Jill the daughter of the owner of the Red Goat Lodge was a wealth of knowledge about the area, and told us about the general geography of the area. She recommended driving into the Spatizi Plateau, along a gravel road that Harvard Ethnobotanist Wade Davis and Dvid Suzuki both have houses. We spent a good portion of the next morning exploring that road and area and got close to the Sacred Headwaters of the Stikine, Nass and Skeena rivers which all flow out of the Spatizi Plateau.
We stopped for lunch at the junction of the Stikine River and the Highway. This is the takeout place for canoe trips that traverse the upper Stikine River. The journey from the headwater area to this location takes two to three weeks. West from here the river flows through the Stikine Canyon, which has never successfully been traversed by canoe or kayak due to the Class 6 rapids..
We passed through Dease Lake, a town known to us as it is one of the only places in this area that is on the weather reports every night. The main part of the town was off the highway a few km, so we only saw the Petro Canada station and then continued North.
The next stop was Jade City. This area of BC provides 90% of the world wide jade production. For such a significant location in mineral production, there were no tourists, and few people working at the store. Must have been too early in the season. The irony in this globalized era is that all of the affordable carvings were made in China from this local jade. In otherwords, the raw rock was shipped from here to China, polished, carved, and then shipped back! Apparently there aren’t even that many jade carvers in North America, and of course none that would be competively priced to provide cheap carvings to tourists.
By this time, we were about 75% of the way up the Cassiar Highway. Our stop for the night would be Boya Lake Provincial Park. This was recommended to us by some Gemran tourists that we had met in Hazelton. This turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip.
Boya Lake is a glaciated lake at the edge of the Northern Rockies. The azure water color and snow capped mountains was magical, and combined with the soft northern light made magnificent photographs even without the use of filters. Peter was up very late that night capturing the sunset on the mountains that surrounded the lake.