Sunday, June 5, 2011

Travel to New Aiyansh

This morning we have a big yellow light shining on us and blue skies.  Could that be the sun?

We will be traveling to New Aiyansh, north from hwy 16 on Nisga'a Hwy/BC113.  We will be staying at the Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park, about 60 miles (100 km) north of Terrace.

We will be at the park for two nights, we have been told that this is a more remote place, no electric, no internet, Verizon will be a hit and miss with only one bar at the most and no AT&T.

More later when when we go to Prince Rupert.

Safe travels to all


Friday, June 3, 2011

Kermodei Bear

We saw the rare Kermodei Bear today

This is the first picture through the front windshield

Then Joe stopped and rolled down the side window, he was only about 25 feet from us

Double click on the bear to see a good full screen picture

This is the white bear aka Kermodei Bear, aka Spirit Bear.
This was taken about 30 km east of Terrace, BC.  Look on hwy 16 about
100 - 150 miles east of Prince Rupert.

This is the legend of the Kermodei Bear:
This legend starts ten thousand years ago when the world was covered
by frozen glaciers.  The glaciers were covered in ice and snow.  No
one knows how long it had been like that, but the first story recorded
was of Raven, The Creator.
The stories remembered and told today, all began at that time.
Raven or Ravin, North American or European, we all have roots with
ravens as powerful iconic figures in our cultural and personal
mythologies.  Ravens are still kept, caged in the Tower of London to
ensure the throne's future
In this Kitasoo First Nations story of Raven, long after he had
descended from the heavens and created The Green.  Then along came the
humorful Fire theft story.  No one's trusted Raven since.  Then Man
stared popping our of seed pods along with the first woman.  Raven had
created it all.  And yet.....Raven was not satisfied.  Raven wanted
something to remind him of the Long White Time of before.  So he chose
Bear, the keeper of dreams and memory to help him out.  Raven sought
Black Bear out.  He didn't have to go far, as he is always seen as a
constellation of the stars in the night sky.
Raven made a pact with Black Bear.  Black Bear agreed after he was
given huge assurances from Raven, that he could live in peace and
safety for all time, by letting one out of every ten Black Bears turn
white.  This was a reminder for Raven of the misery of the great ice
age of before.  The White Bears to this day are still called
Moksgm'ol, by the Kitasoo and T'simshian people
The White Bear is so rare that very few people have ever seen one.  We
are on a two lane hwy 16 so as you can see he is not very far from us.
 This particular bear comes through here every spring, his mother was
killed by a train  several years ago in this area.  These bears are
mostly loners.  He is eating wildflowers and dandelions

How exciting, I just had to share this with you now.  Later I will post about our visit in Terrace.

Save travels


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Smithers, BC. Hwy 16

Leaving Francois Lake, all seven of us made it out and then on our way to Smithers for day 12, 13, 14, May 30, 31, June 1.  Only 89 miles (143 km)  A beautiful drive.  The rivers and lakes are all bursting out of their banks.  We drove through Houston and they were on alert for a possible evacuation because of the high waters.  In one area the Hwy was down to one lane and part of the hwy was washed away by a creek.

Passing through Houston, BC we crossed the confluence of the Morice and Bulkley Rivers, both world class Steelhead fishing rivers.  Houston is known as having the world's largest fly fishing rod.

Next we passed through the village of Telkwa, known as the "Village Where The Rivers Meet.  This is where the Bulkley and Telkwa Rivers meet.  The waters are over the banks, very muddy and flowing fast and rough carrying everything in its way.  Smithers is a very cute town and is now my newest favorite town.  They even had a Safeway.  We visited the Smithers- Bulkley Valley Museum which featured the very early history of the First Nations and pioneers who settled this area.  They had a great exhibit of fossils, explaining the prehistoric story of the British Columbia Bulkley Valley and displays of the early railroad history that helped settle this area.  There are tall alpine mountains surrounding the town.  It sort of reminded me of Bozeman MT but the mountains are closer here in Smithers.  Lots of hiking, hunting, fishing and all the winter sports. 

We played a round of golf, it is a par 3.  Our entire group played golf using the best of ball technique.  This was a lot of fun because you didn't need to be a golfer or know anything about golf.  We had 3 teams and my team came in 2nd.

At this RV park were 30 college students from all over Canada that were planting trees in the mountains.  We called them "The Planters"  They had their own tents and or cars for sleeping, they were fed breakfast and dinner and given items for lunch to take with them.  They were paid 12 cents per tree.  A beginner could plant 1,000 to 1,500 a day and the experienced Planters could plant 2,000 + a day.  These were small twigs.  They were also charged $25.00 day for food and board.  All the kids where very nice and they all looked like hard workers.  There were full size trucks that could take 5 Planters plus the driver out to the planting sites.  They were gone about 12 hrs total time.

The trucks that carried them out to the planting site

While in Smithers, besides visiting the museum we also visited Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park where a discovery of fossilized remains of plants, animals and insects that died 48 million years ago.

Next we were off to see Kathlyn Glacier and a view of the Twin Falls at Glacier Gulch. 

