Fresh-Eyed America: British ColumbiaPosted on Nov 21, 2011 | 2 comments
This is part 3 of 8 in a series close-up looks at America through the eyes of its youth. Today's look at British Columbia comes courtesy of 13 year old Gabriel Miller.
We sat on the docks at Surge Narrows waiting for my Uncle Josh to remember us and come and get us. We had driven from the Mama Bus, which was in Oregon, to British Colombia and were going to stay with my uncle and aunt on Morel Island, which is behind Vancouver Island. My Grandma and Grandpa had driven across the continent from Wolfe Island, Ontario, to be there too.
Finally I saw a small, sleek, boat come down the channel and coast up to the docks. My Grandpa and my Uncle were in it. It was a small outrigger and my Uncle had placed a board hanging out over the water. We stuffed our gear into the boat and piled in ourselves. Hannah & I rode on the outrigger. I looked over the edge and saw a white five armed starfish with an arm span as big as Ezra’s! There were two others that had many arms and were slimy orange. My Uncle said that they had twenty-one arms!
We were finally on are way. The cool air whipped my hair over my head and water sprayed my body and face. A seal looked at me curiously and when our boat came near ducked his head under the cold, salty, water. The water was at high tide and not going anywhere so it was strangely flat and calm. Grandpa told us about the fish they had caught and then thrown back so that we could have many fish to catch, and catch fish we did!
Right out in front of Josh’s house we caught lots of Ling Cod and Rockies. We lost count, but the best fish story was Hannah’s: She caught two fish on one hook and Gramps landed them both! We also went crab and prawn trapping, which Uncle Josh calls “Deadliest Catch.” It rained the entire time we were there but that didn’t stop us. I went kayaking in the bay and saw tons of sea urchins. We learned to make kelp bugles by cutting off the tops and the bottoms of long sections of kelp and blowing them like trumpets. Aunt Johanna told us that we should do it a long way from the house so that the baby could sleep.
When the rain got really bad we snuggled up in Grandma’s shack and played all sorts of games or we worked in the shop. I was working on a horse carving and Ezra was working on a catamaran. Elisha carved “Miller” into a piece of driftwood and Hannah tried to make a flute out of a sea lion’s bone. It failed. Uncle Josh is working on a big catamaran sailboat. At one point in his life he spent 5 years sailing around the world. A lot of people in our family travel, and we do too.
For me the highlight of that week was finally getting to see where my Uncle Josh lives. He’s built everything himself, including his boat. He has no electricity other than the electricity he makes by piping water from a stream through a turbine that runs a truck alternator. My favourite thing that he’s built is his house. It’s a tiny house with a loft and my Grandma helped put in leaf shaped stained glass windows. One is of a sunrise. People in our family do a lot of things for themselves.
Much thanks to 13 year old Gabriel Miller of the Edventure Project for teaching me that there are purple starfish! Who knew! I will certainly be hunting them down next time I am in BC.
OK Escapists, that’s it for now, but make sure you come back and check in on our progress in our quest to travel forever. We promise we’ll put everything we’ve got on the table for you.