Adventures in the Land of Grizzly Bears

In 2018 we had a great group of guests on our Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour in Northwest BC.  The group spent three night at the beautiful Yellow Cedar Lodge while we explored remote coastal estuaries in search of Grizzly Bears feeding on Lyngby Sedge.  We used two jet boats to access the estuaries where the bears come out to feed.  The last two nights were spent at a remote floating lodge that we used as out base for exploring and searching for Grizzly Bears cruising he shore line and feeding on sedges and crustaceans.  Half the group flew in on a float plane and the other half took a two hour boat ride.

You do not want to miss out out this amazing adventure as we have another trip scheduled for June 1-7, 2019.  Here are some photos form past trips.

Floating lodge for the last three nights of bear viewing
A mom with three cubs digging for crabs
A young cub cruising the beach
A family of t four grizzly bears
Enroute to a remote coastal estuary
A young grizzly with a mouthful of Lyngby Sedge
A young grizzly playing with a stick
Off to go find some bears
Big male with a mouthful of sedge
Young bear resting after a long day of playing
This guy wasn’t expecting to see us!
The beautiful Yellow Cedar Lodge where we stay the first three nights of the trip

 

Ghost Towns of the East Line

Travelling  along the Upper Fraser to the end of the road through towns like Longworth, Sinclair Mills, Newlands, Hutton and Penny provides a glimpse into the past of our early resource based communities and the lives of the people that worked there.  We were fortunate enough to have Author “Ray Olson” provide interpretive knowledge and share his stories of growing up along the line.  All this is done while travelling in the comfort of a VIA rail train from Prince George to Penny.  When we arrive in Penny the Gobbi family generously provides lunch and tours us around the local homesteads and cemetery.  The day winds up with a Jet Boat ride down the Fraser River through historic and scenic Grand Canyon of the Fraser.

Last year the tour was so popular we delivered two trips to this historic part of our region.  Here are some highlights from last years tour!

Jet Boating through through the historic Grand Canyon of the Fraser
The old Penny BeeHive Burner
Jet Boating down the Fraser River on a sunny May day
Jet Boating through the Grand Canyon of the Fraser
Remnants of a Bee Hive burner along the Fraser River
Enjoying lunch with one of the locals
An old record player in a local homestead
Inside the Penny Community Hall
The Penny Cemetery
Entering the Grand Canyon of the Fraser
Waiting for the guests to arrive on the VIA Rail train
The Via Rail train arriving
An old homestead in Penny
Penny Community hall
The Penny Post Office

2018 Canneries of the North Coast Highlights

One of our first tours of the year is the “Canneries of the North Coast” and also one of the most unique.  Over the 4 days we visit over 18 remnants of the salmon canneries of the lower Skeena River and the islands at the entrance to it.  Names like Balmoral, Humpback Bay, Claxton and Carlisle to name a few.  We also visit some of the most remote  fishing related communities on the north coast like the Icelandic Community of Osland and the boat building town of Oona River.  Plus we stay 4 nights in a cannery at one of the most unique accommodations in BC- Cassiar Cannery.  The trip is for those who like small group sizes and getting off the beaten path to see some of the most unique sites on the north coast.

Here are some photos of the 2018 tour

Old Boat House at Oona River
Old Growth walk along Oona River
Exploring old Boardwalk among the sedge grass.
Exploring amongst the pilings of an old cannery
Heading back to jet boat after exploring old cannery ruins
Some of the guests aboard the bus at Oona River
Exploring the ruins of Claxton Cannery
Remains of the old Dr House near Dodge Cove
Photographing an discarded headstone left n the mud
Exploring the “Bone Yard” between the cannery piliings
An old headstone at a lower Skeena Cemetery
Enjoying lunch and the views on a secluded island beach
The remains of the humpback bay cannery
The “Rainbow House” at Oona River!
Remains of a lower Skeena River Cannery

2019 Adventure Brochure is out!

We are excited to release the dates for our 2019 Adventure Tours and the brochure.  Here is a snapshot of the two page brochure.  Individual brochures for each tour will be out shortly.

Let us know if you have any questions about this years tours!

