I couldn’t get a reliable internet connection to post last night’s blog, so here it is, somewhat late.
We stayed in Smithers two nights. It’s a lovely little town, which bills itself as Canada’s Little Switzerland. The view out of our bedroom window was of Hudson Bay Mountain.
On the main street of Smithers is a wooden sculpture called The Alpenman, or Alpine Al.
The Chamber of Commerce has made a ruling that any new buildings in the downtown have to be built in a Swiss Alpine style. David and I made irreverent references to “Hot Fuzz” and “the greater good”, but the truth is that Smithers is a pretty little town, and everyone we met there was friendly and pleasant, despite the rigors of a boil-water advisory, which is now in its third week.
The day after we arrived, we drove out to Driftwood Canyon Park. The land for the park was donated by Gordon Harvey, on the condition that people be allowed to collect fossils there. The site contains fossils of plants, birds, insects and fish in a bed of thin layers of pale-brown shale. In the last five years the park has closed down fossil collecting due to risk of injury to visitors. The shale cliffs that hold the fossils are up a very steep and rather slippery slope, so I had to understand their reasons, even while I pouted about not being able to collect fossils. There is, however, no law against collecting photographs, which we did.
Dr Fox accompanied us, as usual. Here he is with the fossil beds behind him. He is looking out for bears, as David saw some evidence of their presence.
In addition to the fossil beds, there were lots of interesting plants to photograph. This one is lungwort, growing all over the trees in bright green ruffles.
We spent several hours at Driftwood, then came back to town and did a load of laundry in the local “Wash the Works”, which offered RV and transport washes, car washes, laundry (either drop off or self serve) and showers. Truly, wash the works! David prowled the local plant emporia for succulents and tillandsia. We also repacked everything and rearranged the car. No matter how you try, after a couple of weeks of travel, things migrate around!
This morning we set off again, back to Prince George. We took the drive at an easy pace and stopped whenever our fancy took us. One stop was a family-run highwayside antique shop, which carried an enormous variety of very cool things. They actually had a working spinning wheel, an antique, which I did not even price because 1) I have four wheels already, including an antique, 2) I probably couldn’t justify the money and 3) it wasn’t going to fit into the Yaris anyway! That last kept us safe from a number of fascinating items; a cream separator, a horse-drawn hearse, a set of connected school seats with attached desks, a beautiful rocking chair – you get the picture! We escaped relatively unscathed, although I did succumb to a blue Delft creamer shaped like a seated cow. I have a pitcher collection . I am allowed.
Tomorrow we leave the Rockies, alas, and head east again. Our first stop is the Philip Currie Museum in Wembley, Alberta.