In most of our stories, we showcase activities and events that visitors to the Kootenays love to experiences. But this time we want to feature why, we the staff of KootRocks’, are thankful about living where we live – the Kootenay Rockies, or known by the locals simply as “the Kootenays”!
It was hard to narrow it down, but our 10 top things we are thankful for are:
#10 – Four Seasons
The months may vary each year, but we are stoked that we have four completely distict seasons. And with each season comes us our favourite outdoor adventures. For example, winter is skiing, ski touring and snowshoeing; spring is kayaking, mountain biking and hiking; summer is camping, paddle boarding & trail running and fall is backcountry hiking, climbing & photography.
#9 - Craft
Brews & Local Wineries
Four local wineries and 14 craft breweries make our après activities so much more worth while. Our favourites – well there are too many, but be sure to ask a local (when you visit) and they’ll tell you their favs.
All seasons - Skimmerhorn Winery in Creston, photo by Shannon Harrison
#8 – Raising Children
Not all of us have children, but for those who do, the Kootenays is home to so many activities our kids can be very active (ample time to ‘run off’ most of their energies). Mini-triathlons are planned for weekends, by one of our staff members which includes skiing in the morning, tobogganing before dinner and the Climbing Wall after dinner. Have no fear, we have activities for the entire family, year-round!
#7 – Hot Springs
Not only are our natural springs popular with visitors, the locals love them too. Where can you drive to a wilderness springs in the middle of winter time and soak in therapeutic waters of natural mineral springs. We dare you to do the submerge in the ice-cold water then the plunge into the hottest spring pool – that will energize your spirit!
#6 – Kootenay Coffee
We have so many amazing blends and favourites in the region, we grind our favs each morning when we blend our staff coffee for the day. Today it was ‘Kick Ass’, a sweet, dark roast.
#5 – Living on Kootenay Time
You might have heard of this, but locals like to run on their own time. Not ideal if you’re planning an event; RSVP is not something that really works with us. We arrive, when we arrive. And if last night’s snowfall is more than 10 cm, you’ll find a ‘gone skiing’ sign on our doors to get first tracks and we may open later that day (it all depends on the conditions on the mountain that day).
#4 – No Crowds
Not seeing anyone on the slopes, a lake, or a trail is quite natural for us. We can go hiking or paddling and not see anyone until we return back to our vehicles, or ski on a run and not see anyone until we return to the lift – it happens (a lot – which is what we love)!
Summer - Kayaking on Peckham's Lake near Norbury Provincial Park, photo by Shannon Harrison
#3 – The People, the Local-Yokels
These are our neighbours, or family and most definitely our friends who have made the Kootenay’s their home too. We trust one-another. We are protective of our communities – we love one another – it’s just who we are.
#2 – The Kootenay Vibe
What does this mean? Well for starters you can say “hello” to complete strangers on the street and they will say “hello” to you back. Residents of the Kootenays, don’t look at you oddly like in the city, you can talk to us for ‘no reason’ and we’ll respond. We are not in a rush to get somewhere, we arrive on time (see #6 - Kootenay Time) – and if we don’t, it’s no big whoop.
Best of all, the vibes change from city to city, Nelson is different than Kimberley and Fernie is different than Revelstoke – you’ll need to experience them each to get it. But take your time, you wouldn’t want to miss any community’s own personalize vibe.
#1 – Natural Beauty
This may sound ‘corny’ but everyone polled, happily responded that living where we do – and being able to enjoy the natural beauty around us, is priceless. Nature, our trails, our playground is literally right out our back-doors. My nature park trail is only one block from my house and our office is only one block away from the Kimberley Nature Park – living in the Kootenays is just that awesome!
Winter - Alpenglow of Fisher Peak (Canadian Rockies) near Kimberley, photo by Shannon Harrison
West Kootenays: A Retro, Eccentric Vibe
Story by the KootRocks Staffer (Shannon Harrison). Top/cover photo by Shannon Harrison.