In the Beginning...
✍️ • 🕑 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: Naikoon Provincial Park • beaches • spits • sacred places • creation stories • Haida Gwaii • Bald Eagle • Places: My Parking Spot on North Beach • Rose Spit
I wanted to get up early and visit Rose Spit. I wanted to be there alone. I wanted to feel like I was in the place where the Haida were created.
Destiny was on my side. I had somehow misplaced the pump to my air mattress, and slept somewhat uncomfortably. I woke uncomfortably early, gave myself a charlie horse, and decided it was a sign that it was time for me to get moving.
I would see how far along the shore my four wheel drive station wagon could take me...
Behind the Wheel
Down the ravine, over the stream, and onto the beach I drove, dodging driftwood and keeping well away from the surf.
I knew I was headed out on a falling high tide, so l could assume that whatever path I took would remain open to me later.
I had mostly decent traction, driving on pretty hard sand. The obvious hazards are driftwood and piles of medium sized smooth stones.
I was able to get six or so miles along the beach before I couldn't continue. The piles of stone were too large, too deep, and too numerous. The surf, too close.
I parked, packed my backpack, grabbed my camera gear, and walked the rest of the way out and back.
6.5 miles to the world's end, or a 13 mile round trip.
And so, I walked along the beach.
It would feel natural to write that I walked alone, but perhaps, it would be better to specify that there were no other humans around me.
Birds are more active in the mornings, and the evenings, and it felt as though they were almost as numerous as the driftwood that washed upon the stony shore.
And then, after my long walk, I was at Rose Spit.
After Raven spread light unto the world, he looked down upon North Beach, and Rose Spit, finding it lifeless and boring.
It was here that Raven found a shell containing tiny, cowardsome creatures, and convinced them to come out into the world. They were small and timid.
The first men were only men, and Raven felt they were in need of companionship, so he threw chitons, large open mouthed mullosks upon them.
The first men emerged from the mullosks, and made their way away from Raven, either scattering in the headlands, or returning to their shell.
The chitons reattached to rocks but grew larger than ever before, and a year later, brown skinned humans, male and female, the Haida emerged.
(My abbreviated telling of this story is derived from "The Raven and the First Men" by Bill Reid & Robert Bringhurst.)
My goal of the morning was to be alone at Rose Spit, at the place where Raven created the Haida. I achieved my goal, and after getting splashed a bit, I knew it was time to head back to the car.
As I walked back, the sun emerged, and after a few miles, I started to see other humans again.
A very nice couple asked if I wanted my picture taken, and so here it is:
And after some more miles of walking, seeing more people, more ATV's, and more vehicles, I made it back to the car.
The tide was much lower now than when I started out.
After my hike, I stopped in Massett/Old Massett, and marvelled at the number of houses with proud crest poles.
I stopped at a gift shop for souviners.
I would have stopped for a bite to eat, but unfortunately, the only establishment that was open (the food truck) had just gone on break for an hour, and I knew I would have an easier time just munching some leftovers back at the campground.
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