Jan. 9 2016

Driving Across Canada Day 24: Exploring Sasquatch Territory in Sayward

On day 24 of our cross-Canada journey we awoke to warm sun on our faces and the nearby buzzing of chainsaws. We were in the village of Sayward on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, B.C.

 We parked the van in Gordo’s parents’ front yard. Right across the street is a logging camp. That’s Mount H’Kusam in the background.

You see the white cloud on top of the Mount H’Kusam? Local people affectionately call the cloud “Oscar”, but the First Nations used to call it “Hiyatsee Saklekum”. That means something akin to ‘where the sea lions’ breath gathers at the blow hole‘. The legend says that there’s a cave on the other side of the mountain that the cloud comes out of.

Some Cool Things About Sayward

Sayward is where Gordo’s parents live. He and his girlfriend Danielle are friends of ours from Halifax and have just returned from South Korea a few days ago, so we’re all staying together at their place. The entire population is about 400 people, so it’s a tiny place and nestled right in the wilderness of Vancouver Island.


Give that, it’s no wonder that they are known for…


Sayward has lots of sasquatch sightings! Never had our bumper sticker felt more relevant. We were going out to play in the river in the woods later, so it was important we understood to be on alert for bigfoot at all times.



Sayward’s main export is logging. Thus, the logging camp right across the street.


There’s this little, near-unsinkable tug boat that moves logs from one side of the inlet to the other. It’s easy to stand there watching as it bobs around, looking like a toy and coming so close to tipping over, but then jumping right back up, incredibly buoyant. A floating bumper car.


 A fossil from Gordo’s front yard.

Sayward has rich fossil beds. Mostly sea creatures and plants.

The Kusam Klimb

Held annually in late June, this tough 23km race goes up and down Mt. H’Kusam. Gordo’s Dad did the Kusam Klimb last year. That’s because he’s tough as nails.


He’s also the owner of the awesome classic Grizzly truck you see behind him. This tough piece of automobile is also a piece of Canadian forestry history. Only 14 of these backwoods diesel trucks were ever built in Canada.

So now you know some cool things about Sayward. Go visit sometime!

Swimming in the River

The number one thing our friends had been looking forward to on returning from South Korea to Vancouver Island was the fresh air.


Filtered through the trees, cool from the mountains and fresh with sunlight, we couldn’t wait to get outside.

But first, breakfast and picnic packing.

Okay, now off to the wilderness.


We went swimming, picnicking and cloud staring at the Salmon River. It was clear as could be and, yes, full of salmon! We’d be swimming and then hear this splash like someone threw a rock. It was the salmon jumping around us.

Then we all went back to home base and made some supper together, including Vietnamese shish kabobs.

Remember this folks: Whether you’re at home or traveling, it is the people you surround yourself with that make all the difference. Relationships are the gold of life. They are the magic elixir.

Seriously, there was even a 75-year Harvard study done on it.

Wherever you travel next, be it across the street or across the planet, I hope you find people to laugh with.

Day 24 Costs:

  • Coffee at Sayward Convenience: $8.20
  • Groceries at Sayward Convenience: $7.46

TOTAL: $15.66