Torpid in Terrace
✍️ • 🕑 May 30-June 2, 2022 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: digital nomad • totem polls • fast food • Every Child Matters • Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women • Places: Terrace, B.C. • Usk Memorial Chapel
This isn't a particularly exciting post, because, as the title suggests, I was sluggish and immobile for most of my time in Terrace. A combination of my desire to do some work, my need to take care of some chores, and some tiredness resulting from the previous two days' lengthy drives did not leave me up for much exploring.
What I will report is that the landscape surrounding the city is beautiful. The city itself has all of the right amenities and is a good place to stop as one makes ones journey to any other nearby place. I mean, there's a Wal-Mart, and a Canadian Tire and so forth.
Read onwards to hear about a tiny chapel and a laundromat.
Attractions (Seen & Unseen)
From my small sample size, I would disagree with the tourism brochure's statement, "Foodies get set to tantalize your taste buds at one of our culinary gems." I had one incredibly disappointing meal out, and the others were standard. Many restaurants seem to close around 4PM or 6PM, and few are open remotely late. Perhaps this is still a hang-on from peak pandemic changes. Either way, it is inconvenient, and it meant that at least one of the local businesses I patronized was the A&W.
(Unfortunately, the A&W was also my favorite.)
Probably the city's star attractions are nearby parks with rivers and lakes, mountain bike trails up Mt. Terrace, and so forth. Probably the main site in town is the Heritage Park Museum, which is home to log homes and ethnographic exhibits showcasing the lives of early colonial settlers.
I visited none of these. Instead, I paid a visit to two other places.
The first was the Kitselas Canyon National Historic Site, located on the territory of the Tsimshian people. Unfortunately, the canyon was closed, the road down marked with a do not enter sign. The village was home to some beautiful totem poles.
The second was the Usk Chapel, which has an interesting history, and is currently dedicated to those who lost their lives while working in the forestry industry.
Unfortunately, it also had an interesting smell, and it is absolutely not the sort of place where I could feel at home with the almighty. You can't pray that stench away!
Later, I learnt that part of the reason for this aroma, as well as the unusually sparse altar was likely arson. You can read about the details in this CBC News Article.
Considering that much of the interior had been burnt to a crisp less than two months before my visit, the aroma and the aesthetic were both in good shape!
Highway of Tears Memorial Totem Pole
As I drove in and out of Terrace on the Yellowhead Highway, I couldn't help
Meanwhile, the only other main thing that caught my attention on the way in & out of Terrace was the Highway of Tears memorial totem pole, which serves to honor people of all marginalized groups who are dispraportionately missing and murdered.
It has been adorned with orange balloons, and toys, symbolizing the childhoods lost when First Nations children were forcibly separated from their families and sent to residential schools, where they faced cultural genocide.
It's a moving sight, and you can read more about it here if you want.
As for my errands...
I was pleasantly surprised to see a washer & dryer sitting in my Airbnb, but unpleasantly surprised to find that they hadn't been hooked up yet, and lacked the proper connections. "Washer coming soon," says the listing.
So, I took my clothes down to a deserted laundromat attached to a gas station and did them there. It took me surprisingly long to figure out how to feed the washer with change. Apparently, there used to be illustrations that showed which coins went where in the slot, but that disappeared, explained the attendant, who promptly disappeared herself without actually giving me a usable answer.
The total cost was $2.50, and there were slots for four coins. The change needed were two loonies (dollar coins) and two quarters, and it was difficult to tell which pairs of slots needed which coins. Eventually, I hit the right combination, and left my clothes to swirl and tumble.
The dryers, at their rate of four minutes for a quarter were at least intuitive. All in all, not the worst errand.
Besides that, I did some grocery shopping, bought another propane canister, got gas, shuffled my stuff around in the car.
I was ready for my next destination.
Finally: the islands of the Haida.
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Thanks for reading!
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