The ferry chugs south through Alaska, towards Canada. Cloudy skies give way to sun.
The Yellowhead Highway takes us east out of Prince Rupert, up Rainbow Pass and down to the Skeena River. The Skeena is silty like Turnagain Arm. Everyone is out fishing for salmon, springs they call them. We finally left Alaska, I think, only to end up in a place that looks and feels the same.
Except there are fresh picked cherries for sale on the side of the road here, and vegetable stands. Loaded Saskatoon and salmonberry bushes line the roadside. A mountain goat crosses the road in front of us, looking a bit bewildered at being down on flat ground. I look and him, he looks at me. It’s a stand off until he turns and runs down the railroad tracks and off into the bushes. Maybe he’s going for a swim.
There’s a heat wave with temperatures in the 90s. We pass afternoons at swimming holes, hiding from the sun. Locals say this isn’t normal and talk openly about climate change.
We arrive in Smithers and check the weather. It’s not likely to change anytime soon. The decision is made to take the train to Prince George.