Tag results for: Haida Gwaii

Conehead, Rove-Inn’s most remote (and perhaps most memorable) camp spot.

On Rennell Sound, Haida Gwaii, the only point on the west coast of Graham Island accessible by vehicle.

Our destination, 15 km in, first-come, first-serve, no reservations, no potable water, no internet, and no cell-phone coverage: the single spot at Gregory Beach; or Conehead, further on with two campsites and an outhouse.

Accessible, yes, but only on logging roads. And only between 7am and 5pm if you have a CB radio (we don’t). Otherwise you must follow someone who has a CB radio, or travel at other times. (5pm for us.) Prohibited are RVs and boat trailers. We were warned: “Surface conditions on the Rennell Sound Forest Service road are not the best—the current condition of the road can be confirmed at the Visitor Centre in Queen Charlotte City.” Magellan checked: all good.

Another warning: “The final descent from the alpine down to the shore is a startling 25% gradient, one of the steepest public roads in North America.” Magellan dismissed the cautioning.

The wilderness for two nights, a visit to the renowned Bonanza Beach—relax, there’s nothing to worry about he smiled confidently.

And for a time, he was right.

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Massett Sign

There is a feeling in Old Massett, a quiet power towering above the vicissitudes of life wrought on this ancient village, the heart of First Nations culture, traditions and art on Haida Gwaii.

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Ninstints Mortuary poles

I’ve wanted to see them for decades.

Ever since I saw their photos back in the 70s, mystical figures of ghostly grey imparting a powerful, compelling presence.

The totem poles at Ninstints on Haida Gwaii.

It’s the only place on Haida Gwaii where they still stand. A dozen of them, disciples of the supernatural, silently keeping watch.

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“It’s Sunday so they’re a bit busy. But we have permission to land,” captain Tom told us as he piloted Ocean Light II to our first stop: the abandoned ancient village of Skedans sheltered on the northeastern coast of Louise Island in Haida Gwaii.

Would you be surprised to learn that permission may have been granted by a sixteen-year-old girl? In her second summer as a watchman?

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Magellan’s pretty good about guessing his gifts. But an easy time he was not having with a heavy present under the tree the Christmas before we went to Haida Gwaii.

He did look surprised, even a little bewildered, when he opened the largish box…

A pair of brown gumboots. (Hidden away in our garage was the woman’s version, a gift to myself.)

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“I’m stranded here,” my mother said when I called her one evening last week.

An eye infection in her good eye has left mom totally blind, in a sea of darkness in her room at Birchview Home.

It made me think of Pesuta. She’s been stranded for ninety years, since 1928, the year mom was born.

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