To stand in a forest is to stand in a moment in time. Feeling the moist air breathe through the trees, seeing mosses glinting with dew, hearing the soft song of a chickadee or the gentle chatter of a snowmelt stream. All these moments make up the life of every forest. Some forests are full of hundreds of years of these moments, each day a time capsule of butterflies and birdsong. Old growth forests are the most ancient. Groves of Sitka spruce, hemlock, Douglas fir, and red cedar…hundreds of years old. That timeless wisdom stretches along the Pacific Coast and holds inside it the greatest lessons in life…slow down, breathe, let your roots find their way down into the soil and stay a while. The time we have is rushing past in our attempt to direct life’s winding current. So stand in the forest, listen to the woods, and feel the years long past, beneath you and around you. Become the old growth and never forget to be a part of this world…
National Geographic Quest
Lake Eva and Peril Strait
After a morning that threatened rain, the clouds lifted just enough to see the top of the hills that surround Hanus Bay and the river that flows from Lake Eva. We landed on the beach as the tide rose, stepping gingerly over large fields of blue mussels and razor clams before finding the U.S. Forest Service trail that leads to the lake. Later in the summer, these waters are filled with returning pink, coho, and sockeye salmon, which feed not only the brown bears of Chichagof Island, but the forest as well. More than 70% of the nitrogen these trees need comes from the returning salmon as they are dragged through the woods by hungry bears, eagles, ravens, and scavengers. All too quickly, it was time to lift the anchor, and National Geographic Quest wound its way towards Peril Strait, Sitka, and the end of our two-week long adventure. A final beautiful evening on deck served as a perfect capstone to an unforgettable journey that began in the urban cities of Washington and British Columbia and has concluded amongst some of the wildest places left on Earth.