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カテゴリ:11.Till Alberta( 6 )
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (6)

by tetsu95jp | 2007-12-18 17:46 | 11.Till Alberta
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (5)
Until Vegreville along Yellowhead Highway, it was drizzling and herds of seemingly Bison were walking about in bush. I didn't understand if they were wild or not, but it looked so natural that I thought such a scene should be very common in Canada. However, I have never met after this.
Vegreville was originally settled by Ukrainian farmers, but now it was multicultural. At a gas station of the entrance of the town, I tried to have the engine oil changed. They said they could, however, they didn't have tools to. I asked another place to change. They unwillingly told me another possible station nearby, though it couldn't either.
Finally, however, I found an oil maintenance shop in town; people in this town didn't know about their town well. A Chinese restaurant I ate lunch offered me a thick and strong taste dish like I ate in Northern BC, but many other Caucasian women customers looked satisfied. There was, however, a ceramic shop where displayed attractive design goods. The shop lady smiling said they were keeping producing traditional Ukurainian ceramics, but her English was perfect and she was completely a Canadian with proud of its multi-culture.
Searching for something more Ukurainian, I dropped by the museum. When I referred to the displays of Canada's first internment operations from 1914 to 1920, the old Ukurainian descendant director explained about them trembling his mouth with anger. His point was that the government's behavour on them was quite unreasonable and nasty, and he admitted the fact that Japanese' case was worse with sympathy. The brochure says, "For Ukrainian immigrants who had been caught in Canada's first internment operations, the immediate loss was emotional, financial, medical and social. It took generations for the Ukrainian community to get over the feeling of deep injustice, humiliation, denial and fear."
I found several Ukrainian churches in town but on the way to Bonnyville was more significant; that was a show-case of dome-shaped churches. I heard from Gerald that this area mainly consists of French descendants' communities; so I wondered why. I headed for further north for taking the most north route to Saskatchewan. On the way, I mistook a camp-site office as a visitor information centre but an old guy with a red wine glass on the table with TV told me where to fish just as kindly as the centre. I seemed to have to go over Bonnyville to Cold Lake which is the largest water around there.
Bonnyville was a lonly town in a field. At a motel, I asked for information of fishing there. The young mother said her husband should know but he was away so upon returning she would let me know, but never; those things were so frequent in Canada that promises seem not very important for Canadian people; in other words, they can change what they said upon their own convenience. In my opinion, this expedient tendency was succeeded and spread by British people, because they are said to be very political.
I ate dinner at the motel's restaurant. The young waitress looked like French. I asked her if she spoke French. "Many people here speak but I don't," she replied. Asian descendants seemed so scarce in this town; however, I felt the same kind of sensibility as me in her and that she was not like Caucasian Canadians I met.
A data shows, "A French missionary-priest convinced newly-arrived settlers to continue north and settle near Moose Lake. In 1907, hundreds of French-Canadians arrived from Québec and New England. Today, about 20% of Bonnyville's population is French-speaking. This is in part due to the proximity of the military base in Cold Lake. Numerous francophone organizations enhance a vibrant francophone community. Dance and youth groups, a French bookstore and the francophone cultural centre are but a few examples."
Next day, I found a variety of churches: Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Ukrainian Orthodox, United, Baptist and Anglican. When I asked an old woman passed by if an abandoned weathered church used to be an Ukrainian, she replied without stopping, "Not ours, it's Russian. Ours's in a different place." Someone else suggested the church was replaced by a new one in a different location.
One of the main industry of Bonnyville now was oil. I visited the Esso site outside of the town to take pictures of the workers. However, merely dreary automatic pumping machines were lined up with a few observers. Nevertheless, I asked a permission for me only to receive their decline.
Until Cold Lake there were several communities all of whose streets and buildings reminded me the Wild West for its oldness. Entering a nice old cafe, I was surprised at a cute girl, like Dian Lane in her young days, irrelevant to the tilted floor. After having my order, she cooked by herself. I asked her if the church with steep roof before this community is an Anglican or not. She didn't know because she began to commute here from Bonnyville! Her innocence was quite different from Vancouver girls and so impressive. But, people here seemed not concerned about other communities than their own.


