A look at the Skeena River just before it runs into the Hecate Strait of the Pacific Ocean. The Hecate Strait is one of the few places in the world which contains Glass Sponges (pictured right from picture I got off Internet), a very uncommon sponge. Due to the endangered status, commercial fishing is not allowed in the Hecate Strait…which explaines the lack of large numbers of fishing vessiles in Prince Rupert.
Another view a bit further up river. One advantage to driving into a port city and driving back out is that you see the views coming and going. This area within 40 miles of Prince Rupert is very pretty…and the same can be said about Skagway, Valdez, Seward, Haines…all those port cities which we stayed in…even Stewart/Hyder which is not the same type of port, but still a port city. All of these cities are surrounded by mountains, and the roads which follow the rivers leading into the port cities have just been wonderful to drive.
Soon we are back in Kitwanga, pulling back in at the Cassiar RV Park where we stayed four nights ago. Other than an hour long power outage which affected the entire community and not just the RV park, it was a nice place to stay. There is no TV there, so we watched a few movies on our aircard, and from those downloaded to our Kindle. One thing about not being able to use your aircard for a number of days is that you store up your data for the month. We now have 8 more days left in our Verizon month, with 17 gigs of our 40 gigs left…so we can load up on a few more movies before we head further south.
We get back on the Yellowhead Highway and the road takes us east, and even north for awhile, before it turns back to the southeast. Marcia gets a picture of Seeley Lake as we go by, one of the first pictures she can take all day since the mountains are shrouded under a cloud cover which makes them look dark, and featureless except for their outline.
It is amazing the shots she can get right from the motorhome. Of course, with each raising of the camera, her right shoulder reminds her of her “fall” back in Valdez back in early June…2 full months ago.
We get to the furthest north that we are going on the Yellowhead Highway, a town called Hazelton, where we pull into the Visitor’s Center to take care of business. (No, not that business…had to pick up the pan, bagels and paper plates that fell out of the microwave oven early on during our drive. What a loud bang that was! One of the reasons we don’t have much ‘glass’ in the motorhome.) Anyway, I could not resist taking this “picture postcard” of their visitor’s center.
The three monuments represent the three important parts of their history. Upper picture is John Jacques Caux, better known as "Cataline", the "best mule packer" in British Columbia...never failed to fulfill a freight contract. He is buried on a piece of land overlooking Hazelton and the Skeena River. The other two monuments represent the mining industry (left) and the logging industry (right).
A bit about the Yellowhead Highway. It is a major east-west highway in the four western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. To the far west it actually starts on Graham Island at Masset, British Columbia, heads south along Graham Island for 63 miles to Skidegate, then connects via ferry to Prince Rupert. It passes through Jasper National Park, Edmonton and ends 60 miles shy of Winnipeg when it merges in with the Trans-Canadian Highway (Hwy 1) which goes all the way across Canada.
As we start to head south-east, you can see in the pictures above how hard it is to get a good picture of the scenery. Although we had some light rain, rain was not much of an issue…but the clouds and mist they gave off played havoc with the camera.
As we get close to Smithers, we pass Hudson Bay Glacier to our west, nearly hidden by the clouds. Hudson Bay Mountain is one of the best ski areas in British Columbia.
And then we pass by Kathlyn Lake, and gets this shot…yes, there is a Bald Eagle in that nest to the right in the picture. She had to wait for the power lines along the road to “rise” out of the view of the mountains, and she got the shot…did not even know the bird was there until I went through the pictures.
After we pass through Smithers and get closer to Houston British Columbia, the land starts to change…we start to see farm land again, lots of it. And the fields are so green…and the mountains start to disappear further and further to the horizon.
As we passed through Houston British Columbia, I got two pictures of their Visitor’s Center area which includes this nice park (top 2 pictures above) and the picture below them which I had to get off Google Maps which shows “World's Largest Fly Fishing Rod”. Now in Port Isabel, Texas they have the largest “functioning” Fly Fishing Rod and Reel…certified by Guinness…so it is all how you look at it. Well, I looked at it as we drove by, and did not get the picture…so that is why I got it off Google Maps.
Further we go past more farm land…
…and come to Burns Lake. Burns Lake is both a lake, and a community. In America we call them “Native Americans” now, instead of Indians…up in Canada they call them “First Nations” or Aboriginal Canadians in place of the term Indians. Burns Lake is home to a large First Nations population and is renowned for its rich First Nations heritage…along with its extensive network of mountain biking trails.
Another community we passed through was Vanderhoof, BC. It is nice that many of these communities brighten up the travelers way with flowers and items that catch the eye’s attention.
Like the other drives we have had through the Yukon and upper British Columbia, the lakes and water are abundant. After 450 miles, 150 miles the first day, and 300 the second, we arrive in Prince George. The mountains are all but gone…except in our memories. We're staying in Prince George for 2 nights, heading further south tomorrow. Hope to cross into the lower 48 on Wednesday where we plan to stay for 2 days at a PA campground north of Bellingham. By then it is time to get more dog food, and shopping at a Fred Myer.