Saturday, August 17, 2013

August 16 – Smithers, B.C.

We went back to Hyder this morning early to see if there were any bears at the creek. The only one we saw was a small black bear wandering through the bushes on the slope across the road. Most of the time, all you could see was wiggling bushes.

We drove up the road towards the glacier, finding old mill remnants

and were welcomed back into British Columbia but when headed the other way, Alaska didn’t care if you were welcome or not.

Approaching the south end of the Cassiar we stopped in the First Nations town of Gitanyow to see their totem poles. This was the first time I’d ever seen one with a hole designed into it.

We were fortunate enough to see a new one in progress. These were different than the ones I’d seen as a child in that the back of the pole is carved away rather than keeping the log solid. The carver said it would take six months to complete.

We stopped in Gitwangak as well but found photographing the totems to be very challenging due to their size so

we got a picture of their Anglican Church instead. The bell tower in the front dates from the 1880s.

Home for the night is the Safeway parking lot in Smithers, British Columbia. 

This post made possible by the free wi-fi at the Visitor Centre in Quesnel, B. C.


  1. You look to be making good progress on your way back South, or West, or whatever. Glad everything is going well, with no surprises.

    1. The truck is sort of like a horse that knows the way to the barn. We're doing more miles each day than we did northbound and not taking as many pictures. It's been a wonderful trip but it will be nice to get back to where we don't have to hunt for open wi-fi.

  2. John, I have been trying to comment on your last two posts, but Blogger tells me I need to empty my cookies and cache, and when I do I still get a message, "Oops, that's an error."

    Hope this one goes through.

    The totems, especially the one with a hole, was intriguing. I wonder if the ones with the back cut out will last as long as the solid ones.

    But what really drew me was the old bell tower. :)

    I just tried again to post under my tinycamper ID and got the error again. So I'll try the Anonymous option.

    1. Sorry you're having a problem commenting. I got the impression that the totems with the back cut out were less likely to crack. The bell tower amazed me, too. Don't know if it ever had paint and wouldn't have expected it to withstand the weather for over 130 years without it.

  3. The totem poles look to be very interesting...never knew it took so long. Hope to see one up close and personal one day!! Safe travels!!

    1. Someday I want to come back and spend more time in the area including Prince Rupert and Bella Coola. Lots of First Nations culture in the area.