Flash Back Fridays

NIKKI ELLMAN 1972

Michael, Chilidog and Mary

Michael, Chilidog and Mary

Nikki was in B.C. from Sept. 1972 until Sept. 1973 with Friends World College. She was 18 when she arrived. She remembers fellow students Mark Hurwitz, Mary Shed and Michael Rewald.  I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest as a result of my year spent at the Lodge, and vowed to come back the first chance that I got. I did not make it back to British Columbia, but I moved to Washington State in 1977, after I finished college, and lived there for seven years. While at the Lodge, I learned useful skills like how to chop wood, heat with a wood stove, split cedar shakes, cook vegetarian food and live communally. Living there opened up a whole new world of wilderness appreciation.

I have vivid memories of taking saunas in the wood-burning sauna down by the lake in the middle of winter and running down to the dock and jumping into the freezing cold water. I also remember when the old Lodge burned down and how helpless I felt to do anything. I did some work on the reconstruction that spring. I also remember Percy the Cougar Hunter, and being really outraged when a wild game meat feast was held at the Lodge. We lived in the College Building and prepared our own meals. We were all vegetarians at the time.

Rebecca Spit, Quadra Island, BC, summer 1973

Rebecca Spit, Quadra Island, BC, summer 1973

Nikki was one of the students who built canvas kayaks. They left for Quadra Island from Campbell River to begin their journey by kayaking across Discovery Passage to Quadra Island. I remember being afraid for their safety. Apparently Renee Galeano and her boyfriend Jonathan Clay had to leave the group at Quadra Island because he broke his foot at their first stop. The remaining group, including Michael Rewald, Mary Shed, Mark Hurwitz, and Nikki kayaked up to Sullivan Bay on the northern tip of Vancouver Island where they met with Barleycorn Baker (the draft resistor who used to be the cook at the Lodge), who was homesteading up there with Chilidog. The Friends World College students had found Chilidog on an earlier occasion when they visited Nootka Island. The dog was found abandoned on a beach where he was being terrorized by giant Samoyeds, so they had brought him back to the Lodge. He looked like Old Yeller. After visiting Barleycorn and Chilidog, they put their boats in the water and headed up the Inside Passage toward Prince Rupert.