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Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (71)
Finally, I got entered BC again. Passing the Crowsnest Pass, I became to know that there are two CPR lines in that here and also in Banff, and that the northern route was the place killed tens of thousands of construction workers, mostly Chinese. However, people, whoever I asked, didn't know the existence of requiem tower or that sort.
At Fernie, a still existing coal mining town, I met a drunk old guy. Looking at my smoking in the frozen air outside of the hostel, he asked if smoking was cool in Japan. "It's not the problem that if they see me cool or not. I want to smoke, that's all." He seemed to get interested in me; he accosted me when dinner again.
He was an Irish descendant. I mentioned both good points and bad finding in my travel to him. He agreed with me in most points; our discussion in the lounge invited another middle aged guy. He persuaded how Canada have been right in its expansion to the West originated from Ontario; he seemed an English descendant. The old guy with his downward head shaking mumbled, "British are brutal, brutal." The other guy's face got red and his tone intensified. I was already drunk, and thought their seemingly endless argument was very interesting. With a loud laughing, I cut in the conversation, "Anyway, without British people the world wouldn't become this much simple! I appreciate it for them!" They were still repeating their opinions, though.
When I crossed Kootenay Lake by ferry, it was already dark at night. I managed to find a motel in Kaslo. The town used to be one of the Japanese-Canadian incarceration camps, and I learnt the motel was built by those Japanese-Canadians around World War Two. The owner family was from Australia, though. At a museum, I observed their photos which showed more like Japanese than those in Japan now.
In a cafe in town, I found an elegant local old couple who look like Japanese were chatting with Caucasians at table. I asked the waitress if she usually see Japanese in this town. She replied that not so many but in Banff there are quite a few Japanese. She herself was speaking French to other customers; yes, she was a French Canadian. She said that she was from Québec, and that such a moving about to and within BC was pretty common for French-Canadians.
It was turning the middle of November, and the possibility of fishing seemed almost dim; learnt that this huge Kootenay Lake was also contaminated enough not to be able to recover its ecosystem by agricultural chemicals. I had no choice than heading for another Japanese-Canadian incarceration camp of New Denver nearby.
Unexpected as it was, the famous Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre was closed for off-season. I asked for information to a Caucasian group on a street in the community, then he brought me to one of the shacks. It was the manager's house, though he was away. He, then, indicated another house where a lady would help me with. Visiting there, a half-Japanese girl appeared on the house which was hanging a peeled Elk to drain blood. Soon, a seemingly Japanese lady followed the girl. She didn't speak Japanese, so might be the second generation, but phoned to the manager.
She said he can speak Japanese a little; thus, I could enter the Memorial Centre. The man came by his bicycle opened the lock without saying anything. Having heard my thank, he only waved his hand. He said he resided in Vancouver until the War but after confined this camp they couldn't reconstruct their lives out of this place; thus the camp including shacks remained as it used to be until now.
His English can't be said good but his Japanese was worse. He insisted that they were victims of the war as 22,000 Nikkei were forced and got no compensations so far, and wanted donation for the facility. I asked him, "Why didn't you return to Japan when the war started?" "Japan got that war selfishly. It was no connection to us." "Then why did you come to Canada?" "Because it has more freedom, more opportunities!" I'm afraid, but I felt something low-blow with him. He got deeply hurt by BC government all right, but why doesn't he try a new life if saying freedom and opportunities of Canada. Either way, immigrants have to risk security when coming to another country; and he got worst one maybe. He was still living in the victim. He didn't want to help me with my hotel tonight, partly because he didn't have much relationships to the people outside of the community. He was no longer a Japanese of course, but nor a Canadian.
From New Denver to Revelstoke was under the storm with shabby snow. There was almost no visibility out of front window so I chased the cars in high speed before me tooth and nail. Why I had that way was to see the Revelstoke Railway Museum to have information of the victims of the CPR construction. I had already asked that question at a similar museum of Cranbrook, but they couldn't reply.
