.All Trips / British Columbia / North America / Western Canada

A visit to Skedans, Haidi Gwaii

QCI Skeedans 2003 044  Skeedans Island Totems and Guardians

One of the most memorable day-trips I’ve ever been on was to the remnants of the Haida village of Skedans.  It’s a remote and rarely visited place.  Sadly, not much remains of the village, captured near its prime in the image below this paragraph (from 1878), rich with great totem art and beautiful longhouses.

1878 photo of Skedans village. Courtesy the Library and Archives of Canada

1878 photo of Skedans village. Courtesy the Library and Archives of Canada

Skedans is located on the northeastern shore of Louise Island, at the head of Cumshewa Inlet in Haida Gwaii (formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands), off the coast of North Central British Columbia just south of the Alaska panhandle.  That sounds really confusing, so to help you better orient yourself to this remote place, here are a few maps I think will help:

Overview of Haida Gwai's location

Overview of Haida Gwai’s location

 

Location of totems and old Haida villages, Haida Gwaii

Location of totems and old Haida villages, Haida Gwaii

Skedans is also known variously …

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.All Trips / British Columbia / North America / Western Canada

Granville Island Public Market, Vancouver, B.C.

084 Granville Island Market, 10-2014

One of my favorite markets anywhere is the Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver.  Situated on a piece of reclaimed land, it’s become a peninsula and is an island in name only.  It adjoins False Creek and Burrard Inlet south of downtown Vancouver and is one of those places everyone visiting Vancouver for a few days should see.  It’s not the prettiest setting, not the fanciest facility, but is a colorful venue with a wonderful assortment of food and eateries, and personable vendors (you’d expect no less from Canadians, eh?)

In the early 1900s, Granville Island was an industrial setting and not at all gentrified.  The island was home to factories, plants and sawmills.  After the second World …

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.All Trips / British Columbia / North America / Western Canada

Magnificent Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park, British Columbia

010a Takkakaw Falls 07-2014

There are hundreds of amazing places in the Canadian Rockies.  Beautiful lakes and rivers, wonderful mountain peaks and breath-taking vistas from high alpine meadows.  Yoho National Park, in eastern British Columbia, straddles the continental divide on Alberta’s border and not only is a place of great beauty but geologic significance as it is home to the legendary Burgess Shale Formation.  Yoho derives its name (not from a Johnny Depp pirate song but) from the Cree language, meaning “Awe and Wonder”.

The crown gem of this beautiful area, in my humble opinion, is Takakkaw Falls which thunders as it pours into the Yoho Valley not unlike the waterfalls of Yosemite Valley.  Takakkaw Falls has a total drop of 384m (1260 …

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“Pic of the Week”. March 21, 2014: Sunset over Courtney, British Columbia

2014 011 Mar 14b Comox trip 3-2013-046 Courtney

Situated on the “Sunshine coast” of Eastern Vancouver Island, just off Canada’s west Coast, Courtney is a small town in a lovely setting.

I was visiting my aunt and cousin, who live here.  As is my habit, I like to get out and explore, so we drove around at dusk.  I could tell we were going to have a nice sunset so we gained a vantage point and enjoyed its tranquil beauty.  It was a nice way to spend a some time with a dear relative.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

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“Pic of the Week”. January 24, 2014. Killer Whales, Vancouver, British Columbia

2014 004 Jan 24a  killer whales

During the past decade or so, I’ve often encountered colorfully painted animal art on the streets of many cities.  The plasticized animal varies from town to town — sometimes a bear, sometimes a moose, sometimes a deer.  But invariably they’re nice works of art making each of these cities a little more beautiful and interesting.

A few years ago, while visiting Vancouver, I discovered dozens of these killer whale statues around downtown.  All were beautifully decorated and each had a unique personality.  The water off Vancouver’s coast harbors large numbers of killer whales, so their choice as animal mascot is a good one for the city.  These few especially appealed to me — a trio in Vancouver Canuck hockey jerseys (so …

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“Pic of the Week” bonus. October 27, 2013. Larches in their fall colors

Larches 2013 003

I just enjoyed a beautiful drive in Canada’s Rocky Mountains this past weekend, through the Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass and on towards the Elk River Valley in southeastern British Columbia.  The scenery was absolutely gorgeous with the larches in their orange-yellow canopy.  I had no idea there were so many larches in these evergreen forests.

Those who live in milder climates may not be familiar with larches.  They’re deciduous pine trees (conifers) that change color each fall, shed their needles and regrow them in the coming spring.  They add a great variety of color to the mountainous forests in the Northern states and Canada, although these colors are short-lived, lasting only a week or two at most.

Thought you’d enjoy these images!

(Click on …

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“Pic of the Week”. July 26, 2013. Kayaker at Sunset, Johnstone Strait, British Columbia

2013-030-July 26

Johnstone Strait is a segment of the Inside Passage, through which cruise ships transit on their journey from Vancouver to Alaska (and back again).  It’s a nice place to go on a cruise mostly because its scenery is beautiful and grand, but also because you’re guaranteed a smooth ride as the waters are sheltered by Vancouver Island (and other small islands along the coast).  Situated by the northeastern part of Vancouver Island, the Strait is about 100 km long and between 2.5 to 5 km in width.

Johnstone Strait is home to several pods of Orcas, numbering around 150 individual whales, which feast on the rich fish life in these waters, especially salmon.  Because of the high concentration of whales it’s become …

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“Pic of the Week”. June 7, 2013. Pesuta Shipwreck, Naikoon Provincial Park, Haida-Gwaii

Pesuta #6

There are few things that liven up a hiking day more than stumbling on a shipwreck.  At least that’s my life’s experience (based on this one wreck)!

One of my most interesting backcountry backpacking experiences was hiking the East Beach Trail in Haida-Gwaii’s Naikoon Provincial Park.  Haida-Gwaii are a string of over 100 island’s off B.C.’s central coast that formerly were called the Queen Charlotte Islands, a day’s ferry ride from Prince Rupert.  Naikoon Provincial Park is a large, fairly flat park on the east shore of Graham Island.  The East Beach Trail was a long flat beach walk, almost 90 kilometers over 5 days (with full packs) during which our group encountered only 5 other hikers.   There were parts of the trail that were very easy to …

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