New Year’s Eve Elk

We drove up Route 503 from Woodland on the north side of the Lewis River as snowflakes fell on New Year’s Eve. About half way to our destination at Anderson Lodge a large elk stood boldly at the side of the road as if to welcome our arrival into the woods. We passed Lake Merwin and the entrance to Chief Lelooska’s Lodge. No need to stop because his children and grandchildren would be at the New Year’s party too. I remembered visits to the Chief’s lodge as a child and taking friends from Japan to see his living history program in the 1980s. Lelooska passed away in 1996 but his family has continued his work to preserve the traditions of the northwest First Peoples. Although Lelooska was from Cherokee origins he crossed cultural boundaries and was adopted by Chief James Aul Sewide of the Kwakwaka’wakw of Northern Vancouver Island and Queen Charlotte Strait. In 2004 we visited the area and went Orca watching on Tom Sewid’s 34 foot boat Gla-Lis (Finning Whale) and he gave us guided tour of “Meem Quam Leese” village also known as Mamaliliculla, at Village Island in the Broughton Archipelago. Our Canadian vacation was one of our most memorable and what a small world to find a connection between a remote island and the neighborhood of Anderson Lodge. Arvid’s guitar rang in the New Year with Auld Lang Syne. One of the verses of the song contains the lyrics, “We two have paddled” bringing to mind our adventures on the waters in the far north.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne


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