Ravens the size of small airplanes.* Giant rocks that magically balance on beaches. Blowholes on shore that spray land like a whale spout. Seafood so bountiful that you can literally walk into the ocean to scoop it up. Forests so dense and ancient that they vibrate with some of the brightest greens and whispery darkness you’ll ever see – all at once.
Welcome to Haida Gwaii.
in 2011, I was lucky enough to cross off a very big item off my life travel bucket list: Haida Gwaii. Perched over 100 km west of British Columbia’s north coast, Haida Gwaii is an archipelago of hundreds of islands covered in rich, dense temperate rain forests, Haida villages and ancient heritage sites. The population of Haida Gwaii is about 5000. Most folks from Haida Gwaii live on the largest island of the group, Graham Island in the towns of: Queen Charlotte City, Skidegate, Tlell, Port Clements, Masset and Old Massett.
My first time to Haida Gwaii, I was invited to tag along on a family road trip north with my friends Allan and Tamara, whose family’s hail from from Old Massett, one of Haida Gwaii’s northern most communities. I was so excited I could barely sleep the night before we left. On that 10 day journey we drove, ferried and drove the 1801 kilometres between Vancouver and the northern tip of Graham Island. I learned about memorial feasts (a community gathering to mark the headstone moving of someone who has passed), cedar carving, how to catch a dungeness crab in low tide, how to clean a crab, how to filet and smoke a fish and how to Stand up Paddleboard (let’s say I’m better at crabbing). Read more