Our Prince Rupert Trip
Prince Rupert, BC is an attractive location in Western Canada. Here, Carol Harrison describes her trip, with a focus on the eagle population in the area.
Prince Rupert Trip
My husband and I boarded VIA Rail’s Skeena Train in Jasper, bound for Prince Rupert, BC. Neither one of us had ever visited this Northern BC coastal city before and both of us were anxious to have a chance to explore the area. We traveled through mountains, watched for bear, deer and moose that might appear from the forest to cross the tracks or wait at its edge. We visited the other passengers on this small train – we numbered less than twenty for most of the second day of the trip from Prince George to Prince Rupert.
The wild animals remained hidden on this leg of the journey but late in the afternoon of the second day of the trip we saw eagles flying over top of the observation car. I loved all the windows which gave us the opportunity to see these majestic birds with their incredible wingspan. This glimpse made me want to see more. But the train continued west and the eagles flew their own way. I kept watching, hoping for another encounter with eagles.
Midnight Arrival in Prince Rupert
The delays in travel meant we arrived at midnight to Prince Rupert and we made our weary way to our hotel. Exploring the area needed to wait until morning. The next morning I opened the drapes to see a view of the ocean and by looking to the right saw where the mountains met the sea.
The misty morning cleared as we rented a car and set out to explore the lush green landscape. We headed to the old cannery to learn about the history of the industry and tour the historic site. I learned things I never knew, of the company store aspect to this industry that employed whole families of First Nation People, Chinese and some Japanese as well. Salmon swam in abundance but the canning procedure, net mending and fishing was back breaking work. Lead sealed the tins but no one knew better at the time. I left there overwhelmed at the history, the pain, the injustice that had happened while this area opened for trade and settlement.
A Prince Rupert Eagle Encounter
We were on our way back to the community of Prince Rupert proper when we noticed an eagle landing on an evergreen tree beside the road. My husband pulled into a dock/ boat launch area – a working area rather than for pleasure boats and holiday sightseers but off the road. He hopped out of the car while I fiddled with something. Soon I heard him call for me to hurry up and get out of the car since I was missing the action.
As he stood gazing at the eagle flying towards where we were parked, it came to about ten feet above his head. He said it was an eerie feeling to see this powerful bird, wings spread, gliding toward the tree. He said he hoped the eagle avoided him.
Eagles Without Intrigue
As the eagle landed, we spied another one. We watched in amazement as the pair squawked at a pair of cormorants in another tree across the road. Both pairs of birds were very territorial and made sure that anyone in the vicinity knew they did not approve of their neighbours.
We saw more eagles during our stay in Prince Rupert. The locals never paid any attention to them. They were so common – like crows on the Prairies – that they no longer held any intrigue for those that saw them all the time.
Last Night in Prince Rupert
On our last night in Rupert we drove around the town until we arrived at the old rail station, now a museum. The rain from earlier in the day had cleared. The sun shone on the water. Boats came in to dock for the night. As we walked along we spotted an eagle sitting on the chain link fence – just sitting there unconcerned about anything. I walked closer and closer and then took a photo. Wow I could see all the feathers and watch him without a zoo fence in between or without the aid of binoculars. Then I moved even closer – so close it was almost scary to have him turn his head and look at me. I noticed another eagle sitting on the rocks below – blending in – waiting – for what I do not know.
When we turned to walk back towards the car we saw four more eagles – each perched on top of a power pole. Six eagles in the small space.
An Eagle Reminder
The day we left our train sat just at the ocean’s edge outside Prince Rupert. Suddenly an eagle swooped low and tried to scoop a fish from the water. It missed and soared towards the heights.
Watching the eagles reminded me of the verses in Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
I had the opportunity to see some of the magnificent works of God, our Creator including the eagles soaring on the heights, swooping to fish from the ocean’s edge and guarding their territory loudly while taking turns soaring into the heavens. Oh to soar on wings like eagles with the help of God who never grows weary.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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