Saturday, July 27, 2013


When you travel with a group of people certain themes emerge.
On our southwest-of-BC trip red came on as a theme. So here goes, as it unfolded.....
Michael & Laura are birders & have seen a scarlet ibis or two. Michael bought the pub's T-shirt, but never wore it. Damn!
 Alert Bay house being painted....
 I'd never seen an octopus done this way.
 great pizza's & sandwiches with a brewery just up the street. great meal.
 From a large garden filled with sculptures....

I wanted in the dance!

That's it for now.

Day in Alert Bay

Alert Bay is the last Native working fishing village, we were told.
We had to get there by ferry from Port MacNeil, a mostly a logging town & used to be a mining & fishing town.

Mining became unprofitable on the north end of Vancouver Island. Port Hardy was in some ways a shrunken town, with evidence of used-to-be businesses. Port MacNeil much less so.

Alert Bay is a lively place. Lots of walkers, cyclers, along with the usual cars.
The buildings.... colorful, some quirky-delightful.....

some a bit iffy...

 Then the graveyard down at the south end of the bay. We could only walk around it. It was sacred ground & that was palpable.
 It was being mowed. 

Then there  is ....amazement...
 ....the unexpected...
 ....& as always for me, the romance of decay....
 We walked to the north end of the bay to see 2 opposite structures.
 The wonderful, uplifting one is the U'mista Cultural Center. There is a collection of artifacts confiscated during a potlatch suppression. These have been returned & are on display. 
The other is the gloomy residential school.
  Cultural center, left; residential school ahead.

 I found these windows said a lot. Bricks are falling out, there is some vandalism, but I would have expected even more.  There is discussion about taking it down. Of course. Why is it still there, I wondered.

                                       It was massive!!

 That's enough for now. The people were friendly, we ate well, and there was much talk amongst us that evening.

Long Ferry ride & Port Hardy

Going down valley to Bella Coola & the ferry I had some favorite things. This is a memorial to a Bella Coola fisherman
& an unusual pole in Bella Coola.

Out of business business. Poignant. There is a big story, no doubt.

The ferry ride was 14 hours, 2 of it in open water. Thanks dramamine! It was sunny & geographically spacious.
 At first there were native fishermen with wide nets.
Then there was the drama of an evacuated fishing boat on fire. In Port Hardy we were joined by Alan Thompson, George's brother, & Michael Martin, their cousin, & his wife Laura.

 George, Laura, & Alan at the Red Ibis pub in Holberg, B.C. in THE boonies. We stopped there on our way out to Cape Scott. Alas, the trail to the beach eluded us, & the effort wore us out...

Michael took a wee kip while the car was fetched, so we could go back for another beer at the Scarlet Ibis.

Logging operation across the bay. It was a long drive over dusty roads. I was disappointed not to see the sublime beach called San Joseph. We didn't try again. Maybe next time.

Our car was spectacularly dusty!                                                        
That's all for now.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Down Day in Tweedsmuir Park

We were hoping to take a spectacular plane ride, but it's raining.
We decided to have a down day, or at least a down morning.

We spent a lot of time on the road. Whister, D'Arcy [a mistake], Pemberton, Lillooet,  Clinton, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, Riske Creek, Anahim, Stuie, Bella Coola. This is our first day of not going anywhere.

A fire in the fireplace is going behind me. We are in a lodge. It feels good to relax.

Yesterday we took a float raft on the Bella Coola River for 4 hours. Sublimely lovely.

stream water mixing with glacial water

Glacier rounded rocks ay the river edge

Well, those photos took 1/2 hour to load sitting in the lodge!!

Tomorrow by ferry -- 14 hours-- to Port Hardy.

[P.S. from back in Vancouver: I managed to leave my good camera battery & charger at the Lodge.
It will take many days to find its way back to me in the mail: to Bella Coola where mail goes to Williams Lake twice a week, then, after a few days, released into the real mail system. It'll take at least 2 weeks en route! ]

That's all for now.