Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ketchikan, Day 57

Back in civilization again after a couple 30 mile days coming south from Misty Fjords. I parked on the dock of a kayak touring outfit here called Southeast Kayaks. Same folks that outfitted Barry, Cass and Hipper. It's a really friendly group of people working here. I got to spend some time with Kim Kirby, one of the owners who I met last fall in Port Townsend at the sea kayak symposium.

Another couple days of errands and exploring here. It's the nicest port of call I've come onto during this trip. It's also the only place I've stopped at where I've known someone, so that's part of it.

Tomorrow I head up toward Meyers Chuck and Wrangell. I've decided not to do the extra loop out west from Wrangell to Tebenkof Bay, so from Wrangell, I'll continue north to Petersburg. If I did the trip out west, I'd have to extend the trip a week or so into August, which I could do, but I realize that a certain fatigue is setting in. I noticed it just before I got to Misty Fjords. It's not that I want to stop the trip and head home, but I don't think I have the energy to add that loop. Before the trip started, I wondered if my energy would wane at some point, and I think that's exactly what's happening. I think if I pare some of the extra side trips, I can maintain a good energy for the rest of the trip.

Thanks again to all you who have sent comments and emails. It's great to get news of your lives out here. Take care, all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Where Eagles Swim

Really enjoying the quiet and lack of traffic up here beyond Rudyerd. I see maybe one boat per day moving out on the water.

The highlight of this day has been watching a bald eagle swim 200 yards to shore. I thought I saw some movement on the water ahead of me, and at first I couldn't tell if the movement was just the result of water fluctuations. It was flat calm, but there was still some gentle swell. Then I thought it was a float for a crab trap. I think the eagle was resting then. Then it looked like a swimmer doing the butterfly stroke, but there was something wrong with the dimensions--the head seemed too high out of the water.

Finally, when I got close enough to see it was a bald eagle, I couldn't believe it. I had heard eagles sometimes misjudge the surface of the water and get too wet to lift out again, or they clutch a fish too big to lift, but their talons can't let loose so they drop in the water. And I thought the result was the eagle drowning. But I sat in my kayak and watched as this bird flapped its waterlogged wings and slowly moved toward shore. It would swim for a few minutes, then stop and rest for a minute, then start again. When it rested, its head was well above water, and when it started up again, it was strong enough to lift part of its wings out of the water, but soon the range of wing movement lessened, but it kept flapping. There was nothing in its movements or looks that indicated panic to me. I thought I would be seeing this bird drown, but I wonder if it could have swum for another 200 yards or more.

I couldn't tell how old the bird was, but its head and tail were solid white and there was no mottled color to the wings so it wasn't an adolescent, though I don't know at what age they develop their solid coloring. And would it have been good eating for a seal? One surfaced between the eagle and me near shore, then disappeared again.

When this eagle finally made shore and shook and flapped its wings to dry off, another eagle that I had noticed high in a tree some 100 yards off, swooped down and with its talons outstretched, knocked the wet bird down and continued flying to a low branch in a nearby tree. There was lots of squawking and screeching between the 2 birds. The wet bird got to its feet right away, and a minute later, the second bird attacked it again. Same result, but the attacker flew further away this time. Soon it flew off around the bend and out of sight as a third eagle appeared soaring above the trees. It landed in the top of a tree some distance off, and that's how I left them. The swimmer had hopped up rocks about 10 feet above the water and stood there drying and preening.

So what was going on? Was the eagle knocked out of the air by the other one? Was it a youngster that misjudged in trying to catch a fish? No idea really, but I like to think it was a teenager making some risky, flamboyant move too near the surface of the water, and when it finally emerged from the water, its mom came down and gave it a couple knocks upside the head for being so foolhardy. Any other guesses?

Misty Fjords

The gang arrived at the cabin just as planned, and other than Hipper's luggage that went to Washington, D.C. instead of Ketchikan, all went well. It was great seeing the old gang. Memories of kayaking together in Idaho one summer long ago kept popping up throughout their stay--fine memories, indeed.

We paddled to nearby inlets and even had a 20 mile day to Rudyerd Bay, the highlight of the park. Weather was cooperative--wet at first, but becoming partly cloudy, partly sunny the last couple days. We also got a good hike in up to Winstanley Lake though Barry couldn't make it due to a cranky knee (due for surgery in 2 weeks). What an amazing rainforest up here. Hopefully some of the photos will show the wet density of it all.

