Vancouver, May 5, 1905

 

My dear sister,

I’m in British Columbia! I do not regret the long train journey. Since leaving Montreal, I have travelled across the entire country. First, I went through Ontario, and then across the Prairie Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, where I saw plains that stretched as far as the eye could see. Upon approaching British Columbia, the landscape suddenly changed. The snow-covered Rocky Mountains seemed impassable. The train travelled the flank of the mountain; it was very impressive.

Once the mountains had been crossed, I found myself in the Okanagan Valley, a valley with a mild climate. The air is humid and a hot wind blows, allowing fruits like peaches and cherries to grow in abundance.

After following the winding Fraser River Canyon, I finally reached the ocean. Unlike the St. Lawrence River, the sea does not freeze here and boats can navigate all year long. The ocean is so rich in fish it seems to be an inexhaustible resource. Many people work in the fish trade.

There are many silver and copper mines, but the days of the gold rush are over. One day I’ll go further north to visit the Caribou region where prospectors once looked for gold. These days, people operate coal mines there.

But what impressed me the most were the logging sites. What people said was true: these cedar trees are huge! They are so big that you can carve a tunnel in them that’s big enough to let a horse and cart pass through. When I asked the men how trees could grow so big, they said it was due to the maritime climate of the West. This climate is characterized by hot, dry summers and heavy rainfall, especially in the winter. I think I will be happy here in this country where natural resources are unimaginable!

Your brother, Charles

 

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social

French if available (si disponible)