Kaslo, Rupert return

Here are Google Maps for going to Prince Rupert and for returning to Kaslo.

Leaving the mountainous terrain of the Kootenays to cross the Interior Plateau and then getting into mountainous terrain again, in the NW the Coast Mountains is best seen when switching Google Maps display to ‘Terrain’.

Now remains to deal with oodles of pictures. There are select topics (e-g- the eagles at Gingolx or some totem poles) for which I will return to the 3box blog to post them. The best photos will also be on 3box as slide shows. – Stay tuned.

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From the Skeena to the Fraser

2nd last day …a lot of driving. A brief stop between Hazelton and Williams Lake in Burns Lake and an excellent Cappuccino there at the Boer Mountain Coffee House.

In Williams Lake we put up in the Drummond Lodge, well known to us from the days in the Bella Coola Valley.

Gitxsan villages on Skeena & Kitwanga rivers

In the evening of September 19 on a round about path from Terrace to Hazelton we not only visited Nisga’a territory but also some of the Gitxsan. Native languages spoken in these areas are mutually intelligible but by those speakers understood as different languages, not merely dialects. Well an Allemanic speaker might think similarly of a Bavarian or Saxon speaker but each would not die of hunger or thirst in the other’s homeland. Nisga’a and Gitxsan belongs to the Tsimshian group of languages. Natural desasters drove some of them to the coast near Prince Rupert. One of these events may well have been the volcanic explosion some 250 years ago which burried villages along today’s Hwy 113 between Rosswood and New Ayansh. (See above on the Lava Beds.)

The road linking Hwy 113 with Hwy 37 is classified as not maintained wilderness road. Ok, call it pothole alley and meet the bears, the hares and also a mouse.

The reason hitch hiking is discouraged or straight out forbidden has to do with the disappearance of many girls and young women along the Hwy 16 corridor (and feeder routes) aka Highway of Tears.

Along the Kitwanga river there is Giwanyow with maybe two dozen poles and at the confluence of the Litwanga with the Skeena river the village of Kitwanga and a famous site, the Giwangak Battle Hill which we did however not climb up to, it being late in the day. So, come again another day.

Next morning we drove to Kispiox from our over-nighting place at Cataline Motel (named after a famous pack train owner whose traces one meets first in Clinton on Hwy 97). There another series of poles stand near the Skeena with a mountain backdrop in the distance to the NE.

Visiting the Nass Valley & the Nisga’a

Poor connection, thus just very briefly …worthwhile detour to the lava beds, formerly Canyon City, then down to the Portland Inlet, back up to formerly  New Ayansh – Nisga’a country, and then to Cranberry Jctn (with Hwy 37) via Wilderness Road (4 Bears, 3 rabits, 1 mouse) and to Gitksan villages. More tomorrow with pictures, claro!

Terrace to The Nass Valley

Before one gets out of the side valley whence the volanic flow spread (and dammed up two new lakes about 250 years ago) there’s Rosswood, ‘suburb’ of Terrace with a great General Store (in former army barracks moved from Terrace).

The Lava Beds offer many interesting views and features. At several spots one will find explanations, the most is offered at the Park’s Visitor Centrte …but it’s closed at this time of the year. From the intersection go left and about 80 km to the end of the road on Portland Inlet – or go right to New Ayansh and then onto ‘pot hole alley’ for a 40 km shake of vehicle and passengers 🙂

Lava Bed National Nisga’a Memorial Park (is that the entire name and correctly so?)

All the place names are now changed back to native Nishga’a and quite some mouths full to pronounce. Former Canyon City, now Gitwinksihlkw, used to be accessible by suspension bridge and on foot only. Well, you can drive now and go see totem poles.

Drive back to Hwy 113 and head on to the next village, formerly Greenville and now Laxgalts’ap …place of lizards where the Nishga’a Museum is located …open WED-SUN.

So, we had to miss it. Instead we drove on to former Kincolith, now Gingolx (x stands for kh). Quite a road, best compared to a cork screw and befor reaching Gingolx one passes along some cliffs near the estuary of a small side stream – it teams with eagles. Even a sea otter approached me (had some injury on his back where the tail attaches). Looked a bit lost and we wondered whether it’s a confused youngster and an eagle will collect it?!

The wildlife along the last stretch to former Kincolith, now Gingolx (‘Place of skulls’)

 

So, the little sea otter turned away and we did the last few kilometers to Gingolx.

Yet more images to be inserted from the Hazelton area. However, we have to hit the road again after lunch in Burns Lake at the excellent Boer Mountain Coffee House.

I’ll post the remainder when back in Kaslo. We will leave shortly from Williams Lake.

Rainy departure, sunny arrival

Aboard the Northern Expedition we had a calm crossing of Hecate Strait.

As expected we arrived in modern civilisation around 5pm.

And around 7pm we clocked into Terrace. Tomorrow we will visit again places around Hazelton and look at some Gitksan totem poles. And then it’s onward and eastward to Prince George and the Cariboo.

Most likeable stay at Gracie’s Place Hotel

It has a mediterranean funk to it, we love it. And at 80 bucks a night simply ‘Best on Haida Gwaii’, we concluded. Wanna see it?

In a minute. We had to eat a bite, wanted to pack the field kitchen, tomorrow at 8 am we’re expected at the ferry after all. So, Chinese lunch/dinner, whatever, at J & T Restaurant on Whardf Street.

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Wasn’t as rainy and gray as we thought from the weather report. But we were glad to be under a solid roof and then some. This is Gracie’s Place!

Yes, she also rents campers (adapted Ford Vans from yesteryear, 67 bucks per day and 18 cents per kilometer. It means, leave your car in Rupert, rent on the island for 3 to 4 days plus kms (enough to go to Massett and Tow Hill with stops in between). Not a bad deal! We’ll think of it next time. Thanks Gracie, Room #1 is Number One with us, ’twas great!

And special thanks to Haida Style Excusions! We couldn’t fully profit from alternatives and were only charged for the one outing I participated in!