Smithers BC to Prince George BC

I had an excellent Indian meal in Smithers last night. Here it was labelled as an East Indian meal, to avoid offensive indigenous confusion I suspect. And from the reviews on tripadvisor, I conclude that asian food is still a bit of an oddity in these parts. The Smithereens (yes that is what the local inhabitants are called) don’t seem to readily embrace multi-culturalism over several continents.

The credit for my best night’s sleep so far must go to the mattress in the cabin. It’s some kind of magical memory foam, which I’ve been sceptical about, but now need to explore when I get back to Europe.

I continue my multi-cultural food exploration by visiting a Ukranian café for breakfast. Actually, there’s nothing much Ukrainian about the food till lunchtime, but it’s good quality and excellent value. Perhaps because of this, Louise’s Kitchen is well patronised by, how shall I put it, a clientele that makes me feel young at heart.

Leaving Smithers, I’m heading south-east. The countryside now opens up. The road is largely two lane, with occasional passing lanes, but the surface is good.

The long and not winding road . . .

There’s some livestock farming going on, though the pasture looks pretty bare to me. With the short growing season, there must be a lot of concentrate feeding to raise cattle. In any case, a brief detour reminds me of the major agricultural business round here.

A (mostly single-track) raailway parallels the highway here. I wondered whether it was still in use, and then I saw a train full of containers, stacked two-high, about a kilometre long. Trains may not be frequent, but they carry a lot. Here’s a glimpse of a parked one:

The wagons in the foreground are full of wood chips. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of softwood timber processing going on here.

Bigger settlements are more common now, including one that claims to be the geographical centre of the province.

Which may be true, but it sits oddly with the claim of Prince George, my destination, to be the “Northern Capital of BC”

Fact check: Prince George is about 100km east and slightly south of Vanderhoof, so is perhaps not really even in the northern half of BC.

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