July 1. Happy 150th Canada.

Picture a biker in your head. A real North American biker. What do you envision? It’s likely a bearded guy on a Harley, wearing leathers, shades, and a beany helmet. He may have a woman riding behind him in the post seat. There are probably some sort of side bags on the bike. Maybe something that looks like a bed roll. Lots of chrome. And the bike is loud.

Now picture a few hundred of them. That is Toad Rock on the Canada Day long weekend.

Oh. A bit of a heads up about some of the charm of Toad Rock. There are dogs, a pig, and ravens. The dogs bark all night but keep the bears away. The dogs and pig are terrible thieves. The pig in particular likes beer. Secure your food and drinks. The ravens are just loud.

Thank goodness for ear plugs. We slept better with them. While our first night wasn’t crazy loud we have been told that tonight will be quite the party. There’s going to be live music in the social area, loads of smaller party spots happening around the property, and bikes coming and going at all hours. It should be an interesting time.

381 Toad Rock 15-min
Bikes all around

One of the reasons NMBL and I chose Toad Rock was that it is only a few minutes from Ainsworth Hot Springs. After a quick breakfast we unloaded the bikes and left, unencumbered, for a morning in the mineral waters. The ride to the hot springs, though short, was stellar. We enjoyed more winding twisting roads along the mountainside, high above Kootenay Lake, making our way to Ainsworth.

We arrived at Ainsworth with wide smiles adorning our faces. This area just has the best riding either of us has ever experienced. We were a tad early for the opening of the hot springs pools, but after a few minutes of fussing with helmets and tank bags we were right on time for the doors too open.

Luckily our camera is waterproof. Because of that we have loads of pictures from the hot springs caves at Ainsworth. With hot water dripping from the ceiling and mineral formations on the walls the caves are a dark but unique experience. Because we were early we could enjoy the pools and caves without too much bumping into other people. And we weren’t the only Toad Rockers to make our way there for an uncrowded experience.

363 Ainsworth Hot Springs Cave 18-min
The Ainsworth Hot Springs cave

After about two hours of soaking it was time for some lunch. Since we were at the resort we decided to eat at the restaurant there. It turned out to be a very good choice. You’ll have noticed we haven’t written much about food this trip. Usually there’s a recommendation for a good restaurant or ravings about a spectacular burger. Other than Leo Burrito in Radium there hasn’t been anything to talk about. Our lunch at Ainsworth was worth blogging about. We both had excellent food topped off with a shared dessert of chocolate torte. Yum!

Right now I’m sitting in the social area at Toad Rock, writing and chatting with a wonderful variety of people from various parts of Canada and the US. These are good people, passionate about their bikes and their lifestyle. They work hard, play hard, and enjoy life. They celebrate life as well. One regular to Toads Rock passed last year. The people there created a badge for him and had a memorial. A couple who was here last night were in an accident just north of Kaslo today. A collection was taken up for them to help with their recovery.

I’m going to put this tablet away and be a little more social. The band has started up so more people are rolling in. Enjoy your Canada Day celebrations however best fits your taste.

DES out.