I thought it would be a shock to see familiar faces up here so far from anywhere and in the middle of my solo journey, but, strangely, it all seemed so normal. Of course, here are my friends, and I assume they've come from places as diverse as where I've just been. And now we'll enjoy a few days sharing stories of each other's adventures. I guess that's what I was thinking.

Anyway, it was a great time yakking, eating, drinking, paddling and enjoying a wild, beautiful setting. And a few days later, kayaks were loaded on a speedboat, and by nightfall, my friends would be back in their homes, and I would be a little deeper into the park at a camp at the mouth of Walker Cove.

I thought it might be harder to get back into the routine of paddling and camping after being spoiled by cabin life, but good weather for the next couple days helped me ease back into the journey.

Walker Bay was the highlight of my visit to the park. It isn't quite as dramatic as Rudyerd Bay, but it also doesn't have any traffic. Rudyerd Bay had the near constant drone of seaplanes flying low overhead and tour boats coming and going. It's only a 25 minute flight from Ketchikan, and with 900,000 cruise ship visitors every summer, there are plenty of people wanting to take a scenic flight. Someone said that Ketchikan has between 300 and 350 seaplane take-offs and landings every day in the summer time.

I met another kayaker in Walker Bay--Tristan, a young Aussie from the Perth area who is headed south to Olympia. We shared a camp and paddled through Walker Bay together before I continued north and he went south.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Prince Rupert to Misty Fjords

The good weather in Prince Rupert held for a couple more days. I left Prince Rupert around 6am to catch the last of the ebb tide through Venn Passage. That's a narrow pass that can have fast currents, and I didn't want it's current against me.

By the time I made it out to open water, the tide was so low it was hard to find my way among the shoals that now were dry in this lowest of low tides. I kept wanting to turn north around the headland, but I couldn't get close to the headland for all the rocks. Eventually I found my way through the maze and headed north and east around Dixon Entrance.

I thought of camping early that day because of the continued gale warnings, but to get to a camp area meant hiking half a mile to shore at this low tide. So I kept pushing along, and the winds remained moderate.

I ended up paddling all day long and putting in 33 miles. In the last couple miles, I came across a couple fishing boats, and one skipper offered me a sockeye. How could I refuse?

So that night it was fresh salmon for dinner. After the simplicity of my de-hydrated meals, fish was complicated. And I was tired and it was late in the day. There was no driftwood available so it was going to be poached salmon. The fish was so big I had to cook 2 batches in my camping pot.

The fish was real tasty, but there was so much of it. In the end, I felt like I ate too much, and I still wasted a lot of it. Not sure I'd accept a whole fish again.

And cleaning up after fish is a nightmare. After cleaning the fish, I couldn't get the fish odor off my hands. And then I have to handle everything--set up the kitchen, get water, move the rest of the bags above high water, try not to touch my clothing, etc.

After cooking, I boiled soapy water in the pot, but even the next day the water boiled in the pot for coffee tasted like fish. Tasty...

OK, enough fish bashing. But I don't recommend it for solo kayaking up here.

Next day, out the last mile of Work Inlet to Portland Canal. Getting out of Work Inlet was like trying to get out to sea from a river mouth when the currents are opposing. Big rollers, some of them breaking were coming up the Inlet. I skinnied over to the right side of Work to hit Portland as far upstream as I could. It wasn't bad over there, and I kept ferrying upstream until I got past the breakers downstream of me.

The rest of the day was pleasant with little wind and with the fog burning off my midday.

Next day, I had to get around Cape Fox and the 15 miles beyond that were fully exposed to Dixon Entrance weather. This was the third day in a row of predicted gales, but the lasts couple days weather made me hopeful.

But this was the first morning when the water wasn't calm. The wind was maybe 10 knots, and there were rollers under the waves, but it wasn't bad. I had 5 miles to Cape Fox, and I could re-evaluate there.

Approaching the Cape, the wind picked up some, as should be expected at a point of land. I passed between Fox Island and the mainland and came out onto another world on the other side.

The breakers were now 6-10 feet high and seeming to come from every direction. The wind hadn't seemed to increase, but it was chaos out there. The shore was lined with shoals--some were exposed and some weren't. But the whitewater and crashing surf was all around.

