Leavenworth, WA to Slocan, Canada

August 8-11, 2008

After climbing the West Face of Colchuck Balanced Rock, we stay a few more days in Leavenworth to take care of a few chores before leaving for Canada. Just to name a few: the website is badly in need of an update; we have about three months worth of mail stacking up in our rented mailbox in New Mexico; we just realized we neglected to file our tax return (we had an extension since we were out of the country, but forgot to file the real thing) and we need to make camping reservations for Acadia national Park for our upcoming visit there...

On August 8, we finally leave Leavenworth in dense traffic, direction Canada. We stop at the Confluent State Park to dump and get water ($5 fee), then continue North to Chelan, where we stop for the night on the parking lot of the community gym, right in town. We were hoping to catch the TV coverage of the opening ceremonies of the Bejing Olympics, but we're not getting the right channel. We go check out the town instead, looking for dinner. We find a pretty nice little bobo pizzeria, and settle on it for dinner. Not bad, but greasy.

The next day, we walk to the Farmer's market in the morning. It's raining on and off. Not much for sale at the market, it's pretty small. We buy some cherries and hit the road. The border crossing at Ossoyoos is huge (been there before). We don't get any trouble, although they say they have a ban on fresh fruits and vegetables from the US and tell us to pull out and throw it all away or eat them on the spot. We pulll off and eat our delicious cherries on the side of the road.

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Driving along Lake Chelan.
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Crossing the border at Ossoyoos.
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Things go smoothly.
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Back in Canada, eh?
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Dowtown Nelson.

Now in Canada, we drive further east, then North, stopping in a town or two along the way, and checking the grocery stores. The prices are not as scary as we feared. Some things are quite a bit more expensive than in the US (dairies), but others (such as vegetables) are cheaper. Taxes are also included in the prices.

We make it to Nelson that afternoon, and park the bus next to the old, dilapidated train station. We make a quick dash to town to check the climbing shop before it closes, hoping for info about other peaks in the Valhalla… unfortunately, they don't know much.

The next morning, we go to town to check the weather forecasts. It's not looking too good for the next couple of days, so we decide to wait until Tuesday (the 12th) to climb Gimli. We spend the next couple of days wandering through town (Nelson is quite lively) and watching the Olympics on TV at night. On Monday the 11th, we make the short drive North toward Slocan, positioning ourselves to climb the South Ridge of Gimli the next day.