Yesterday a wolf wandered through our camp midday. We’ve seen two young wolves on this trip and countless wolf tracks, but this was a special thing. A full grown, thick haired lone wolf walking down the beach as if he owned the world. Which I suppose he does here. He heard us and moved up into the brush, but still passed within 30 feet of us.
Last night, around 3am Jeremy woke me up to watch the northern lights. We layed sideways in our tent, warm in the sleeping bag, with our heads out watching the colors dance across the sky. The lights didn’t stop, but eventually the early rising sun brought too much light to the sky to see them well so we went back to sleep.
Today we woke to the clinking of ice. The tide had brought icy glacier bits to our beach and surrounded us. We pack our boats and paddle out, our boats pushing the ice away as we glide through the early morning waters. We are paddling into John’s Hopkins Inlet today.
As we round the point to the entrance to this renowned place, the landscape explodes in front of us. 7000 foot peaks jut up out of the water. Glacial fingers hang from their valleys, reaching towards us. We pass a mother and young mountain goat, feeding on the plants that grow from these cliffs. They don’t seem to care that we are here. They must feel safe knowing that we are in the water and they are capable of basically walking straight up the cliffside.
We round the last bend in the inlet and spread before us is John’s Hopkins glacier. Its beauty is staggering. The 250 foot high ice cliff glows blue. It is stripped with dark bands of debris from the ice morriaines. We have been listening to it calve for the past few hours and now we can see the massive ice chunks separating from the glacier and crashing into the sea. The waves reach us even miles away.
We paddle as far back as we can and find an incredible place to camp just a mile from the glacier. At around 2pm the few boats that we shared the inlet with left and we were alone again with the glaciers.
I feel very mixed emotions. This is the “finish” of our trip. The Northernmost point that we will paddle of the Inside Passage. And because of the ferry strike, this may very well be the complete end. With no way to get back to Bella Bella to continue our trip South, we are not sure yet what we will do next. It is an exceptional finish, an overwhelming one. We spend the afternoon lazily, relaxing in the sun, enjoying the solitude, and being grateful for our incredible surroundings. Conversation quickly turns to what’s next and we come up some ideas that we are really excited about. We aren’t ready to share those yet, as there is still some debate about whose crazy idea will get picked. (But we all know it’ll be mine!)