The Yellowhead

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Sintich RV

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Highway 16/The Yellowhead

We started the day early in Prince Rupert. The ferry docked at 5:30, our earliest start ever. Prince Rupert has annual precipitation of 95 inches a year and sure enough it was pouring. The city started off as Railroad town, ocean port, and eventually got into wood processing and tourism. We wound through, avoiding the preparations for the Seafest parade, picked up coffee at Timies and headed east. For the next 150 km the Yellowhead Highway hugs the Skeena River. Lush green mountains and river valleys, glaciers and jagged peaks and eventually farmland reminded us that we weren't in the Yukon anymore. The Buckley and Nechako valley gradually widens and hunting, fishing, canoeing, snowmobiling as well as skiing are major pastimes. Like one girl told me, if you love the outdoors you will love living here.

This is the area Dianne grew up and there are more people we know from Ontario that ended up here or came from here. It almost became a quest to find out why. We met 2 pioneer woman of the valley; Dianne’s mom and my mom’s cousin Anne. They immigrated from Holland in the early 50s and were sponsored to come to work in the bush, sawmills, or business. Both came as young brides when the highway was nothing more than a mud road. They raised families who are now leaders in their communities. Neither would want to live anywhere else.

We made a short detour north to visit the National Historic Site of Fort St. James. The fort was established in 1806 as a fur trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company and has been restored to its 1896 style complete with tour guides dressed in period-wear who are on hand to explain its beginnings. The fresh water, absolute quiet, and low land prices on the magnificent Stuart Lake makes this place another possible prime retirement spot.

So a possible 2 day 500 mile trip turned into 6 days. We explored 3 Farmer’s Markets, got our hair done, went to church on Sunday, visited, and shopped. I’m sure there were lots of people we should have connected with and detours we should have taken. We’ll go slower next time.
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