Don’t you love it when a highway has a name? And while we appreciate stretches of roadways dedicated to fallen state patrolmen and women and other officials, names like the Cariboo and Yellowhead tell us something about the area while being memorable as well.
Unfortunately, the Yellowhead Highway, cutting east-west across British Columbia (Route 16 if you need a number), has a tarnished reputation. For years, a series of young people have vanished along the highway — runaways, hitchhikers…. Daughters, mostly, and some sons.
This one holds a warning: “GIRLS DON’T HITCHHIKE on the Highway of Tears… Killer on the Loose!”
But we shouldn’t define a long reach of road solely by its sad side, when there’s plenty of joy to be found:
Somewhere between Fraser Lake and Smithers we caught sight of smoke in the distance. With wildfires in the news, we worried a bit….
…but it turned out to be a “prescribed” burn:
It looked as though they were burning dead trees, and we couldn’t help wondering why the wood wasn’t donated to those who need good firewood. (We trust they have their reasons; we just can’t figure out what those reasons are.)
We spent a few days in Smithers, where we enjoyed a front row seat for the glacier across the road:
And after so much driving, we were ready for a good hike. We found that in the Twin Falls hike, which led us along Glacier Gulch Creek to a couple of viewpoints where we could see the falls tumbling down the hillside:
Try as I might, I can’t get a good shot of a waterfall. It’s hard to capture the power or scale of the tumbling water, and even harder to convey its sound or the smell of the earth around it.
Here…. I’ll creep into a pic by Bob so you can get a little bit of an idea about the scale….
At the end of the maintained trail, there’s a beautiful metal plaque dedicated to Eric Paul Buss, who died in an avalanche in 1991 not far from where we stood.
He was just shy of his 40th birthday. The plaque quotes George Leigh Mallory: “…if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.”
We hiked this trail a few times during our stay in Smithers, and saw something new each time.
And, of course, the not-so-pretty, but still a part of nature: scat. The question is, what animal left it?
Our first thought was someone’s dog… someone who didn’t pick up after their pet… but if you look closely (thanks to close-up and zoom options in photo editing software, so we don’t have to press our noses into this stuff), you can see….
…a label. Something with the letters: “FRIGER..”
Whatever this critter was, it had eaten something that looks like it could have been a label. Am I the only one thinking, “Refrigerate after opening”?!?
We enjoyed great meals at the Railside Cantina while in Smithers, and though I scarfed down the Tortilla Soup (superb!) before I could get a pic, I held off just long enough on a gorgeous presentation of their bean soup to get this shot:
We shopped the stores of downtown Smithers, donated to the local economy, then it was time to move on.