Please leave your comments by clicking "Comments"link, below the post!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Backtracking to get caught up

I'm still waiting to describe my experience, with pictures, of finding meaning in the events that have unfolded from, oh say, Prince George to the return from Haida Gwai/Queen Charlotte Islands.

Some of you have read below about the hitch-hiking across BC so far. I turned down a ride b/c my gut told me to hold out for something better, which surprisingly did come along. The VW to Smithers, dinner, and a super couple from Whistler. The next morning, a great ride with Tom to Prince Rupert. My few days there were spent hiking around, through the trails, along the oceanfront, trying to recall what we had done seven years previous (Mike and I) and getting organized to go the the Haida Gwaii. It's at this point that circumstances started to conspire to delay my experience over there. I wasn't able to find a way to the ferry from town so I walked at the risk of being late. No taxis anywhere. Misplaced my wallet too. So it happens, the ferry was running late. During the ride my hip, all of a sudden, flared up making it hard to walk or even sit comfortably. Otherwise I would have walked to Charlotte City and the Premier Creek Hostel. The entire Friday was spent drugged up on anti-inflamitory and drinking tea and watching movies and eating. I couldn't do much else but it was the right thing to do.

Saturday, determined to go through with this hike, come hell or high water, I packed my stuff and head out. My hip was fine but the weather crapped out. Whatever. The temperature was fine. I managed to walk the entire distance, past the ferry, to Skidegate, on to the other side. An hour-and-a-half, some 4-5 kilometres. I had to convince myself that I was achieving a state of Zen with the walk. If I didn't, I would have thrown my pack into the ocean in a screaming fit of rage. Serenity Now!!! It really was an enjoyable walk. I did get a ride from there to the trailhead but I was also given some news about my destination. It wasn't to be the same.

were signs all over indicating that the bridge wasAnother sign that something was up....There out, to use the river trail. No directions, no map, no clarity. I needed one of those insurance brokers from Clarica to explain. I walked further up the highway, to find no river trail but an old road cutting into the woods. Blair Witch eat your heart out. At some point down this trail I could have sworn there was a skull nailed to a tree in the woods but I couldn't quite tell. The trail ends at a wall of trees at the top of a ravine. Someone goes through here though cause there was flagging tape. I've learned in caving that following someone elses trail inevitably leads to nowhere but hell. Or just because there is a trail of footprints doesn't mean that it leads on. This one did but through really thick bush, me and my super heavy (and tall) backpack. The only thing I had to say is not repeatable here. All of this a sign that somethings up. It did pop out, not very far down from the trailhead. At this point I really wanted to know if the trail helped to avoid this bridge. Further on I found it didn't. I was expecting a 10m span of river with absolutely nowhere to cross at high tide. It was maybe a metre wide and the bridge was a little broken. Woopty poo. All part of the adventure I guess.

Further along, strong winds and a very active surf. I was more intimidated by the effect it had on my imagination that the physical effect. Which was none. It was windy and that's pretty much it. The tide was on it's way out so I had plenty of beach to hike. It was all pretty cool but maybe a little sad. I was, no question, the only one out there. So far, I have been reading the signs before me that I was to be disappointed. The loneliness really hit home when I arrived at the shipwreck. The last time I was here with my friend Michael, seven years ago. For some reason he would rather spend time with his wife that go on an adventure with me, I mean, come on. He was missing out.

I wasn't far now. This is where we had slept the first night of our trip. It should only be another few kilometres to that wonderful cabin that I have been so excited to stay at. From the shipwreck onwards wasn't too eventful. Very Zen. Lunch in the woods out of the wind. Cape Ball was in sight from here. Once again with the litter. It is amazing the amount of plastic garbage produced which in turn doesn't biodegrade, ends up floating around all over the world. It's rather unsightly.
As for the cabin, of which I have some great shots that Mike took, here is what it looks like today:

It's gone. I did manage to speak to a Parks Staff person about the cabin. The cabin burned down two summers ago due to a chimney fire. It belonged to a Fran Fowler in Charlotte City. She knew that people used it, she actually didn't mind. People cared for it, it was a communal cabin with most people contributing to the structure and atmosphere. The property has been sold to the builder of the new cabin. It's sad. Change that is.

This is the meaning of all the pain in the ass I encountered. The omens told me that something was different, that the trip was to not be like I was expecting. I did still had a great time just not in the cabin as I had hoped or for the extra night I had expected. I'm glad I went. It was a wonderful time. I learned that we, people, can not expect things or places to remain the same. Change happens. Places will be different, people will be different. I have learned something valuable. Paul out.

No comments:

Post a Comment