Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The crown jewel - Prince Rupert - end of the line

We've been able to take in some of the sights in Prince Rupert, BC. The first thing you see is these huge container cranes and the coal and grain transfer facilities, so you think you've entered Commerce City. But a few houses start to show up, then a huge sign shouts "Shopping Mall" at you, and you spot a Safeway, and you know life is good.

Pretty much the biggest town this side of the province, the C&N Railroad ends (or begins) here and extends to Memphis Tennesee, and used to be a bigger deal when logging, mining, and fishing were going at an unregulated pace. Now the big ships in the harbor are flagged Dubai and Singapore.

They've put some effort into recent improvements around the waterfront, and the seafarer's memorial park.

We're at the Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club - which sounds a whole lot more glamorous than it is. I assure you we haven't attended many black tie affairs since docking.
Chance found his casino, and marked it as his territory. The RR depot is interesting, and Chance has been enjoying grass again.
And we found the Sunken Garden Park. Kind of a mini Butchart Gardens on a thumbtack. But it's nice and you can see there's a ton of volunteer work in these plantings.
The most poignant memorial is the Kazu Maru. A small fishing boat, discovered overturned in 1987 and pulled just in time from the breaking shore that turned out to be japanese.
The story goes that a retired japanese civil servant went out for a day of fishing and never returned. The tough little boat followed the Pacific currents here for 18 months.
The city restored here and held a memorial dedication in 1989 where invited guests included the widow of the fisherman. With her blessing, Prince Rupert built this memorial gazebo to house the wonderful little boat.
Delightfully, with one foot still in the 70s, Prince Rupert still has a drive-in diner. Though it looks to be an Italian place.  We're happily enjoying a little local fishmonger called Dolly's. With live Dungeness crabs and a mighty tasty "cheese crab Denver on a kaiser" and black cod. We'll post the menu.

We called into the US Coasties and plan to be back in Alaska June 4-5. Blain is drooling over his last bottle of 2008 Alaska Smoked Porter and dreams of quashing it in US soil. Somebody, pinch us. It's actually not even summer yet.

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