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A little bit about Radium, British Columbia. And arguably one of the most embarrassing moments in my life. Yes, there is more than 1 embarrassing moment.
I apologize in advance, again. I personally do not have any of my own pictures from Radium, but I will look through some family albums over the next few weeks and update later. Also, if you aren’t interested in Radium, and you want to read what happened, skip to the section titled “Sometimes It’s Okay To Let Go”.
For as long as I can remember, Radium has been a stop for my family almost every other summer. Growing up, almost every summer was spent travelling in a trailer of some sort, and we would often be joined by other family members. Personally, I always thought that there was nothing overly SPECIAL about Radium, but I always enjoyed going there for some reason.
More importantly, Radium is home to the hot springs, one of the more visited attractions in the Kootenay region. Considering you may have to pay just over $6 to enter, I would suggest stopping by, especially if you planned on staying over night in town. If I recall correctly, the springs had a warm, hot, and cold pool. I don’t recall ever being bored here as a kid.
While the parents soaked up in the warmer pools, I remember playing Marco Polo in the cool pool with kids from all over the place. Not just Canadians. I actually remember a kid from Washington cheating. I am not saying that all Americans like to cheat at Marco Polo…but it happened. Click here if you are looking for specific information on the Radium hot springs, Miette hot springs, or Banff hot springs.
Outside of the springs, Radium would be your typical relaxation spot. The town thrives off of tourism. When you drive through town, you will see the main streets littered with motels and BnB’s, all covered in flower pots. I like Radium because at the time they never had any major stores to distract you from spending time outside. You will see a bunch of restaurants in town as well, and there are plenty of spas waiting to take you in. The town is situated closer to the mountains, and as you drive outside you will be greeted with green valleys and a whole bunch of golf courses.
Because my family camped a lot, we would usually wind up at the Canyon RV Resort. It was a quick drive from the edge of town. In the summer months, it would be common to see mountain sheep (or goats..errrrr) wandering down the hills and across the road, sometimes causing slight traffic jams. Even if the sheep weren’t in the way, odds are a tourist would stop in the middle of the street to take a dang picture (how precious).
Feeling tired of a beautiful valley, with hot springs situated alongside a mountain? Fret not, my friend. Drive 15 minutes down the road to the town of Invermere, which has a beach situated along Windermere lake. Water is beautiful, especially when compared to a lot of lakes in central Alberta Driving 30 minutes south of Radium would get you to the Fairmont hot springs, and 1.5 hrs southeast will get you into Kimberly. Kimberly is a town that has a decent German influence to it (some half-timbered houses and restaurants), and it has its own ski hill worth trying out.
Anyways, I have a ton of great memories from Radium, and I look forward to stopping by again in the future. It’s worth visiting, especially if you are heading into BC from Alberta. It’s an easy drive from Canmore/Banff.
Sometimes It’s Okay To Let Go
It was August, it was hot, and we were heading out for one of our last full days in the area. I can’t remember what we did all day, although I am sure half was spent wandering and the other half spend on my DS Lite that I had at the time. My parents let us pick where we wanted to eat, which was a nice change from eating at the trailer every day. I remember choosing a pizza restaurant. Honestly, I cannot remember the name of the restaurant and I wouldn’t want to give info for the wrong one, so I won’t mention the name. I’ll see if I can figure that out later.
Anyways, I DO recall ordering a quad cheese pizza. I mean, I have had to cheese pizza, even three cheese, but FOUR CHEESE PIZZA??? Unheard of. I had to try it, I had to know what it felt like to have my blood flow come to a halt. Eating the loaded pizza was tough. I had braces at the time, and I had been given bite springs just before going to radium. The springs were complete shit. I popped them out on more than one occasion.
I made it to the end of my portion, and I then realized that I had swallowed one of the bite springs. Not the whole thing, but I definitely swallowed the rod. I wasn’t overly worried though, I just popped out the other one and continued on with the day. We were going golfing, and Dad picked out a par 3 course that was about 15 minutes outside of town. It doesn’t look like the course is open anymore, and I may have played a part in its demise.
Funny thing about this par 3 golf course: the only washroom was at the “clubhouse”, so you had to do your business before you went out on the course. Also, we did not have golf carts. As you can already imagine, this story does not end well for Colin. I went through the 4 distinct stages in the next hour:
Stage 1: “We’ll be back in an hour, so I should be okay for now” This stage is usually fine. At this point, you know your body well enough to say “yes, I can totally wait this out for another few hours”. During this stage, I quickly “did my thang”, and proceeded to tee off. However, I was not in this stage for long. By hole 2, I proceeded to Stage 2.
Stage 2: “Okay, maybe I will take a peeksie” In this stage, you pass the first step of any program in admitting you miiiiight have a problem, and should probably address it. I had a huge pang in my stomach, so after teeing off at 3, I sped walked back to the washrooms at the entrance. Weirdly enough, I felt better once I got to the washrooms, so I skipped the pit stop and headed back to the start of the 4th hole to join everyone. Honestly, that was the dumbest mistake, and it let me into stage 3 in no time.
Stage 3: “Okay, seriously, let’s review our options here, because I might blow at any moment” In this unfortunate stage, you realize that you still have some time to find cover before you blow, but you just don’t know when it’s going to hit. My stomach went in and out of pain. Part of me thought I could finish the 9 holes, but I was still looking for alternate places to “relieve some pressure”. Behind us was a forested area, only it was covered in pine trees, so I feel like my end choice was still better. Realizing that the clubhouse washrooms were my only option, I continued to the 5th hole knowing that the 6th hole brought me closer to the washrooms. I was mistaken, and as I approached the 6th tee, I sped into stage 4.
Stage 4: “I’m gonna do it. I’m about to shit my pants” I mean, we’ve all been at this stage in our life. Honestly, some of my greatest childhood moments revolve around me waiting to this very stage before addressing the issue at hand. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. I remember realizing that I had mayyyyyybe 1-2 minutes at best, so I started speed walking to the washrooms, clenching myself. It sure made for an awkward walk. I came alongside the maintenance warehouses, and they comforted me because I knew that meant I was close, so I slowed down slightly as I passed some golfers. Then this face happened:
FULL-BLOWN EMERGENCY, GET TO YOUR NEAREST DROP ZONE. I freaking bolted to the clubhouse, sweating during the process. I was so thrilled! I actually made it all the way to the door of the washro- and it happened. I shit my pants. Best part? I was wearing shorts. So I had to be careful to avoid leaving a trail. Anyways, I quickly lost the shorts and proceeded to throw my boxers in the garbage. After cleaning up, I waited for everyone at the truck. In the meantime, I sprayed myself with a bunch of OFF. It actually alleviated the smell…
When I returned to the campground, I quickly made my way to the showers. As embarrassed as I was for shitting my pants, I will always be comforted in knowing that someone would have walking in that washroom after me, and they would have been greeted with a chocolaty-filled pair of boxers. For the purpose of me not being teased, I was 6 years old. If you want me to be HONEST, I was 15. BUT, ladies, I haven’t repeated the incident since 😉 (that’s my selling point).