Turtles, moose, & some history (Invermere, B.C.)
We left Red Deer Sunday morning, July 10th and headed west—destination Invermere, B.C. Soon we saw the mountains again (Rockies) and then we were in them.
Invermere is a town in the Columbia River Valley of B.C. between the Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges. It sits right on Windermere Lake, which has a reputation of being one of the warmest lakes in the Columbia Valley.
After getting local maps at the Visitor Centre and checking into our downtown motel, we went to find that lake. A 15-minute or so walk took us there. On this sunny July day, lots of people were taking advantage of the warm water.
We wandered away from the beach to another smaller body of water nearby—Dorothy Lake. It had its own population of bathers and sun-worshippers—a log full of painted turtles. Nearby we also saw some of these critters (marmots? prairie dogs?)
We sauntered back to town and down Sunday-lazy 7th Avenue (the main street), stopping along the way at a treat shop for an ice-cream in a fresh made still-warm waffle cone. Later that night we ate at Safta’s Middle Eastern Restaurant (where hubby tasted his first falafel balls) while listening to the opening act of the restaurant’s music open mic. (Later in the evening, judging by the number of cars parked around, the place filled up quite nicely.)
The refreshing cool air of Monday morning invited us to explore more of the main street. Again we passed and petted “Rusty the Moose” (Sculpture by Jeff Fleming).
Further along we came upon a strange sight—a gully right in the middle of town. “Pothole Park” the sign informed us. It turns out this is a souvenir from the ice age. The sign board read:
“Pothole Park features a unique landform called a Glacial Kettle. Kettles are created when blocks of ice break loose from glaciers (like giant ice cubes) and are left behind. When the ice blocks melt a “hole” is left and this is called a kettle. Some kettles fill with water while others stay dry, grow trees, grass, shrubs and provide an interesting place for people and animals to enjoy—such as our very own Pothole Park.”
Right next to Pothole Park is Invermere’s B.C. Spirit Square. Its centerpiece is a monument to the pioneers. On each of four sides are relief sculptures illustrating scenes from B.C.’s history. On the top stands David Thompson, quadrant in hand, peering into the distance (Thompson was known as “The man who measured Canada.”) Next to him is his Aboriginal wife Charlotte Small Thompson.
At the end of 7th Ave. we found Invermere’s museum. Though it wasn’t open when we arrived I could take interior photos of some of the buildings just fine by holding my camera up to the windows. (Click on any photo to enlarge)
Before we left, the museum lady opened up and we browsed the collection. Some of my favourite pieces were puzzle blocks (I had a set when I was little) and this lovely old Singer, along with Simplicity patterns, reminding me of my mother.
Then it was back to the motel to pack up, check out, and carry on with our Kootenay adventure which was off to a great start!