Friday, July 16, 2010

Come Ashore, Come Ashore

The canoe journey reached Elwha today. They land right in downtown Port Angeles, east of the city pier on the beach in front of the Red Lion Hotel. This is where the village of Y'Innis was. The whole shore of the Strait belonged to the Klallam then. (1)

Each canoe circles past the greeters on the beach before coming ashore.

Then a speaker in the arriving canoe says who they are and what a long way they've come, that they are tired and hungry, and would like to share songs and stories and fellowship, and requesting permission to come ashore. And the people on shore say who they are, and that the visitors are welcome.

It was still grey and foggy while most of the canoes from the north and south of Puget Sound, and along the shore, came in; by the time the canoes from Canada crossed the Strait the sun was shining. I think there were about 30 canoes, over the course of nearly four hours. Shuttles, and vans, and their own support vehicles were carrying them to the camping areas out on the Rez at Elwha. It's a 2-night stop. The canoes will rest on the beach there in the harbor until Sunday morning.

They're feeding 4,500 people tonight and again tomorrow at Elwha—pullers, support boat crews, the people who break down camp each morning and then drive ahead and have it waiting at the next stop, families, grannies, babies and all. I'm helping cook breakfast, and the breakfast cook said to come at 2AM. I think he meant it, but I'm shooting for 4AM, that will be the best I can do.

This is my favorite part: carrying the canoes up the beach.

1 comment:

Sky said...

that would have been marvelous to see and be a part of.