Friday, August 26, 2011

Haida Gwaii Part Two

These holidays were making me lazy. I was usually out of bed around 8, which is unheard of for me. Lazy days in the slow atmosphere of the mist isle. It was so nice to be able to sleep in. No chores, no responsibility. It wasn't a problem to help out in the kitchen and do some dishes. I was so relaxed. This day was no different. Late rising, eating breakfast and drinking lots of tasty fair trade coffee. We decided to walk into town to have a look around. Charlotte City has a decent amount of interesting retail. Its a mix of "everything under one roof" hardware store, consignment clothing store, a dollar store, an organic food store and an eclectic home decor shop. I thought this place was pretty fancy for the island. What do I know. We had food at a place called Queen B's, and coffee. We purchased a couple of books at the store. "How to knit in the woods" was one, I can't recall the others. We stopped at the hospital to see Katie at work, then by chance met Matt on the road. He picked us up and took us home. We quickly changed and were headed out for a hike.

Todays trek was to the Tlell/Anvil trail. We headed out towards Tlell again, and past the nude beach. The trail is quite hidden on the side of the road. A small sign marks the trail head. The thick growth of the forest masks the actual route until you are on it. The trail meanders through the forest along the Tlell river. I assumed the trail had the anvil added to it because the river routes through the forest in an anvil like shape. We wandered around looking awestruck at the monster spruce, red cedar and hemlock trees. I was amazed at the size of a root ball of a downed spruce that wasn't that big in the truck. The roots just spread out for feet from the trunk. The river is very dark from the tannic acids from all the cedar trees around. It is almost black. Amazing. I hope to make it back to see this place when there are salmon in the rivers. It was pouring rain for most of the day out there. That made it even better. A rain forest is much nicer when it is all wet and one can hear the rain drops falling through the tree branches and hitting the river. Mesmerizing. I think I took more pictures along this walk than I took in any one place. The total trail is 5k and we were out for a couple of hours. It was  time to head home to dry out and cook dinner for when Katie got home. Smoked Black Cod poached in milk. Deelish.

The next day we had the house to ourselves. We leisurely had breakfast and coffee before heading out to see the Haida Heritage Center in Skidegate. We got on the bikes for the first time in a few days. It felt not too bad, my backside still wasn't right, but I made it. The museum is beautiful. It is a must see for anyone going to Haida Gwaii. It gives a complete history of First Nations on the islands, many artifacts, totem poles, canoes, and art. This place was huge and we spent a few hours wandering around. Hundreds of priceless items are housed in the museum as well as canoes and totem poles outside. I couldn't believe the size of the dug out canoes that were used to cross Hecate strait and go on trading missions up and down the coast. Unfathomable.

We left the Heritage Center needing some nourishment, and caffeine. We rode a kilometer up the road to Jags coffeehouse. We had a sweet treat and a coffee, and listened to Jags tell us stories of people who have come to the island to do incredible feats of endurance. He spoke of the fellow from Oregon who laid on and paddle a surf board around Graham Island. Unassisted. I think it took him less than 50 days. That is something that I couldn't imagine doing. Big respect for that guy. We finished up and made out way home for dinner. My travel partner made a fantastic platter of sushi with and without the bounty of the sea left overs we had been having for dinner the last few nights. We watched a concert DVD while planning the next day when Katie would take us north to Massett and North beach. Excited!

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