Travel and Nature Study July 19, 2022
Destination, Fort St. James
Fort St. James is located on the southern shores of Stuart Lake. It was built in 1806 by Simon Fraser of the North West Company as a fur trading post. This area of British Columbia was known at that time as New Caledonia. The Hudson’s Bay Company took over the fort in 1821 and the current site represents the post in the 1896 era. Stuart lake area is in the territory of the Dakelh Nation. These indigenous people were the main suppliers of furs and fish to the post.
Visiting the site is a step back in time, with costumed interpreters that bring to life the daily toil and work of the fort. We were fortunate to be there during a visit by school children from Prince George. It was interesting to watch them interact with the guides and work out the challenges given them at various stations. Building a typical fort house was a great team activity.
Tachie on the northern shores of Stuart Lake
A day trip to the north took us to the village of Tachie on the northern shores of Stuart Lake. The village is located on the northern shore of Stuart Lake with beautiful views of the lake, its islands and the surrounding mountains. There is a beautiful school building in the community and many large free-roaming dogs. To get to the village you drive on the best road we encountered on our travels, smoothly paved and with not a single pothole. You are greeted at the entrance to the village by a friendly group at a checkpoint. Telling them we were on a day trip to check out the area they indicated that we were welcome to go into the village. The major
industry in the area is logging, many logging trucks used the road we travelled and there is a large mill there as well. One of the things that crossed many times was an abandoned rail line. My memory as to its purpose and destination did not serve me well. On returning home I checked it out and found it was the B.C. Rail line completed in 1973 that went to Dease Lake and was to have its terminus in the Yukon eventually. Built to move copper, asbestos and other resources, the declining market for many of these resources made the rail line uneconomical. It is sad to see this decaying infrastructure.
Our campsite at Perrons Beach is situated on the south end on Stuart Lake. There is a beautiful view up the lake. It was very windy when we arrived with the waves crashing against the shores. Towards evening you could watch a storm front of rain clouds pouring down the lake and picking up moisture to dump on us as we scurried back to camp. We had one beautiful sunny afternoon at the camp where we sat and read listening to the bird’s songs in the forest around us. Using the Merlin Bird App, we were able to record the birds songs and identify the birds. During one half-hour recording, there were 12 different birds singing for us. It was very relaxing to sit surrounded by fragrant flowering plants and listen to the birds. Enjoy listening to them.
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