Friday, June 2, 2017

First Nations Country


Overnight the rain ended and the fog rolled in. We waited for it to lift before driving the short distance into Houston. We stopped at the Visitor Centre to get pictures of "Canada's largest  fly fishing rod", a 60 foot long aluminium fly rod designed by a local avid fly fisherman and built by local volunteers.
We drove west through intermittent showers to the mountain town of Smithers,
nestled in the Bulkley Valley, surrounded by mountains. We stopped for a few groceries and continued to The Hazeltons, the collective name for several First Nations communities. It is also  known as the "Totem Pole Capital of the World" where more than 50 authentic totem poles are found.
The sun came out as we ate lunch at the visitor centre and followed the self guided tour of the area.
 We crossed the Bulkley River on the
Hagwilget bridge, one of the highest suspension bridges in North America. Built in 1932, it is 260 feet above the river.



We saw the Ksan Historical Village, a First Nations heritage site opened in 1970.  The site consists of a museum , longhouses and traditional totems.
 







We drove to a more remote community, Kispiox Village to see 15 totems that date back almost 100 years. Some of them were never finished.
 We continued west on hwy 16 as far as Terrace, the last major community before Prince Rupert. The scenery was breathtaking as the hwy followed the Skeena River through the Hazelton Mountains.  Our campground, not so appealing as the name suggests:  Wild Duck Motel &  RV Park. We drove 304 km and were most fortunate to have no rain for the best part of our drive. The temperature reached 20ยบ.




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