Editor's blog — Nootka Trail RSS

Ending the Nootka name origin myth once and for all

One of the most-told stories relating to Nootka Sound is the story of the origin of the name Nootka Sound. It goes like this: Captain James Cook, upon first arriving in March 1788, was greeted by the Mowachaht, who yelled "go around," using the Nuu-cha-nulth word "nootka-a", an instruction for the safe place to go as the ships the Discovery and the Resolution approached Yuquot on south Nootka Island. Cook misinterpreted that, or so the story goes, to mean the Mowachaht were in fact introducing themselves as the people the Nootka, and so he chose that name for the people of the sound he was entering. It is a good story, to be sure, but the basis in fact was purely speculation. It was...

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Conquering the Nootka Trail. Well, not really.

One of these days I'm going to figure the right way to hike the Nootka Trail. It hasn't happened yet. It's an interesting little trail that runs the outer length of Nootka Island from Louie Bay on the northwest to the old village site of Yuquot on the southeast. It's about 36 km depending on where you start and how you measure the twists and turns. That and the extent of the beach make it one of the less demanding coastal hikes in British Columbia, but if you know British Columbia coastal hikes, you'll know that doesn't necessarily mean it is easy. There are the rough beaches where you have to jump from boulder to boulder. There are the rough bypasses where...

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