Day 8: Prince Rupert to Kitimat-Stikine

Distance: 90 km

Elevation: 530 m

Date: August 9, 2022

The night was really cold but I slept tight. The alarm went off at 7:30 am because I needed to go to Terrace today which is 150 km north-east. According to my map this was the next campground on my route.

I had breakfast with Lydia, cleaned the dishes, tried to load up videos to my blog, which would not work, packed up and was on the bike by 10 am.

Lydia would stay another night and then take the train via Jasper to Edmonton where she would study Electrical Engineering for one semester. That was pretty much my route, too, and we agreed to meet for coffee when I would get through Edmonton.

Since I was entering serious bear territory today, I still needed to buy myself a long rope and a karabiner to hang up my food in a tree. Three meters above the ground and two meters away from the main trunk. That was the advice I had been given. I must say that I was a little tense given the perspective that I somehow had to reach Terrace today.

Prince Rupert is not a very picturesque little town. Actually, it is pretty run down in some corners.

After leaving town the scenery today was yet different again. I cycled pretty much the entire day alongside the Skeena River which has the dimensions of lake Garda just without the crazy traffic. The water here was influenced by the tide hence a lot of parts in the valley were under water and there were also a lot sandbanks. It was a beautiful scenery.

After about 40 km, I met Debbie and Lothar, a couple from Smithers, who were on their way home. They both had recumbent cycles (German „Liegefahrrad“). Debbie was a former bear biologist and Lothar was the son of a German medical doctor who had studied in Heidelberg of all places.

Debbie and Lothar from Smithers

We had a very funny chat and after half an hour and some shared cherries we parted ways again. Debbie had given me some valuable advice when to behave how with bears. And she also recommended a must see website regarding surviving in a bear country:

I had a great tailwind alongside the river and was going at 30 km/h. That was good fun especially since temperatures were around 30 degrees again.

After 90 km I came by a newly opened wilderness resort in Kitimat-Stikine that had not been on my map. I wanted to stop for a cold drink but the host Heather was so nice and full of entrepreneurial vibe that I decided to stay. I could shower, wash my clothes (special deal) upload blogs, and have a healthy home-cooked meal. What else can you wish for?

It turns out that the Kitsumkalum First Nation has purchased the Kasiks Lodge and Resort where I am staying in 2022 and that the chief has asked „my“ host Heather to start up the operations and lead the Resort.

All employees are also Kitsumkalum. They had a vision and storytelling workshop the other week with the leadership of their tribe on how to develop the property over the next years. It is near a former settlement that was torn down when the railroad was built. It is planned that indigenous artists will transform the place in the coming years so that it will tell more about their story and rituals. Also canoe tours and walking tours are planned so that every visitor can benefit and learn about their history. The language of the Kitsumkalum is taught again at community college to young people but Heather like many of her generation does not speak it anymore.

I noticed that I feel very insecure and apologetic asking Heather about her tribe and the stories behind it. So much injustice has happened and I have seen many members of the First Nation in Prince Rupert that were hanging out on the street. There is a big opioid problem that affects many of this group.

But I really like the vibe here and the positive energy that Heather brings to the place!

One thought on “Day 8: Prince Rupert to Kitimat-Stikine

  1. Hi Karsten. Your report sound to good to be true. Enjoy every minute!

    Today I would like to ask you a favor: last year you visualized the tour of each day on a map, which was really interesting and helpful to “follow you”. This time I tried to follow you on STRAVA as a workaround. But I can’t find anything, there. Could you add this information to your posts, again? But only, if that isn’t too cumbersome !!!

    Safe travels!

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