I aimed straight out for open water hoping that things would calm down out there. And they did. Somewhat. The wave direction was still confused, but they were also still big. But it was easier being outside the shoal line. My comfort level was being pushed here. More than once, I wondered if I was making a mistake. But the conditions weren't anything I couldn't handle. The concern was how long these conditions would last and would they worsen? I hoped not.

After paddling in these conditions for 45 minutes, the waves began to be more regular and predictable. I breathed a sign of relief. Or did I yell, "Yahoo!!"? I don't remember. And within another hour, the wind noticeably subsided. I don't know if conditions in general were improving and therefore the cape would have been easier now as opposed to earlier, or if I was reaching some protection from the west wind from an offshore island. In any event, the waves quit breaking and the whistling in my ears stopped. Another sigh of relief.

I paddled all the way up to Foggy Bay before stopping, and I set up camp there after a 20 mile morning. It felt good to have that section done. It would have been nice to have the sun come out t9o help celebrate, but there's a reason it's called Foggy Bay. The place is downright dismal. The whole time I was there, the fog never lifted much.

Next day it rained pretty hard all morning. A couple hours into the paddle, I met another kayaker coming south. His name is Eric, and he's from the Queen Charlottes. He ferried up from Prince Rupert to Auk Bay (north of Juneau), and now he's paddling back to Rupert. This was his 15th day, and the rainiest day he's had. I think I would say the same for myself. Interestingly, Eric is the first paddler I've met that seems to be even older than me. Good to see.

I camped early that day because I found a beautiful little beach on a lovely island just offshore. And the distance from there into Misty Fjords would be good.

I set up the tarp and tent as the wind lightened up, and within an hour or two, it was warm with blue skies. The afternoon felt like a layover day to me. Reading with short sleeves and bare feet--now that's livin!

But by morning, it had started to rain again, and so far, it's been raining pretty steadily for 2 days. Yesterday I paddled to Winstanley Island cabin that Cass had rented for a few nights. He and Barry should be arriving today with Hipper coming tomorrow. Anyway, it was nice to have a cabin to dry out in, and a dry place to rest.

It's going to be a tight squeeze with 4 people and gear, but I'm sure we'll manage.

I just baked a chocolate chip cake--and it's my birthday! Yeehaw!


Just a quick update so those of you following the blog won't get too concerned when BCR doesn't post for awhile. Yesterday I got a 30 second phone call from Rimbeaux. He had arrived at a cabin in the Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska. Joining him for a few days are Cass, Barry, and Hipper. Although it's a welcome break, it means Rimbeaux won't arrive in Ketchikan until around the end of June... Carlie

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Prince Rupert

Today is repack day--laundry, pick up food (another successful delivery), repack food, repack boat, repair equipment, etc, etc.

Rumor has it that Cass, Barry and Hipper will be coming up to Misty Fjords and spending a few days paddling with me out of a Forest Service cabin. That would be great, and I really hope they pull it off.

After they leave, I expect to continue on through Behm Canal and come to Ketchikan from the north.

Hope you're all doing well!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lots of Tracks, Few Big Critters

There is hardly a beach I stop at that doesn't have wolf tracks. There must be lots of them out here. But I haven't been seeing bears. That's not really a complaint, understand. I expect now that I'm getting into salmon season, I'll start seeing more.

Lots of black tailed deer, mink, seals, tons of bald eagles, gulls and scoters. Fewer sea lions, one whale, and one wolf at 20 feet above me as I paddled close to shore.

Other Boaters on the Water

Nick Spaeder, a fireman from Sequim, WA, is paddling from Vancouver to Ketchikan and trying to average 30 miles/day. We paddled together for a while in Mathieson Channel before I stopped in Refuge Cove and he paddled on to Griffin Passage. Nick did a solo circumnavigation of Vancouver Island last year, and at one point he got knocked down by a 20 foot rogue wave but rolled up on his third attempt.

Chris from Port Alberni, Vancouver Island is paddling south from Prince Rupert to home. I think he's got 3-4 weeks for the trip. We met just as I was entering Grenville Channel and exchanged notes on camping spots where we'd come from.

Sue Dandridge and Robin Clark I met further up Grenville. They are rowing a "Merry Wherry", a mostly open boat with twin rowing rigs with sliding seats. I actually had been in email contact with Sue before the trip when I was researching food drop options. I put a message on some bulletin board and got a response from Reg Lake (who some of you boaters will remember from Norcal) who referred me to Dale McKinnon who referred me to Sue, who was planning this trip from Ketchikan back to Seattle/Port Townsend.

