Ainsworth Hot Springs pools

I’m at Ainsworth!  Yay!

The green crap on my head is not actually a hat.  It’s extremely poor photography – a plant in the background.  Instead of looking at that, here’s a view from the pool area (panorama).

I had a good soak yesterday evening after checking in & cleaning up.  The water was really nice.

There are three pools – a large, warm pool, a small hot pool connected to caves entering into the hill, and a freezing-cold pool with water trickling in from a glacier.  Before 7:00, it was all open to the public.  After that, until 9pm, it was reserved for hotel guests only, so it half-way emptied at that time.

It was raining when I got out to the pools.  This might sound very undesirable, but the combination of the cold rain & hot water was quite nice.  Later, a double rainbow developed across the lake.  I wish I’d had a camera then.  I talked to various people while moving from pool to pool.

The idea is to hang out in the large warm pool – do some swimming, splashing around, etc.  Then you go hang out in the hot pool to see how long you can handle it.  Last night it wasn’t super-hot but hot enough.  Then comes the wander through the caves.  It’s dark, hot, humid, dripping with hot water everywhere, with dim coloured lighting piped in along fibre-optic cables.

Various people sit on the floor of the tunnel and soak up the warmth, and others wander through amazed at the experience.  By the time one makes in through the tunnel and come out the other end, with the heat building up in the air, a wall of cold air hits you as you emerge from the dark.  I was one of those who sat inside soaking in the heat.

I found a built-in rock bench of sorts to sit on and watch the dark shadows go by.  Problem is, no one could see me sitting there (or even see the bench), so I startled a couple of people as they groped their way along.  One small child, as he walked along, grabbed hold of my arm and was surprised that someone was sitting there.  He stuck his face directly in front of mine to see if I was real before moving on.

Moving from the steamy hot to the icy cold is always a shock.  You climb down the steps into the freeze and immediately dunk all the way in to your neck.  If you don’t, you lose courage to do the dunk.  In goes the head for a brief chill.  If you’re still, the biting cold eventually subsides – until you shift a bit, then the cold comes back.

This morning, the hot was hotter (106º according to staff) and the cold was colder.  Apparently it is like this in the morning.  I could only stand about 6 or 7 minutes in the cold before moving on.  Same with the hot.

I bought a plastic sleeve for my phone for $10 this morning so I could take some pics & vids.  No rainbow yet.  Too bad.  That’s also the reason for the B&W photos above – inside the plastic pouch, the phone / camera seemed to get confused as to what I was wanting.  …  Just as I was writing this, the rain started.  I see it outside the restaurant window.

Guests can dip in from 8am to 10am.  Public entry starts after that.  It is completely booked – no more reservations.

Of course, here’s the coffee cup picture.

going to Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort

Finally.  After years of wondering what the resort looked like, I’m here.  It was a long but enjoyable drive that started at 6:50am.  It was sunny for the first couple of hours, but then coming into the mountains it rained the whole time.  There was also a lot of road construction.  We sat stopped for 25 minutes at one point while a road crew repaired a bridge.  Nonetheless, the drive was really nice.

I finally got to the ferry terminal!  Yay!  But … there was a two-and-a-half sail waiting for the ferry to get across Kootenay lake near the end of the trip. \

During the wait, I talked with a guy taking his family on a camp trip with a trailer.  It was his first time on this ferry.  Suddenly my car alarm went off!  The horn blared across the parking lot and into the forest beyond.  I got hold of the fob to shut it up.  I asked the guy, “Uh … you didn’t hear that, did you?”  He just chuckled.

Three ajimas (Korean ladies) were looking at an information sign.  I came over to view the sign.  “Please…?” one of them said as she held out her phone / camera.  “Yes, sure.”  They all lined up for the shot.  I called out to them, “Hanna – dule – set -” (one – two – three) … click.  I gave the phone back to them.  “Hanna, dule, set?”  “한국어하세요?” (Do you speak Korean?)  “조금 어요…”  (A little.)  We had a brief conversation before I asked them, “이거 … 괜찮아?” (Is this okay?)  “아주 좋습니다. 감사합니다!” (It’s great!  Thank you!)  We bowed, and I left.

The sail was nice – cool and breezy and not much rain.  It lasted 40 minutes.


When I checked into the hotel, lots of people were waiting.  It was pouring rain.

More later!  I’m gone to soak.

Ainsworth bound

I’m off! First vacation in a couple of years. I’m off to Ainsworth. It’s a hot spring along the BC hot spring route in the Rockies. I booked a couple of nights there, in the hotel, but I’m also bringing the teardrop trailer. I thought I would leave yesterday, but everything took so dang long but I decided to wait for this morning. Wish me luck.

camp cut short

At about noon, I came down with a headache.  It was heatstroke.

Heat exhaustion suggests strenuous activity mixed with heat as a cause, while heatstroke suggests simply overheating (too much exposure to the sun).

I decided to go home.  Besides, there was a machine droning noise from less than a kilometre away, like model airplanes or go-carts, for several house.  When that finally stopped, all I could hear was traffic noise from the nearby road, a connector road from the highway to in-town.

I went there to maybe meet friendly fellow campers and hang out and maybe suggest a hike or cycle somewhere.  People kept to themselves.

I got back at about 5pm, unpacked and put away everything, and lied down with lots of water.  Thus the end of my weekend get-away.

camp at Pincher Creek

I called the night before last to book a spot at Sleepy Hollow Campground. Luckily, they had one left, except that, when I showed up yesterday evening, they had some cancellations and rebookings and had moved everyone around. At first the manager / owner was going to put me at a giant site big enough for a 30′ trailer (with power & water, which I don’t need), but I have a much smaller one instead.

It’s a good thing i brought along a bug screen tent. Sooooo many mosquitos here! It is my first time using it.

Breakfast was yoghurt with cereal and lunch was salad with hotdog wieners. The book I’m reading is The Friendship Book by Francis Gay and a Zane Grey novel I borrowed from F.

North York Creek plane crash hike

This was one of the most gruelling hikes for us – Mo & family and me.  We talked about a hike a few days before.  I brought a brochure of hikes in the Crowsnest Pass for Mo & family to look at.  Since S really wanted a hike during one of our last year’s camping trips, I suggested that she pick the spot.  She picked the North York Creek plane crash hike.  It’s south of Coleman, AB.  I asked if anybody mined that I drove because my stomach had been iffy – motion sickness often gets to me.  So we all piled into my van and went.  We stopped at Subway for a bite before heading up.  The weather was decidedly cool when we got out – a balmy 16°C.  We were wondering if it would be chilly and rainy all day.

We drove seemingly in every direction, winding through the town, before finally heading south up a paved then gravel road, higher and higher up the mountain.  We saw signs for our destination.  We found a parking area (called a staging area – not sure why), parked there, and ate half our subs before heading up the gravel road toward our destination.  Quads and dirt bikes screamed by.  We wondered if we were in the right area – after all, M & M have kids.  I asked a guy sitting in his truck if we were in the right spot; he suggested that we were way off, that we needed to keep going way up the road another few kilometres.  So we did.

Mo was a little freaked by all the potholes, concerned that it would damage the van.  It was rough, and we bounced around like a bunch of Mexican jumping beans in the van.  So we parked the van and started hiking.  More vehicles were going by.  It was still a long hike up, but we came across a bridge (that everyone told us about) and a fork and decided to go up the steeper grade.


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