit, one an artistic consultant, one helps with drawing up contracts, one did video interviews, some were more interested in the research. We’d meet around my kitchen table and there’d always be coffee and food.” Old municipal records were poured over and an inventory of all the rock walls in Trail was developed and mapped, a walking tour of the most significant walls was planned out. Each wall was examined and documented for the type of construction; rough rock in mortar, dry stone work, decorative facing, plain utilitarian construction. A retired geologist from Selkirk College came and gave a geologic assessment of the types of stone used and the original quarries were located and mapped. However beyond all the technical data unearthed in the research one factor began to lodge itself ever more firmly in Pedersen’s imagination: the work that would have been involved in the construction must have been staggering, much of it without the benefit of heavy equipment.

“The labour was back-breaking,” Pedersen said. “Some of these rocks are huge and there are hundreds of walls all over town.” Pedersen had been interviewing some of the masons involved in the various projects and her interest was drawn to these men. The work had been done in three general building periods – the ’20s and ’30s, the mid ’40s to mid ’50s, and the late ’50s to mid ’60s. Most of the masons were of Italian heritage but some of the men had emigrated from Eastern Europe. Many had come escaping the abject poverty and ravages of the First and Second World wars on the European continent and were here, willing to toil at hard labour in the hope of providing a better life for their families. Most of the early ’20s work was basic development; building and widening streets, shoring up banks, but in the ’30s much of it was Depression-era work projects with some of the labourers drawn from the relief work camp near Oasis, north of Trail. The men were disenfranchised, had no vote, no right to complain about conditions, if they ever left the camps they could never go on relief again, and the pay was ten cents a day. During the ’50s and ’60s much was done under the Federal Winter Works program and funding for the projects was based on the stipulations that the work had to take place in the winter, had to be hard physical work, and had to be projects that wouldn’t normally be done. Pedersen’s 280-page coffee table book, Set in Stone: A History of Trail’s Rock Walls, is in the final design stage and is set to go to print this summer. The project as a whole, as daunting and all-consuming as it may have been, has given Pedersen a new perspective. “It’s given me a deeper appreciation of my own roots and my parents and their struggle to get by here. They came from Italy with grade three educations, their focus was on the struggle to survive.” “My appreciation for this town has grown a lot during this project. I think we’re pretty unique, we’ve got these rock walls and we have hundreds of them. It has character, the little European-type streets in West Trail; those are the charming things about Trail that catches people’s hearts.” Summer 2008 Route 3

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Amy Robillard

Sense of Calm Escape for an hour or a even a few days at Mountain Waters Spa and Retreat in Nelson

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Route 3 Summer 2008


our some soothing water into a pool of serenity, surround it with majestic mountain views and add a little small town hospitality and you have the combination for a fabulous spa and retreat centre. The renowned Mountain Waters Spa located in beautiful Nelson is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike offering an impressive menu of treatments as well as a breathtaking retreat centre. Walking through the doors of the charming heritage-home-turned spa located in down-

David Gluns

David Gluns

David Gluns


Tyson Ellis David Gluns David Gluns

town Nelson, it is obvious that owners, married couple Yogita Bouchard and Richard Klein and their staff of twelve, have taken the time to tend to every small detail. Upon arriving for my first ever “watsu” treatment, I am given a pair of slippers and led to a waiting room that immediately evokes a sense of calm. The small room complete with a water cooler, herbal teas, a massage chair and a plethora of recent-edition magazines makes me secretly hope that my appointment is delayed just so that I might enjoy this room a little longer. But, my hopes are dashed when punctual Richard greets me with a warm smile and a much-needed introduction to the treatment I am about to experience. He explains that watsu is a shiatsu massage in water. “The practitioner stretches and massages while you float in constant movement. The temperature of the water is the same as the body’s temperature to ensure that your energy is solely in the experience.” His explanation leaves me intrigued and slightly nervous. Luckily, my nerves are put to rest upon entering the pool area. The pool is smaller than a traditional pool and larger than a hot tub. The room is extremely tranquil with turquoise walls and a skylight that delivers anything but the institutional feeling most pools provoke. After changing into my bathing suit in the immacutely clean change room, I return to the pool to receive the remaining introduction to watsu. “I will put these floating devices around your legs and your head will rest in the palm of my hand. Try to relax and please let me know if you feel any discomfort,” Richard explains. Closing my eyes and resting my head, I relax as my body moves around in the water. The sensation is overwhelming. Richard proceeds to stretch my limbs whilst moving me simultaneously. I feel surprisingly calm and relaxed and eventually all thoughts leave my head and I become a piece of seaweed moving with the water. “Please feel free to rest in the water as long as you need,” Richard says as I open my eyes realizing that the treatment is finished. I feel great and I am very impressed that my face wasn’t submerged once in the 60-minute treatment. Obviously Richard has done this before. After I change back into my street clothes, I re-enter the waiting room to find a glass of organic apple juice and a note from Richard reading, “It was nice to meet you, enjoy the rest of your day.” I sit back into the massage chair and finish my apple juice feeling like I have just discovered a new habit. Though the spa offers everything from watsu to pedicures, from facials to a variety of massages,

