Wednesday, October 17, 2007



All right, I'm back. Sorry for the delay between posts, but this isn't a job, after all, and besides, I have no idea who reads this, only that someone does. Okay, I know who some of you are, and I appreciate you — and all the anonymous yous — dropping by.

Ted and I just got back from Haida Gwaii, a not-to-be-missed experience if you get the chance. I'm still processing...(read "still sorting out the zillions of digital pictures we took, trying to narrow it down to the best 25 or so). BC is so big. Duh, I know, but it always amazes me when I get out driving in it. Altogether, we put 2200 miles/3500 km on the van, and that's not counting the distance covered whilst spending around 28 hours on ferries.

Here's a picture of us taken on the beach. That would be Alaska in the background, if you could see it.

Everywhere there are huge trees. Everywhere it is green, so many greens.

In our part of the world, they warn you about avalanches. Here, it's trees.

You cannot believe the variety of rocks on the beaches. Rockhounds need to visit Haida Gwaii beaches with their pockets zipped up, carrying no bags. Afterwards, it helps to get into a 12-step program, something called 'Rocks Anonymous', or maybe 'Get Your Rocks Off', as soon as possible.

The blow hole at Tow Hill.

Haida Heritage Centre at Qay'llnagaay (Sea Lion Town) Heritage Centre, Skidegate. Skidegate is my new favourite name to say: Skid-dig-git...try it; it just bursts off your tongue and out of your mouth!

We had a marvellous week. We didn't make it to Gwaii Haanas as we got there a little late in the season. Someone asked, "So, are you here to pick mushrooms or for the fishing?" "Neither," we confessed. "So why did you come this time of year?" "Because we've got the place pretty much to ourselves." We would like to go back, though, to visit some of the old villages.

The weather was kind, (probably because we spent large on really good rain gear before we went). We ate scads of great fish, spent hours wandering up and down mostly deserted beaches, sat and watched the tide come in. We walked in old-growth forests, listened to the whomp-whomp-whomp of ravens overhead and went to bed early every night, reveling in the hypnotic sound of the ocean. It was the sort of vacation that restores your soul.

Then home, to a mailbox full of stuff, including a copy of the latest Ascent Aspirations in which I have a piece of flash fiction.

And (this is a poetry blog, after all) The Minnesota Review has updated its website and my poem, A Good Place to Start, that was a finalist in the Being At Work contest last year, is now online. You can read it here.


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