living the coastal life

West Coast Living in Ahousaht, BC



Back to Tradition at Keltsmaht

Keltsmaht is the traditional territory and village site of Lennie’s parents. Many Ahousaht locals with family ties there return each year to camp. It is an amazing beach with views of Opitsaht, Tofino and the open ocean. The fog rolls in and out each day and you can fish right in the bay. Returning here is like going back in history and returning to the traditions that once were common.

We brought the dogs with us. Not the most responsible thing, in terms of wolves and wildlife but a necessity as a dog owner with no one to care for them at home. They slept with us in the tent and stayed close during the day. Leia and Bruce loved our new lifestyle, but Yoda had clearly had enough partway through.

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Yoda enjoying his perch on a log.

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Bruce wasn’t picky about what you threw for him to fetch… Just that you were throwing something! When the sticks ran out, we used kelp!

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Leia looked every bit a wolf as she stalked the beach.

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The traditional way of cooking salmon in Nuu-Chah-Nulth culture is called a kluupchus. The salmon is butterflied and pinched between pieces of cedar before being roasted over a fire. The smoke and open flame give it an incredibly unique flavour.

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We also harvested cedar to be used for the regalia and decorations for our wedding next summer. Each cedar tree can only be harvested once in it’s lifetime. It will bear the scar for the rest of it’s time, but will survive with just one strip of bark taken. Multiple harvestings will kill the tree. We were harvesting trees while standing in a forest of trees harvests dozens and hundreds of years ago!

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You can see the large strip falling away as it disconnects. Don’t be too close underneath as it comes down!

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The raw ‘meat’ of the wood underneath the outer bark. This will dry and scar over but you will always be able to see where this strip was taken.

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The harvested bark before being cleaned. It is rolled so you can carry it out of the forest with more ease.

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Cleaning the outer layer of bark from the usable inner layer. It’s quite a long process to clean bark and must be done while wet.

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The inner bark is rolled into smaller rolls and taken home to be dried. Once be rolled again for storage until it is used for weaving projects.

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Lennie made me a cedar rose while we were cleaning the bark ❤

Keltsmaht was a great return to tradition and nature. We spotted a wolf across the beach and watched eagles in the treetops. We tried to hike across the island to Ahous Bay but took a wrong turn and ended up on the next beach over! I can’t wait to go back…


Front Beach

I took a stroll to Front Beach this morning (Giving Lennie a chance to get started on the gate for the dog pen!). We ended up working on the gate together when I returned but the walk was so rewarding!

There are a ton of neat shells washed up on the beach, and since I am making a shell garland for our wedding next July, I was collecting like crazy!


Front Beach, Looking to “Cone Island”


Kuda, Leia and Lola rip around the beach.


The blackberries are ripening! Still sour, but they are getting there!

Low Tide Beach Stroll

On rare occasions, the tide is low enough to walk from Front Beach to First Beach without ever leaving the sand. A couple weeks ago Lennie and I managed to find a day where our schedule and the tide matched up!

We had a great time with the three dogs, strolling around the rocky outcroppings, hunting for hiishtuup (Chiton) and treasure hunting among the logs.

(Mouse over or click on the photos for captions!)

June BarkBox

My June BarkBox arrived today for Yoda, Leia, Bruce and Anakin! I’ve included Anakin because he’s already playing with the box itself while the dogs haven’t even seen the goodies yet!!!

I guess I should introduce you to my furbabies, as you will be hearing a lot about them. Anakin is a long haired, black cat. He’s about 11 months old now and thinks he is a dog.

Yoda is our 4.5 year old shitzhu. He thinks he’s a cat and is best buds with Anakin. They groom each other and cuddle up on the bed next to each other.

Leia is our 6 month old husky pup. She’s super playful, but very meek. I have a tote bin for all her toys and whenever I put them away she goes and pulls them out one by one to play with them and leaves the spread all over!

Bruce is a year and a half old. We have dog sit him many times and unfortunately his owners couldn’t keep him in their new home so we adopted him. He has the only oddball name, but it matches his oddball ears!

I subscribed to BarkBox in the hopes of saving money…. I plan on restricting myself to just the goodies in the box and not splurge on other treats and toys when I am at the store. Hopefully I can save some cash and get some great gifts for my furbabies in the meantime!

This month’s theme was “Country Fair” and Leia has been squeaking away on the plush carrot since she got it.

Lots of great treats and even Yoda who is a VERY picky eater has enjoyed them! Give me a shout and I can give you a discount code that gets you one month free 🙂

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