March 14th-15th 2019

Departing from the snow capped mountains, deep valley gorges, blue skies, frozen lakes, and ground covered snow of Hazelton and the Kitimat-Stikine area we headed mainly west 288 km towards our next destination–the coastline of B.C. at Prince Rupert.  The estimated time was 3 1/2 hours if you drove non-stop. But, we like to explore and as you may have interpreted…I love taking photos of our journeys and experiences. 🙂

Loaded logging trucks, increasing numbers of coniferous trees, and roadside rock walls covered in fingerlings of frozen waterfall icicles reminded me of home on northern Vancouver Island.

Passing through Terrace the evidence of industry and train transport was clear. I loved discovering the painted Kermode Spirit bear sculptures located around Terrace. In 2006, 23 colorful Kermode Spirit Bear sculptures went on auction to raise money for B.C. children’s programs–including B.C. Lions’ Easter Seal camps. I wonder how many ended up in Terrace? After a quick snack, we were back driving west on highway 16.

Snow on the surrounding hills/mountains continued to diminish; frozen lakes and rivers continued to melt and expose more free running water; and low clouds, mist, and even rain started becoming more frequent on the windshield. Yes. We were returning to the coast!

The Skeena river meandered to the left side of the highway after Hazelton becoming wider and more bold as we neared Prince Rupert. By some shallow sections of the river about an hour before we arrived at PR, we noticed cars parked and people taking photos in the river. Always curious, we wondered what the attraction was. It turns out, sea lions had made their way up the Skeen, quite a distance from the ocean entrance!

Mark got more and more animated as the snow dissolved and wet coastal conditions established themselves.

After unloading our belongings at a satisfactory Airbnb location, Mark and I went for a lengthy walk to stretch by exploring the lovely Rushbrook Trail. Much of this trail was created along an unused railroad track on the edge of the ocean.

Prior to exploring Historic Cow Bay area…I finally saw a Moose!!!

Prince Rupert is an island (Kaien Island) off the west coast of B.C. and is a busy terminus for the ferry, highway,  and railway. Many freighters await loading and unloading bulk products like grain and containers at the Docks. The residential areas are quite hilly, but there are many different quaint sections of this community to explore..

The Sunken gardens weren’t too impressive in the winter, but I am sure they would be lovely in the spring and summer. I really loved the Cow Bay Area. The first few previous photos were taken there.

A friendly local man told us to check out the “Fresh Onion Cafe” on 2nd Ave. West. It was packed and was definitely very popular with the locals. Tomorrow we sail south to Port Hardy on the Northern Expedition ferry!