A BC Favorite Place
Drive Up: Little Huson Caves
Our first stop is a place I have never
been to before - Little Huson Caves. These caves are about
8km off the highway on the drive up. Lots of the North coast
is made of limestone which is prone to making caves and these
caves are huge and accessible. We parked and took the trail
down to the river where you can see the river emerge from the
Day 1: Whale Watching
Our first day of activity almost didn't
happen. I had a hard time booking things (I couldn't find my
third day) so I wanted the option to swap the "third day" with
whale watching. Whale watching left every morning so I
figured we would go down to the office and book once we knew the
plan. We got to the office and they were booked full!
No trip for us!
One of the families reserved on the trip was coming up from Comox
and were a no show - apparently they ran into car trouble.
We waited until just before go time and then got their
spots! There was so little time, we paid for the trip after
we got back. The captain made fun of us for being late - not
realizing we were the backup guests.
Whale watching gets back to shore around 3pm so we had enough time
to jam in another experience - we drove over to telegraph
cove. Telegraph cove is in my mind a tourist trap - paid
parking, lots of "fee" activities and everything belongs to the
same company. The old buildings are nice to see and well
maintained, but it definitely seems like a company town.
The reason I have visited several times is to visit the Whale
Interpretive Centre - a building at the end of the dock full of
skeletons of various kinds of whales. They have figured out
how to get dead specimen and then strip their bones using the
creatures in the ocean underneath the museum.
Day 2: Bike Riding Alert Bay!
Day 2 - not many reservations needed
here! We weren't sure what the weather was going to be like
and at the last minute we decided to ride our bikes down to the
ferry. I have an "Experience" card for BC ferries that got
us discount fares and free bikes. We were the only bikes to
roll onto the ferry. The ferry to Alert bay takes about 45
Our first stop was the U'mista Cultural
Centre - a museum for old masks, but also a good sized store for
local art and a space for exhibits of more recent work and
stores. The Masks are presented in a small scale big house
and the culture center part is attached.
The next set of photos I found really troubling. What is
cultural appropriation? Is it appropriate for my kids to
dress up like they are from another culture? I'm defining
cultural appropriation and taking another culture without
permission. The cultural center part has a kids focused
exhibit where there are various clothing items and accessories and
encourages kids to get dressed and try them on. The kids
were really into it, but I wonder how the images will be
interpreted. After getting dressed, the kids read and drew
for a while.
The weather got nicer so we rode our bikes into town (out of the
reserve part) to have lunch and see more of the island. The
kids love riding their bikes and the traffic here is slow so we
had a good time.
We visited the 'Namgis Burial Grounds past downtown to look at the
totem poles. These poles commemorate people who have died so
they ask you to stay off the grass and observe from the road.
In the afternoon the T'sasata Cultural
Group puts on a performance in the big house. This is
mostly dancing in costume with music and story telling. A
hereditary chief greeted every person that came through the door
and the woman running the program explained the photo situation -
you are welcome to take photos and share them on facebook and
instagram. Don't forget to like us on TripAdvisor.
Alert Bay is an out of the way destination - people only come
because they have heard good things from other travelers.
During a pot latch (which lasts days), there would be hours of
dancing. Each dance tells a story or send a message and many
of the dances aren't shared with the public. The dances
shown are short segments of a large program designed to give you a
taste of the full pot latch experience. The context of each
dance was explained, often with funny stories.
The people dancing are generally local, but
some do have family off the island. Many of the dancers are
kids and this is way of maintaining traditions and connecting
The weather cooperated so our last bike
riding was in the warm sun. We had a great day on the
Day 3: Sea Otter Watching in Quatsino Sound
I had a hard time finding a day three
activity. Bear watching is an option, but the trips
required kids to be older than 7, unless you were willing to rent
the whole boat (expensive). My fall back was a trip to
Sointula, but I did that on my last trip up. We asked at the
Info Center and they suggested we call Sea Otter Eco Tours.
They are a small company run out of Port Alice on the other side
of the Island. I've never been to Port Alice so away we went!
The tour is a one man operation - George met us at the dock (with
parking included!) and showed us the boat. We were joined by
one other guest and Georges small dog which the kids loved.
We left the dock and motored into Quatsino sound. I've seen
while visiting Winter Harbour
so I had some idea what to
look for. George of course knew exactly where to go.
It is pupping season so many of the Moms had babies sitting on
their stomachs. The babies look quite similar to the adults,
We also saw Eagles hanging out. From
what I understand the eagles are looking for unattended baby sea
otters which an eagle can carry away. The moms need to eat
so I wonder what happens to the babies when mom goes down to find
On the rocks you also see Harbour Seals
resting. Many of these are just a short roll away from the
ocean, but I suspect it's easier to sleep on a rock than it is to
sleep floating in the ocean. The seal really didn't care
that our boat was there - the would look up at us, but we didn't
see one go into the ocean to swim away.
The rain was getting harder and people were hungry so we pulled
into a small marina so George could setup lunch.
Tags: marine mammal(8), HDR(3), river(3), skeleton(3), Museum(3), cave(2)
People: Nara(4), Claira(4)
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Port Mc Neill
Last Modified Friday, August 23rd, 2019 at 23:58:38 Edit
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