Opposite page, clockwise from left: The watsu treatment, relaxing in the guest lounge, Yogita Bouchard massages a client. This page, from top: The loft area at the retreat, the entrance to the downtown Nelson spa, co-owner Richard Klein.

the couple’s philiospophy on well-being is more accurately reflected in their retreat centre. Located only 2.5 km from town, the retreat centre — nestled into the forests high above Nelson — feels worlds away. The circular building constructed amongst the towering pines is truly an oasis. After being guided around the property by owner and body practitioner Yogita, we sit in the common area, overlooking the majestic Selkirk Mountains, sharing a pot of freshly brewed jasmine tea. Yogita is a small woman, with curly blond hair and a faint French accent. Her warm personality and style exudes throughout the retreat, incorporating her eclectic tastes with her savvy business sense. The buildings are artfully decorated with a modern ethnic flair. The furniture and art pieces are tasteful and uncluttered, the colours are striking yet inviting. As we sip our tea, Yogita explains the journey that brought her from Quebec to Nelson: “I love to be around nature and Nelson offers that as well as community, tolerance and a sense of calm. What we try to create here is a space for people to find who they are. Like our brochure says, we want people to experience the calm.” Experiencing a sense of calm in this quiet destination is almost a guarantee. I visited the retreat in early May. The birds were singing, a moose was blocking the road to the retreat and the buds were bursting on the trees. We seemed to be in a wildlife Mecca though we were only a 30-minute walk to the heart of Nelson. Indeed the area is visually stunning, but Richard (the watsu guru as well as the talented architect) has also developed an extremely functional Summer 2008 Route 3

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retreat that offers sleeping accommodation for up to 24 people, three-and-a-half baths, a fully equipped kitchen, a common area, a studio, a hot tub and an outdoor shower, not to mention an organic garden and a maze of hiking trails. As my tour comes to a close, Yogita and Richard see me to the door. I feel completely at ease around the couple, like I just sat down to tea with old friends.

We say goodbye and I walk out feeling a sense of calm. As I walk down the stone pathway to my vehicle looking at the mountains across the valley, I hear Yogita’s voice, “Watch out for the moose” — a friendly reminder of the vast nature that surrounds this magical place. Mountain Waters Spa offers retreats from May to October including yoga retreats and watsu retreats as well as retreats catered to

specific groups. In addition to hosted retreats, the facilities are also rented out for weddings and corporate events as well as day retreats. For more information please visit: or contact Mountain Waters Spa by phone at 1-888-288-0813. Mountain Waters Spa is located at 205 Victoria St. in Nelson. Mountain Waters Spa Retreat is located 2.5 km northeast of Nelson.


To Advertise contact Chris at 1-877-443-2191

Rossland Museum and the Le Roi Gold Mine Tours Go underground and explore the most famous of Rossland’s gold mines and then try panning for your own gold! Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm until mid-September. Mine tours operate 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

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Life in the West

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STONES STORIES IN THE y inspire a societ

Trail’s rock walls of a book and the creation


FAST to white-knuckle From family floats the Slocan River whitewater on

PLEIN AIR‘ INSPIRATIONey‘EN expresses his love

Painter Alf Crossl his works Page 1 3 throughROUTE of the outdoors Summer 2008

Route 3 Summer 2008

There’s Nothing Like it! To Advertise in the Fall issue, contact Chris at 1-877-443-2191 or email



