Photo: A fallen beam (house post?) at the site of a former Native village on Effingham Island, Broken Group, Barkley Sound.
We were trying to walk across Effingham Island to the site of a former Native Village and not making much progress as we climbed over deadfall, waded through black mud and ducked under branches.
"You'd think with so many people taking this route, someone would mark it," said Steve, gesturing at a mess of footprints in black ooze. Of course, it didn't occur to us that the reason it wasn't marked was it wasn't the right trail.
We'd gone ashore in the little nook where I remembered going ashore before and had stopped to read a sign warning of wolves. Finding a trail next to the sign, we'd followed it into the forest.
Eventually we came out of the bog onto semi-dry land and found trail markers -- pieces of rope, miscellaneous lumber, etc. -- leading across the island. We followed the trail past old growth cedar and spruce. We saw no wolves but plenty of evidence of their presence in the abundance of ferns. The last time we'd been through here the ferns had been trimmed by deer down to bare nubs. The wolves are obviously performing their function as predators.
The trail ended on a beautiful beach overlooking the Imperial Eagle Channel and the entrance to Barkley Sound. Fine sand covered the foreshore and rugged rocks guarded the waters off shore. A single strip clear of rocks into the sea could have been a canoe skid. Behind us a strip of spruce trees hid the village site. It wasn't difficult to imagine the Barkley's ship, the Imperial Eagle, sailing by and villagers bustling to get sea otter skins ready for trading.
We ducked under low hanging branches and came into a clearing - a grass-covered rise sprinkled with buttercups. This is a shell midden, evidence of past human habitation. We walked south through the village site until we came to a mammoth square beam laying on its side and covered with young trees. A house post?
We followed the trail back across the island and ended up not at the wolf sign where we started but on a clear dry trail at the water's edge. Our dinghy was just around the corner.
If you want to find the village site, go to the southernmost cove in Effingham Bay. At the head of the southernmost cove is a small rock promontory. The trail starts to the right (south) of that promontory in what looks like a stream bed. If you have to climb over deadfall and under branches, you're not on the correct trail. Carry a hiking stick and watch out for wolves.
Photo: the trail starts in this little nook in Effingham Bay. Go to the right of the little rocky promontory.