On the Road Adventures

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 1 - The Hazeltons, Yellowhead Hwy

A new rig had rolled in last night, this 1915 Model T Speedster with trailer, driven by a young couple who are having a great time in their antique car.

With some regret we left Haynes this morning under a cloudless blue sky. Once we were out of the canyons of the Stewart-Haynes road and back on the Cassiar, we got into tall forests and the country started looking like Colorado again. We had a couple of good wildlife sightings – one little black bear crossing the road and a salmon stream with sockeye salmon spawning.

The Milepost said that Hanna Creek, not far south on the Cassiar from where we rejoined it, was a major spawning stream for the sockeye, so we pulled off and sure enough, there were many of the bright red fish right under the bridge. There was also apparently a grizzly fishing a little upstream, according to a person who had stopped on the other side of the bridge but his dog started barking and the bear ran away. The guy had planned on fishing for trout, but changed his mind. Guess it was a BIG bear.

The Cassiar joined highway 16, called the Yellowhead Highway, that goes from Prince Rupert on the coast to Edmonton. And all of a sudden when we turned onto it, it was summer again. Temperatures in the mid-70’s! Where are those shorts and sandals? It’s terrible!

We stopped for the night at a campground off the highway in a cluster of little towns called collectively The Hazeltons. There’s Old Hazelton, New Hazelton, and several First Nations towns, one of which is called ‘Ksan. ‘Ksan has a cultural center and has recreated a traditional native town, complete with totem poles. We stopped at the center but learned that the last tour of the day was already finished, so we got the self-guided tour map. At the first building we stood there and debated what the figures on the totem pole were, and which totem pole did the legend refer to. Then I went back into the museum and traded in our self-guided pass for the first tour of the day tomorrow.

After that, we drove to another little town with totem poles, where I took some pictures but we aren’t sure what the meaning is of the poles; then we drove to Old Hazelton, a mining town, where all the buildings are kept to the authentic historic style, and all of them were closed except a pizza parlor. (Obviously an authentic, historically accurate pizza parlor.)

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