Rennel Sound Beach Combing

 In Queen Charlotte Islands B.C. Nature

From our Sleeping Giant hike we travelled 30 km to where we parked our car to walk to final 3 km down to Rennel Sound on the west side of Graham island. On the drive we passed some huge old growth trees as well as many areas that have been previously harvested by timber companies. There was a danger of mudslides in this area and we saw remanants of many previous ones in the not-so-distant past. The steep hillsides and the clearcut logging practices can create a very unstable situation on the sides of many of these mountains. Part of the reason for us hiking the last leg of this trip was because of a recent mudslide that had covered the road. It had been cleared away, but there was still quite a bit of debris and soil on the road.

We saw many deer as well as a Marten who ran across the road in front of us carrying what looked to be a red squirrel in its mouth! Pretty cool. Rennel sound is a beautiful area and is perhaps the only place on the west side of Graham island that you can drive to. We spent three nights here and walked the rocky beaches looking for shells, rocks and other ‘treasures’ that the ocean had washed up on shore. Bald Eagles soared overhead and curious Harbour Seals kept eyes on us as we combed the beaches.

One of the highlights of our time here was getting to watch a group of Sea Lions feeding just off shore. You could hear them ‘grunting’ and ‘barking’ as they swan together. After a while they began to display thier ‘playful’ nature as they rolled on the surface of the water waving thier flippers as well as even jumping right out of the water. It was quite a event to behold. We also found some more bear trails travelling through the mossy forest beside Mountain Creek. Well worn paths that lead us to a great bear ‘marking’ tree. All of the moss had been rubbed off of thisAlder tree and there were numerous bite and claw marks between 5 – 7 feet off the ground. At the base of the tree you could see clear indentations where this bear and perhaps others had stood numerous times in the past. It was a great discovery. We enjoyed seeing the western side of the island and spending time in this beautiful area. On our walk out we saw another Pine Marten up in a tree, he kept a close eye on us as we moved past. From here we drove back towards Quen Charlotte and were going o head north to Naikoon Park. Once in town we were told of an event happening at Skidegate hall. There was a visiting storyteller from the N.W.T. as well as a community feast being offered by the Haida First Nation. We were treated to an evening of Native dance and song as well as an amazing seafood soup that contained all kinds of local ingredients. It was Delicious! It was a great way to begin our trip northward.

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