March 27-29 (Invermere and Radium, BC) —
After exhausting ourselves skiing around Fernie, and with a stationary high pressure system expected to bring nothing but sunshine for a week, we headed to the Columbia River Valley.
First stop was the lovely town of Invermere, which has a terrific bakery and an awesome German butcher shop. Schnitzel appeared on the menu at Chez Tigger that evening:
It’s tight quarters in Tigger at times, but having a beer in hand while cooking somehow makes it all work:
Of course, after a dinner of schnitzel and beer (and some pseudo-healthy spinach), we decided we needed some exercise again. So we headed to the town of Radium for some trail running along the river and then a dip in the Radium Hot Springs at Kootenay National Park .
We had heard that Radium was famous for the large numbers of bighorn sheep that roam its streets. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that, after a first glance during which they seemed immobile, I actually asked aloud, “Are those real?”
They seemed like very life-like lawn ornaments. Eventually, one or two of them shifted a little to glance at us. They didn’t seemed bothered in the least that we had pulled up next to them. Indeed, they looked downright bored. We ran into them everywhere in town.
As we headed out for our trail run, we were much less worried about running into bighorn sheep than we were about the cougar that had reportedly been seen near the trail.
We took our bear spray just in case. I fully admit to checking over my shoulder 1, 2, or 47 times during the 15k run to be sure we weren’t being stalked by something hiding in the tall grass.
Luckily, we saw no life-threatening wildlife during the run. We did, however, see lots of beautiful views.
After the run, we stopped off at the local grocery store (3 aisles large) and got the best post-workout recovery drink, which you all know is chocolate milk. Then we hit the hot springs in the park and started planning for tomorrow’s adventure: backcountry ski tour of Vermillion Peak.