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July 26 K'san in New Hazelton

Our sunny skies have been traded in for clouds. I was surprised when I opened the tent to see clouds. It's rained on and off again today. All the locals told us that we were lucky to be in Fort St James on the best day of the season so far. I did say a prayer of thanks, especially since the temperature has dropped again today. We vacillated back and forth about staying in a hotel or cabin tonight since it's chilly, but in the end we decided to stick it out in the tent. Good old faithful Ms. Alps.  The greatest thing about staying in our reliable and dignified little tent is that you get to see something amazing. The scenery is unparalleled.  I'm amazed at how many beautiful things we've seen. I have barely spent anytime reading in the car because the scenery is stunning. Today the rolling hills covered in aspen and pines started to turn back into sharp peaks covered in snow as we are making our way closer to Prince Rupert to catch the ferry. We zoomed past lake after lake. Veggie stand after veggie stand. All the stands here usually say vegetable stand because there isn't much of a season for fruit except for berries.

Kid Day. The poor things have hiked two to three hikes per day for the entire trip. Some have been short and some have been long. Canada is celebrating 150 years and all national parks and historical sites are free. Another great reason to come now. Fort St James has a historical sight a preserved area that was used for the fur trade back in the 1800s and into the 1900s. The workers dress in period costumes and welcome you into the buildings and teach you all about the fur trade. The volatile relationship between the Carrier Indians and the fur traders from the Hudson Bay Company. Some of the local Indian woman were manipulated into being wives to the traders while they were in town when the trader left they simply left any children and their fur trader wife behind. I had never heard about that happening. The local preacher threatened the woman with damnation if they didn't comply with the fur trader wife idea of his. It amazes me the things that many women in the past have endured and some of the hardships they continue to live today simply for being woman.

How can you pass up an opportunity to dress in period attire??
Irresistible!!
Chloe's hat practically has an entire bird on the top. Chloe and Zelly had so much fun playing dress up

An original Canoe carved from a log. The wood for the canoe is so thin and beautifully carved
Maybe she could add some squirrel trim? Chloe sporting fox.
Fort St James on Stuart Lake. Some buildings are original with the exact same infrastructure
The room of the head guy complete with calendar pinups and the bear rug
Relaxing in the old fashioned recliner-who knew they even existed??
How they hung their baby beds. Brilliant.

 The kids got to pet all kinds of pelts ranging from skunk and muskrats to wolves and bears. Chloe sported a fox fur for the entire time we were inside the fur trading shop. They used to keep the head and feet on the fur and use the mouth of the fox as a kind of latch for the scarf. Oh heaven help me. Yuck. We learned that they use squirrel pelts for trim and most of the European royalty wore coats of vermin. The kids got a pelt in the fur trading store to barter at the grocery store for goods. They loved it. They all ended up trading their furs for buttons with their favorite animal on it. Isaak picked a wolverine. In my ignorance I had no idea that a wolverine actually existed, but I definitely fear them now and their razor sharp claws. Did you know that a pesky 45 lb wolverine can kill a bear? Did you know they are incredibly territorial? And vicious?
Trading their furs at the trading store. Chloe giggled when he asked if she caught hers then said, "no, silly."
Alas!! It's warm enough for ice cream-well barely
The views on the drive today. White flowers every where with lakes, rivers and beautiful small mountains

The library. We made it 45 minutes before it closed. 
The playground in Smithers. It was beautiful surrounded by trees and mountains and a glacier in the background
Hudson Bay Mountain in Smithers. We forgot to take a picture of Lake Kathryn Glacier. Oops.
The favorite of the kids were actually the chicken races though. We got to bet on chickens and earn money if our chicken won. Chloe and Zella both won a heat. We couldn't help but think about our four gals back at home. Chloe talked to everyone about our chickens. The rest of kids day consisted of no hiking whatsoever, but included ice cream, Lady and the Tramp and Peter Pan while we drove to Smithers. In Smithers, we checked out the library and took some time to read books and played at the park. Smithers is a ski town and incredibly cute, but I must say that I still prefer Whistler to Smithers. Whistler is pretty amazing and the library is definitely better. We picked a campsite with a sandbox, a playground and the kids are in heaven. They have been playing and giggling nonstop. I'm just glad we have an amazing view of the Skeena river flowing past our campsite and that the rain stopped. I thought we were going to be cooking in the rain tonight.
The Skeena River flowing by our campsite

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