Charles Joseph - Traditional Kwakiutl Art
Another Journey to Montreal
Check back here for updates on our journey to Montreal for the de-commissioning of the Residential School Totem Pole. We're driving across the country from the West Coast to Montreal and will be sharing photos and stories along the way.
Friday May 6, 2022
It's near the end of the day on Friday and we are on the way to pick up Charles. We will be meeting with him tomorrow in Kamloops. Today we made it as far as Hope from North Vancouver Island. When we arrived we went to my favourite place to eat here, Rolly's Restaurant. If you like eating in good old school family restaurants with great service and food, this is the place to go in Hope. The steaks were so tender they could be cut with a butter knife. Delicious and most satisfying after a 12 hour drive.
After eating we checked into a really nice rental called the Owl Street Lodge found, funnily enough, on Owl Street. Another recommendation. A huge open concept space with a keyboard, a pool table, a full kitchen, and enough couches and beds to bunk down the whole family. Meet Eli Charlie clowning around the pool table.
A really nice kitchen. Too bad we have such a long drive tomorrow or I'd whip up a monster breakfast in the morning.
Saturday May 8, 2022
Eli and I met up with Charles this morning in Kamloops. After loading up we started east and stopped in Revelstoke on the way to have lunch. We stopped in to a place new to all of us called Emos. I loved the little model of Don Cherry and his dog behind the bar. Good food and service. The day went a little sideways a shortly after that pleasant break from the road.
I was completely unaware that the Trans-Canada Highway was closed from Golden to just before Banff leaving was with a detour. "It's only and extra hour" she said. I found it hard to believe that an hour added to an all day highway journey is "only" an hour. We finally made it to Calgary about 8:30. I can't rave about the accommodation tonight. The hotel parking was completely full and the adjacent parking lot couldn't accommodate my Mitsubishi because I had a very typical cargo container on the roof. It felt like after this extra long drive of over 13 hours we we're going to get a fight over checking into our rooms.
The day did improve though. After finally getting checked in ( a Lacross team was ahead of us and really slowed us down) we threw our bags in the room and headed out into the night to look for dinner. It was now around 10 pm and it was looking like many places were long closed. Suddenly Hy's appeared and was open. Thank you Hy's for the great service and food. Steaks cooked perfectly as anyone would expect from a place that calls itself a steakhouse.
Sunday May 8, 2022
Happy Mother's Day to all mothers. Today was another long day driving. We left at 6 am local time and finally arrived in Winnipeg at 11 pm local time. This is one big country! With such a gruelling schedule yesterday we didn't take time for many stops or photo opportunities. We did make a stop in Medicine Hat though. When we saw the World's Largest Tipi standing there it called us over. I couldn't see anything written at the site about just how tall it is but according to Guinness it is 51 feet and 2 inches high. Here's a few photos.
One final note for the day. We did stop in Regina for a late lunch. Of course the place was pretty busy for Mother's Day but the food and service did not suffer for it. Thanks Larissa for the lunch.
Monday May 9, 2022
We made it to Kapuskasing today. We saw a lot of flooding once we got into Ontario. The highway was being overwhelmed with water in one section. We may have just barely beat the impending road closure my phone was warning me about. The weather and accidents we encountered slowed us down a bit and it took us until after midnight to get here. We saw no fewer than 3 semis in trouble along the route today. I couldn't help wondering if this normal as one trucker indicated with his comment of "surprise, surprise" when I mentioned there was an accident.
We came upon a place called Clearwater Market and had to stop because they had a totem pole in front of the store. Charles loved it and we all had to stop and get some photos. I turns out that is a place to get some decadent fudge.
We stopped at a great spot in Upsala for our lunch. Recommendations all around. It is the only gas and food spot in town and you can't miss it.
Sometime in the early evening we ran across a pretty striking waterfall at a place we were told is called the Palisades. We met Don, his Mom Pam, and his very friendly dog Gertrude. Don was very thrilled about his recent art find that he was holding when we met him.
As you can see from the photo of the waterfall the weather had changed dramatically since morning when we were traveling between Kenora and Thunder Bay. It was nice and allowed us to make up some time. Our thoughts are with those suffering the effects of flooding both there and in Manitoba.
Friday May 13, 2022
Hello, for those of you who have been following this you probably wondered what happened to the updates. The truth is the long drives and lack of sleep completely wiped this guy out. I spent nearly every possible moment I could resting in bed when I arrived in Montreal. I think the next time I go on a cross-country drive I will move to a smaller country. :-) My last post featured someone named Don, his mother, and his dog. Don, it has come to light, makes youtube videos and he shared the one he made that day.
Yesterday we held the ceremony at the pole to send the pole on it's journey in a good way. We met with Otsi'tsaken:ra, the remainder of their party that flew out, and the museum staff. After smudging and prayers we went out prepare the ground and bless the pole. Ancestors were fed with bannock and given fruit juice to drink. Otsi'tsaken:ra spoke first and and we followed with a repetition of the story first told when the pole was raised. At this point I can't share photos of the ceremony since I was participating and couldn't take pictures. Some will be coming though.
Saturday May 14, 2022
As promised, here are some photos from the ceremony. Enjoy. All of these photos were shot by Sebastien Roy.
I would like to point out that this journey was made possible by many people who helped out. Heart felt thanks to all of you.
Sunday, May 15 2022
Saturday and Sunday were lengthy days of travel and at the end of it we ended up back in Winnipeg. On the way though we made a few stops. On Saturday we stopped at a place called Nibbler's in Spanish, Ontario. A variety of fish from Lake Huron were on offer there. A cute little shack with decent food.
That day saw us only make it to Wawa. The infamous Wawa. I recalled a time a long time ago in the 1970s hitchhiking across Canada from Montreal and being given a warning about Wawa. The stories were told of hitchhikers who foolishly took rides to this town only to end up moving there as there were never any rides out of Wawa. We stayed in a nice little place called The White Fang. A very basic roadside motel with clean, newly renovated rooms. A nice place.
Sunday saw us moving out of the hot southern Ontario and Quebec weather into the cooler weather most of Canada is more accustomed to at this time of year. On the way out I mentioned the wet weather and flooding around Dryden (mostly west of there) and I was surprised to see it was even worse in the area we just made it though last pass. This time the water was even deeper and we found ourselves having to drive through what must have been about 2 feet of water.
Not long before we hit that flooding for the second time we did run across another totem pole. We neglected to record the name of the artist on this or the last occasion so if you are that artist, please contact us and share us your name. Charles tried to see if the artist was there is what looked like his shop, but no luck.
Today we start for Regina. A very welcome short day. More to come.
Monday May 16, 2022
Today we traveled to Regina and met up with Travis and his family at his business, Kodiak Lighting. We had a really nice visit and had some demos of some really top quality lights. Charles picked some up for his workshop.
Before we left there we asked for a good Japanese restaurant to eat at and they recommended Teppanyaki's. Good call on that! Great food and a bit of a show at the table by the chef. We all totally recommend the place.