One of my favourite things to do on Haida Gwaii is to put on my Sasquatch mask and run naked through downtown Queen Charlotte. But since my arrest, I have had to find other things to do. And because Haida Gwaii offers such a multitude of outdoor activities, I have not found it too difficult to come up with other pastimes.
If you too are finding the current anti-Sasquatch-mask-streaking bylaws to be prohibiting your “fun times,” here are several other ways to entertain yourselves without criminal persecution.
Go surfing! If you know me personally, then you are familiar with my obsessive desire for fitness. And if you don’t know me, you won’t understand the previous joke. People often ask me, “Chris, how do you stay so svelte and in-shape?” to which I reply, “Through excellent dietary habits and rigorous exercise routines.” This is usually met with intense laughter and scorn, but because my ears are so fat I don’t hear it and continue on my oblivious way.
No, seriously, surfing is a great pastime to take up on Haida Gwaii. With endless beaches hosting beautiful emerald waves of euphoria, it’s hard not to surf here. If you’re a beginner, use a slightly longer board with lots of buoyancy. My board is 27 feet long and has 18 life jackets tied to it.
Enjoy the forest! There are an incredible number of ways to enjoy our beautiful forests. You can hike through them, forage for food in them, build a fort in them (my personal favourite), climb a tree, make a Sasquatch trap, or even bring some friends and start a small sustainable community cut off from civilization and secretly orchestrate the downfall of Western civilization.
If you chose the latter option, bring sandwiches. It takes longer than you would imagine.
Lean on fences and make bewildering criticisms of people actually getting things done! Another Haida Gwaii summer evening special, this pastime requires a blatantly misinformed understanding of micro-economics, a less-than-adequate knowledge of basic carpentry, a penchant for disrupting individual work flow (which, thankfully, most of us have) and, of course, a fence! If a fence is proving difficult for you to find, have a neighbour build one for you while you criticize the depth of hole they dig, the work clothes they wear, and their choice of materials.
Fishing! Fishing isn’t a pastime on Haida Gwaii, it’s a rite! But because of things like “catch limits” and “no explosives allowed,” I have had to find new targets for my fleet fishing fingers. Personally, I like to fish for tourists in the summer. The beauty of fishing for tourists is no limit, you can use barbed hooks, explosives are allowed (in some cases) and they taste great! My favourite spot is the little eddy of traffic that forms in front of the ferry every time it comes to Skidegate. I get my fishing rod, stand on top of the Bandstra building and cast my line right into the throng of bustling tourists disembarking the ferry. They fight real well on 20-pound test and, once tired out, you can haul them right up onto the road. From there it’s up to you what to do with them. I often smoke them by a nice fire at home and discuss irrelevant political issues with them. What a hoot!
Lastly, build a sauna! Who doesn’t like a sauna? Well, someone probably, but I don’t know them so I will assume everyone likes a sauna. “How do I build a sauna?” you ask. Simple. Get yourself some stuff. Make it into a thing. Get it hot. Sauna! It’s that easy! (Some assembly required.)
Now that you have this great list of things to do this spring/summer, I wish you all the best in whatever you do. But remember, that little eddy in front of the ferry dock is mine. Find your own tourist pool to fish.