Rob.bryce@unbc.ca

New Schedule for 2019

We are excited for the upcoming year of Adventure Tours through UNBC Continuing Studies.  Every year the tours get better as we fine tune all the small details.  Most tours are only delivered once a year and occasionally twice if sufficient demand well in advance of the tour date.  These tours are not geared towards academic students but rather those with an interest in adventure and experiencing northern BC. The tours have a small group size of upto 10-12 guests at he most and rely heavily on  guest speakers and authentic locals that share their knowledge about the places we visit. Our average age of our guests is around 60 years old and some as old as 85.  We do have younger people join us as well but predominantly it is an older clientele.

I thought I would share 10 photos form last year that highlight some of the trips we did.

We watched this little grizzly for 30 min before he even knew he was being watched!
Our group that toured Kitsault and Alice Arm along with the manager of the Modern day Ghost Town!
One of the many cannery sites we visit on our “Canneries of the Northcoast Tour”. A great tour for those looking for unique and seldom visited sites!
We use the majestic Skeena River for a couple of our tours. There is nothing like the passing through the coastal mountains on the river on a bluebird day!
Very few people get a chance to go through the “Grand Canyon of the Fraser” in a jet boat and experience what the early explorers did!
We find some of the nicest places on the north coast to enjoy a tasty lunch!
You will not find the uniqueness of these buildings anywhere else. Buildings that are over 100 years old and still standing today! Anyox is remote and inaccessible but we can get you there.
This place is a photographers dream and a place where you can go back in time!
We get you up close and personal with the longest railway bridge in BC. Over 100 years old and still going strong!
Guest arriving on float plane to view bears in a remote Grizzly Bear Sanctuary

The Mystery of the “STOLEN” Anyox Light Bulbs!

Why would the word “STOLEN” be stenciled onto a light bulb!

The Mysterious Anyox "STOLEN" Light bulb
The Mysterious Anyox “STOLEN” Light bulb

You are about to find out.  The 1911-1935 Copper Smelting town of Anyox which is about 145 km north of Prince Rupert is only accessible by boat.  This town was a company town owned by Granby Consolidated.  They provided all the houses, electricity, sewer, water, store, transportation but one they they did not provide was “Light Bulbs”!  The company provided light bulbs for the factories, equipment shops, store, offices and smelter but not for the houses.  They were going through an increased number of light bulbs and soon realized that some unscrupulous residents were taking company light bulbs for their own residential use.

The company quickly came up with a plan to stop this unauthorized use.

Their  plan was to contract their supplier who would stamp all the official light bulbs with the word “STOLEN” in large capital letters, as this would discourage use of them in the residences and rooming houses.”

This worked for some of the more honest residents or those who were not willing to take the shame of displaying the words “STOLEN” on their lights.

Others were not as worried, and proudly lit up their houses with the words stolen reflecting on the walls of the house.

There were even stories of some families asking their children to take a piece of emory cloth and rub the bulbs as it made for a “brighter” light  while the children unknowingly removed the stigma of the stenciled “STOLEN”.

Anyox is a ghost town full of interesting stories and remnants.  That is why we will be visiting this remarkable ghost town again June 2-3, 2018.  Contact us for more information on making the trip with us.

The Rarely Explored Lower Skeena River and Canneries

The lower Skeena River where it enters into the Pacific Ocean is one of the most historic areas in this region but one of the most seldom visited.  There are a few reasons for this.

  1. The tides in this area fluctuate greatly each day and can expose sand bars and make access to some of the sites difficult.  The timing of launching a boat and accessing the sites needs to be planned out to ensure the tides do not leave you stranded.
  2. The area has limited access points to launch a jet boat which is needed to navigate this area of the Skeena
  3. I don’t think people realize just how many interesting sites there are to see in this area

Here are some photos of past guests enjoying the unique sites and nature.

Join us for another tour of the remote and unique area May 15-18, 2018

Black Cat & Rainbow House!
Black Cat & Rainbow House!
Old School Trampoline
Old School Trampoline
Photographing an old Bone Yard
Photographing an old Bone Yard
Photographing old Canneries out of the boat
Photographing old Canneries out of the boat
Enjoying a well deserved lunch on a remote beach
Enjoying a well deserved lunch on a remote beach on an island
The man who fell from Heaven Petroglyph
The man who fell from Heaven Petroglyph
The old Hi-Lo boat lying in the grass
The old Hi-Lo boat lying in the grass
Another float by Cannery Photo-Op
Another float by Cannery Photo-Op
Exploring an old Sawmill site
Exploring an old Sawmill site
Osland Boardwalk
Osland Boardwalk

 

