Subject: BC and Montana
Sara and I returned Saturday night after a fantastic week of skiing and sightseeing in British Columbia and Montana. We were able to slap on the boards and schuss the slopes of Red Mountain, Whitewater, and Fernie (all in British Columbia), as well as Big Mountain in Whitefish, Montana. Snow levels in B.C. were at an all-time low for this point in the season but still adequate enough for cruising the groomers.

Jude thanks for the warning about the tragic avalanche in Fernie (apparently it had been decades since lives had been lost there under such circumstances; hard to believe considering the amount of activity in the back country there). Sara and I stay on piste, wait until avalanche control has passed through before going off piste, or ski with knowledgable local guides when going into the backcountry.

Aussies, New Zealanders, and English abound in these ski areas. Undoubtedly due in large part to the cost benefit versus skiing in the States. I love it. I love skiing Canada. A completely different buzz on the slopes and in the lodges. Friendlier.

Surprisingly good food was had throughout the trip. Thanks Laurie for recommending the All Seasons Cafe in Nelson. Superb. Other good meals were had at The Village Restaurant (Chinese) in Rossland, The Main Diner (Greek) in Nelson, the Cafe at the Grand Central Hotel in Fernie, Coletrane's in Fernie, and Kelsey's on the mountain at Fernie.

Some other highlights included the Ainsworth Hot Springs north of Nelson, the ferry across Lake Kootenay under the frigid peaks of the Selkirk Mts., the local aquatic centers in Nelson &Fernie, elk and deer grazing in the shadows of the pines, and especially the two adult bald eagles and their two full-size offspring we encountered on a Montana back road whose company we enjoyed for over a half-hour.

Travel; I just love it!

John Rule San Diego, CA