Get a beer/coffee, this might be a longer post. So, 4 years ago, we were returning from Nelson, BC, where we had been visiting the in laws. As is the custom in the past 5-10 years (sadly), BC had a very bad forest fire year (this summer is thankfully somewhat of a reprieve.) Anyway, 5 month old son in tow, we were driving home in our regular cab Mazda b2300 (yes, very, very cramped quarters), but had to take an alternate route to avoid a fire that had closed the main highway. In order to avoid this, we headed west on #3 , and then north, before heading west again on a different highway #6, and then southwest on #5, west on #1 home to Vancouver. This made for a 13 hour trip (should have been 9), but we connected #3 with #6 by heading north on a Forest service road I've never heard of. I vowed to come back and explore this area north of Grand Forks. It was absolutely gorgeous. Fast forward 4 years, and my wife is happy to head up to the inlaws a few days before me with our son (having a four year old seems like WAY less work than 0-2 years old). She's happy to have me take 3 days to come up and explore the area north of Grand Forks and metro her in Nelson. It's over 500km's to Grand Forks, and I get a late start on Sunday, stopping along the way to explore a new forest road at the Hope landslide (link here), and get a picture for the abandoned highways thread. So I only make it as far as Bridesville that night and camp in a spot that is a favourite of mine and read a book I've been really into. I'm getting over a summer cold and riding the WR on slab for 500km's just isn't that fun today. Might be the fact that I just want to get off tarmac to unexplored regions. I'm not sure. I arrive with my muscles aching all over the place. I stretch for 20 minutes, and set up my tent near the creek. I take a walk around and speak with the fellow who just cut the grass at this Rec site. He asks me how long I've been coming here. I say about 10 years, thinking it's a long time. He mentions that the first time he was there was 1972. I made some Indian food and basmati rice. I had absolutely crazy dreams associated with the book I was reading and God knows what else was perking in my brain, and subsequently slept for 11 hours. Next morning, I made a straight line for Grand Forks! Who am I kidding? I stop and explore the slag heap from the copper mining that went on in Greenwood in the first 2 decades of the 20th century, as well as the associated towns nearby such as Phoenix. There is nothing left in Phoenix apart from a senitaph and a hole/lake in the ground that is quite a nice blue. I cannot appreciate just how many people died between 1914 and 1919 from war and influenza. It must have seemed like the end of the world at the time. For whatever reason, I am now writing ion the past tense. Finally, I made it to Grand Forks. I headed north along the Granby River. I stopped and checked out a forest service rec site at the end of the pavement. Absolutely great place to camp, as you can ride your bike right down to the river, or camp on the beach on the other side of the bridge. Funny thing is that everyone there was camped in the dusty parking lot in huge RV's. Oh well. I explored a western branch road (Granby Main) off of the Burrell main, then I went North on and up the valley parallel to the Arrow lakes (these used to be two distinct lakes until the early 1960's when the lower lake was dammed). What used to be a fertile fruit growing valley was mostly flooded. One of the fsr's is named Renata after the the main town in the area. Sadly, due to fuel, but mostly time logistics, I did not get in to Renata. I'll come back to Renata by boat and explore the natural land bridge there (not my photo). The main north-south FSR (Burrell) goes up the valley and is inland of the lakes by about 10km's as the crow flies. This map give a pretty good description of the area: See you in part 2!