After a breakfast of my friend’s famous bacon sandwiches with scrambled eggs, we tour the Fairmont resort and then set off for the south in the early afternoon. Like every day before, it rains on and off, mostly on.

It should have been a short drive to the Kootenays, where we will visit a childhood friend, but it takes us seven and a half hours to travel 363 kilometres. Primarily because we stop in Kimberley to look for St. Mary’s Lake Road that cuts through the Kootenay Rockies. Eventually, the deep-throated woman behind the Visitors Centre information desk tells me that not only is the road snow-covered and closed, but also that it’s only passable in a four-wheel drive. Earlier, we’d seen snow on the side of the road, so it isn’t unbelievable.

We are also delayed by the Kootenay Bay-Balfour ferry, which is still on a winter schedule until June 15. I read a magazine in the car for more than an hour, as it’s too wet and cold to go outside and stretch my legs. Luckily, because it’s nearly the summer solstice and we’ve gained an hour by crossing a date line, it’s still light out when we arrive at my friend’s at eight.

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