We arrived on Sunday morning around 9 am in the one-roaded, small village of Klemtu which was primarily populated by First Nations peoples (Canadian Native Americans). Our 300 mile or so ride on the Lasqueti Sons had been so much fun and I felt like I’d been accepted into a new family. It was hard for me to actually decide to get off at Klemtu rather than head further north with them just to spend time listening to Hippie ramble about this and that, eat some of Joy’s delicious cooking, hug baby Peter and get jeered by Bill (who thinks kayaking on the whole is silly, from what I gather in the following quotable statement):
Going over some of the charts with Bill to get a better understanding of the surrounding waters he’s fished and boated in for about 40 years, I was asking him about camping areas in Prince Rupert:
Me: So far, it’s been more difficult for us in cities than in between because camping is so hard and we don’t want to sleep at hotels.
Bill: Hell, girl, you are in the North now. Things are different up here. These people will be starved to talk to a couple of retards like you!
You have to be willing to not take the commercial fishing world too seriously and with a grain of salt, thus using my onboard translator I managed to understand that Bill was saying something more along the lines of, “Camping won’t be a problem, especially for a couple of people doing something as adventurous as you two are! I’m sure someone will invite you in and if we are in port, you are welcome to stay onboard again.”
We took - what I’d like to recall in years ahead as - a family picture before shoving off the dock in our kayaks to begin the paddle to Prince Rupert and promised to call when we got close. An expected time frame of 8 – 10 days to get there. After packing our boats, Bill, who suprisingly is an avid photographer, wanted to get a few shots of us and pushed Carson (purposefully) off the dock without a paddle. Bill and the gang thought this was very funny, Carson maybe not so much.
Either way, soon I was paddling again with a new person and this time in the actual Inside Passage – a mini-milestone reached that I was proud of, regardless of the short 250 mile ride that happened in the middle. I couldn’t help but laugh that I somehow had made it this far through the 400Challenge, for better or for worse, and with many unexpected changes to plans, I was still reaching my expedition goals. [For those less informed about the inside passage - it is the network of channels and waterways that is mostly protected from the open ocean weather, currents and wave effects. It doesn't begin until about 100 miles north of Vancouver Island then continues to Skagway, Alaska.]
Paddling up Princess Royal Island, one of the most concentrated area for Spirit Bears in the world, we saw signs up bears but thankfully encountered none. What Carson and I did share throughout our time paddling was much laughter, some flirtation and a series of mini-adventures that were unpredictable and fantastic. He has been one of my favorite people to travel with so far, although every person was special in their own ways and I often think back to/have dreams of the people who’ve shared in the journey: Chris, John-than and Ollie with the Ocean Row; Michael, Christian and Nevin on the bicycle; and Jake and Carson [so far] on the kayak… Who knows where the next leg of the kayak will take us!