Our travels from Prince Rupert to Prince George were along Yellowhead Highway 16, what a beautiful and relatively easy 726km of travel despite the roads being busy with a mix of cars, RV's and transport trucks. A truck coming in the opposite direction threw up a stone putting a hole in our windscreen. Considering the roads we have been on it happened on a perfectly good double laned bitumen highway. A new windscreen will be required further down the track.
After disembarking the ship and going through Canadian Customs we went to restock our supplies, have some lunch before having a look around Prince Rupert. Firstly it was a walk to the visitors centre, then to the sunken gardens which is planted in the excavation for an earlier court building. It was then a drive to quirky Cow Bay where the black and white theme can be seen along the streets and shop names reflect the "cow" like the Udder Bags and Cowppucino Cafe. In the park stood 28 colourfully decorated paper mache salmon representing each of the communities in the BC and all made by local preschool to year 12 children.
The road to Prince George follows the valleys of the Skeena, Bulkley and Nechako rivers and parallel to the Canadian National Railway Route. Alongside most of the rail line and road lie beautiful white, yellow, pink and red wildflowers.
We passed many areas of small acreage farmland and ranches with cattle and horses, some sheep and poultry. Farmers were cutting sileage, rolled baled hay lay in the field and bright yellow canola spread across some of the paddocks.
Hazelton is an area where rich aboriginal culture and history lies. We went out to Old Hazelton to view the recreated Tsan historical Village with its timber buildings lined with art, the museum and creative totem poles.
Smithers,was about our half way point and a good stop for an icecream. We could see a chairlift on the mountain from the nearby Hudson Bay Ski Resort. The snow capped mountains and glacier was a beautiful backdrop to the town.
After climbing Hungry Hill Summit we reached the town of Houston, a forestry and fishing area, and is well known as the town with the “worlds largest fly fishing rod” that stands 60 feet.
Driving further we passed through the Lakes District, aptly named for the many lakes that lie within, too many to name however we did camp in a campground alongside Fraser Lake. Burns lake does stick in our mind, as the town where the car under the town entrance sign had flowers growing out of it and William lake is where we fuelled and vacuumed up small pieces of glass that lay on the dashboard from the windscreen.
The following morning we drove through the geographic centre of British Columbia, the town of Vanderhoof which is also the supply and distribution centre for agriculture. We then arrived at Prince George.
Royalty did not have any influence in the naming of the towns. Both Princes are very different. Prince Rupert, a smaller seaside town and is the hub of sea transportation. Prince George, a busy bustling community with a population of 84,000, and is located on the confluence of Nechako and Fraser Rivers. It is the centre for the forestry industry with three pulp and sawmills, dry kilns and two chemical treatment plants. Prince George is also the crossroad for travellers going north to south or like us coming from Prince Rupert.
We did what was required, had a look around town and continued on our way... heading for Vancouver.
|Now thats a tractor.....|
|Vanderhoof Centre of BC|
|Burns Lake Floral Car|
|Home along Fraser River|
|Largest fly fishing reel in the world|
|Bonsai in Prince Rupert Gardens|
|Cow Bay Prince Rupert|
|Logger - replica of forestry history|
|On route to Prince George|
|Tsan Historical Village|
|Entrance to Village|
|Bridge over Bulkley River|
|Snow capped mountains|
|Williams Lake the cowboy town|
|Sheep of all colours|
|Wild flowers line the road|
|Wildflowers also lined the paddocks|
|Prince Rupert Visitors Centre|
|Down town Smithers|