Monday, May 28, 2018

Family Mexican Dinner with Karen & Eric

Last week we were off to daughter Erika’s and son-in-law Wade’s for a family dinner with Wade’s sister Karen and husband Eric.  Karen and Eric moved to Nanaimo from Terrace a number of years ago but in the early days we shared a lot of family occasions here in Terrace with them.  Their youngest son Lee even painted our house when he was on break from University.  Nice people and now we have another common interest as they are both retired and just did their first RV trip south last winter in their newly purchased second hand 5th wheel.  After a tire blow out they put new tires on it and then decided to get new axles as the old tires were wearing oddly.   Tires are an ongoing problem for everyone who tows a trailor any distance.  Sad but true!


When Erika invited us to dinner I said I’d bring Mexican rice as she was doing fish.  This morphed into an all out Mexican dinner which is why she is wearing the Las Jaibas Chili cook-off apron that I had given her!  She should have had a sombrero on too.


That’s Karen sticking her tongue out at me when I took a picture of her eating chicken wings.  The two Eric’s are chatting in the background.  Karen and Eric are on a “no carb” diet right now but Eric said to heck with it for dinner.  Karen stuck to it!


Grand daughter Abby on the left is trying one of Lauren’s stuffed mushrooms.  Lauren is Wade’s sister Teresa’s daughter.  Wade has three older sisters (Teresa, Karen and Kelly) and he is the baby and only boy in the family!


The stuffed mushrooms are out and there is lots of catching up chat going on.  


Erika is frying up the halibut for fish tacos.  Wade bought some flash frozen fresh halibut from the Queen Charlotte’s (aka Haida Gwai!) the week before so it will be a tasty treat for dinner. 


Dinner is served!


Corn and black bean salad, Mexican rice, mango salsa and fish tacos with purple cabbage and chipotle/sour cream sauce.  Absolutely delicious!


We did make short work of all that food and there wasn’t much left over.  What a treat to have fresh halibut.  In Mexico Eric and I eat dorado, red snapper, tuna, shrimp and whatever else is fresh. 


That’s one colorful salad and I even got a little bit to take home.


This is Abby’s creation.   German chocolate cake filled and topped with a yummy coconut filling and then smothered in a chocolate frosting.  It was to die for!  As mentioned before Abby is a very accomplished baker. 

After dinner everyone except Eric, Wade and I trooped out to the barn to see Abby’s new little foal.  I’ll take pictures and blog that later. 

A lovely dinner with family and a good time was had by all. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

A ride to Greenville

This ride was on Friday May 18th and it’s taken me this long to get the blog post completed.  The weather has been rainy over the last week and the good weather is gone so my thoughts returned to the blog.  When the weather is good in Terrace you can’t waste any time on indoor projects! 
Friday May 18th, 2018
It’s been a lovely couple of weeks and today was no exception.  Eric has been out riding as much as he can because once it starts raining in Terrace it doesn’t seem to know when to stop!  Around here you never dare to say “ Gee, we really could use a little bit of rain!”
> Mainmap
We did not actually go to Kincolith today but my Map Point program doesn’t show Greenville which is about  28 km’s NE of  Kincolith. 
Today’s ride was about 160km to our planned destination of Greenville so we were on the road by about 9:15.  It was going to be hot today but as it was early and still quite cool we were layered up and had our electric jackets plugged in.  Here we are heading west towards Terrace.  We are just a couple of km’s from home which is behind us up on the right. 
Riding towards town and we are travelling along the Skeena River.  It’s high and dirty because of the spring run off.
Passing through the four way stop where you can go south to Kitimat or north and go over the Old Bridge into town.  When we moved to Terrace in 1974 there was only the one lane Old Bridge which has a stop light and was built beside the railroad bridge.   We are heading west towards Prince Rupert.
The Welcome to Terrace sign.  I think it’s ugly…but that’s just me!
Now we’re on the “New Bridge” and to the right you can see the “Old Bridge!”  They have other names but…that’s how they are known here.  
Coming along Keith Ave. towards the overpass (over the railroad tracks) and into town. 
We’ll turn left here after crossing the overpass and head west.  Straight ahead is the Skeena Mall and behind it the downtown area of Terrace.
We have turned off Highway 16W and are heading north on Kalum Lake Road.
There are lots of houses out this way but not right here.
Up ahead Deep Creek.
It is a gorgeous day and the mountains are covered in snow.  Of all the rides that we do here at home this one is my favorite.
Up ahead Kitsumkalum Lake.
Lots of snow capped mountains here.
There is no wind so the lake reflects the mountains perfectly.

