We are up early in Ginglox and say our goodbyes to Lavina. It has been a wonderful and emotional visit to a place that I only knew of in stories. But now 3 generations have experienced what the other 3 had loved. Mission accomplished.
As we head out on the 28km Kincolith Highway extension some locals advise us that there is a large grizzly hanging around and to be careful. We have not seen any bears while we have been here but about 6 grizzlies had been seen around the creek area the day before. The large hole that Sean said was dug by a grizzly; well he was right again! The eagles are flying overhead in a way that seems almost to be protective. I had seen about 12 of them overhead at the creek yesterday and think maybe just maybe they were keeping an eye on us.
Our first stop is the Lava beds. This bed is from Canada's most recent volcanic eruption in and around 1780. The site we have stopped at is called the Dedication Site which honours the 2000+ Nisga'a people that perished from the gases. About 1/3 of the population of the area. We all tumble out of the car each with our own mission: Hannah is in bare feet and is able to stand on the lichen bed path and not damage the delicate covering, Oliver is loving the formations of driftwood. There are not many places in Canada that you can experience a lava bed like this and we all consider ourselves very fortunate to have access to this site.
At this point our travel expertise fails us.The painted sign and finger says Canyon City but the village has been renamed and we question each other what this site might be. This is actually the village of Gitwinksihlkw where the suspension bridge over the Nass river is. There has been a suspension bridge there for 400 years and we have missed it. We all agree that this is just a sign that we must come back a little wiser next time.
Our next stop is The Drowned Forest. I had spotted the turquoise water when we first drove in but had never heard of the site. I wanted to check it out on the way back. This turned out to be an overwhelming phenomenally beautiful experience. Often, due to light, I have to filter my photo's to bring them back to the way we experience the view but not here. Every photo we take is perfect. It is hard to find information on this site but with a few local inquires I am told that when the volcano erupted the lava flowed through the river creating this effect.
To see it from the highway it looks like a turquoise swamp but it is moving water. The closest I can describe it is a Nisga'a Venice as the waterways are like canals. I think it would be amazing to see from above.
As we head down the highway we have time for one more stop: Rosswood. This very tiny community has a general store that everyone would love. We have stopped for provisions but buy way more than that. Each one of us have our arms full of goodies. It is a Sue's Paradise.
As we approach Terrace and our adventure is over, it is time for me to reflect on this amazing Nishga'a Nation. Their food, culture, arts, sports, entrepreneurship and innovation. It is any wonder a man like my father was drawn to this Nation and would stand beside them with their quest for a Treaty. In return, they recognized him with their highest honour: Honourary chief of the Killer whale tribe. His name was Alaysim taa.
Tips for Travel
Plan your trip don't be in a rush
Talk to the locals
Bring your fruits and veg
Try the local food