The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Indians of British Columbia


I left the ferry in Prince Rupert yesterday  and started across the Coastal Mountains into the interior of British Columbia. I had met Richard, a forest service manager in British Columbia, on the ferry,  and he had worked hard to draw a detailed map of Indian Villages I should visit while I am in B.C.

Richard's map led me to a lava bed which had killed a lot of the indians in the early 1700's. I camped there. In the campsite next to mine was a delightful Indian couple my age. Their English names were Oliver and Debbie. I wish I had taken their picture to show you. They invited me over to their campsite for supper, and we sat and talked for the longest time. Oliver, it turns out, is a chief in his clan, and Debbie, who has traveled all over the world singing and representing her Indian Nation, is considered a princess. How these titles are inherited through the mother’s bloodline, and the many other traditions of their tribe was so interesting, that I sat and listened to Debbie and Oliver for hours.

Following the suggestions of Debbie and Oliver, I visited several Indian Villages and talked with people I met there. I learned a lot about the old ways that they used to do things. I also met several of the highly educated, younger generation, and they each told me the same thing: that the old ways are lost now. Very few people know how to live off the land like their grandparents did.
Now, after a long day of visiting villages, I am in the town of Smithers, British Columbia. This town is very, very nice: One of those places where you would not mind living if you had to.
I am camped at the golf course. I had a shower, prepared a good meal of rice and chicken, and went to bed. It was dark (something unusual), and dry (even more unusual).

During the night the sky put on a  marvelous display of theNorthern Lights. They looked like bright, shifting clouds overhdad. Unfortunately, the summer sun is still too bright to see them as they look in the winter. Perhaps I will have to come back some day.

Now I am brewing up some coffee to go with my breakfast rolls. I am packed up, and Odysseus and I are ready to head down into the desert. They grow a lot of fruit down there I am told. Already I can see the landscape changing. There are ranches now, and they are mowing hay.

I think it is going to take more time to get across this vast province than I expected, so I had best get going.

Bye for now,