Now we’re in Rosswood and passing the General Store.  Kalum Lake Road or the Nisga’a Highway was not paved until 1983 and power lines did not appear until 1999 finally bringing power and telephone service to Rosswood.
We carry on past Rosswood and at the north end we cross the Big Cedar. 
South end of Sand Lake.
Sand Lake.
Lots of scenery pictures today as that’s what this ride is all about and it’s a perfect day for it.
We are now entering the Nisga’a Nation (people of the Nass River.)  They were the first of the indigenous peoples to sign a treaty with the Government of Canada in 1998 for 2000 square kilometres of land in the Nass River Valley.   It was the first treaty signed with the govenment since the Douglas treaties in 1854.  In January of 1975 the Nisga’a had already created the first aboriginal school district in B.C.  A very progressive culture. 
We stopped at the north end of Lava Lake to take some pictures and rest our bums!
The Oscar Peak at the south end of Lava Lake makes for stunning photos.  Oscar Peak has a year round glacier but it is disappearing.
Picture perfect!
Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park.  The park was created as part of the land claims treaty in 1998.   
Lava Lake was formed in the 18th century when lava flowed into the Tseax River damming it to form Lava Lake.  The flow traveled 11km north to the Nass River where it filled the the flat valley floor for an additional 10km making the entire Lava flow about 22km’s long.  This is one of Canada’s youngest lava flows.  It’s source is the Tseax Cone.  Over 2000 Nisga’a people perished during the eruption. 
and more lava. When we first moved to Terrace back in 1974 there was hardly any vegetation on the lava but now there is quite a bit.
To the left, Canyon City, Greenville and then Kincolith.  To the right New Aiyansh and Nass  Camp.  We go left.
Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City), Laxgalt’sap (Greenville) and Gingolx (Kincolith.)
The Nass River is high today as well.  I don’t know if it is ever clear as whenever we’ve come this way it’s always been silty looking.
Hmmm…..a little water on the road from snow run off.   Hope it’s not too deep.
My feet got a bit of a splash as we passed through. 
Back in 1975 Eric brought his little family (me, daughters Krista 6, Erika 5 and our springer spaniel Butch) to Stewart for a weeks stay at the end of June.  Stewart is close to Hyder Alaska and a long way north of Aiyansh.  Eric was working for B.C.Tel and at the end of the week the girls and I headed home by ourselves.  As we passed Aiyansh coming  south there was a left hand turn that I was supposed to make.  But….the sign said “ All loaded logging trucks keep left” and I thought I shouldn’t go that way so I went straight.  Big mistake!  I was now heading for Greenville but in those days the road dead ended on the east side of the Nass river.  It was June and the Nass river was flooding over the road and in many places our 1974 Volkswagon Van was almost floating.  To me I thought that by having water on my right (like Lava Lake would have been if I was on the right road) that I was in the right spot.  When the road stopped where you could take a river boat across the Nass River to Greenville I had no where to go.  A nice old American guy showed me on his topographical map where I was and then “ I just started crying!”  Nothing to do but turn around and go back on the flooded road and try to find my way home.  I passed a native man who was towing a boat and made him stop and asked if he would show me where to turn.  He just laughed and said “ no problem.”  In the end he slowed down and pointed and I turned south and headed home.  In those days the roads were all gravel logging roads and you had to go down the west side of Kalum Lake as there wasn’t a bridge over the Big Cedar River north of Rosswood.  I’d thought we’d be home for Walt Disney that night but in the end we got home for the National News at 11pm!  Oh I forgot …Krista got car sick and threw up in my gum boot.  Memories!
Coming into Greenville.
A beautiful setting for a village but typical of most First Nations villages it is shy of lawns, trees and gardens. 
Village Government Headquarters.  On the other side of the village is the Nass River and on the other side of the river is the dead end road that I was on back in 1975!
Nisga’a Museum in Laxgalts’ap (Greenville.)  “In the late 19th and early 20th century many Nisga’a treasures left the Nass Valley.  During the struggle for their treaty the Nisga’a elders and leaders fought to ensure this scattered legacy would find it’s way back home.  Now housed in a permanent place of honour this treasury of culture ranks as one of the preeminent collections of Northwest Coast Aboriginal Art.”  If you are even up this way this museum is a must see.

