Voyages North

22 September 2017 | Posted in Seattle
08 September 2017 | Posted at Spencer Spit, San Juan Islands
18 August 2017 | Posted at Spencer Spit, San Juan Islands
17 August 2017 | Olympia
22 August 2016 | posted at Prideaux Haven, Desolation Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
08 July 2016 | Posted at Ucluelet
08 July 2016 | Posted at Ucluelet

Prospectors’ Cabin at Reid Inlet. July 4, 2011

18 July 2011 | posted at Sitka
Elsie Hulsizer
Photo: Prospector’s cabin at Reid Inlet.

Three spruce trees stand above the willows on the terminal moraine at the entrance to Reid Inlet. It’s easy to assume that the spruce represent the beginnings of a spruce and hemlock forest, the final stages of plant succession in the Glacier Bay area. But in fact, the trees are ecologically premature, planted out of their normal order (probably in the 1940s) by Muz Ibach, a prospector’s wife. Her husband Joe discovered gold in Ptarmigan Creek around the corner from Reid Inlet in 1924 and in the 1940s they built a cabin and he started mining seriously. In winter when it was too harsh to mine, they would move to nearby Lemesurier Island.

The remains of their cabin are still visible but are dwindling fast. Between 2007 and 2011, the roof caved in and the walls collapsed. Go soon to see this bit of history.

I found the cabin by looking at a photo in David Bohns’ book, Glacier Bay: The Land and the Silence (1967), and comparing it to the landscape today. The three spruce are a lot taller but they’re unmistakably the same three trees. We had to walk around them to find the cabin. There was lots of bear scat nearby so we talked loudly as we explored.

It’s interesting to stand in this remote spot and imagine these two people who lived such an isolated life. The landscape was even more desolate then. Bohn’s book also includes a reproduction of a watercolor by Carol Janda of the cabin and the trees. A caption across from it says, “Make no mistake about it, an enormous amount of personality was invested in that tiny plot of land in the wilderness.”
Comments
Vessel Name: Osprey
Vessel Make/Model: Annapolis 44 sloop
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Steve and Elsie Hulsizer (author of Glaciers, Bears and Totems and Voyages to Windward)
About:
Elsie and Steve Hulsizer have sailed northwest waters since arriving in Seattle via sailboat from Boston in 1979. [...]
Extra:
2017: local cruising including South Puget Sound and San Juan Islands 2016:north up West Coast VI, across QC Sound to central BC coast 2015: trip to SE Alaska 2014: Seymour and Belize Inlets through Nakwakto Rapids 2013: SE Alaska and back. 2012: from Seattle up the west coast of Vancouver [...]
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Osprey's Photos -