Is it Autumn? It is in the Kootenays! I (Kelsey) recently spent a week in Creston and the East Shore Kootenay Lake. I arrived to a fresh cut lawn that morning, the petunias still looking fabulous, the yellow larches popping off the mountain sides, the ombre maple trees shimmering and pink sunsets in the evening. In many places people complain that Fall is too short, but in the Kootenays, you really get a good dose of it.
We spent most of our time taking in the changing landscape with nature walks, playing at the beach, fishing and cozy campfires. No fish to report but it sure was nice to cast the rod and sit back on the rocks and take in big, beautiful Kootenay Lake.
The local wineries have changed their Fall and Winter hours, so with our family Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, I wasn't able to get into town for a tasting or nibble at the bistro. But, do you think my husband missed out on the last weekend to golf?! Heck no. Priorities people! Have you ever golfed the Creston Valley Golf Club? It's one of the greatest in the Kootenays. He golfed, and yes went to the winery (without me)! Good thing my family always has some Bailie Grohman and Skimmerhorn on reserve so I still got to indulge in my favourite local wines.
If you're thinking of visiting the wineries, here are the Fall/Winter hours; Baillie Grohman Estate Winery tastings Saturday & Sunday 11- 5pm and Skimmerhorn Winery tastings Wednesday – Sunday 11- 5pm.
We took the day and drove down the East shore to Crawford Bay. There has been ongoing labour disputes with the ferry but this particular weekend it was nice to have it sailing. The artisans had their doors wide open, welcoming us in and showing off their skills. We always enjoy stopping by Dog Patch Pottery, Lea is always hard at work every time we poke our head in. Another favourite is the Kootenay Forge, such amazing pieces of functional art!
We indulged at the Black Salt Cafe right next door to Dog Patch Pottery. This funky bistro offers a wide range of food made with local and organic ingredients, free range meats, and has many vegan and vegetarian options. I started with a Matcha Green Tea latte, the perfect hot drink on a Fall day. My husband got the Cowboy burger. He said it was the best damn burger he's ever had! He's still raving about it. I had a yam on rye grilled brie cheese sandwich with peppery agrugula. On the side, I had the feature soup, cream of potato and kale - simply delicious. You can't walk past the dessert case without looking, drooling and then eventually buying a treat, or two. We got a giant blueberry and lemon muffin and a Coco Noir cookie with black salt to share.
On our way back home, we stopped for a walk at Lockhart Creek Provincial Park. A great spot for hiking or a chill day at the beach for a picnic. We walked along the sandy beach and were rewarded with grand vistas of Kootenay Lake and the colourful mountain views.
When in Creston during the Fall, we always stop at Wloka's Fruit Stand. I'm sure if you're a long time follower, friend or family member you've heard us rant and rave about this place. It's got everything, including almost 30 varieties of apples! You're probably thinking, "but, how do I decide"? Don't worry, they always let you sample. Squash, pumpkins, potatoes, peppers, beets, carrots, onions and Brussels on the branch. I'm sure I forgot to mention a few more. If you happen to pass through Creston, put this place on your list. The Valley is full of amazing produce and no matter where you stop, you won't be disappointed.
We always appreciate this season and are thankful for what this time of year and our hometown area offers. Between the natural beauty and the abundance of fresh, local food, what could be better? Was there something you did this Fall you'd like to share?
We have a lot fun things happening in the next couple weeks so stay tuned to our next blog post - the launch of NEW apparel! We encourage you to sign up for our newsletter online to be the first to know and snag an exclusive deal. Stay cozy, friends.