A beautiful day and a ride to Hazelton…..June 19th.
It was a hot and sunny day and Eric said he’d take me out for a ride and we could go anywhere I wanted. I’d thought we could ride to Prince Rupert but that is always a bit of a “crapshoot!” If it’s hot and sunny in Terrace it’s usually cooler in Prince Rupert which is okay but they routinely get sea fog and you can’t see a thing when you get there. Another day.
So…off in the other direction to Hazelton. The weather had been cool and rainy but a Pacific high built up and it would be hot today …over 35C which is warm for the north.
Just east home and you can see there is still lots of snow on the mountains. It’s 9am and it’s cool and crisp as we head east along the Skeena River.
This is what we call Boychuk’s farm. In the old days we used to buy weaner pigs here from ….Boychuk. He moved to Alberta many years ago but you know how it is…the name just stuck. The current owner has cut the fields hoping to get the hay crop off. The weather is calling for thunder storms in the next day or two so it’s a bit of a risk. That’s what we always hated about haying in this country.
The wide open highway and not a lot of traffic…..perfect!
The Seven Sisters mountains.
We’re heading into Kitwanga now and are just crossing the Skeena River for a quick ride into the village. We are heading north on Higway 37 which is the road that will take you to Alaska.
We turn right and head into the old village of Gitwangak where we see the old church on the left.
Very old totem poles.
We continue through the village and then get back onto Higway 37, head up the hill and turn left at the north end of Kitwanga and loop back south through the town.
The tiny town RV park in Kitwanga.
Back to the intersection with Highway 16 and we will go left towards Hazelton after fueling up.
There was a large group of motorcyclists who had just returned from the north on Highway 37 which heads to Alaska. I noted plates from a few states in the USA.
Coming into Hazelton and we will turn left at the tourist bureau heading into Old Hazelton.
First we cross the Hagwilget suspension bridge over the Bulkley river. The current bridge was constructed in 1931 and reinforced in 1990. It is 262 feet over the river!
Downstream the Bulkley River joins the Skeena River at Old Hazelton.
One lane over the very deep Hagwilget canyon. In the old days the natives (now First Nations) had foot bridges made from poles over the canyon.
You can turn left and go into K’San which is a Gitxsan historical village which was founded before Hazelton was in 1866. Here the Bulkley river joins the Skeena river.
We’ve come down into Old Hazelton where we’ll sit by the Skeena river and have our picnic lunch. This is as far inland as the paddle wheelers could travel on the Skeena River.
This is a tourist area now with lots of old buildings.
I just love this old craftsman style house.
Big Red is parked and we go to sit down to have lunch.
Next to the tourist information building they have old machinery with plaques about their history.
I set the camera on a picnic table and ….voila….here we are!
Lots of history here with a paddle wheel boat on display.
After lunch we take a quick ride up the Kispiox Valley Road.
Another bridge ….this time over the Skeena River.
Looks like it should be one lane.
Muddy with spring run-off.
And yet another one lane bridge this time over the Kispiox River at Kispiox Village where there are more totem poles. As it soon as the road turned to gravel we turned around to head back.
Back over the Hagwilget Bridge.
Time to head home. It was cool when we left home this morning but now it was really sizzling and we were tired and hot.
We turn right on Highway 16 for Terrace.
You just can’t beat the scenery on these rides in the north.
Straight as an arrow here and quiet as well.
We stopped for a quick break at a pull off and guzzled a bottle of water each, had a quick “bum break” and then back on the road to head home.
It was a beautiful ride on a beautiful day!