Super, Natural! - British Columbia
At the Cassiar-Crossing we filled up our Petrolbottle. The Guy at the pump reminded us that we are still in Bear-Country. He had scars around his head where a bear got him in his mouth until his friend freed him with a brave grip into the bears mouth. His Resumee: every Bear he will meet is a dead bear…
In the Eyes of the People up here the Cassiar Highway is narrow rough road. With the few traffic it is totally comfortable for cycling. We used mostly the middle of the road, cause of the absolute silence you could see or hear the traffic coming from far. The first days the road winds through burned down forrests where the green starts to break through again. we had to cross the Cassiar Mountains who gave the Road it´s name. The route charmed me cause of a book i rode 20 Years ago. The french Adventurer Nicolas Vanier went out into this wilderness with his wife and the few month old daughter. He lived there for the winter and came back on his dogsled through the wild up to Dawson City. i read it again up in Alaska and the story is still exiting after all this years… So i cycled through the same region he crossed with his dogs years ago.
The Landscape stayed colourful, we travelled south exactly with the Fall, so the Colours stayed more or less the same. The migrating birds were long gone and we had the snow in our back. The first week was fine but then the snow catched us. In the morning the ground around the Tent was covered white. The weather stayed autumn like wet and Temperatures under 10 degrees made cycling very comfortable… ;-)
In the southern Part the Mountains get rougher and steeper and we came so close to the coast that the glacier topped Ridges of Alaska appear to our right. At Bell2Lodge, a rich People Place for Heliskiing in the Winter we made a stop over that was relaxing cause of the Jacuzzi they offer. A room was unaffordable for us, but camping next to it we could pay.
After that I went to Hyder, a little Village in Alaska that is only reachable from Canada. The 100 Soul Village is more a Ghosttown at the end of the Season. Even the Bears, the main attraction here seems to be gone. The only thing that left is Salmon Glacier at the end of the Valley. You can reach it on a steep and rough piste and I climbed it in an exhausting afternoon. I stayed up there next to the Ice. The next morning the Snow came into the tent when i opened it. So i hurried to come down before the snow covered the road…
The next days i followed the Yellowhead Highway eastwards. He brought back civilisation. The Animals along the Roads are Cattle and Horses instead of Bear and Moose, but from time to time even here a wild one crosses the road. The Road is also known as the Highway of Tears. The last decades a lot of native girls got lost on this road while they were hitchhiking. This time seems to be over but the fear is there as you can see on the Signs along the road.
Civilization also brought back hospitality and so we enjoyed the warm houses as often as possible.
After 19 Days we reached Prince George, the first real City in Canada for us. Prince George has nothing to offer. A Host and a warm bed and the Opportunity to fill up our stocks was the only reason to stop over here.So we went on the next day. The last days our road led us through logging country. The Forrests get a clear cut and be planted new afterwards. So there are a lot of gigantic lumber mills, the roads are full of Trucks who deliver logs or carry the products away in all directions. A lot of traffic around prince George.
A few days south of Prince George the Landscape changes rapidly. It went dryer, the River Valleys get to be gorges and the Hills are grown with Sage, which has a pale blue/grey colour that gives the region a special tone… Wonderful!
We stop as often as possible at the house of locals, a piece of the route led us along an old railway track and we cross a wine region short before the Border. The Fields are full of Fruits and Grapes, it is much warmer and the first time since a long time it doesn’t´feel like `winter is coming`…
Osoyoos is the last City in Canada and here we will cross the border to the USA. What that means i will tell you the next time…
Canada, a gigantic in the north almost deserted Country. There were so much wild and beautiful Landscapes, i cycled through incredible big forrests and saw some wild animals. I didn´t get in contact with them but i´m not unhappy about that. The southern Part offered the Opportunity to get in touch with the people. Nice helpful people that invited us in their house. A warm bed, a good meal and a interesting conversation was always offered. So you could get a little bit closer to the Canadians. Everything is a little bit more laid back than the southern neighbour and there is no fear of „socialism“… Health insurance is better organised and affordable. Immigrants are welcomed and supported, the society is benefiting from them. You can´t feel that much fear and the people are more open to strangers.
The Mistakes of the big brother are still around. Monstertucks with incredible fuel consumption everywhere, the remains are rotting in the countryside. There seems to be no Rule to recycle this cars. The first Nations as they call the Natives living on the margins of society. The Privileges the Government offers does not really help them getting forward.
I enjoyed the nature, even it was deserted. until now the people made my trip, that was missing up here a little bit. abut it was still s good time!