Chris Cook - Forks Forum photo
Rio Jaime and Miss Ann Penn-Charles represented the Quileute Ocean Going Society at the Forks Chamber of Commerce meeting held Wednesday, Dec. 19 at JT’s Sweet Stuffs.
In late July a crowd of 7,000 to 10,000 made up of canoe pullers on the annual tribal Paddle Journey, the pullers’ support crews, their canoe families and spectators is expected to arrive at La Push.
That’s the report Rio Jaime and Miss Ann Penn-Charles from the Quileute Ocean Going Society gave to the Forks Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Dec. 19.
Jaime said Quinault is the location of the site of the gathering in 2013 for the annual summertime tribal Paddle Journey, with over 100 canoe teams expected to participate this year.
He said in late July the canoe paddlers, their back-up crews, plus “canoe families” of supporters and spectators will congregate in La Push.
This should benefit businesses offering visitor accommodations and dining and more in Forks and other areas of the West End, they said.
Jaime said the annual Quileute Days celebration is being held about one week early to accommodate the Paddle Journey group, and will be held Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21 this year at LaPush.
Two camping areas will be set up, he said, one at the Quileute baseball field near the Station Quillayute River Coast Guard station and one at the smaller baseball field adjacent to the Quileute Tribal School on the coast.
Penn-Charles said the Quileute's Oceanside Resort and RV facilities will remain open to all visitors during the canoe journey stop of about two days at La Push.
The oceangoing tribal canoes start out at their home reservations in Canada and Washington State and paddle to a specific tribal site. In 2012 the Paddle Journey pullers journeyed to Squaxin near Bainbridge Island.
Stops along the way to Quinault will include a main hub to be set up at Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles, Neah Bay, Ozette, La Push and possibly Kalaloch Beach, depending on ocean conditions.
Penn-Charles and Jaime told the Chamber they wanted to let the Forks community know about the Paddle Journey event. They said help is needed in a number of areas including volunteer cooks, shuttle drivers, sanitation workers and more to accommodate the thousands from the Paddle Journey expected at La Push.
The Quileute canoe society recently received a $10,000 grant from the West Olympic Peninsula Betterment Association to help fund the Quileute's participation in the Paddle Journey and hosting the event at La Push.