keep it wild!*

our second day in Canada was sadly our last. i easily could've stayed for a week. or maybe even longer, in a little apartment in Nelson. i could hardly imagine a prettier place to watch the seasons change.

when we left Ainsworth Hot Springs, we drove up the road to Kaslo where we had lobster bisque in the cutest corner cafe, bought tattered books in a narrow shop, and people-watched on the beach with the most beautiful view. i desperately wanted to swim in the clean, icy cold water, but by the time i mustered up the courage, the sun was high and warm, and too many people crowded our spot for it to be enjoyable anymore. so we moved on to find a place less traveled.

we went on a spontaneous drive, which happened to be the most stunning of my life (or at least comparable to our drive through the french alps). i don't think i'd ever seen so many beautiful elements all in one place -- green trees, mountains, blue streams, wildflowers, grazing deer, waterfalls, snowy peaks... i was in heaven. and i didn't think it could get any better.

until we got to the tiny town of Silverton and found a quiet little beach. there were much less people and it was so much more peaceful. there was no town or big road behind us, just mountains all around. the water seemed bluer and clearer and just a little bit colder. 

standing on that dock surround by that view--that gorgeous, postcard view--was one of my favorite moments of the summer, and maybe even of my life. i was incandescently happy.

and then the caves took my breath away

in Canada, we stayed the night at the Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort in British Columbia.

it offers access to the 108 degree mineral water forced up from the lakeshore fault below these caves. the hot mineral water flows into the caves, creating a natural steam bath, which is said to have healing qualities. but whether ailments are cured here or not, wading in caves of spring water is a unique and truly surreal experience.

the resort sits snug up against a mountain overlooking Kootenay Lake. if nothing else, it's a serene place to watch the sun rise and shoot its rays at angles along the blue ridges of the mountains on the other side of the lake. and from the deck of the springs, all you can see in the distance are mountains and water, so you almost forget there's a road below or a town anywhere near.

the pool on the deck holds 96 degree mineral water and acts as a relaxing break from the intensity of the caves adjacent to it. because, though they're gorgeous and completely magical, the caves are much too hot and steamy to spend very much time in.

the first time i went into the cave, it quite literally took my breath away. i underestimated how steamy it would be and didn't prepare my breathing, so i panicked a little when i walked in quickly and suddenly had a LOT less oxygen than i was hoping for. luckily the cave is shaped like a horseshoe, so i just walked through the loop, composed myself, and went back in.

once your body gets used to the heat and the initial shock of oh my god, this is dark and scary fades away, it seriously FEELS SO GOOD.

there was a moment when i sneaked off into a corner of the cave, sunk down real low, watching the water trickle from stalagmites and thought something along the lines of: umm... i'm in a cave... inside a mountain... in canada... sitting in mineral water heated by the earth's crust... 

i was in the moment without an inkling of concern for anything beyond that cave. it was beautiful.

canada calling

when we were in Idaho 3 weeks ago, we had this urge to hit the road. and since the Canadian border was only a couple hours away, we headed north into some of the most breathtaking country i've ever seen.

we had never been to Canada before, so the whole day trip of driving in was an absolute thrill. i oohed and ahhed at the turn of every corner, and squealed at the sight of wildflowers lining the road.

Canada can/should be considered the ultimate nature-lover's playground.  because i've never seen mountains so green or lake water so blue.

and then i fell head over heels in love with Canada

here's a little sneak peak of our two day trip to Canada. 

we visited Ainsworth hot springs, hung out in Kaslo, and took a dip in Slocan Lake.

i've been lucky enough to have a handful of moments in my life that were so beautiful that i wondered if they were even real. standing on this dock over the cleanest blue water surrounded by green/blue mountains almost brought me to tears, because i was just so damn happy. i miss Canada already.

now we're back in Sandpoint, Idaho for the next couple days enjoying the pretty of the area, before i have to go back to Ohio and prepare for the big move. :)