We spent two hours on Sunday morning driving our rented KIA Sportage from Queen Charlotte all the way north to the “top coast” of Graham Island about 70 miles away, wandering through the village of Port Clements on the way. We arrived at St. John’s Anglican Church in Old Massett (the only Anglican Church in Haida Gwaii) just as the church bell was being rung by six Haida kids. The priest is a small Haida woman who clearly loves her tiny congregation–and Jesus! Worship was in English and in Haida, and exhibited numerous elements of both cultures. I’m so glad we were able to worship there!
After the service, we drove around the largely-Haida villages of Masset and Old Massett, consumed excellent deep-fried freshly-caught halibut for lunch at a food truck stand, and then drove as far as we could to the east along the coast until the gravel road ended and the beautiful, soft sand beaches continued.
We drove through a number of fascinating ecological areas, observing flat pastureland, groves of stunted pine trees, old-growth forests, second-growth forests, marshlands and inter-tidal zones, rocky beaches, smooth sand beaches, sizeable hills, and a forest containing trees from whose limbs hung a breathtaking array of “moss creatures”–globs of heavy moss in all sizes and taking every imaginable shape from corn-dogs, sausages, balloons, serpents, small dragons, hedgehogs, otters, little bears, skinny Martians–whatever your imagination might conjure! I don’t understand the conditions under which these moss blobs form–does anyone know?
After a long day of driving and sight-seeing and enjoying the huge diversity of the landscape and seeing numerous deer and eagles, we finally managed to run two loads of laundry before retiring for the night–whew!
On Monday we will motor for about 1.5 hours to a little marina near the village of Sandspit and prepare for a 12-hour motor-sailing journey back across Hecate Strait to an anchorage on an island off the B.C. coast, beginning at 6:30 am. We expect much calmer winds and seas than those that made our trip TO Haida Gwaii quite miserable on June 4–it will be a “different” way to commemorate the Summer Solstice and say goodbye to Haida Gwaii after an incredible 17 days! Such blessings we’ve enjoyed!
You’re invited to go back in the blog to May 31 and (re)view the updated posts, to many of which have been added pictures! I haven’t quite finished my revisions, but will return to work on them when we again have sufficient connectivity, probably next weekend when we plan to be in Prince Rupert, B.C. Meanwhile, truncated photos will accompany whatever texts our satellite phone will send out!