The displays included the railroad construction process of most miserable work; however, I could hardly find the explanation of the victims. In 1880's over 15,000 Chinese came to Canada and were made to work long hours and paid a mere one dollar a day, almost all of them only to be killed. Among them were also included considerable Japanese. Having already learnt this, I asked why they didn't disclose the fact to the receptionists.
They were volunteering there as wives of CPR men, and said they are railroad maniac mistaking me too. Knowing my intention, however, one woman agreed with me saying that the CPR was not fair hiding the significant fact of the construction. I also asked if there are any requiem towers. They couldn't reply. Asking where should have killed most, a woman said should be around Hope to Kamloops rather than in the Rocky Mountains because of the blue clay which easily falls down. When I said good-by pointing out CPR's lack of humanity, she didn't even smile a wiry smile.
You never can tell what will happen in a travel of Canada. When I ate breakfast at Spences Bridge along Thompson River, the Filipina waitress asked me if I am Japanese and said there were Japanese fishermen in the river. I noticed not a few fishermen were standing along the banks. Hearing the name of Steelhead from her, I became fired again imagining the frustration when missed in Ontario. I have long given the fish up for finished.
Getting down the rocky bank to the edge of the water, it smelled very bad and found a lot of decomposed Salmons here and there. Soon, I became to realise those means they finished their life after spawning. On the distant opposite bank was the CPR line blue clay hills behind it. I thought many Asian compatriots might have killed here. I thanked to them for being able to enjoy fishing in such a tragic place.
The one first came was a young Steelhead. Reeling a spinner until near the bank, he were following behind and then when stopped he bit; I could see all of this just beneath me. Having hooked strongly, the hook pierced an eye; nevertheless, when released he managed to swim. After that, I found a large one was jumping around the border of the rapid flow over there. I aimed at it, then it easily bit in the quiet water.
I never want to miss this big one by all means. She moved strongly enough to pulling the line bending the rod, sometimes rapidly. The quick motion was less than the smaller one I missed in Grand River, but it was like a heavy rolling stone against a stream. Its violence reminds me of the excitement for a Northern Pike in Labrador, but more fun. It was absolutely a fair fight between she and I. I shook with glad. My full-body became hotter and hotter. She approached showing her huge body under the surface; my excitement got to the boil, when suddenly the hook came off. "What?"
I was standing on the spot vacantly with my full-body trembling yet. I might have been able to be satisfied with it, but I was a fisherman. Without being able to stop my shake, I began to cast again. No longer she jumped on the pool beside the flow; she might be back to the flow. There might be no large one in this pool any more. But I made up my mind I would continue before finally succeeding. The moment the large spinner dropping in the water of a distance, it was pulled to the offing like slipping.
Got it! I hooked up firmly, but it couldn't feel heavy. What's that? Then, in a distance a huge Steelhead began to jump up making sounds. I thought it another one; however, as unexpected it was the one I hooked. This time, somewhat she didn't escape to the offing but approached in accordance with my reeling the line. She showed final resistance to me, but I was no longer Rainbow beginner. I carefully observed if she got weakened enough. When I pulled her up out of water with my fingers inserted her grill, she was completely exhausted.
After climbing up the steep slope of rocks, I walked on the highway over 200 m for my car with the Steelhead in my right hand and the rod and fishing stuff in my left hand. Several cars passed by. I couldn't look at them for I was like a mad. When reached, my right hand was like a wood. I laid the Steelhead on the gravel there. Well over 80 cm, I thought. Reacting to the flush of camera, she jumped a final jump.
Driving on the Highway 1 along Thompson River and Fraser River towards Vancouver, I became aware that the Stealhead came upstream from Richmond to Spences Bridge over 300 km! The stream is not only fast in the upper part but also dirty in mouthes; incredible! amazing! unbelievable! I must respect them.
Regret to say, however, cooking it appeared that the taste was pretty bad not because of the maturity but because of the pollution it suffered when passing Greater Vancouver area. The contaminated taste of meat reminds me that the officer of Ministry of Natural Resources said the pollution levels are same everywhere in Canada.


by tetsu95jp | 2008-02-26 07:55 | 27.Back to BC
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