Tuesday, August 16, 2005

a b.c. travelogue - 6

Hazelton (2)
August 2

This is the day I’ve been looking forward to since we started planning this trip. It’s the day I get to re-explore and show Ernie the countryside and the surrounding Indian villages of Kispiox, Kitwancool and Kitwanga.

Last night on our way home we picked up a self-directed "Tour of the Totems" at the information center. We head out of town on the Kispiox Road around 9:30 toward Kispiox to do this tour.

The biggest attraction in the Indian villages is the old totem poles. The sign board above explains the significance of totem poles to the Indians.

Most villages also have a church. This is all the more meaningful to me now that I’ve read the story of Dr. George Tomlinson and his son George Jr. in Challenge the Wilderness. George Jr. actually worked in Kispiox for several years.

I tried to capture the cross and a Kispiox totem pole here, but the white cross hardly shows up against the cloudy sky.

We drive from Kispiox village, past Sportsman’s Lodge – which is closed and is for sale– down to the rodeo grounds and community hall. Yes, I’ve been here before too. In my Hazelton days, I spent more than one evening dancing the night away in this place...don’t tell my pastor!

Just past the rodeo grounds we turn around, and retrace our steps until we get to the Kitwanga back road where we turn right and follow the Skeena River. From here we get a good view of Rocher de Boule, the mountain for which Hazelton is famous.

Further along we come to an area of meadowy grasslands the Indians called Temlaham, which also figures large in their legends.


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