There is also a couple who I never met, but who were a few days ahead of me travelling north. They are in an 18 foot canoe with a Malamute on a 3 year trek across Canada.

Gale Warnings in Hecate Strait, Chatham Sound

June 9, Day 38.

It started raining around 4am--light and intermittent at first. I wasn't in a hurry to hit the water since I didn't have a long day, and I was hoping to ride the ebbing tide that would begin around 8:30 this morning.

I had shared the beach last night with Sue Dandridge and Robin Clark, who were rowing a tandem "Merry Wherry" rowboat named "Barbara Goss" from Ketchikan to Puget Sound. It was a wonderful evening of camaraderie, and their vessel and rowing set up fascinated me.

Anyway, this morning I left Robin and Sue as they took the ebbing tide north and I took the ebb north. (The tides met at the bay we camped at. The tide coming in from the west went around the north end of Pitt Island and the south end, and they meet somewhere near the middle on the east side of the island. That's how it works for some islands. Others flood north and ebb south,m or vice versa; and a few flood the same direction they ebb. Boggles the mind.)

It was nice having both current and light wind going my direction. It wasn't a strong current, but I could paddle ~4.5mph. As the morning wore on, the rain intensified and the wind blew 10-15 knots, and it got colder. By the time I got to camp, I was feeling a little chilled and the rain was coming down steadily. The camp didn't have a lot of room above high tide, but it looked like enough.

I got the tarp up, then set the tent up under the tarp. Then I tried to lessen the incline of the gravel beach where I wanted to pitch the tent. That done, it was time to start hauling all the gear from the boat, which by now was high and dry. I can usually do that in 3 trips--4 including hauling the boat. My intestines weren't very happy today and that was part of the reason I was cold and tired. Anyway, I munched some gorp, changed my clothes and crawled into the tent for a nap.I felt much better after a nap, but I would have felt even better if this pouring rain would let up. The forecaster said the low pressure center had stalled 200 miles west of the Queen Charlottes, so the storm and gale warnings remained.

I'm not sure what to plan for tomorrow morning. Should I ignore the forecaster because the forecasts apply to the coast and not to the interior channels I've been travelling? That's pretty much what I've done so far, and it's worked fine. On the other had, I'm about to cross Ogden Passage which is open to the west and Hecate Strait. It may be windier there. And at the same place, it's open to the east where the Skeena River dumps in, and the Skeena has been flooding for days now. In fact, I've heard that landslides and washouts have isolated Prince Rupert for days now. So I have no idea what the currents are going to be like now that the Skeena is flooding and therefore I don't know what the wave/swell condition will be. And, of course, there's always the shipping traffic headed to and from Rupert.

The forecaster's outlook for Monday, the following day, doesn't sound much better. I'm at the last known campsite before Ogden which is 6-7 miles north of here. If I decide the conditions are too dangerous for me to cross, I may have to paddle those miles back to this camp. And the tides are high and rising about 1 foot/night. The highest tides of the month will be here in a few days. I know I could spend 2 nights here, but by the third night, there may not be room at the top of the beach for a tent. There is a camp about 16 miles north which shouldn't be a difficult paddle assuming I can get across Ogden.

The high tide came about 9:00pm and completely flooded the area under the tarp. The stakes under water hold, but I'm worried a paddle propping the tarp may fall and float away. I stay awake listening for a splash, but all I hear is rain.

I stay up and try to get the weather update at 9:30, but by 9:45 they still haven't updated so I decide to wake up early and make my decision then. Meanwhile, a BC ferry passes outside the bay, and its wake comes within 7 feet of the tent which is already backed up to the bush.

June 10, Day 39.

I didn't sleep well last night. Maybe it was the nap I took yesterday.

I woke up early--3:45--and I could hear the wind blowing in the trees. OK, I'll lay over. It's been raining pretty hard most of the night, and it's still raining. I tune in the weather on the VHF and find there's not much change, but maybe a small lull in the wind before it picks up to 25-35 knots in the afternoon.

I sleep in and then have an oatmeal breakfast in my kitchen (under the tarp) which has been washed clean last night. (I did have all my gear packed away so no harm was done.) I did find a paddle had fallen down over night, and I felt pretty stupid for not having secured them.

I scout around my small beach and find a new location for the tarp and decide, in a pinch, I could probably do 2 more nights here. I see one spot that may, just may, be dry in tomorrow nights tide. I leave the tent where it is, thinking it should just get by for tonight, but it will be close.

