Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Saturday June 6, 1998 - Haida Gwaii

Rose Spit beach
Misty Meadows, Naikoon Park, Haida Gwaii - sunny

It was still cloudy windy and cold in the morning so I slept in and then left as soon as I could when I got up. I drove out of the camping area and continued down the road to the very end, on another beach, Rose Spit.

A sea of moss
Once I got away from Agate Beach it was sunny and hot. The rainforest was amazing, the ground cover of moss was so thick it looks like a green sea with trees emerging from it. Moss encased and hung from tree branches.

There were tire tracks on the beach so I drove out onto the beach, it was kind of neat to be driving on a long empty beach. I did not drive all the way to the end of the spit, but turned around and drove back to Massett, stopped at an art and jewelry store, and then followed the gravel road toward Queen Charlotte City.

I then went looking for the Golden Spruce which was a sight to see noted in tourism brochures of Haida Gwaii. It was supposed to be located not far from Massett. There was a sign on the road indicating the trail to the viewing point for the tree (it stood across a river from the viewing point). I walked out to the viewing point but saw nothing. A couple of other tourists were there and equally mystified. Unknown to us, only weeks earlier someone had cut it down and there is a book about that incident, and at the time that I was looking for the tree it was already gone and very few people knew about it.

The beginnings of a Haida war canoe, lying next to the stump of the tree it was carved from
I also went looking for the abandoned Haida Canoe, and that I did find. You walk into the forest to a place where a huge log is lying on the ground next to its stump and you can see that someone had started hollowing it out to create a war canoe. It is very old and I don't know why it was abandoned, it might have been flawed, or there might have been a death in the clan (apparently they would abandon a canoe in the making upon a family death).

The forest at the Golden Spruce site was beautiful. There were some very large (diameter six feet or more at the base) Sitka Spruce, moss and ferns everywhere. All you can hear are the birds and the wind in the trees.

The drive along the gravel road was very long and dusty, I didn't get to Queen Charlotte City until 5.30 pm. It is a pretty town with craft shops and houses built on steep hillsides overlooking the main street. A more touristy looking town than Massett.

I went on to Tlell to camp at the lower end of Naikoon Park. From Queen Charlotte City to Tlell there are museums and craft shops and beaches and so forth, so I would like to stay in this area for awhile. It is still windy but not nearly as windy as Agate Beach. The Misty Meadows campground is much more sheltered being on the east side of the island. At 9.30 pm there is still sunlight on the treetops around my campsite.

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