There were many smaller waterfalls but the spectacular ones were the two waterfalls cascading down the rock walls.

The water went under the snow/ice and came out down stream

I think this was the actual Twin Falls

As you can see these little trees are just budding out

 Besides the picture being too light there is a lot of mist at the top of the falls

Smithers is known for the Sausage Factory where all their sausage is made right there.  They had sausage, smokies, jerky from such meets as Buffalo, all beef, pork and beef, kangaroo, South African Boar, chicken, turkey, just to name a few.  We bought the beef, it was so good we went back to get the buffalo and turkey.

Downtown Smithers

Our last night there was Wed June 1st.  We all (13) went to a new restaurant called Robs.  The food was magnificent.  If you are ever in the area you have to try it.  One dish that several people had was a lamb/rice/curry plate.  They said it was the best they ever had.  Rob the cook/owner came out and visited with us for a while.  He also has another restaurant in The Hazeltons, we will be stopping there on our way back from Prince Rupert.

 This was the Meditarian Pasta Salad, delicious

Tomorrow, June 2nd, day 15 we will drive to Terrace, 125 miles

I hate to write so much at one time, but as I am feeling much better we are visiting more places and then too tired at night to blog.

Safe travels to all


Town of Burns Lake, west on Hwy 16

Traveling 94 miles (150 km) to the Village of Burns Lake and Sandy's RV Campground at Francois Lake.

We continued west on Hwy 16 past Fort Fraser which was established in 1806 as a North West Company fur trading post by the explorer Simon Fraser

Next was Fraser Lake and then finally the Village of Burns Lake

At Village of Burns Lake, BC  we turned south for 20 km to Sandy's RV Campground on Francois Lake the second longest lake in BC.  The lake stretches over 25,250 hectares and a depth of over 87 metres and 110 km (68 miles) long.  There is a ferry (free) to reach the other side.  This is considered an alpine lake with an altitude of 715 m (about 2,340 feet) and a fisherman's paradise.

As you know this has been a very wet cool spring and heavy run off of melting snow. Well, Francois Lake was rising 2 - 3 inches every day and this is a very large lake so you can imagine how much water that is. The employees and family were making sand bags and they started lining the shore. We cut our stay short by one day just so we could still get out of there. We were camped right by the water and the water was seeping up to our trailers.

 We were prepared for wet weather with two cozy tents that were set up next to the lake.  As you can see the lake is very high and getting higher.
 Some of the sand bags

 Moving our tents to higher ground

Driving back into the Village of Burns Lake we visited the local museum displaying some of the local artifacts.  I have never seen so much that was displayed so beautifully and everything labeled by hand.  They also had a reading room.  All the newspapers from the last 100 years were laminated and filed.  We were encouraged to pick a block of them to read.  You could spend the entire day just reading these newspapers.  The docent was very knowledgeable and gave us a little history lesson of the area for the last 100 years or so.

Next stop was Smithers, BC at Riverside RV and Golf Park and they were able to take us a day early.

Fort St James

Re-posting with pictures

Fort St James is just 38 miles north of Vanderhoof, we are here May 24 & 25,
day 6 & 7. 
This is a small northern community located at the foot of the Omenica Mountain Range, surrounded by thousands of lakes. 
Fort St James National Historic Site of Canada is a heritage village on the shores of Stuart Lake recreating the lifestyle and conditions experienced by the First Nation people and the early pioneers back in the late 1800's.  The historic village is a great opportunity to enjoy a self guided tour at your own leisure visiting among First Nation and European pioneer actors, we explored the many buildings including the Fish Cache, General Warehouse, accommodations and a General Store.  This is also used as a B & B staying is the historic house and having the meals cooked on a wood burning stove/oven.

Displays inside the visitor center of Fort James Historical Site
 Beaver pelt, they were all round like this one
 I couldn't resist, I remember my grandmother had something like this and us kids always like to pet it.  Now I would never think of wearing this especially to church.
 They had beautiful displays of blankets
 Stuart Lake
 The yellow are dandelion flowers, they are in all the fields and along side of the roads.  When the bears come out of hibernation this is one of their favorite foods.
 This is the store house
 Next pictures are inside the store house

 This is sort of hard to see but this is a press.  The pelts were stacked on top of a burlap type of material and then this press came down on them squeezing all the air out, they then sewed the material around the pelts which you can see in the next picture
 These bundles are full of pelts and they they could be shipped

There was a Men's House.  If you were important you got a room to yourself otherwise you slept upstairs.

 Men had their favorite pin-ups

 Look at this real close it was their version of the recliner.

These pictures are almost too busy, but this is the General Store where you could purchase your needed items.

 Where the books were kept.

Dead battery so no more pictures today.

If you are ever in the area this is a must see/visit.
A little to the north of the historic village is Cottonwood Park where on display is a German Junker W34 Float Plane and the Tom Creek Steam Shovel.  A short walk along the back we came across Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church, est. 1873 and of course the Church Graveyard next to the church.

We had a busy 2 day stay.  Next day traveled to Burns Lake and Francois Lake