I cook a warm lunch and some brownies, have coffee and more or less make the best of the place. The rain has lightened as the day has gone on. There are actually periods of 2-5 minutes when it stops raining altogether. It looks to the east--the mainland--that there is a mix of clouds and blue sky. But I'm to the west where the weather comes from. I think I'm looking at the inland rain shadow from the mountains here on the coast.

Unless something changes dramatically in the weather forecast, I think I'm going to give it a try early tomorrow morning.

Prince Rupert is a 2 day paddle from here, but I don't know how long its going to take to get there.

June 11, Day 40

I woke up to the sound of rain on the tent fly this morning. I thought maybe it was finishing up yesterday, but I guess not. Last night, as I went to bed, the wind was roaring through the treetops. I guess a cold front was passing through. This morning the wind in the bay is calm, and there doesn't appear to be much chop in Grenville.

The tide came to within a few vertical inches of the tent last night, and this morning I've got a long mudflat to cross to get out to the water. Boat loading is done just at slack tide.

Paddling the last bit of Grenville, I stay to the shore since the tide will be against me. I get a good push from the eddy current and I've got a couple large shallow bays that form reverse currents before coming to Ogden Passage, so I make good time. The wind is up some--maybe 12-12 knots--but its from the south so its also pushing me.

The strange current dance I was expecting in Ogden never materialized. It's as if the ocean flood tide and the Skeena outflow cancelled each other and I skipped across easily. From there, it was island hopping. I was making such good time with the current that I decided to stretch my expected 17 mile day into a 27 mile day. If the Skeena flow keeps pushing me and the forecasted winds of 25-35 knots doesn't materialize, I can make camp by noonish.
And that's what happened. The winds never got higher than 15 knots and the current pushed me the whole way. 27 miles from 6am to noon including 2 shore breaks. Must be a PR for me.

The rain stopped soon after I left camp this morning, but it was overcast. Late in the morning I saw some blue sky and I got some sun at camp this afternoon, but it's clouded over again and looks like rain. But it was sure nice to get some sun this afternoon. It's been cool all day. Around 9am it was 50 F--same temp as the water.

I should be in Prince Rupert mid-day tomorrow. It's a 12 mile paddle and a lot of it will be along the industrialized waterfront.

On, it's starting to rain...


It rained all night as well as I could tell, and it rained through breakfast, finally stopping as I was packing the kayak.

This part of the trip is through the Spirit Bear Wilderness, named for the white bears that are centered on Princess Royal Island. There are supposed to be 40-100 of these white bears as far as anyone can tell. They're actually black bears that have this recessive gene that shows up more than it should in this area.

As I was approaching Butedale this morning, a passing tug pulling a barge of sawdust called on the radio saying that he had seen a spirit bear about a mile ahead of me, and that it may still be on the beach when I get there. But it wasn't. That would have been very cool to see one of those rare beasts.

Tumbledown Butedale used to be a herring cannery and company town. It had plenty of electricity from 2 turbines powered by water from the lake a few hundred feet above town. Town amounted to about 15 buildings from separate dorms for Japanese, Chinese, native Americans and gringos, the factory, managers quarters, kitchen, store, etc. After the cannery closed, the town was abandoned except for a caretaker, and for some years there wasn't even a caretaker. Now the place is beyond repair. It's owned by someone in California, and Lou, the caretaker, has been there for 6 years.

Lou's a talker, by just about anyone's standards. He loves to tell stories. More than once during my overnight stay, I had to cut him short so I could go about my business. But what a kind heart he is. He was out on the dock to welcome me in and helped me lift the kayak onto the dock after I had unloaded it. He said I could pitch a tent anywhere I wanted, but most folks slept on the concrete deck of the pier, next to the work shed, welding station, and his wood stove supply. I loved it--flat and dry. What more could I want?

Lou went about answering questions of a couple from Seward, AK who, with their baby, stopped in about the same time I did. There was also a woman and her son from Seattle who had a nice looking wooden trawler. After they left, Lou busied himself with chores of which he had plenty--probably years worth. I set up camp and went exploring, snooping around the herring factory which for some reason had a couple bowling balls and a set of pins. I got 9 on the ball I threw. Then to the power house, or what's left of it, and a couple cabins Lou rents out for $20/night. The cabins are nothing special, but they have beds and a roof to keep you dry. Then up to the lake about a 20 minute hike up the hill behind Butedale. I'm sure that's the most exercise my quads have had in weeks.

