Mo & Terry Smedley


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Prince Rupert

The Alaska Ferry Taku was scheduled to leave Ketchikan for Prince Rupert at 3:30 AM.   I expected we'd have to grab a few hours' sleep in the hotel, then board the ferry and try to finish off the night on the way to Rupert.  The Alaska Ferry crew was kind enough to let us "sneak" onto the Taku in Ketchikan as soon as it arrived from Wrangell at 9:30 PM, so we could have an uninterrupted night's sleep in our rooms on the ship.  Thanks, guys!

The passenger count on the Taku was EXTREMELY light!  About 15 people total, and just four vehicles on the car deck.   When we got to the ship's cafeteria in the morning for breakfast, the kitchen crew welcomed us with a loud "yaaaay"!  They were glad to actually see somebody other than crew.  It felt a little like the Twilight Zone wandering through a completely deserted ship.  I kept expecting to hear Rod Serling's voice announce some creepy twist to our sailing plans.

Had another good weather day here in Prince Rupert.  No rain to speak of.  Explored the Museum of Northern B.C. and the Cow Bay area.  Had dinner at a restaurant that Dad and I visited more than ten years ago.  Can't believe it's still operating with the same owner at the same location.

Off to Prince George tomorrow by train.

Nice raingear, Betsy. Sunrise breaks over the waters near Prince rupert. A little cloudier than we'd seen previously, and some whitecaps from pretty good winds.  We were rocking & rolling at times during the night. The forward observation lounge on the Taku.  Completely deserted, except for me (and my laptop on the front window sill).   Eerie....
A deserted solarium on the Taku.  We didn't see any other passengers anywhere on the ship until about an hour out of Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert is a very important port for trade with the Pacific Rim.  On the left is the grain loading terminal; on the right is the coal loading facility. The pulp mill at Prince Rupert, which is now closed down.  We've been up close and personal in Grays Harbor with the damage caused by the loss of family wage manufacturing jobs in small communities.  We'll roll right past this pulp mill tomorrow on our train route to Prince George. A brand new container loading facility opened about three years ago in Prince Rupert.  You can bet that all of those containers are filled with manufactured goods from China.  What you can't see in this picture are the jobs that were lost when the manufacturing was shifted offshore.
The residential section of Prince Rupert, as we approach the Alaska Ferry terminal. One of us (I'm not saying who) remarked "what a long mobile home!" when the covered walkway came into view. The Museum of Northern B.C. is a magnificent log structure that overlooks the water.  Three carved totems are in this open display room. A carved mask showing the detail of a labret that was a common treatment for high-ranking women in Coastal Indian bands.
It took me a while to figure out that the labret was actually a body piercing that went through the lip, not just elongating it.  There were several examples of very ornate carved labrets in the museum. We walked down to the cruise ship area, known as Cow Bay.  As in Ketchikan, it was pretty much deserted. Bright sun highlights the Cow Bay marina. The "cruise ship economy" is a slimmer veneer in Prince Rupert than in Ketchikan.  Here, you can see that industrial and commercial storefronts are right next to the line of tourist shops that line the pier.  By comparison, in Ketchikan  nearly all of the downtown area has been converted to cruise ship tourist shops.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.   To underscore the importance of the maritime industry to the area, a monument to mariners who were lost or died at sea was erected just outside the museum... ...the walls are made of engraved bricks.
Sculpture to honor maritime workers... ...and the inscription beneath it. More signs...on a print/poster shop in town. I've wondered for some time how to say dog poop in French.  'Crottes de chien' it is.
Political statement about transportation priorities in the Province.  (On a bumper sticker applied to a building in Prince Rupert.) The VIA Rail Skeena trainset is parked and ready for tomorrow morning's departure.  A really small consist for the wintertime trip - one coach, and one dome/cafe car. Check out the Spiderman 2 paint job on the locomotive. We had dinner at Rodhos, a restaurant specializing in Greek & Italian.  Dad and I ate here more than ten years ago when he accompanied me on one of my trips through Prince Rupert and Ketchikan.
Tina (at Rodhos) is still managing the restaurant.  Dad, she says "Hi".