Vanessa Farnsworth

Christina Symons

Water-wise Gardening


n. a landscaping method requiring little or no irrigation

eriscaping is one of those practices that many gardeners find hard to embrace. I think that’s because it’s associated in many people’s minds with yuccas, sagebrush and other plants that, let’s face it, don’t make many people’s top ten lists of garden favourites. The truth is that xeriscaping has as much to do with how you garden as it does with which plants you choose to put in it. Back in the good old days when terms like “ecological footprint” were as foreign to us as bubble tea, we didn’t put much thought into water consumption and, as a result, developed some fairly destructive habits which we now must break. Hands down, the worst time of day to water is during so-called business hours when evaporation claims a significant amount of the water leaving the sprinkler. Early morning is the best time to irrigate, but if you’ve never actually seen a sunrise and don’t intend to see one now, you can get away with watering in the evening. Either time will ensure that your

plants get more water than the atmosphere. Another watering practice that benefits the planet is training your plants for drought conditions starting in early spring. This is done by waiting until your plants show the first signs of wilting before breaking out the sprinkler. It sounds cruel, but withholding water forces plants to develop deep root systems and ultimately increases their ability to withstand summer droughts. Twenty years ago, only zealots harvested the rainwater draining off their roofs. Now the practice has entered the mainstream and with good reason. An exceptional amount of water comes off your roof each time it rains and ultimately goes to waste unless it is rerouted for use in your garden. Once in your garden, there are a couple of gardening practices which will help the water to stay put. The Summer 2008 Route 3

Vanessa Farnsworth


Page 27

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Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament 2008 August 27 to September 1

Tournament passes now on sale – 1-866-434-4263 For reserved seating call 250-442-2505 Page 28

Route 3 Summer 2008

Vanessa Farnsworth Vanessa Farnsworth


Vanessa Farnsworth

Grand Forks Optical

first is the use of organic matter. Whether it comes in the form of compost or wellrotted manure, adding it every time you plant will greatly increase the waterholding capacity of your soil. The second is mulching. You can mulch with bark chips, sawdust, pea gravel, wine corks or even torn up newspapers. Whatever you choose, that extra layer of material between the soil surface and the air helps to retain vital moisture. It goes without saying that selecting plants with low water requirements will maximize your conservation efforts. If your idea of beauty is somewhat lusher than cacti or ornamental grasses, don’t despair — there are many plants that deliver drought-tolerant landscaping without sacrificing visual appeal. Although homeowners often turn to the ubiquitous maple for shade, green ashes, honey-locusts, Burr oaks, catalpas, hawthorns and mountain ashes can all fill that niche without running your water bills up to the stars. A surprising variety of shrubs are also adaptable to water-wise gardens. From sweetly scented mockoranges and lilacs to showy roses and flowering quinces; from stately viburnums and butterfly bushes to unassuming spireas and ninebarks, you should have no problem finding the perfect shrubs to match your gardening style. Winter interest is readily supplied by drought-tolerant evergreens, including Ponderosa and Mugo pines, Colorado spruces, Douglas firs, yews, boxwoods, hollies and junipers as well as red-osier dogwoods and Japanese flowering kerrias. Fall colour can come in the form of burning bushes, sumacs and Saskatoons. Nothing gives gardeners a bigger thrill than filling their gardens with the vibrant colours of herbaceous perennials and annuals. Drought tolerant perennials include iris, penstemon, blanket flower, evening primrose, rudbeckia, yarrow, aster, balsam root, coreopsis, echinacea, dianthus, Shasta daisy, sea holly, soapwort, creeping phlox, Basket of Gold, alyssum, woolly thyme, sedum, house leeks, anemone and euphorbia. Annual lovers can get an extra colour punch by adding sunflowers, geraniums, California poppies, nasturtiums, marigolds, salvias, cosmos, bachelor’s buttons, zinnias, and portulaca, to name only a few. Spring flowering bulbs also have a reputation for being drought tolerant although this is a bit of a cheat. It isn’t so much that they are drought tolerant as they live out their lifecycles while water is abundant and go dormant when water is scarce. Regardless, tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, snowdrops, and muscari all have places in waterwise gardens. I could continue to list plants for days, but you get the point. A wellplanned xeriscape garden can be just as varied and as beautiful as its water-hogging cousins, but without all the eco-guilt and with significantly less time spent dragging hoses around the yard. That alone makes the practice worth it.


