Salmon Arm and Kamloops

10 May. Hot and sunny. 29 degrees in Kamloops this afternoon.

Left Revelstoke after a quick good bye to Snubby and promises that we wouldn’t let another nine years go by with out being in touch.

Drove to Salmon Arm and stopped at Hidden Gems book shop. This was not on the tour but the owner of the Revelstoke book shop suggested we stop by. I’d sent Beth an email last night and she greeted us with open arms and incredible enthusiasm. I left ten books with her because this weekend is a big writer’s festival in Salmon Arm. Beth was a fountain of information and suggestions. I’m so glad we met her. She even suggested a great Salmon Arm hotel for next year’s book tour!

On to Kamloops. Jason of The Book Place has a chaotic book shop. An eclectic mix of titles but once again an enthusiastic welcome and great knowledge of his local authors. I’m happy to now be included in their number.

So here Anne and I are, relaxing before bed in our hotel room a block away from highway one west. We’re homeward bound tomorrow. Plan to have breakfast in Merritt. Hope to be on the 1pm ferry back to the island.

Many lessons learned on this tour. I’m excited to get home and pick up writing where I left off twelve days ago. Bookshops around southern BC are awaiting Soul of a Nomad. Guess I better get on with it as it’s only about half written.

Thank you for following along this different journey from my norm. Next time you’ll be hearing from me will be in mid August from Mongolia. Friends, Pat and Helen, and I are off on another grand adventure this time the Silk Road. I hope you’ll join us through this blog. Please invite any interred friends to follow.

Meantime, good night from Kamloops.

Golden and Revelstoke

Glorious hot weather! The scenery is stunning. We drove to Golden yesterday and after an enthusiastic welcome at Baccus Books enjoyed an afternoon beer in comfy chairs by the river. We stayed at the Dream Catcher hostel with a huge bright kitchen and common area and cozy rooms.

My shoe fell apart so I had to make an emergency stop at the only shoe store in town. Pretty sure I can’t write that off my new shoes as a business expense. Golden is a small town with one Main Street. I guess it is a hive of activity in the winter but at the moment it is a very quiet place. I could have replaced a mountain bike easier than a pair of shoes.

This morning we drove over Rogers Pass. There’s a lot of much needed road widening construction going on. I’m surprised the road is still mostly just two lanes considering how heavily traveled it is. A short delay due to one lane traffic but nothing too frustrating. The mountains are still well snow covered and beautiful. This was the most scenic drive of the trip and we’ve driven through remarkable country every day. We’ve had ample opportunity to marvel at the incredible beauty of this part of the province.

Revelstoke is the prettiest town of our trip. Lots of vibrant shops and restaurants all with a pleasant bustle. No empty windows or sad boarded up places like in some of the towns we’ve been through this past week. The Grizzly Book shop hosted an impromptu reading and took a pile of books.

We had dinner with dear friends from ski patrol days – Alex and Snubby (Michelle). Wonderful to see them again after about eleven years. Rehashed some patrol and kayaking stories and caught up.

Will send some pictures in the next blog. Good night from Revelstoke.

The drought ends

Some cloud this morning. Anne and I walked up to the grocery store – club soda and the the next door wine store…. more wine.

We were soon in the car heading east. Some ladies had told us how cool the interpretative centre at the Frank slide was so we decided to drive up and over the final stretch of the Cows Nest Pass to see the slide. Beautiful scenery. The interpretive centre was well done and interesting. We wandered around and watched a movie about the slide. Driving back west we stopped for lunch then got caught in a hail storm. Serves us right for crossing the border into Alberta I guess. (We had BC wine in the car.) the gas prices were nice so we filled up on Alberta gas.

Drove back through Fernie and on to Cranbrook. Cranbrook isn’t as attractive as Trail, Nelson or Fernie but it makes up for that by being the friendliest town of the four. Erin, at Huckleberry Books had been promoting the book and took more than the usual number. Our Lazy Bear Lodge is managed by a delightful couple Chrystal and Jim and they had been advertising as well. I did a reading in their lobby – really enthusiastic audience. The press came by for a photo op and I’m doing an interview for a regional paper tomorrow morning. We had dinner at a local hang out with great food and service and all the small town characters.

Cranbrook rocks. Love this place. It may look like just like a commercial strip along the highway but it has soul.

Road Trip trumps Book Tour

Not much action with sales for the past couple of days. I’ve decided I’m not keen on sitting in book stores doing signings. Otter Book shop in Nelson had a cozy corner but very few people came into that area…. and it was a Sunday. I did a short reading at the Dancing Bear, attended by some of our fellow guests. That, and the chatter I enjoyed much more.

