27 August: Bella Bella
I awoke with a hangover again and had a lie in. The rain had wet lots of things that were under what we thought was a waterproof shelter over the kitchen area but proper inspection in daylight revealed lots of holes in the wood, and, underneath, lots of wet kit that was placed under the shelter. My camera bag was wet and some coats and other stuff that belonged to others. Luckily the day looked to be a better one. Most of the crew had made arrangements yester day to go on a tour of the fish factory between the campsite and the ferry terminal – then they were going to go into town to look around Bella Bella. Me and a couple of others chose to stay in camp. I wanted to dry my kit, pillows, camera bag, tent, and other stuff in the sun and generally chill out and write in my journal (this blog’s father). One of the more valuable items that had become wet was Marilyn’s journal – and it was soaked. Marilyn was told by someone not to touch the pages and let the journal dry as it is. I knew, from personal experience that the pages would stick together if that happened and be torn apart when anyone tried to open them. I decided to act, against the warnings of others, and started to separate the pages gently one by one to let some air get to them. I spent a rather peaceful hour or so in stages doing this and between passes laid out my kit and some of the other crew members’ kit in the sun.
Other than that, I just spent the time enjoying the peace, the fire, and frequent cups of coffee. The ferry was due later in the day and little happened apart from the packing of the canoe for the ferry. We had no trouble with this as we didn’t have to think about the next day’s camping: no food to be prepared, no dry bags to be left accessible, just load it all into the canoe so it balances on the trailer.
Chris gave the remainder of the food (lots of it) to our hosts and the process of saying goodbye began. I had a surprise visit from Erv who was very sad to see me go – I promised to get in touch via Ray and that I would return to Bella Bella some day and spend some more time there.
Goodbyes done, we all boarded the ferry and watched the terminal and our campsite disappear in the distance. Another long ferry ride, more people to watch, more trees going past and a little sleep. It was an end to a powerful and life-changing event, one that I will never forget. Perhaps when I get back to a computer and catch up with this blog I’ll write an overview of what this trip did to me – or what happened in the mind-space provided by the wilderness.