Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/205

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UP THE S KEEN A RIVER. i 9 i

mated. Even to-day in the neighboring village of Kispiyeoux the dead are buried in shallow graves just in front of the house.

Of the many charming spots about Hazelton which are well worthy of a visit, we had time for only one — a horseback ride to the Howgelgait Canon. The ride was most enjoyable in every re- spect. The road leads from the town up over the plateau through the burying ground, and then on through a partly cleared forest of cottonwoods and maples. Then we plunge into a two-mile-long lane, the trail scarcely wide enough to admit of the passing of a horse, through a dense grove of hazel bushes, laden to their tips with unripe nuts still protected by their green fuzzy envelopes; and now we knew whence came the name " Hazelton." Suddenly the grove ter- minates, and after dismounting and walking forward a few steps we came to the face of the canon. "What a sight ! On the opposite cliff, but on a higher level, stands the old deserted village of Howgelgait, with its great empty houses and skeleton totem poles. At our feet, down a sheer precipice almost a thousand feet below, the Bulkley River, set on edge, rushes and roars and foams through the rocky gorge to join the Skeena a mile away. Just by the mouth of the ' canon, at the edge of the great whirlpool, and on a gravelly beach, stands the present town of Howgelgait. Hearing shouts, we looked closer, and far down we saw men moving about, their forms dwarfed to almost spiderlike dimensions. They were building a swinging bridge over the river, and the timbers already in place looked like the meshes of a spider's web.

Looking up the canon, we could see from the opposite wall near the water's edge, and far below us, a rude scaffolding suspended by bark ropes over the river, and from this Indians were lowering their nets and drawing up salmon. One man after another would leave for his home, his back bending under the weight of many fish, his place to be taken by another, who begins casting his nets. And so these rude scaffoldings here and all along the rivers are occupied by busy fishermen throughout the summer, for salmon is chief of the winter's food supply of these people. In one house we saw over a thousand salmon hung up to dry for use during the winter months.

We left the canon for the ride back to Hazelton with keen regret, for no more fascinating spot did we find on our entire journey than right here. On the way we encountered a woman of the Carrier tribe of the Tinnehs from Frazer's Lake, who was returning from Hazelton laden with provisions and cheap calicoes.

"We had scarcely entered Hazelton when the tinkling of the bell of the " lead horse " announced the arrival of the pack train. Second only in importance to the arrival of the Caledonia to the people of Hazelton is the arrival of the pack train, for it brings the

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