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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Visit To The Hazeltons The Land Of Totem Poles

Monday morning,the 20th,I set out for my day trip to the land of Totems,a short drive from the campground at Seely Lake.First into New Hazelton on Highway 16 to gas up and get propane.I love this north gas station line-ups....not crawling with tourists.....great weather......all was done in quick fashion and I was on the way to Old Hazelton about 7 K's up the road.First stop,the very high, single lane bridge over the Bulkley river.The top picture was taken looking waaaay down.
Historic old Hazelton is a sleepy town with quite a pioneer history.For centuries it was the home of the Kitksan and Wet'suwet'en peoples.Since the 1860's bustling pioneer communities have arisen in this area which is the confluence of the Skeena and Bulkley rivers.This was the upriver terminus for a fleet of sternwheelers like the one below.

Its still a living breathing town with stores and restaurants,but ooooh so could hear your own footsteps echoing as you walk the streets.Echo's from the past as crews from the Collins Telegraph arrived in 1866.Following them the Omineca gold miners,Hudson bay pack strings and the "gandy dancers" of the Grand Trunk Railway,all tramped these streets.

Just before you enter the town proper,off to the left is the "Ksan Historical Village",with a nice museum and large full service campground.A great place to stop. Ksan is a reconstructed Gitsan village with traditional style buildings that house a museum,gift shop,administrative office and the Kitanmax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art.

The pic below was taken in the museum.

Willy has to practice taking pictures of himself as He's still having trouble understanding the new camera....Had to get a nice German tourist couple to help me work my own camera for self timing.I got it to work before but the crazy thing keeps doing something different every time I try......Note.....I always wear my signature "free willy"Tee shirt when I enter "Indian Country."

Next I'm off to the Native Village of Kispiox which is a few miles north of Old Hazelton.This is where stands a cluster of ancient totems that I've seen in pictures for many years and I always wanted to visit this spot.An interesting thing I noticed on this Reserve,was at the sleepy junction of 2 dirt streets was a set of regular city stop lights complete with the walk and wait lights....must be someones idea of a joke....I was going to stop and take a picture but a native on a bike met me at the intersection and because I had the green....couldn't stop.....Hey maybe they do need it, although he was the only person I saw in the area.

I found this (below) to be an interesting read.You can see the totems in the background of this shot.

Now on the way back to camp,I took this shot from the highway above the Skeena,looking down on Old Hazelton.

Now I'm up to yesterday,setting off at 9am for my present location.It was a short 2 hour run to Terrace,then south on the Kitimat highway for about 15 minutes to Lake Lakelse Provincial park.Below is a nice rest area along the Skeena, just east of Terrace on Hiway 16.

Settled in just before noon.This is a large destination type park,more family oriented,with 156 sites at $22. per.

I will hunker down here for several days and do day trips to Prince Rupert and Kitimat........Today is this must be Kitimat.


  1. Thanks for another great tour of a part of our Province I've never visited. Love the pics!

  2. Nice post - pictures of totem poles ..Keep Posting

    pictures of totem poles