Thursday, December 22, 2011

Northern Exposures BC

For eight years my summers and much of some Falls were spent exploring as much as I could of the area surrounding a little village at the end of an inlet on Vancouver Island BC called Tahsis. I made some lasting and dear friendships there. The experiences I have had have been unforgettable and I will miss my times with those wonderful funny people as well as the nature that I clung to while homesick for my backyard. I saw breathtaking things while hiking alone in the rain forest. I've bumped into a bear, been lunged at by a mama bear, come within 15' of a Mother cougar laying along the base of a hemlock tree while her kits played in a tree nearby. Of course these are the times when I didn't bring my camera, or panicked and snapped the pic after the bear ducked back into the bush! Here is a peek at life in a place that you get to only by boat, float plane or  a looong bumpy gravel road 3 hours from real civilization and the people who wind up in such a place!
There is so much to post and so many beautiful pictures from 8 years of summer & falls that I decided to do a whole blog on Tahsis and the adventures in surrounding areas. For more, check in once in awhile to

Going through the pics and setting up the new blog has made me want to head further North from my monkeys to Tahsis. Tempting. I am missing the people, places and nature there.  

Tahsis & Nootka Sound year 1 (Fall 2004)

Above the inlet at the lookout (looking towards the village)

I think this is where I said "but I don't want to work on any more houses"

This was the view

But this was the house!


A boat ride with Bob Devault (Oyster Bob) on The Nootka Rose which he built himself was the first boat adventure to his Oyster Farm on Nuchalitz where his home off the grid is. The Nootka Rose remains my favorite boat! Here is a Blog that shows a recent trip to Nuchalitz and Bob's place:

Bob built the home himself with his sawmill. 
A paddle in Bob's rowboat from his place to a trek over the sand revealed this awesome double rainbow (you're not the only one Bear!) after being pelted with hail. For more on the Oyster farm, I found this link. I'm not sure Bob is still oystering though!

Year 2, 2005

This year in Tahsis was probably the most joyous for me. It had its hardships with work on the cottage, but the exploring, making new friends were great and having visitors come from home was awesome. Exploring and bushwhacking the rainforest alone had its challenges. The terrain is so different from Mariposa & Yosemite! The ferns can be above ones head and holes that drop into the unknown including caves can be under those ferns. My leg dropped into one once all the way to my hip! Cougars are hungrier there and when bending over to harvest a shroomie it is common to feel watched by one. Constant warnings from the locals wouldn't keep me away. I have to explore nature and if a cougar enjoyed her meal at my expense, I wouldn't find that a bad way to go.I did bump into a bear in the bushes one day though! Good neighbor Brenda was about the only one who was up for the adventures I enjoyed and she was not often around. Our limited treks together were always a gift!

The Dorian still there!

                My favorite nephew Julian (now in college) and Bro Steven came up. Here Julian & Steven, but when I went out with the kid we saw a huge bear from our Kayak. It was close to us on shore as we paddled out to open water. If I didn't know that grizzlies don't live on Vancouver Island, i would have thought it was one! This story on this link makes me think we did see a Griz. told Julian that we had to let the bear know we were there by making noise so we didn't startle it. The kid began to growl at it! He said "aah, I've seen bigger bears than that". He lives in Salinas Valley. We explored the Coral Caves (I made Steve take his VW van up there! ), Westbay Park and surrounding places.

                                                     Ann & Ralph at Coral Caves
Ann & Ralph came for some great adventures. I loved having them there. Ann & I have been neighbors and friends, for years and partners in crime on horse, bike and foot. I even pepper sprayed her once and she still loves me! Ok, I meant to get the dog, but Ann was peddling uphill behind me! 

Here Hillary & Ross from the Bay Area are getting to know good neighbor Brenda.Hillory & Ross went on the Uchuck historic boat to Yuquot (Friendly Cove) for a salmon roast put on by the local First nations band.  
Tahsis neighbors Mike & Virginia Mountain took Ann & Ralph with us to Nuchalitz on their zodiac. Oyster Bob wasn't home that day, so we visited a woman on the Island named Anne who was  raising her kids out there alone. The otters were grouping as a storm was blowing in.
Clay & Silvi from Beano Beach had us out to their surf camp on Nootka. It was an incredible time and this beached whale was grossly cool.

There were no corn tortillas to be found even 3 hours away in Campell River where the closest civilization was, so Ann & I made tortillas to make fish tacos from Ralph & Clays catch one day.  

Yuquot (Friendly Cove) Mowachaht

Mountie Rick was great to let me ogle his boots. He apologized for having only shined them 20 times!
Real Mountie riding boots, SIGH...

Salmon roast at Friendly Cove

Mowachaht dancers Friendly Cove

Alex and his wife Terri became good friends that year. Alex is chef on a Coast guard boat and he & Terri had a bakery at this time in Tahsis. Alex and his Dad who passed away this year took us with Ann & Ralph on a bushwhacking hike towards Rugged Mountain. Unforgettable! Alex is the Indiana  Jones of the rain forest! Baker by night and bushwhacker by day! That same year he took us on a hike that I am thrilled I did, but will never do again! At one pint while he rushed ahead on a sluffing trail barely there on the side of mossy cliffs with a river far below, he said "go quickly because the trail is gonna go and don't rely on the rope (I was) because it is rotten". Alex is also a fungus expert. He got me off to a good start on hunting Chantrells, Hedgehogs, and Boletes. As a natural gatherer who was away from a garden, this was an activity I clung to.

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