Great Bear National Forest - Sacred Spaces, Day 4

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Sept 22, 2007 (Morning) - Khutz Bay

Ol' spruce pregnant with moss

I snuck underneath to get a mid-afternoon nap two days in a row. I have a lot of traveling ahead of me and I want to make sure I stay healthy for the travels beyond Great Bear. Last night the crew brought me an unidentified insect. It happened to be a snail-killer carabid (Scaphinotus angusticollis) - and there is surely no shortage of slugs or snails in these parts. He became our mascot-in-residence until we embarked to Khutz Bay where I left him under a protected spruce tree.

When took off on an old bear path in Khutz, ducking under prickly salmon berries more than 8 feet high. It was a quick trip to the estuary and we got back to the Island Roamer in no time for a trip to Princess Royal Island - the island that is known for it's Spirit Bears. One out of every 10 bears on the island are knwn to be white bears, which are really a rare snow-white subspecies of black bear living in one of the world's oldest coastal rainforests.

In First Nation's mythology, there is a story about a snow white bear. The Raven wanted people to never forget the last great Ice Age. As a reminder, the Raven decided to create Moksgm'ol, or the Spirit of the Rainforest.

We didn't get to see any Spirit Bears that day, but we did head up Ursula Channel into Bishop's Bay to soak in the most spectacular hotsprings ever. I guess when people think "rainforest," - they think hot, tropical and wet. Well, Great Bear is cold and wet. That probably made the hotsprings that much more wonderful. I got warm to the bone - but was ballsy enough to jump into the 11 degree Celsius ocean water right down to my neck! Gosh! That was f*cking cold. Crazy shortness of breath...but found two cool starfish species in the process!

Amanda grows a full-on Old Man's Beard (Alectoria sarmentosa)

And Rob - not to be outdone by Amanda (above)

Sept 22, 2007 (Afternoon) - Bishop's Bay Hot Springs

After this hot spring bath, I jumped into the 11 degree Celsius water in the Bay - which lasted for a whole 30 seconds before my body said F*ck You.

Sept 22, 2007 (Sunset) - Departing Bishop's Bay

Photos compliments of Sherrie, Tom, Summer

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