I didn't realise a First Nations exists in such an area before I found Cold Lake First Nations. Calling on the gorgeous band office, the IT manager, Thomas Piche, replied to my enquiries. He looked more like Caucasian, though. "Why is this office so rich?" "Because we got a right to share the oil they are digging out. At first they didn't offer us at all, but we won to some extent recently. See, this map shows our original territory and that of now. During the Cold War, the part of our area was used for experiments of nuclear weapons because the climate and soil is similar to Russia's. We are still negotiating to recover our soil."
"What is your traditional life and how are you preserving your own culture?" "Our ancestors used to hunters as well as fishermen of Cold Lake, but not now. That tradition has demolished for the expansion of White people. We are Deni came from North, so are more like Inuit than Indian and have a different language from other tribes like Cree. To preserve this, I'm trying to make the Deni version of our web-site."
"I'm finding the characteristics of Canada might be a concept of Share, though. I mean you are sharing the soil, cultures and languages. Do you agree?" "Share is good, all right. The White offered us let's share the soil, but they have been utilising it only for their own benefit. It is just recently we began to benefit. 'People belong to land,' is our perception of the world so we offered our land."
"There seem the be few totem-poles around here; whereas, the coast tribes have a lot and that in elaborate ways. Why?" "Because we used to have no time for artworks always chasing after herds of Carib inland. Totem-poles are rather coast Indians' culture."
His words, "People belong to land," struck me with goose fresh. That's the thing just I learnt when child in Japan. We have been taught to think of ourselves as weak. Everything takes place according to the laws of Nature. We shouldn't be able to control Nature. There is a words in the Bible, "Ye are the salt of the earth." However, Christianity has been certainly encouraging the personal possessions, despite the fact that the earth is its very own.

Arriving Cold Lake, I tried fishing near the wharf. Nobody else was fishing except boats in the offing. No bite, so I asked the motel lady if there is a point off-shore. Her reply was like I have no choice than renting a boat; I couldn't prefer it.
by tetsu95jp | 2007-12-17 07:01 | 11.Till Alberta
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (4)

by tetsu95jp | 2007-12-16 07:12 | 11.Till Alberta
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (3)
I was heading for Edmonton where was famous for its rapid development for oil; later I knew, however, it was not only a phenomena of Edmonton but also many places in Alberta. Before Edmonton, I wanted to observe an ordinary life in Alberta.
It was an endless farm as far as to be seen; between the paved highways were countless numbers of unpaved red soil roads. Driving the roads, I got passed only a few cars. Sometimes houses were among the farms. Other than occasional heads of cattle, I could have no idea what they grow up since there were covered by green grass for summer.
I dropped by a Shell gas station. There were two kinds of regular gas, Bronze and Silver, to choose on the pumping machine and I had no idea to choose so asked the woman in the office. She said the regular was Silver, but I chose the cheaper Bronze since it stated as regular and I trusted on the Shell brand. Just behind the stand was a liquor shop where a woman like nuts was with her children like nuts. I asked for a small bottle of Canadian whisky saying that I got an awful taste one the other day so I want a good one produced around here in Alberta. "A Rye Whisky?" Without hesitation, she took a bottle from behind the counter and showed me, "This is really good made around here. Everyone prefers this." It was a plastic bottle like the one I hated but the design of the label looked great; I took it. The Flat-4 Boxser engine began to sound strange. I suspected that the stand sold a poor quality gas; those things seemed to happen in this rural area. Since then, I tried not to use the Shell.
At a typical farming community, I met a car driven by a daughter with her mother for practicing for her licence on the public road. The mother asked me what I was looking for such a small village. "I want to know Canada," I said. "Well, this is very common community around here; people were engaging in farming and oil industry." "Where can I observe the oil working?" "The automatic pumping machines are here and there as you can see. That's about all."
When I was taking pictures of a beautiful green grass being cleaned by a huge agricultural machine at New Norway, an old man getting off the cockpit and approaching me said, "What are you doing? I'm planting potatoes and corns." His English somewhat spoke with an accent and I had difficulty to cope with; he seemed a real Canadian farmer. "I'm just taking pictures of your beautiful landscape." He seemed not fully understand it. Come to think of it, he might suspect me to investigate his place for oil. Such stories appeared countless there, and probably they were expecting to make a fortune at one stroke at heart.
Edmonton was a damn place for me. The vulgar taste such as a world famous shopping mall covered inorganic well-ordered streets and houses. "Edmonton area is said to be the No, 1 deposits in the world. Saudi Arabia's is certainly limited but here it's not confirmed yet!" A roommate of the hostel excitingly told. Such guys attracted by the fortune with the oil-boom seemed countless in town. Nouveaux riches mustn't know what the real rich is; I am not interested in such a town and people, I am afraid.