One of the most Unique Northern BC Experiential Tours

Take an opportunity to be a part of one of the most Unique Northern BC Experiences around!   The 2 day Upper Fraser White Sturgeon Tour allows the average person to assist with the gathering of data on one of the most unique fish in this region.  We have partnered with the Lheidli Tenneh  and Environmental Dynamics to deliver a tour where guests learn and experience what it takes to find and catch these “Dinosaurs” of the past.  We use two jet boats to navigate the historical Upper Fraser River in search of these creatures.  Guests will learn about  and be immersed in this data gathering project.  We will use radio telemetry to track the fish, and then take physical measurements like age, girth, length, sex, weight, and DNA.  Fish will be scanned, tagged and have radio tags inserted into them.  This once a year opportunity is an event that the inquisitive and adventurous person does not want to miss!
This years tour takes place May 3-4, 2018 out of Prince George, BC

Large Sturgeon getting ready to be released after measurements done
Smaller Sturgeon getting ready to be released
Using Radio Telemetry to find previously tagged sturgeon
Inserting a radio tag into sturgeon
All hands on deck when weighing a large sturgeon
Angling for sturgeon
Angling for sturgeon
Taking a DNA sample
Taking a DNA sample
Radio Telemetry Tag
A few measurement tools needed for data collection
Looking after a small sturgeon
A closer look at a small sturgeon
Releasing another small sturgeon

Skeena River Journey through Time!

One of the most unique journeys in northern British Columbia is the trip down the Skeena River from Hazelton to Prince Rupert. We retrace the journeys of the First Nations and the early explorers as the Skeena River flows 300 km through the Coast Mountains.  The beauty and awe inspiring scenery is truly remarkable!  During the  five day trip via two jet boats we will overnight at various accommodations adjacent to the river.  This all-inclusive expedition includes great culinary meals in some very unique locations.

Don’t miss out!

August 5-10, 2018
Starting in Terrace, BC

Cruising down the mighty Skeena River via Jet Boat
Checking out a local first Nations smoke house on the Skeena River
One of the local first nations showing us his smoked salmon
Going for a walk on a remote sand bar on the Skeena River
Cruising up a Skeena River Tributary
Accommodations for one of the nights
Exploring an old abandoned airstrip next to the river
A lunch spot with a view
Looking back at the travelled river
Relaxing at the end of the day
Checking out the Ghost Town of Dorreen
The old Haunted Dr House near hospital Island
Interesting Petrogylph of the man who fell from Heaven

 

The setting sun at the end of an amazing day
The guests boarding the train back to Hazelton

Remote Grizzly Bear Viewing

There is something very special about watching these magnificent animals in their natural habitat feeding, playing and cruising along the shore.  The spring month of June is a time as the bears come out of the safety of the forest to feed on the protein rich Lygnby Sedge.  Patience is key to viewing these animals but they always come out.  Some are not afraid of humans and allow us to get relatively close while in the safety of a boat. Others we must stalk them using the wind, electric motors, paddles and poles to keep our presence unknown.  Moms with cubs can be very shy and always on the lookout for danger and other bears.

Our Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Tour on June 6-11, 2018 encompasses two great lodges to use as a home base while we rest up each evening before the next days adventure.  We use Jet boats, Ocean Boats and float planes to access some of the remotest and beautiful bear viewing locations.  This is truly an amazing trip for photographers or those just looking for an  adventure.

Small Grizzly Cub cruising the shoreline looking for his next meal
Small Grizzly Cub cruising the shoreline looking for his next meal

 

A family of Grizzlies scouring the shoreline for clams and other food
A family of Grizzlies scouring the shoreline for clams and other food
A nice looking grizzly with a mouthful of Lyngby Sedge
A nice looking grizzly with a mouthful of Lyngby Sedge
This Grizzly mom is taking her young to safety
This Grizzly mom is taking her young to safety
Two young males pay fighting in the sedge
Two young males pay fighting in the sedge
Accommodations fro two days in the Grizzly Bear Sanctuary
Accommodations fro two days in the Grizzly Bear Sanctuary
This grizzly liked to Swim rather than walk along shore
This grizzly liked to Swim rather than walk along shore
A mom and three cubs eating the rich Lyngby Sedge
A mom and three cubs eating the rich Lyngby Sedge
This mom was always on the lookout for the big males
This mom was always on the lookout for the big males
Poling through a remote coastal estuary in search of Grizzly Bears
Poling through a remote coastal estuary in search of Grizzly Bears
Accommodations for nights 1-3