We continued down the road I guess hoping for some divine guidance as we had no address. We passed a white truck on the side of the road. The gentleman was on the phone outisde the vehicle. Kristen immediately said his attire looked like that of a birder so we turned around. Sure enough, this was Bob, a volunteer with Ducks Unlimited. Where we met Bob was a relatively recent acquisition for DU. This marshy area had previously been over-grazed. This project was part of a compensatory mitigation effort. A new runway had been put in Prince George so the mitigation for the change in land use was this particular property. In this part of British Columbia, Ducks Unlimited is seen as the primary contact for mitigation. There definitely was a lot of ducks, geese and other birds in the vicinity as we spoke with Bob.
We left Bob at the local Tim Horton's (I think there is at least one in each town!). At this point we have been in BC for seven days and we are on the wildlife hunt! I'm not talking about squirrels or deer. We're talking bears, moose and elk. We started really looking as we drove down the highway. Kristen and I decided we'd better do whatever we could to document the existence of moose since our opportunities to see one would become more limited as we headed to the coast. Well, the picture says it. The sign would have to do for now. I'm not totally convinced there are moose in Canada. The pictures I've seen make it look like a neat animal. Must be lots of people who come to Canada to look for moose right? Ecotourism maybe? I can see it now, a room of Canadians saying "Let's tell people we have moose, put signs up warning them and watch all the Southerners come look for them." Sounds like a good idea. I jest but hopefully we'll see the real deal before we leave Canada.
By the time we hit Smithers, we were in dire need of food (ok, we definitely could have survived given the volume of food we've already eaten on this trip). We decided on Louise's Kitchen. To our surprise it was a wonderful Ukranian restaurant. I had a delightful perogie dish. As many people we passed were wondering, Louise asked about our clothing. We had been attracting attention all through BC when we walk in somewhere all wearing the same clothes (I'm sure that we also get attention for the 4 women and 1 man team!). We told Louise that we were on a Rotary study tour and Louise told us the Rotary Club meets in her restaurant! So we left Louise with our information, a South Carolina Rotary pin and the Rotary District's flag to pass on to the local Club. After lunch, we took a quick look around Smithers. You see more moose "advertising" in the picture below.
The town had beautiful views of the mountains. Unfortunately, every view of the mountains also afforded us with views of power lines. Oh well.
This is definitely a tourist type area imitating a Bavarian town. With that in mind, I went to take a picture of a figure in the median and found it next to impossible not to have Movie Gallery or some other sign of modern life also in the shot.
We headed back over the one-lane bridge. The bridge had a walking lane that provided excellent views of the water below.
The "important" Kodak moment though was catching those funky things that are Canada. In Haxelton on the side of the road were these figures representing forestry. I had to get this guy. Maybe I can find one for my house!
We also saw the mountains known as the Seven Sisters. Very impressive!