The lake and the cascades into the bay were brimming after the rains we've had and with the snow still on the slopes above. I guessed the snow level in places to be about 1500 feet above sea level. I tried to follow a trail past the lake outlet to get a look across Graham Reach, but the trail was under water and I didn't feel like wading.

The evening I spent in Lou's place. He invited me to share his pasta with tomatoes and canned meat sauce, but I opted for one of my freeze-dried.

Lou has Sirius satellite radio when his friend in Kitimat pays his bills for him, and right now, he hasn't got service. When Lou's talking about people like his friend, he sounds like a character out of Deadwood--curses every 3 words. Lou also has hundreds of DVDs that he picked up at yard sales. It's an impressive collection.

He says he usually stays up til around midnight so I excused myself to go write in my journal and go to bed. Well, Lou needed to go out anyway so he and Bert, his dog, and the 2 cats came with me. I gave up on the journal and finally I was sitting in the tent flossing, brushing, making the bed--he finally said good-night as I was in my sleeping bag and laying my head down.

A Little Lonely or a Lot of Alone?

One of the things I've been thinking about out here is the difference between loneliness and alone-ness. I often think of friends and family or comfortable chairs or warm shelters, or home, and I miss them. And it makes me feel sad and lonely, at least momentarily. But the feeling passes.

But the aloneness I feel out here is a whole different animal. It's a feeling that permeates my existence out here. There is nothing in this world of nature I'm in and travelling through that cares about my existence. Neither positive nor negative. Whether I live or die, suffer or celebrate, this world has no response; it makes no judgements. One would have to create religion, I suppose, to feel otherwise.

But this aloneness doesn't make me feel sad at all. It just seems to heighten my alertness and awareness that I have only myself to rely on. There's nobody nearby who either cares about me or can help me besides myself, so I'd better act accordingly. Is there an element of fear? I think so, at least something close to fear.

Oddly (or maybe not oddly), this feeling also makes me value more the relationships I have with people. It makes me feel a tighter bond to my friends and family and more welcoming to strangers in my life. I guess I'm not cut out to be a hermit. Who'd have guessed??

So to anyone who's reading this, thanks for being a part of my life, and I hope we get to spend a lot more good times together.

Here's lookin at you...

Route since Bella Bella/Shearwater

For those of you who have been trying to follow my progress on the maps on an early post, here's a description of my route from Shearwater/Bella Bella.

Out of Shearwater past the Dryad lighthouse as I paddle west toward Milbanke Sound. Milbanke is known for having some snotty weather, but luckily there are sneak routes through the islands on the way to Mathieson Channel. The Heiltsuk cabin is at the very bottom of Mathieson.

Then up Mathieson for a short distance before cutting back west through Jackson Passage and Jackson Narrows into Finlayson Channel. I camped at the north end of Finlayson before heading through Heikish Narrows into lower Princess Royal Channel (Graham Reach) to Butedale, then continuing through Fraser Reach, known for its vertical shores and lack of camps or even places to step out of the boat, to McKay and Wright Sound.

Then up through the infamous Grenville Channel. Straight, narrow, few camps, and a

great funnel for winds. The end of Grenville is at the junction of Ogden Passage and the Skeena River before skirting Chatham Sound into Prince Rupert.

I know that sounds pretty straightforward, but that was 12 days enroute.

What's This??

Tracks of camper chasing his tent that's blowing away with the wind.

Nice camp, though.

10th Mtn Cabin on BC Coast?

One day out of Shearwater I came upon this cabin built by the Heiltsuk people and open to travellers and to the youth of the Heiltsuk Nation so they might learn more about their peoples traditions. And what a great place it is.

I got there on a beautiful afternoon and sat on the deck watching the water flow in the narrows in front of the cabin.

The cabin with the creek running beside it, and the outhouse, and the bush all around it reminds me of the cabins Carlie and I stayed in on Shuyak Island off Kodiak a few summers ago.

I can only imagine how much more kayak travel there would be if there were more cabins like this available along the Inside Passage. Hell, if there were just more decent camping spots available, this route would be more popular. But it would also be different. It would take some of the wilderness away. Just like my using guide books has taken some of the wildness out of my journey. So who's to say? Should this route be more accessible or less accessible than it is now?