Everett Baker by

Michael Wirischagin


he Bakers moved to Grand Forks from Chilliwack three years ago after purchasing Toews Funeral Home. Over those three years, Everett Baker and company have extended their business reach to not only include the funeral home, but also a flower shop, a book store, a music store, and more. Not only has Everett Baker got his foot into just about everything imaginable, he has also thrown his hat into the ring, running for mayor in Grand Forks’ fall election. But if that wasn’t enough, Baker has also taken over the helm of the Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament — a tournament that has been a staple in the region for decades, an event that in the past had been untouched by any other tournament of its kind in North America, a tournament that people talk about when they talk baseball in the Kootenay-Boundary area. And all this by a man who admittedly is not the biggest sports enthusiast. Q. Why did you take over the Grand Forks International? I was actually approached by the committee about a year and a half ago once Gerry (Foster) had resigned and said that he wasn’t going to do it anymore, and I told them that I wasn’t a huge baseball fan but I did see the value it brought to the community. Someone was once quoted as saying that it brought $250,000 to the community and lately I have heard that it was closer to $500,000. So in that respect, as a business man, as a person who has fallen in love with this town, I just could not see us lose it for the sake of leadership.

Chris Hammett

The Man Behind the Grand Forks International Everett Baker and GIFI, the mascot of the Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament.

Q. What is your vision for the Grand Forks International? My vision is that it will continue to offer good family fun in the summer. I would like to see it expanded a little bit more, maybe by offering a little bigger prize amount. I think it brings tremendous publicity to this town. One of the first things that was brought to my attention when I moved to this town was that the GFI is the best thing to do in Grand Forks in the summer. Q. What kind of tournament should we expect? It will be a lot of fun. We have twelve teams that are coming and I encourage people to come out, bring your children, your grandchildren. I am hoping for some good weather and that it will be a good family break at the end of the summer. Q. If you were to sum up the Grand Forks International in one sentence or less, what would it be? Tons of family fun in seven days. Q. What do you think the importance is of the GFI not just to Grand Forks but also the surrounding area? It bring families to this community; a lot of people get introduced to Grand Forks through this tournament. I have heard from people who have come for the tournament, fell in love with the city, found a home and stayed. I think that’s

awesome. It’s great for the city, it also brings in badly needed funds to our community, supports our hotel industry and restaurant industry. It injects a really good amount of dollars and goodwill into the community. Q. Word Association. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the names Gerry Foster and Larry Seminoff, the last two GFI coordinators? Gerry Foster is a lover of baseball, intense, committed and a hard worker. Larry is obviously the founder of the Grand Forks International, lover of baseball and he has set the ground work for the tournament, and as you can tell I have four very big shoes to fill over this next little while. Q. Last but not least. You run several businesses in Grand Forks, you are now at the helm of the GFI, and you are running for mayor. If you are elected is there any chance of changing the name of Grand Forks to Bakersville or the Township of Baker? [Laughs] Don’t start that now, you’ll have everyone in this community talking about me, and they’re already talking. For more information on the Grand Forks International visit or call 250-442-8323 or toll-free at 1-866-GFI-GAME. Summer 2008 Route 3

Page 29

special places photo by

David R. Gluns

This aerial image of kayakers taking a break on the sand spit near Troup junction on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake was taken by Nelson photographer David Gluns from his Cessna 172 airplane. Troup is located about eight kilometres northeast of Nelson and was known in the late 1800s for the steam boats that would dock there to meet the train. Today it is known more as the terminus of the Salmo-Troup trail. For boaters, it is a very special place to stop for a break and enjoy the peace the region has to offer.

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Route 3 Summer 2008

‘Warmest tree-lined lake in Canada’

Christina Lake Visit • Enjoy • Stay

Grace McGregor, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area C Director welcomes you to beautiful Christina Lake

Explore the scenic Kettle Valley Railway and TransCanada Trail Summer 2008 Route 3

Christina Lake Chamber of Commerce • 250-447-6161 •

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Supporting Communities Created by the people, for the people, the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) serves the residents of the Canadian portion of the Columbia River Basin. Working closely with people who live in the Basin, CBT assists communities in addressing their needs by: providing resources and funding; focusing on local priorities and issues; bringing people together around key issues; providing useful, credible, accessible information; encouraging collaboration and partnerships; and, seeking ongoing input from Basin residents. The CBT provides funding and grants through a variety of programs from Arts, Culture, and Heritage to Business Advocacy to Environment to Scholarships to Community Development. In addition, CBT supports regional initiatives such as Climate Change Adaptation, Water Stewardship, Literacy, and Land Conservation. Learn more about our work online at

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In 2007/08, the Columbia Basin Trust committed over $6 million in direct funding benefits to Basin communities by supporting a range of programs and leading a variety of initiatives.

Route 3 Summer 2008

w w w . c b t . o r g

Route 3 Summer 2008  

Life in the West Kootenay Boundary Region

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