Monday, June 5, 2017

The B. C. Interior

We were the only RVing overnighters at the motel; we slept well, at least as well as Hunter would allow us. He was getting somewhat better at leaving us alone at night.
We pulled out at 9:20 under the same conditions as the previous day …  10ยบ  overcast and a light drizzle falling. At least the clouds were not low and we could see the mountain tops as we continued back east on hwy 16. We were less than an hour from hwy 37 north, known as the Cassiar highway,  named after the mountains to the north.
The highway was completed in 1972 . It connects the Yellowhead highway with the Alaska hwy in the Yukon. The   highway is part of the Great Northern Circle Tour.
We turned north and stopped at the Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site. A First Nations fort had been  located on the hill to defend their village in the valley. The warriors would roll logs down the hill to stop attackers.
We also stopped in the small native village of Gitanyow (population less than 500) which did have one of the largest number of original totem poles of any coastal First Nations village. Many were over 100 years old. There are now less than 20.  Some were sent to the Provincial Museum in Victoria in about 1960. Replicas were made and re-erected in 1970. The remaining poles were restored in 1968. Emily Carr visited in 1928 and painted many of the village’s poles. It felt strange to see these majestic totems  
in such a downtrodden location.

We continued north through intermittent showers. The highway was in good condition as it passed through lush forests and followed the Nass River. No surprise that we were in bear country. There were numerous warning signs posted. We saw one mother bear with three cubs beside the highway. Unfortunately so did Shadow. Bark, bark, BARK!! She went ballistic and scared them off  before Jean could got a single picture. Note to self: next sighting, slow down, don’t stop and try to cover Shadow’s eyes. We did see two other adult bears crossing the highway.

The drive became more scenic the farther north we got with the Skeena Mountains to the east and the Coast Mountains to the west. We made two more stops at rest areas, one for lunch and one at the Bell River crossing for pictures.
We motored 323 km and stopped at 2:30 at the Bell 2 Lodge with an RV park. Our first campground with 10% seniors discount. We have full hook up but only 15 amp electrical. (It has been years since we have had to power down with an adapter.)  It is a beautiful lodge literally in the middle of nowhere. The closest towns are 94 km to the south and 155 km to the north. The lodge also has gas pumps and sells limited groceries. Initially we had the park all to ourselves but were eventually joined by a few other rigs. Also our first campground with mosquitos and black flies which didn’t stop me from bbqing chicken for dinner or walking Shadow. No more bear sightings.

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