We only got to Canada for one day. We are already making plans for my return trip to Seattle and more time spent in Canada since we didn't get to see nearly as much as we wanted. What we did get to see was pretty cool though. I like learning about the history of a place so we went to Ft. Langley, which is the oldest settlement in British Columbia. That white building there is the storehouse and the oldest structure in the province.
One of the things that surprised me was how many items on display were just out in the open and allowed to be handled by visitors at will. Since Ft. Langley was settled as part of the fur trade there were piles and piles of pelts in the storehouse along with other things. I had a lovely chat with a lady in period costume who interpreted the fort to us. As someone who does that at a local historical site, I enjoyed comparing notes with her on East Coast vs. West Coast and U.S. vs. Canada across a number of aspects.
Beaver hats were all the rage in Europe at the time of Ft. Langley's settling. They had one I could model. I think I looked more like the female version of Slash than a settler. Vague resemblances to rock stars aside, I really liked how accessible the place was in the way it presented itself. We had a bit of a chuckle over the introductory movie that gave an overview to the place. It was not a typical snooze inducing documentary (this coming from someone who likes documentaries). It was kind of cheesy in an endearing sort of way but it was also engaging and I could see folks retaining the facts it presented more readily. So hats off to the folks of B.C. for making history fun and for the relaxed approach. Here on the East Coast there's a level of formality to the presentation of history that is sometimes off-putting, though I hasten to add I do understand why the National Archives doesn't want some dude with greasy fingers from his super-sized meal fingering up the US Constitution.
Since the demand for beaver hats tanked not long after the founding of Ft. Langley and the winters there are mild enough that the furs produced are not high quality they turned to timber, cedar especially. Ah, trees make me happy. The feathery greens were so pretty.
We thought we'd have more time to explore a bit of B.C. but it got late so we headed back to the U.S. Getting into Canada was a little interesting since Thing Two was with us and the Canadian border patrol was afraid Logo was kidnapping her own son. The Canadian authorities were at least pleasant about the process. One guy was downright apologetic for the trouble. Returning to the U.S., we were greeted by a seriously surly American border guard. Really, dude, a couple of middle-aged women and a 12 year old boy in a minivan strike you as a threat? This picture and the next one were taken at the Peach Arch Monument. This one is from the Canadian side. Thing Two and I dashed off to take a quick looksee while Logo circled the parking lot avoiding the $10 parking fee on the American side.