by tetsu95jp | 2007-12-15 08:26 | 11.Till Alberta
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (2)

by tetsu95jp | 2007-12-14 08:24 | 11.Till Alberta
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (1)
Before the long touring, I handed my full rent of my apartment, $4,950, until the contract finishes June, 2005, to Tony. This way shouldn't enable him to get out the apartment like he did to Peter and Charlie; nevertheless, I didn't trust him fully yet. So I didn't tell him when I would come back and kept pretending whenever I would return.
I wanted to recover the delay of my start, because summer in Canada must be short. Since I've already travelled around BC, I wanted to pass it as long as I can. Departed in the early morning 15th August, 2005, from Richmond, I reached Vermont near Jasper. I decided to take my route as north as possible, not only because northern part seemed uncivilised but also the return trip seemed impossible for snow. Besides, someone's suggestion that Jasper used to be the railroad construction-site where tens of thousands of Chinese and Japanese killed. Later it was appeared that not Jasper for CN (Canadian North Pacific Railroad) but Banff for CPR (Canadian Pacific Railroad), though.
When I ate lunch on a bench at a parking area, old Japanese group approached and accosted me in Japanese. They brought just the same lunch as in Japan with them. I wondered what on earth brought them here, why they ate Japanese food wanting other Japanese even in a foreign country. I didn't speak to them at all; their conversation in Japanese had no respect for Canada!
I've already filled up gas in the afternoon, though I was afraid if there wouldn't be a gas station on the way to Jasper. However, I found only one seemingly gas station in front of a lodge a bit apart from the road. I stopped my car at a pumping machine, though no one got out of the office. Unwillingly confirming it, a young guy told I had to do myself explaining as it was a matter of course. Seeing that I couldn't make it with the nozzle, he stepped forward when I had got it by natural. They didn't have premium gas.
I asked him if I could have a room that night. He said unfortunately it was full with fire fighters' reservations. According to him, from here to Jasper there are almost no motels. I had no choice except taking one of expensive motels just turning back the road. The other guests looked affluent with their luxurious cars and the room was equipped with a huge up-to -dated TV and what not.
Surely the Rocky Mountain had a steep slope, but my SUBARU climbed up the Yellowhead Highway without any problems. Valemount's commercialised facility made me lose interest in Jasper: given that even a satellite town of it showed commonplace things for rich people, Jasper should be boring too. Just before Jasper, I turned right to Icefield Highway.
The landscape over the windows was quite rough and primitive. Place to place it was also different, so I had never bored with. When getting off to take pictures, I first realised the strong and cold wind was blowing; it punched my body with half-sleeve shirt on to cool down. Spot to spot, several Japanese tourists like I met on the way were taking pictures of Columbia Icefield. They were hiring shiny rent-a-cars.
It was the afternoon when I was having a coffee with cooking stove on the road-side that suddenly it began to rain with changing into grey sky. A big drops hit violently and then it thundered near there. What a hell! I was sure I'm a rain man though. Even though the coffee was instant one, I can't forget it was so tasty escaping into my car with heavy weather. Just fearing the thunder, after storing the FM antenna, I kept going down the gentle slop of Rocky Mountain Foothills. Wiping in full-speed the front window, there was almost nothing to be seen for the heavy rain. Fortunately I got passed a few cars on the way.
As soon as getting to Shunda Creek Hostel, I asked if I can fish around there. The cheerful guy assured I can provided that I got a fishing licence and introduced me to another middle aged man who was residing in the hostel and familiar with fishing around there. And then I rushed turn back to the only general store and gas stand nearby. Even though there displayed a lot of fishing tackles in the shop, the young guys with pierces on did know nothing about them and couldn't realise the name of the lure that I was told by the hostel man. They also didn't know how to sell the licence... Well, anyway, purchased one of the cheapest rod and reel and some lures was the beginning of my freshwater fishing in Canada.
I merely intended to have a present story for freshwater fishing, so didn't care how big it was; I merely wanted to fish anything I can. However, this experience led me to pursue further bigger ones actually. How awful the fishing is!
