Tuesday, June 24, 2014

North to Alaska Days 3 and 4

I continued north from the camp at Lytton to Quesnel on Hwy 97, and then onto the Yellowhead Hwy. Several times on the outskirts of Prince George I saw groups of protestors holding signs that said something about kids, so I finally stopped to see what it was about. They were groups of teachers, trying to inform people of a proposal to divide the BC schools into two sections; public and private (but subsidized by the government). The private school students would pay tuition. The teachers argue ( and I would have to agree) that students who could not afford to pay would receive a second rate education, and they are big supporters of public education. They also told me that the Yellowhead highway was known as the Highway of Tears, because for 60 years many native women have been murdered as they walked from reservations into town for medical care or other services. Recently bus service from the reservations was started, but it runs only one time each month. One of the victims found alongside the highway, 16-year-old Ramona Wilson, was a subject of a 2006 documentary film by M├ętis filmmaker Christine Welsh, entitled Finding Dawn, and the TV show 48 hours showed an episode about the murders in November 2012.

The teachers also told me about a Chinese man they met who was walking from Vancouver BC to Alaska. His name is X, and he's tall and skinny. They fed him a few hot dogs and off he went to continue his trek. They also said to throw him an apple if I see him. Alas, I didn't see Mr. X.

Along the way I stopped at 108 Mile Ranch Heritage Site, which began in 1867 as a post house along the Cariboo Trail. The Cariboo is a region of British Columbia along a plateau stretching from the Fraser Canyon to the Cariboo Mountains. The name is a reference to the caribou that were once abundant in the region. In the 1900s the 108 mile Post House became a horse and cattle ranch. It is beautifully sited along the river.

The Post House


Carriage House


A bit of historic British Columbia architecture

My campsite in Quesnel

Tonight I'm staying near Houston BC, in an RV park. My neighbors are from Nevada and are traveling in a caravan with three other RVs, headed for Alaska. They invited me to travel with them, but I politely declined - two of the couples were having a heated argument about the best way to get to Whitehorse. One couple wants to load all four huge RVs onto the ferry from Prince Rupert to Skagway, and the other couple wants to drive. I'll continue my peaceful journey with my loyal dog for company.

Tomorrow I hope to visit a site in Gitanyow with very old totems. Perhaps I'll stay in the provincial park there, named Anhuluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’Asanskwhl Nisga’a (a.k.a. Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park). The park is a cultural site of the Nisga'a people.

Mosquitos here fly and bite in pouring rain.

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