The ferry south of Ainsworth departure times for the morning are 6:00am and 8:10am from Balfour to Kootenay Bay, British Columbia if you are going to take the southern route. My friend and I debated about going back the same way we came and due to the rumoured snowfall we decided to take a different way home. I said we should catch the early ferry crossing. He said the one after eight was fine.
Set an alarm which was not needed as I have a habit of waking up early, or in this case a bit after six. My friend woke up, looked at the time, and said he thought we were taking the early ferry. I said I wanted to take the early ferry and that he wanted to take the later one. We already missed the first ferry of the day.
After checking out he said he was driving. From Ainsworth to Balfour to catch the ferry is less than fifteen minutes. Got in line waited. There is usually a coffee stand open at this time where you wait for the ferry. Nothing was open. I kind of need my morning coffee. My friend does not drink coffee so you already know there is something suspect about him. At least it was not snowing and it was supposed to be a sunny day.
Drive onto the ferry and of course due to COVID you have to stay in your vehicle. There is kind of a little diner on the ferry but that was not open. Nothing to do but stay in the vehicle and enjoy the ride. It is about a forty-five minute crossing. You cannot run your vehicle and vehicles do not retain heat so you could feel the inside get incrementally colder as you cross. On the other side nothing was open either. Fifty-five miles south to Creston where I could get a decent cup of coffee.
Highway 3A to Creston goes through lots of little settled areas, hugs the side of the mountain and lake, has lots of twists and turns, and in many places the speed limit is 60km/h. There is some snow and ice on the road. I drive to road conditions, my friend thought it would be fun to drive as fast as possible. I am not against speeding however I do not like driving really fast on a road like this with snow and ice on it. I mentioned it a couple of times. It did not make a difference.
No photo stops. It would delay the trip back. The road along Kootenay Lake has great views. One of my favourite roads in British Columbia.
Creston is big enough to have a couple of fast food chains so I snagged coffee and a breakfast sandwich and he filled the truck with gas that we had in the back. When you go inside to order there is a plexi-glass shield and the young lady behind it is wearing a mask. Trying to figure out what someone is saying when everything is muffled is a pain. After correcting my order three times I got what I wanted. Coffee was worth it.
Highway 3 from Creston all the way into Alberta. Only slushy spots were by Yahk and Sparwood in British Columbia. Otherwise the highway was bare and bare all the way home. Nice sunny day as well. Once in Alberta it was Highway 22 north all the way to Highway 39 and then home. Highway 22 north to Longview was very windy but it always is. Lots of hunters were out south of Longview.
There were some minor disagreements. I had a faster route plotted. He wanted to take Highway 22 all the way. I said that since he was driving he made the decisions. About eleven hours from hitting the road to the time I was home. It was good to get an extended visit, catch up, and discuss some stuff. It was a good trip. I had all day November 15 to rest up before work on Monday.
I would do it again.