Saturday, February 21, 2004

I'm getting ready to hit the road again for a week, so yesterday I took advantage of an offer from my friend Roch to hike down to Cape Roger Curtis.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, a solid reminder that spring is on the way, and the soundscape in the forest is changing as red-winged blackbirds return and the chickadees launch into their two note territorial calls. The day was calm to begin with as the night's light Squamish wind dissipated and the wind swung north west. Over the course of the morning we watched as it came into Tunstall Bay out of the Strait of Georgia, developing into whitecaps by noon. And by then we were on the trail, having abided the morning at the Tunstall Bay Community Association clubhouse, overlooking the beach and a couple of river otters at play among the goldeneyes.

The Cape is the windswept south western point of Bowen and it sticks out into the Strait making it a great place to see wildlife and to taste the salt spray at the prevailing waves break on the rocky beaches. We built a fire on a secluded beach and roasted bison sausages, talking all the time, and watching guillemonts, geese and a young bald eagle. At one point I pointed to a seal that had come into our little cove and then stood in astonishment as it turned to face us and showed us its paws. It was clearly not a seal, but an otter, and an otter of that size could only be a sea otter, an extremely rare endangered speicies on this coast, who are making a comeback from the fur trade that decimated them. But they are a rare sight nonetheless and if I can get someone else to assure me that this is indeed a sea otter, this would be my first wild sighting of one.

I still smell of woodsmoke and salt. It was a good day, a day that reminds me about what is really important.

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