The five-day weather report said rain for Prince Rupert on Monday, Tuesday, Bald eagle in tree Wednesday and Thursday. Indeed it started out raining today. It has to rain all the time in order to meet its annual quota of 250 centimeters. We went to the Visitor Center and got some literature, and returned to the hotel room.
There's one road leaving Prince Rupert; it follows the same route as the CN Railway, up the Skeena River. The highway has a Michelin five-star rating. We looked out the window, saw the sun, jumped in the truck, and were on our way.
To start the trip off, we spotted a bald eagle in a tree -- about the closest we've been to an eagle so far. They sure are magnificent birds!
We got to the river, which was broad and a little muddy with spring One of the waterfalls runoff. The hills on either side of the river had lots of steep rock faces, crossed with dozens of waterfalls and cascades, some of them hundreds of feet high. This was the five-star view, and we agree with Michelin wholeheartedly. The snow collects in ravines, and then melts to form the waterfalls. They were gorgeous! Whenever there's a lot of ice in the ravine, it appears below in the Skeena river as spots of white, floating down to the sea.
This beautiful drive continued about 135 kilometers to the town of Terrace, with its big lumber mill. We passed a CN train hauling a hundred or so empty grain cars back to Alberta; when the wheat is harvested they'll come back down to Prince Rupert, for shipping to Asian markets. Lava Bed Provincial Park
We followed another scenic logging road north from Terrace to the Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park. There, about 250 years ago, a volcano erupted and the lava flow obliterated three First Nations villages. After a lovely ride past a lake we came to this most interesting location. The forest was interrupted by the path of lava, covered with lichen. The First Nations myth indicates that children who poked a hole in a fish caused the eruption.
On the way back to Terrace, we sighted some more critters: first a marten, and then a small black bear, which we imagined to be one year old. The bear watched the truck drive by from a position in the trees just off the road. The area through which we drove today is also home to the genetic variant of the black bear called the Kermode bear, which has white fur. We didn't see it, though.