Up, own and around big hills I go as I make my way out of Prince George toward Quesnel. Hay, horses and cattle dominate the high altitude farms. I am feeling good so I skip a break after a two and one half hour walk.
Suddenly at the bottom of a hill the tiny community of Hixson appears. Over breakfast Ed tells me he is a fork truck driver at the local pallet factory. “We only use scrap, wood shavings, branches, and pig manure [more scrap lumber] to make our pallets. I like my fur days on and four off schedule at the plant” Coleen adds “they give health benefits but they are fully taxable” As we get acquainted she adds “My family originally came from that part of Ireland where they do the shooting. I’m sure we were part of it.
Billy Barker Day
“You be at the festival tomorrow? the old timer asked his friend in the coffee shop.”I’ve been on a tractor all day” “Must be haying”, he friend replied. “It must be Billy Barker Days”
The rodeo was in Quesnel. I learned that in the 1860’s Billy Barker, a prospector hit a large gold strike not far from here. That started the B.C. gold rush. Legend says ole Billy spent his largess on win, women and song and died a pauper in Clinton. That’s where I m headed. Thoughts of Billy and his era will accompany me I am sure.