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When my friends asked me where I was going on vacation, I replied that I would fly to the terrace.
"Paris," asked some of them.
"No, Terrace, British Columbia," I said. "Very different."
Coincidentally, Paris, France was one of the last trips I made before COVID-19 hit, and I wasn't quite ready to travel abroad yet. So this was my first trip since June, which started at Terrace.
I was one of his 20 on his 8-day Skeena adventure tour organized by Victoria-based Mile Zero Tours. Drive east through four nearby Indigenous villages, Prince Rupert on the Pacific West Coast, and the Rocky Mountains to Jasper, Alberta. My tour mates were a friendly group of experienced travelers. One of them he had visited over 80 countries.
The view from Vancouver to the terrace was a panorama of 700km of snow-capped mountains over green ribbons, including an ice formation I named 'Lake of Fried Eggs'.
After stepping off the plane, we found ourselves in a picturesque valley surrounded by mountains on all sides. The terrace was quiet. Apparently, at the height of the pandemic, it was a ghost town with the occasional moose roaming the empty streets.
Our guide, Terrace City Councilman Brian Downey, tells the story of Skeena's history and how it has been an important trade route between the coast and the hinterland for centuries. gave me The lower Tsimshians and the upper Ghissans were known as the "Keepers of the Valley". In order to pass through the river gorge, merchants had to pay a toll to the chieftain, usually for furs, salmon, berries, seaweed and herring eggs. When the railroad opened in 1914, the way of life of the local tribes changed dramatically as trade turned to railroads.
At the Kittulas Canyon National Historic Site, avid guide Darren met Bolton and his two granddaughters. A prolific sculptor, Darren is Canada's only Northwest Coast graduate of his Freda Diesen School of Art.
We toured the canyons of the original trade route in a dune buggy, as well as Darren's four longhouses, full of artefacts, including intricately carved canoes. Also at this location are four well-preserved 1800s his poles totems of him, representing each of the four clans. Eagle, killer whale, wolf, crow.
We took a private tour of the Nisgaa Museum in Lakshgaltsap, 150 km northwest of Terrace. Described as "one of his finest extant collections of Northwest Coast Aboriginal art", his 300-piece Ancestors Collection includes elaborately carved masks, bentwood boxes, headdresses, and his Soul Includes catchers and other Nisga artworks. Completed one year after the signing of the historic 2010 Nisgaa Treaty, the museum contains treasures collected from museums in Ottawa and Victoria, exhibited together in their original locations for the first time. was returned to
To reach the museum, we crossed the Nath Valley, which bears the remains of a 300-year-old volcanic eruption. A tale passed down among the Nisga tribe has villagers fleeing a river of lava, killing thousands and destroying his two villages of the Nisga tribe. Today, the gray and black lava is covered with scaffolding of moss and vegetation.
It also passed rivers and waterfalls swollen by the late spring tide. The Skeena River, he had heard, would rise two meters in 24 hours, but it wasn't reassuring news when the river nearly spilled over its banks in several places a few feet away from the road. .
One of the highlights of her trip was Ctezeima, North America's largest natural concentration of grizzly bears. A teen grizzly bear visited her sanctuary. environment. Heading north aboard Prince Rupert Adventures Tours' covered 100-passenger boat, heading for Sanctuary she spent the day. It wasn't long before we came across grizzly bears feeding on clams, mussels and sedge grass along the coastline. On the return cruise, humpback whales break through the open waters and a show of soaring eagles completes a spectacular wildlife-watching adventure.
From Prince Rupert to Jasper, we stayed her one night at Prince George on her 1,160 km journey and traveled by Via Rail. In addition to our reserved seats, we took advantage of the comfortable lounge with books, tea, coffee, conversations including social men from Paris, and a domed observation car.
Looking out the window, winding roads meander past lakes and mountains, crossing terrifying skinny bridges across rivers. I pushed my way through the stream and passed the train station. Old western movies were meditative bliss. Unfortunately our train was interrupted by a derailment (freight train a few hours away) and he ended up spending 4 hours on the bus instead of the train.
Jasper, Alberta was bustling with tourists after the former cities and towns quieted down. The reason is that the Rocky Mountains are amazing. Athabasca Falls was a roaring glacier blue shimmering spectacle. The Columbia Icefield has shrunk considerably since I was there 40 years before him, but there is still over 30 meters of ice at the top and even more in the background visible from the base. .
I enjoyed the local bounty of the north as much as the haute cuisine of Paris. Dinner on the first night at Don Diego's Restaurant on the Terrace was a fusion of Mexican and local, pumpkin seeds and coriander-crusted sockeye salmon.
In the small remote village of Gingolx (500 inhabitants), only two cars passed him in a half hour drive. For lunch, we had delicious halibut and fries at U Seefood U Eat it. The owner was thrilled to see us and took pictures while filling up the little cafe.
It was nice to see more of western Canada. It was an interesting trip as many places I have been to.
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