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Day 4 – Horizons Unlimited Meeting (day 2)

Total Day: 30.0 km

Total Trip: 743.9 km

Today was a day of planned indulgence. Rather than yesterday, running errands, picking up essentials, and getting gas, today we were going to ride all the way to the Nakusp Hot Springs.

I woke up first again, and made coffee. One of the fellows that was sharing our camping area, who I had shared coffee with yesterday, emerged from his tent and proclaimed “I love the sound of a Jetboil in the morning” – and then trundled over with his coffee cup. Frankly, this gent had begun to rub me the wrong way a bit (which actually takes some doing…), but I felt this was more than a little presumptuous. Whatever, he was a bit of a braggart and one-upper, and I could live with it for another day.

After coffee, we went for breakfast at the arena, as we paid for it after all. It was fine, this time a breakfast burrito of sorts. Again, less than I expected, but there certainly was enough food and a hot dark liquid that approximated coffee. We stayed for a talk on photography by Grant Johnson, the founder of Horizons Unlimited. It talked about the usual basics for composition, without talking about settings on cameras, so things like lighting, the rule of thirds, and leading lines. A great intro refresher, and it was eye opening for a lot of the folks that only use their phones. I did ask about the scourge of portrait photography due to phones… at least he agreed and laughed!

Next up was the trip to the hot springs. The entire area we were in is surrounded by geothermal activity resulting in hot springs here, at Ainsworth, BC, at Halcyon, and other areas. These springs are the bomb, though. Funnelled into two built-up pools, one hot, and one less hot, with showers, etc., just like a municipal community center pool. The ride there is more of the mind-numbingly beautiful twisting roads through trees and mountains, with the fresh scent of pine and cedar on the wind that whips through my open visor. It’s a delightfully short ride up to the springs, and an inexpensive and not very crowded dip today. If you have ever been to hot springs, you know that they often can have a whiff of the brimstone – it’s the Devil’s Bathwater, accompanied by sulpher. Fortunately, whatever the municipality does to treat the water, there is no sulfur smell in the air, or left on your skin. We departed fully refreshed, and this was just the sort of outing that was in order after a day off the motorcycle.

The best part of going to the hot springs is riding back along the same road, enjoying the same gorgeous sights but in reverse. And once again, we were blessed with lovely weather – sunny, and 25° C. In a moment of prescience and excellent memory, I recalled our trip here last year where the entire town nearly ran out of gas. So, on our way back to Nakusp we stopped and refuelled. They were already out of the highest octane gasoline, so the decision to refuel now was a good one, as it meant we could just beetle off tomorrow.

We got back about 12:30 pm, and were just about to wander out for lunch when Diane, our neighbour and a native Montrealler, asked if we wanted some smoked meat sandwiches for lunch. It was like we had a camp mom, so we immediately agreed. They were delicious, and it meant we could sit on our duffs for a little bit.

In the afternoon, we did go and see a talk about a couple that rode from south to north through Italy, and I was starting to develop a theory. Maybe, just maybe, adventure riding didn’t have to mean off road, dirt, gravel, single track, and who has the biggest stones. Perhaps, just maybe, adventures are what you make of them. This theory started to really knock around in my brain.

Tonight was the big dinner – roast beef and yorkshire pudding. The catering company did a great job given the size of the mob they were feeding with that type of fare. Of course, I got nearly to the front of the line before I found out that I didn’t have my (wait for it) meal ticket, so I had to go back to the camp to get it. Dinner was a bit loud given the number of peopel that were there, and because everyone seemed to be in high spirits. Most of our friends were done eating by the time I joined them, but it was still nice, and then we all made our way back to the campsite.

The RRP and I walked back to camp, electing to skip the drinks social that was to happen after dinner. Our friends had decided to skip it too, and we were joined by Ted, Diane and Robyn for some wonderful storytelling, some reminders of great stories by Robert W. Service, a little bit of music, and a whole lot of fun. These last two days were particularly beneficial for me as I felt the weight of my world lift entirely from my shoulders, and I started to get excited about the next part of the trip. I was on vacation. I had vacated. And now I was starting to feel like I was really living, and getting into it.

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