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Day 56 - Smithers, BC

Today was another morning of rain. This just verified how lucky we were to have the one full day of sunshine yesterday.

Our first stop was at Gitanyowl. This is a native village with old totem poles, native craft shop and an interpretive center.

These stately cedar totems proclaimed the owner's clan status and inherited family traditions, but were never associated with their religion.

Unfortunately, the interpretive center was not open while we were there.

A few miles up the road was St. Paul's Anglican Church. (Ivan Hoyt)

It features the original bell tower and bell dating back to 1893. (Ivan Hoyt)

Then onto Hazelton. We stopped at the visitor center to get more information.

At the visitor center they had statues honoring the miners, lumber jacks and a famous packer, nicknamed "Cataline". He played a major role in opening of the interior.

At the visitor center we were given a map of the area and how to find "Historic Hazelton". But first we had to cross the suspension bridge over a very deep ravine.

The suspension bridge is a one lane bridge, and traffic from the other side had to cross before it was our turn.

This is one of the oldest settlements in the area.

Before we got to the historic area, we visited 'Ksan Historical Village with these two totems greeting us.

'Ksan is a reconstructed Gibxsan village with traditional style buildings that house a museum, gift shop, administrative office and the Kitanmax school of Northwest Coast Indian Art.

All the dwellings and totem poles are created from Red Cedar trees, as well as all of things they use: canoes, storage boxes, cedar bark clothing, and tools. Cedar rope is used to hoist poles and cedar boxes.

As you walk past the towering totem poles and longhouses, you are entering the past.

At the same time, you are entering into a culture that is very much alive and thriving.

The historic area of Hazelton is only about three square blocks. This is the city office building in the town square.

The view from the center of town is breathtaking.
The Skeena River flows through town and they have a pretty little park that runs along it for about two blocks.
The restored riverboat is now used as an art gallery. Riverboats played a big part in the economy of Hazelton from 1891 to 1912 when the last riverboat left Hazelton.

Our final stop for today is Smithers,

where we spent the night at Riverside Golf & RV Park.

The staff scheduled an Ice Cream Social for tonight.

Pat wore this hilarious T-shirt and read an amusing insert that came with it. The front reads:
When God said "Repair it", 2 Chr 24:5, he probably meant, USE DUCT TAPE.

Pat and Betty are dishing out the ice cream,

while Skeeter and Jim are offering two choices of cake and some fixins'.

At the beginning of the trip, Pat gave us the challenge of building our own Inukshuks,

and my oh my, did everyone ever take up the challenge! It's amazing at the creativity people can show when given a challenge.

Clare Peck's creation was the most involved. There are two artists, each with easel and paint brush, and if you look through their legs, you see your way to a Michael's Arts and Crafts sign.

Pat and Betty are holding up three Inukshuks that were created at our stop in Dawson City.

Ann Mullane created this Newyawkshuk, complete with hat, toes, and on the back, a tattoo on her little 'bum'.

Not to be outdone, Clare Peck created this California Inukshuk, which features a surfer on a wave.

Kathy made this gorgeous creation using rocks picked up along the way during the trip. This Inukshuk even has Raven feathers on it.


Betty made this Santa Inukshuk, complete with beard, Santa hat, and gifts at his feet. She called it "Santa Rocks".

I would have to go on for 20 more rows to show all of the creations, but each one was unique to the individual and each showed a great deal of creativity.

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