After dinner yesterday Anne and I attended a really interesting lecture by a woman who has cycled the Silk Road with a large organized group of fellow cyclists. Her stories and pictures were compelling.

Today our trip to Fernie was through incredible county. Up over a mountain pass and down into a wide fertile valley. Fernie is a charming town with a load of walking trails. We followed one around the whole perimeter of the town. Up into the hills above town then down along the river. We both felt the need to properly stretch our legs after several days of urban walking.

I find I’m tired after the five hour drives – from Penticton to Trail and from Nelson to Fernie so am taking the day off from book peddling. We’ve found a nice place for dinner, which we hope will measure up to where we ate in Nelson.

Last night (Nelson) we went to the Hume. It’s a 1890’s hotel and the interior has been restored. We ate in the Library dining room. Live pianist and singer for background entertainment. Very elegant.

Tomorrow is Cranbrook. We stopped there for coffee on our way here and we underwhelmed. We’re hoping the town surprises us with rampant book sales.

Feast and Famine

Day 3 and 4 – Penticton and Trail

Yesterday was a fabulous day. It started with Kyle texting to say he’d sold nine more books. Stopped by his place to deliver and sign. What a wonderful son. Thank you Maggot.

Stopped in Summerland for a walk along the lake and picnic lunch before heading into Penticton. We stayed at Robyn Lake’s beautiful home. Walked down to meet the manager of the Lloyd Art Gallery where Robyn and I were doing our Brush and Pen event. Had an early dinner and were set up to receive guests at the Gallery by shortly before 6. A wonderful evening. The gallery laid on wine and appies. Robyn and I shared stories of painting and writing. The audience seemed to enjoy. I sold a few more books.

Afterwards we drank a bit more wine and ate snacks at Robyn’s to debrief.

This morning Anne and I headed off early to get some miles behind us. Had breakfast in Osoyoos. The drive onward to Trail was glorious. Hardly any traffic, a windy up and down road, fabulous vistas. Arrived in Trail by lunch time. Discovered the book shop to be in a small mall quite far out of town. No drop by traffic way out there. Very pleasant reception and The Crockett book shop is now carrying Pomegranates at 4800 Metres. Unfortunately no sales today.

Our hotel is very pleasant but in a hinterland just outside Trail. Anne and I spent a couple of hours sitting in the sun enjoying a glass or two of wine. We are about to have take-out Chinese food for dinner.

The day has been fun despite not selling any books. Keeping in mind our road trip is about more than just selling books. This is a beautiful part of BC that neither of us have explored before. That said…. I’m hoping for sales in Nelson tomorrow.

Good night from the charming Glenwood Inn and Suites just outside Trail BC.

Fun times in Kelowna

Day 2

Our GPS – Beeotch – got lost in Hope so we dove in circles until we shut her down and used Pocket Earth to sort ourselves out. Thankfully Beotch didn’t hold a grudge and got back on track. The drive over the Coquihalla was accompanied by a snow squall and 1 degree temperature. Gee. What is it with me driving that road – I always experience unpleasant weather. On the Connecter to Kelowna the sun came out and it became much warmer.

Our first stop in Kelowna was at Mosaic Books. They are now carrying Pomegranates at 4800 Metres.

We then went over to Kyle’s place and checked out his new digs. Impressive. We enjoyed a pretty walk along the lake front with Kyle then headed to our hotel. The traffic was horrendous. Staying at a Days Inn – nice room, nothing special.

Kyle showed up to drive Anne and me to Passionate Blooms where I did a reading. Turn out less than he’d expected but it was really nice and a beautiful venue. We enjoyed wine with the reading. The flower fridge seemed like a great place to keep the wine chilled. Thank you Shauna for hosting.

Dinner at the Train Station pub then back to the hotel for a night cap where Kyle had us in stitches over his recycling program. One of the more interesting and efficient methods I’ve heard about.

All in all a pleasant start to the tour and really fun visiting with Kyle. Thanks to his efforts several books sold.

Book Tour Road Trip

Day 1 – Courtenay to Hope

Picked up our little rental car this morning and had a fine time getting all the boxes of books, wine, cooler, wine, suitcases, wine, book event advertising poster and wine into the limited space. OK seriously, we only have three bottles of wine. Anne says that for an eleven day trip we are eight bottles short. After driving through Vancouver to Chilliwack – nearly three hours – I agree.

So here we are at the lovely Park Motel in downtown Hope, sipping some fine Vancouver Island wine. Car is gassed up and ready for tomorrow. We’re off to dinner – walking – in a few minutes. An Indian place is recommended for us to refuel our hungry stomachs. Our picnic supplies are in the room’s fridge. We have all the makings for breakfast in the morning. Now I’m out of that god damned traffic life is very good.

PS I highly recommend this little motel as a cozy well appointed stop spot.