Sunday, 28 October 2012

Port Hardy Revisited

Back in 1982 I spent a summer in Port Hardy, British Columbia.  I worked as a waitress at the Port Hardy Inn.  It was under receivership and the government was pumping money into it in order to make it go.  I just went to Google Maps to see where the earthquake hit today in British Columbia.  It hit north of Port Hardy and offshore, so there is no threat.  But I landed in Port Hardy to see how it is doing.

Boy, Google Maps/Google Earth is great.  I landed down on the street just in front of the Inn.  Nobody noticed me, as usual, due to my invisibility.  The first thing I noticed was a frozen couple walking along the sidewalk with a stroller.  There was no sidewalk when I was there.  There would have been no young couple walking along the deserted dirt road.  Things have changed.  I turned 360 and saw that a replica of many other BC towns had been recreated here.  A strip of car/truck stores, restaurants and cheap housing developments had sprung up.  But the Port Hardy Inn looked basically the same. 

I zoomed out so I could see if I remembered correctly that I walked a short distance down to the water where I saw whales.  Yes. It is true.  There it is.  I remember how my sister-in-law told me the story of her day off:  she went rowing in a small boat with her boyfriend and when they were out a ways, she leaned back to relax a while and enjoy the view.  One by one, blowholes appeared beside the boat as one by one, 5 Orca whales surfaced beside the boat, turning her relaxation into howling fear and excitement as she rocked and tipped in her small rowboat, praying that none of them jumped. 

So, I looked around Google maps a bit and headed north to what should be BC, but suddenly becomes Alaska.  I found a little place called Juneau.  I zoomed in.  It is ever amazing that even the smallest place is "Streetviewed".  Good job, Google.  I looked at the panorama photos uploaded by users and found the awesome photo shown above.  Look at all those whales!  And the beautiful mountains in the background.  Makes me want to go back out west for another visit.  The mountains get into your blood real quick.

However, I remember being there late in the summer and thinking that the leaves were all turning colour back here in Ontario and worrying that I would miss that touchstone.  But I didn't.

So, go check out Juneau, Alaska on Google Maps.  Tell them I sent you.  :)  

Now, leave a comment, eh!