We sat on one of the outside benches to have lunch.  A few years ago we went through the museum just after it opened.  It is a remarkable facility and we’ll have to have another look one day.
Heading back towards Aiyansh and the road is still flooded but not any deeper.
Everywhere you look there are beautiful mountains. 
It’s spring and the black bears are grazing at the edge of the road.
We will continue on to have a look at Nass Camp and come into New Aiyansh for fuel on the way back.  
Left for Nass Camp.  
Back in the 1970’s this was a bustling logging camp.  Huge machine shops, bunk houses, huge community centre, post office and large dining hall for all the hungry loggers and anyone else who stayed there.  Eric worked for B.C. Tel and many of the employees stayed in Nass camp in the early days.  It encompassed 115 acres and was owned by Columbia Cellulose which later became Skeena Cellulose.  All the logging trucks were huge off highway trucks and you were always travelling on their roads.  They travelled very slow and made a huge amount of dust.  After the logging stopped for a time the camp operated as a tourist facility but in 2010 the property was sold to the Nisga’a Nation and is now part of their traditional land.
The relatively new post office….I wonder who gets their mail here now?
Formerly New Aiyansh and now Gitlaxt’aamiks capital of the Nisga’a Nation and we’ll get fuel here.
A nice modern facility with a large Chinese/Western restaurant, fuel and a small grocery store.
Government buildings and further many more. 
All fueled up we head home.  See that left turn well….that’s the one I didn’t take back in 1975!  You can make a reverse left a little further on but…I didn’t take that one either.  Back in those days these roads were all gravel and the road straight ahead deadended in Greenville.  Now a paved road goes all the way to Kincolith.  We turn left to go home!
Back through the lava fields.
Good vision on this one lane bridge over the Vedder.
Travelling along the Tseax River.      
New two lane bridge being built over the Ksi Sii Aks River (formerly Tseax River.)
Lots of water but it’s not muddy.
Coming along Lava Lake. 
A far cry from the old days when a gravel road was all you had to connect you from Terrace to Rosswood.   
Kitsumkalum Lake.
We are now in Kitsumkalum Territory and we stopped for a break and to read the signs.
A few years after my trip to Stewart the Nisga’a highway connected Terrace to Aiyansh. 
A rest and Eric is reading the signs.
Rosswood was named after “ Annie Ross.”  A real pioneer.

Here we are on Kalum Lake Road coming into the west end of Terrace….same sign as the one at the east end of town.
Frank’s field where the cows from the dairy were pastured in the summer.  The Frank family dairy was first started in 1927 and operated until 1965.
Back over the New Bridge and heading home.
Here we are getting close to home and up in the distance you can just see the peaks of the Seven Sister’s mountains. 
There is our gate up ahead.  It’s about 4:30 pm and we are both tired and hot after our ride.
A lot greener than when we arrived home at the beginning of May.
The old sheep barn on the right and a couple of Eric’s large pole buildings up ahead.
The little house and we are home. 
It was a lovely ride and if we get more good weather we’ll do it again.