I woke to the sounds of a Pileated Woodpecker. He is North America’s largest woodpecker and without doubt was the model for Woody. The “rig” back doors fold open flush with the side, we zip a screen in and you have a beautiful picture window and lots of breeze. When I peaked out hoping to catch a glimpse of the Pileated, a Swainson’s Thrush was staring a me with a big dragonfly in its mouth. Hmm, going to be a birdy day.
After a couple of quick Nespressos, we were on the road. Flying along at 120km Doug tried to hit a second vulture. It narrowly missed MY SIDE of the window. I had to shut my eyes and clearly missed a magnificent view of this marvellous creature, but I did not want to see what I thought was about to happen. For those of you who were not on the e-mails missives last spring, Doug hit a vulture at full speed. Not on purpose of course, but he has clearly not learned his lesson even though it meant a new windshield, the deductible coming out of his allowance. A little further along a bird ran across the road. Again, we missed hitting it but barely. I think it was a Ptarmigan
, but I won’t be counting it as mercifully it was running quickly. Don’t their mother’s tell them not to run across the highway????? Geez
We pulled into Port Hardy around 11 and went into Captain Hardy’s for breakfast. The slowest service I have ever experienced and there were four tables. However, there was great eavesdropping which is always a delight in a small town. The guys at the table beside us were discussing the problems with renting a car out of town and trying to the get the GPS to work. The one fellow said, “why don’t you just use your phone”. The other guy said “because your phone doesn’t talk to you”. It went from there to a demonstration and Doug and I thought we were sitting in the updated version of the VCR scene from City Slickers. When breakfast finally arrived it was delicious and hot. We headed to our camp ground and were turned away as check in is 4pm (“can’t you read). What, is this the Ritz? So,
We proceeded to the Visitor Centre where we learned about all there is to do in Port Hardy by a very knowledgable young women. She will surely be their mayor one day. On the way to visit Calvin Hunt who runs a gallery featuring works of art by Kwakwaka’wakw craftsmen, we stopped by the seashore and watched a couple dozen eagles feasting on a fish. These American Icons are impressive with a wing span of 80”. We were close enough to see their fierce talons and believe me you would not want them confusing you for a fish.
Calvin’s shop was closed but we stopped by anyway hoping he might be working in his shop. A neighbour saw us and told us that he lived next door and would be happy to show us the gallery. I knocked on his door and he happily obliged. The bottom of the workshop was full of carving tools and two half finished totem poles. Upstairs was a gallery featuring local artists with works ranging from paintings to jewellery to carvings. Doug asked to take a photo and he insisted that we take it with him beside his cedar canoes. They were beautiful and were featured in the Indigenous Games. He was so hospitable considering he was recovering from an all night party. I truly believe if we had dropped by yesterday we would have been invited.
We are now tucked into the Quatse River campground.
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