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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Northern Exposure...

I've been traveling too quickly in Northern BC to enjoy the sights enough, as I'm facilitating public meetings once or twice a day and moving between towns daily. The meetings are about the health care system here and are nothing like the tea party meetings my American cousins have to put up with. People here are vocal about how they want things to work, but also appreciative of what they have. (Honestly guys, it is a nice feeling when everyone can get health care with no hassles - from a doc visit through to brain surgery or cancer treatment. No request for money. No pre-authorization. The US is the only developed country in the world without universal health care... but I digress.)

So, meetings aside, here are some shots of sights in the past week. I've seen totem poles in Kitwanga, bears along the Skeena River, pick -up trucks as common as trees and had coffee-swill and one of the best cups of java ever (Mercedes Beans in Hazelton). It's 500,000 square kilometres of land with less than 400,0o0 people. Do the the math...

Next week I'm on Haida Gwaii which will call for more camera action.

Me at the old Hudson Bay Trading Post in Fort St. James. She's an actress, I'm for real...

Gitksan Wet Suwetan people fishing at Moricetown Canyon (see the guy to the left)

The Bulkley River... wayyyy down below me - and I'm leaning over the rail (see below)

One-lane Hagwilget Bridge over the Bulkley River (see above to see below)

Mount something - one of the Seven Sisters near Terrace

From the train window at dusk

Monday, September 21, 2009

North is a state of mind

Click to enlarge ( I live in Nelson in the SE)

I'm back on the road in Northern British Columbia again. This time I'm visiting 18 communities, doing health care consultation with folks . I'll have the camera on the ready and post some photos soon. Last week, while driving at night, a grizzly bear bolted across the road immediately in front of the car - racing along at top grizzly speed. (Sample locations from east to west: Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Prince George, Burns Lake, Smithers, Terrace, Rupert, and over to that island off the west coast.)

North is a relative term. Many people think Canada is in the far north, but almost all its population is further south than Maine or much of UK and Western Europe. We huddle along the 49th parallel with our cousins in the U.S. Many people in Canada call this area I am in now 'the north', yet it's less than midway up.

I worked above the Arctic Circle for six months once - on Baffin Island and the mainland. Now that WAS north. There was six weeks of daylight in the summer and six weeks of total darkness in the winter. (That's when I quit the job and flew home on a jet that landed in the frigid dark morning to carry only me and the flight attendant, wearing pink hot pants and a little bellhop cap - her, not me. This was a long time ago, but even then it was very surreal.)

Anyhow, I'm here, reporting for blogging duty.

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