Another 8 hour drive and 8 hour ferry to get to Haida Gwaii from The Unistoten Camp. Sarah's partner Victor had camped out in Smithers, BC with a friend Sherri, who was up for coming to Haida Gwaii with us before heading back East to Ontario.
The drive was stunning, glacier valleys following the Skeena River to Prince Rupert. We spent one night sleeping at a rest stop, made a fire with steam rising from the marshy lake. The ferry was in the morning, and our plan was to hide Sarah, Victor and Sherri in the back of the van- since it was $211 each way for the van and just one passenger. It was nerve-racking but the money I made from ArtsWells went mostly onto my credit cards, and when I'm in a bind my courage to cut corners expands to free bus, train and ferry rides.
There was a moment where the guy checked my ticket again, but I think the fact I was driving on the opposite side in my Japanese vehicle distracted him enough to not notice the three people hiding under covers in the back.
Sarah, Sherri and Victor being 'discrete'
The 8 hour ferry was quite delightful. We spent the time napping, watching movies, keeping an eye out for whales and for plates of fries that people left over on the cafeteria tables, in which I coined the term "sea-gulling."
A couple actually got married on the ferry. They made an announcement and asked some busker friends to play. So we watched from afar, clapped and shared their cake.
Bobby, Raph & Nils, Me, Victor, Sarah, Sherri and friend on route to Haida Gwaii.
Getting off the ferry we were welcomed by a stretch of beach so stunning I felt I was on some sort of psychedelic. The stones were so beautiful and the ocean so grand.
me on the beach investigating some animal bones
Edge of the World was a small festival, with one stage surrounded in a semi-circle of vendors. Different than ArtsWells with almost a dozen stages, but I was ready for a quieter time. This was my seventh festival in a row, and after the long trip I was ready to catch up on sleep, and if I heard one more sound check...
one.... TWO. oooonee... TWO.
front row seat
People were stoked on my products though. Like in Wells, BC- it's isolated, but this time on an island where shipping is super expensive, people stocked up on things and appreciated the hand crafted goods. Edge of The World Festival was the hardest to get to but my most successful market.
After the festival we went camping on The North Beach. It took two hours to get there- I hadn't expected the island to be that large. If I knew I'd be driving that long I would have suggested a closer camping spot... but it was beautiful, magical and worth it. Along the way we spotted over a dozen tiny deer, and a giant statue of a thumb (hitchhiker friendly island).
A few odd things happened in Haida Gwaii. It has been known for the strange and unexplained. By the corner store we had a moment where all of our phones texted, 'Welcome to Jamaica!,' 'Enjoy your visit to The Carribean!" It must have been a rogue satellite. From our camping spot we could see Alaska in the distance and a blanket of stars above us. Satellites were making strange routes, changing direction and making zig zagging motions- what we assumed were satellites anyway. Amongst other small occurrences, in the morning before getting the ferry back, my unopened bag of chips had expanded as if I was on a plane.
Sarah and Victor stayed on to visit family on The Island and planned to take the ferry back to Vancouver Island (which would have made sense for me to do, but was too expensive, even if I had snuck people on). Luckily my new friend Sherri was coming with me to Prince George, and we were going to sneak her and a friend Bobby onto the ferry back to mainland BC. From there I was to drive another 15 hours to see a play at The Caravan Theatre that my uncle was in, then head to one of my last festivals on Vancouver Island, Atmosphere.
Musical Highlights from Edge of the World Festival: The Racket, Barefoot Caravan