Sep 27, 2011

Sekiu - Neah Bay, home of the Makah!!!

I didn't see any whales out this way...but some education is always good

Sekiu Beach...not the nicest beach of the best day...and I left the headlights on in the van so I had to walk back faster than I wanted to

Chilling out and enjoying the day
How could it be bad...walking fish are an ancient symbol of good luck :)
a very small portion of the thousands
 Highway 112 turns to 113 and 113 turn into the end of the road for american cities in the Pacific Northwest. The road is amazing sometimes having a speed limit of 25mph for miles and miles due to it's wicked swerving. I loved it. I stopped into Sekiu for a quick moment and the thing that it so crazy about this town is that it's like 20 houses (exaggeration) and 10000 trailers, motorhomes, tents and everything else. They were everywhere as far as the eye could see. I stopped at the post office to send some postcards (send me your address if you would like to receive a random postcard at some point) and the lady working there told me that it was slow and that other years it could take you 30min to drive to 1mile strip in front of the beach. It was pretty wild.....but I had other destinations in mind.

loads of fishing boats

how awesome is this...he's got my airhorns
really cool old ford


 The highway runs into the traditional lands of the Makah aboriginal peoples. Neah Bay is a beautiful little city and you are greeted with the sight of a working habour. I had wrongly assumed that the fishing industry here was on it's way down and out like so many other areas of the pacific northwest but in speaking with some locals it is the way of life here and no one indicated that it was worse now than at anytime in the past.

 I loved the sight of all the different boats and on my way out exploring them I had a great conversation with a guy who taught me a little bit about setting hooks for fishing Black Cod. I was hoping to maybe look into taking a salmon do only live once...but the season was pretty much over for the year. In fact Neah Bay is famous also for it's Smoked Salmon and did the Bri-man get any? Nada..all out and instead i dined on delicious soft tacos and tatter tots...not the same at all but still hit the spot.

 Further than Neah Bay lies Cape Flattery (find my visit here)...the most northwestern point you can safely visit without a coast guard crew watching out for you so you do get pounded into the cliffs of the Pacific.
Cool dog on the side of the road
 In Neah Bay I went to a little shop called Ravens Corner and an amazing conversation with Sam whose mom owned the shop. Sam was in for the summer helping out and she was kind enough to engage me with some Makah history, an insight into the surroundings and together we shared the same philosophies regarding exchanging time for money instead of worthwhile skills for real value. Necessity over luxury, community over monetary. It was perfectly timed as I had been thinking and writing for awhile but needed to hear it from another and voice it in order to reinforce it.

A really nice memeorial to the vets of the area who have served bravely
Gorgeous woodwork

While  am not a fan of war, I am a fan of respecting those who went forward with the best intentions

Super cool rain guide

 We also shared a love of Blackfoot culture and I told her about my experiences at Bow Valley when I started to engage in aboriginal classes and lectures. I shared my love of the visual history and the storytelling ways of keeping tradition alive. We mourned the loss of natural language due to integration techniques used against them and then agreed that in a few hundred years whitey (and all other colours of greed) has been able to do a shitload of damage to a continent that has had people occupying it for over 10000 known years or as Sam said "Since the beginning" as their stories tell. All only to find ourselves naturally gravitating back to a form of balance that is testing our own belief systems..but instead of dwelling we both knew that changing our own way of engaging the machine was more effective than trying to change the machine.
 I  headed on my way out of town smiling and setting sights on heading back to Canada for the northern leg of the journey.

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