I could go back to Alaska and spend May to September exploring, hiking, visiting all the places I missed. Make time for an air tour or learn to kayak so I can access some of the rivers I saw in the distance. So much I missed but what I did see was so beautiful.I forgot so much about BC — the forests with infestations of the bark beetle, the fires, the clear cuts of massive swaths of forestland made some views look like a checkerboard. Old growth forests filled with 9 ft, 12 ft. + diameter trunks gone and now, in our living rooms or cupboards or furniture. In Bella Coola, Western BC, I walked through a protected Cedar old growth grove. It was magical to be among these 300 year old giants the logging industry cannot touch. Helicopters are the new log drivers or heli-logging (getting log to another place) and hover with cables over the forest’s interior. Greed AND human need outpaces the earth’s regeneration.
To you readers: If your interest lies in some history of the logging business in BC or a history of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the BC coast, take a look at: https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Golden_Spruce.html?id=5T8BCgAAQBAJ&source=kp_cover&redir_esc=y
Notes from Quebec on Why. 138 to Baie Comeau and Hwy 368 Nord up to Labrador.
Hwy 138 northeast of Quebec follows the north side of the St. Lawrence River. Small colorful houses and grassy or stony slopes stopes stop at the river. Catholic churches with steeples and stained glass windows prominently display their crosses on hilltops. Restaurants, boulangeries, and charcuteries were thrown into the mix. I returned to France for 250 miles of road.
Smell and sound of fresh river water softly lapping on the stones was what I heard when I woke up at the public park parking lot. I looked at the window and saw:
Friggin’ Jurrasic Park! Apparently some dinosaur bones had been found there!
Am struck by the similarity of the terrain between here and the Yukon. The tall conifers with the globe tops, the fir and pine but I don’t get the sense of the “old growth” here as I did in BC, probably because it is at the 52 Parallel. Lakes are more prevalent here – they are empty spaces of a jigsaw puzzle with green islands and one road connecting. Varying sizes of pine covered islands snake through the water and for a reason, stop. Or, one lone tree is on a tiny fern covered circle seemingly floating on the water. This unraveling yarn of a two-lane highway makes a path through the trees and moss covered boulders. Bright red SOS signs are visible every 10 kilometers noting the next pullout where a satellite phone is available in case of emergency.
Trucks pass hauling petrol, materials for road maintenance, construction projects and domestic items pass by me in both directions. At the two gas stations on the road, I stopped to top off, an ingrained habit now carried over from Yukon and NWT. The peoples’ confidence that every person will pay is obvious since the routine is: fill the gas tank first, then go in the store, which in almost all cases is a small restaurant, and pay. Cruise control is set at 57, which is really 60 with Mabel’s oversized tires, and we roll over and around and straight ahead following the black top. No RVs and passenger cars on this road!
Iron ore mining is the industry in Labrador and I was told emphatically that no chemicals are used. There are also two huge hydro-electricity plants in the Province of 30,000 people.
So far, this country has been a study in contrasts: kilometers of wild uninhabited land with blotches of mines and their pre-fab communities on the canvas. A paved road turns into a community of tractors, dump trucks, rollers changing dirt to pavement. A community of housing trailers that come with the Canadian company that won the road construction bid that summer will be in short distances from the muddy roads. Instantaneously, the landscape reverts to thick impenetrable bushes, trees and foliage.
Thanks to the guys who fixed her multiple cracked- star studded-pebble-rock-broken windshield!
Take good care, Lisa, Mabel and Alice