I found another fisherman in my room. That was Gerald who came from Red Deer, Alberta, with his little son. At first, we talked about where to fish listening to the hostel guy. He was a repeater there. "The distance from Red Deer is just good for two-day-trip," he said. He gave me a loaf of Elk Sausage he brought with him, drinking beer. "This must be more tasty in the wild camping," said I, he smiled to himself. Such a food convinced me that people here should be more accustomed to Nature than Japanese people.
In return to the food, I showed him my photo collection I took before coming to Canada for my reminiscence of Japan. He was a middle-high-school teacher and knew a lot about recent Japan. "Japan has been completely changing," I said, "I want Japan no more." Surprisingly, my photos with a piece of my writing inserted among the photos moved him into tears.
He himself was a descendant of immigrants from France, and presumably understood why a man want to abandon his home country as I did. I was also surprised that he without background of Japan could appreciate my pictures in that few Japanese people even could the direction of my pictures for abstract sceneries.
He was very talkative or wanted to tell me information of the area to visit including a lot of multi-cultural aspects. However, sadly it was something across-the board and therefore seemed very Canadian in a sense. I later realised this though. Many Canadian people are surely knowledgeable in every respect but superficial or student-level I dare to say. Nevertheless, I learned a lot from Gerald since I was definitely a student level to Canada at that time.
Gerald with his son brought me to a small and shallow lake, Goldeye Lake, next morning. They were not so much eager to fish; as he said that was a part of his education for his son. He told me the song of Loon. After no results I was about to say, "I'm going your way," but they parted from me flatly with shaking hands.
Well, I then follow the middle-aged man's suggestion that I would catch anything anyway at Fish Lake nearby. It was larger than Goldeye Lake and more like commercialised with lots of parking and row boats. Like me, just-for-fun fishermen were walking along the bank. Here, too, is shallow.
Changing points one cast to another, I tried every way I could. But there were no bites; it was when the first bite came. He trembled the tip of my rod, then I hooked strongly but unconsciously. Wow, he ran after ran very quickly that I've never met so far. A dancing rainbow colour glittered under the surface under the Sun; small, too small! I couldn't believe that such a small fish showed the high-spirit.
Releasing the palm size Rainbow fired me enough to challenge another one. I wanted to eat for supper! The only bite in the Fish Lake was over, so I finally moved to Cresent Falls which was a bit interior from the highway. The spot the hostel guy recommended was just before the high falls of a small river. I wondered if there should be any fish in such a dangerous place even for fish. A couple of fly fisherman and woman was ascribing the stream, but I aimed at the very end on the falls. The water was cold and muddy. Once, twice, I casted and reeled a small spinner with a red weight and hair. Then suddenly a big bite came with heavy weight on the tip of the rod. Hooking up, I reeled like mad as he was violent and I didn't know the bottom situation at all.
Wow, it's a good-size trout! After landing, he jumped about on a rock. Soon I took a picture of it, but couldn't tell what kind the over 25 cm trout was; then a young Caucasian father walked to me, "Excuse me, my daughter didn't see such fish. May I show it to her?" "Sure! But do you know whether I can bring back this fish? I'm not familiar with the fishing regulation, so." "Me neither. But my uncle should know. Wait a moment." He called another guy nearby who somewhat looked like Indian; I guessed the young father's wife might come from Indians.
"See if there are no spots on the fin," the black-hair guy said, "Ug, it has? No, it's OK. You can take it." I was relieved and glad but he didn't tell me the name of the trout. It seemed not be a matter for him. After this prey, once or twice of bite but that was all. I remembered Gerald told me that around Rocky mountain as well as Alberta fish don't become big due to the cold and small water systems.
Getting back to the hostel, I showed the fish to the guy and girl of the hostel. "Well done," a cute Canadian girl gave me a complement; I then asked the middle-aged resident for what kinds trout it was. At first look, he replied it was a Rainbow; but confirming that I fished at a stream, he corrected as a Cutthroat. He also consulted with the guidebook of fishing regulation and pointed out that mine was actually too small to keep.
Anyhow, he died already; so, best way for him was to cook him for me. In the kitchen, an over-weighted old White man striking a thick raw stake with back of a knife was curiously observing how this unfamiliar Japanese cooks this small fish. I merely scaled and gutted the fish, then baked with salt, pepper and butter on the pan. The heavy smoke filled the area. Saying, "I'm sorry," I ate it up until the bone. The white meat smelled a bit muddy river but tasty. Oh, this is Canada!


by tetsu95jp | 2007-12-13 08:42 | 11.Till Alberta