After just over two weeks of swim camps at Drifter”s Cove in Heiltsuk Territory in the Great Bear Rainforest we are on route to Haida Gwaii.
From Bella Bella, which is about 6km from Drifters Cove, the journey takes 3 days. The first day is a 2 hour wait at the ferry dock and then a 10 hour ferry ride through the inside passage, passing through Katasoo, Gitga’at and Metlakatla territories finally landing in Prince Rupert.
The journey was stunning with towering cliffs and rolling mountains on either side of a narrow passage. I thought of a man I recently met, Rob, who kayaked from Port Towsend to Ketchikan in his tiny Epic kayak SeaSmoke as part of Race to Alaska. For a good portion of the journey, there was no where to shelter. I don’t know how he did it.
For entertainment along the way, Ray, Aly, Trip (my friend Don’s son) and I worked on a 300 piece puzzle. The rule was, we could not look at the puzzle box to see what we were working toward. It took a good portion of the journey.
By the time we pulled into Prince Rupert it was fairly dark. I could see the lights of what looked like giant Chrismas trees on the shoreline. As we neared the ferry terminal I realized we were in the middle of a giant port, something I wasn’t expecting. The transition from nature to heaving industry was painful. It is one I will never forget.
Ray, Aly and I next found our way through the darkness to our hotel. When we arrived a women came out directing the onslaught of ferry traffic that arrived on the hotel’s doorsteps. She then checked us in 1 by one, asking that we retreive what we needed from our vehicle as all hotel doors would be locked for security reasons. We were assigned room 215.
Exhausted, and in dire need of a washroom, we made our way to our room. I tried to open the door but the fob wasn’t working. Back downstairs I went.
The woman at the front desk kindly reset the key and back upstairs I went.
I flashed the key in front of the door, this time with success, only to find the door was locked from the inside. A man yelled to us to ____ off several times. It was Mr. Humphrey and he was really mad. Really really mad.
Back down stairs I went.
Mr Humphrey was on the phone yelling at the front desk staff. I patiently waited my turn even though my entire party still needed to go to the washroom.
Once Mr Humphrey was done yelling, the front desk staff apologized to me and assigned me a new room and keys. I asked the manager to escort me just in case.
The next day it rained. Ray, Aly and I decide to run a few errands including doing our laundry. We found a King Koin Laundromat that dated back to the 50s. They served ice-cream. While waiting for our laundry I spoke with a woman who worked there. If you ever want to know what’s going on in town I highly recommend hanging out at the laundromat.
Once done we headed back to our room (315, not to ne confused with 215) to prep for another 8 hour ferry ride tomorrow.