A favorite quote:

Make play a high priority in your life for if you die tomorrow no one can play for you, but someone can and will do your work for you!!!" Ken Beebe (Dr. Play)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Queen Charlotte Islands – June 2000

Our camping didn’t start with this blog. We have camped forever, as a family growing up and especially Traci and I since we were married in 97. I was thinking it would be fun to go back and tell the stories of some of those camping trips. the only problem was I didn’t have any digital pics of many of these trips… or did I? I have a scanner and a massive pile of regular pics. Remember those? having to go to the photomat and paying crazy money for photos you HOPE turned out… and then sticking them in a box.

Well I like to think I was, and still am a pretty good photographer. The only thing is I didn’t take 100 shots of what I was shooting like I can do now, so when I took a GREAT photo, it was pretty special. Going through our photos, there are a few great photos and a bunch of ok photos. With some of the stories there aren’t too many great photos, so I will be including the photos that help tell the story no matter how good or bad the pics are.

The first pics I started to scan were of our trip to the North tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the Coast of Northern British Columbia in June 2000. We were already living in Calgary at the time when my Mom and Dad invited us to go on this epic trip. We decided to go and made the 8 hour trip up to Prince George to help prepare for the trip. Dad had an extended cab Ford 1/2 ton truck and we rented a small tent trailer for our week stay on the island.

QC truck 3

We got everything packed up and headed out. It is a very long trip from Prince George to the North Tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands. If you drive steady all the way to Prince Rupert (on the Pacific) it would take you 8 hours, then there is the boat and then another 2 hours on the road on the QC islands. The road is ok for the most part, but as you get closer to the coast it really narrows up and becomes super scenic, and super challenging. Prince George is on the Interior Plateau so the first part of the drive is pretty flat with a lot of farmland and lakes. Once you pass into the Bulkley Valley the landscape becomes more vertical and it is a pleasant ride with no shortage of things to look at. Places like Smithers and Moricetown break things up nicely and I have to say, if you get the chance to stop and see the Natives fishing at Moricetown, do it. They stand on the top of the little canyon walls and throw spears down into the water or wait until the large fish jump and they simply put their net under the fish and he flies right in, pulling a very large salmon out on almost each attempt. Very cool.  (note, not my pics, took from web)

Neting spear

The trip was nice, but the truck was quite cramped. We were tired of the drive by the time we reached Prince Rupert. We checked into a motel and then went in search for some fresh fish for dinner. We ended up at Smiles Seafood restaurant, which is a quaint little place with wonderfully greasy Halibut and other local delicacies. Yum. This little restaurant hangs out over the water and has a very unique atmosphere. We were pretty tired, and as we had to catch the ferry early the next morning, we headed back to the motel for a good nights sleep.

We woke and were soon in line for out trip across the Hecate Straight from PR to Skidegate on the South tip of the North Island on the ship Queen of Prince Rupert . I always liked big ships. This one is not that big, but big enough for a flatlander like me. the only one bigger I have ever been on was the Queen of the North that I went on when I was about 10 years old, but it sunk in 2006 after running aground on its normal run from Prince Rupert to Vancouver. QC T&N 1

We spent the day enjoying the ride and watching the incredible scenery from the deck of the ship. The trip was 8 uneventful hours. We arrived in Skidegate, did a little sightseeing and headed up island. We had a 2 hour drive left to get to Naikoon Provincial park where we were going camp right on shore for a week. So after 18 hours of driving and 8 hours of floating, we were finally here… Hey, do we need a licence to trap crabs if its only 100 feet from our camper???

I will leave off here and continue our Queen Charlotte story in a couple days, so stay tuned!

Pic of the day… a preview photo of the LONG beach on Rose spit, where we spent our days beachcombing and searching for agates. Its pretty much a clear shot across the ocean to Japan from this spot.QC long beach 1

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