A Great Used Bookstore and the World’s Biggest Truck (Kootenays Tour, Days 2 & 3)

Signing books at Frank J. Mitchell Elementary School (in Sparwood, BC).

Signing books at Frank J. Mitchell Elementary School (in Sparwood, BC).

We woke up yesterday in Nelson, having stayed at the lovely lakeside Prestige Hotel.  Sadly we got in late and left early, so we didn’t have much time to appreciate the (beautiful) views.

Yesterday morning I presented at Hume Elementary in Nelson, then in the afternoon, presented at Eriksson Elementary in Creston.  There were around fifty students at each, which meant we didn’t have to do the visits in the gym, which was nice, acoustically speaking.  Again the students were great, with quite a few burgeoning writers, especially in Creston.

We got to Creston a bit early and had time to have lunch and wander the downtown a bit, a wander which led me to Kingfisher Books, a great used bookstore in Creston’s (very small) downtown.  I don’t know if it’s just that I haven’t had time to explore bookstores the way I once did, or if really aren’t as many big used bookstores around as there used to be, but it felt like I hadn’t been in a good used bookstore in ages.  They had all the old paperback imprints I remember from the 1970s and 1980s.  And lots of books.  I could have spent hours there, rather than the twenty minutes we had.  Still, I found a vintage copy of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising with the creepy old cover from the 1970s (for five dollars!) , as well as an old Arthurian fantasy I’d never heard of (for two dollars!).

We rolled into Fernie around 5.  Here’s a picture of the view when you walk out of the Park Place Lodge where we’re staying:

sunrise in Fernie

Today only had one school visit for each of us (an early one in Sparwood, BC) but we compensated by driving an additional hour to take a look at the big coal mine in Elkford.  The country up here is beautiful, all snow covered mountains, forests and ranches.  Oh, and scattered clear cuts and mines.  (The name ‘Sparwood’ comes from the tall trees that used to grow in the area long since logged to be masts for the tall ships of the day. )   These days Sparwood still has a bunch of mining, and what has to be the world’s biggest truck.  Here’s a picture of Bryan and me standing next to it.  Please note — neither Bryan nor I have not shrunk to the size of a mouse — the tires are just that big.

big truck

The Elkford mine was huge, on a scale with the mountains surrounding it.  I’ll post a couple picture of it here.  (And, yes, I’ve finally learned to use my phone’s ‘panorama’ function, and may never take a regular photo again.)

elkford mine 2elkford mine

Tonight we’re staying in Fernie.  I have no events until tomorrow evening when we have our public event at the Fernie library.  Hence, I have time for this blog post.  After I post it, I intend to take my first real walk in three days, assuming my legs still are operational.

 

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