A Tale of Two Ghost Towns – Kitsault & Alice Arm

The 1922 Alice Arm School
One of the apartment buildings in Kitsault.
Faded stop sign that is not really needed anymore as there is no traffic
Inside the Kitsault Shopping Centre
Access to the town is restricted and permission is needed to enter the town
An old paved road slowly getting moss covered
Inside one of the apartment living rooms
Our guests from the 2018 tour
The empty post office boxes
Swimming pool at Kitsault
The pool table ready for another game
The library still full of books
One of abandoned streets
Another street in Kitsault
A carport of one of the houses
Operating room in the hospital
Curling rocks waiting for another game
A couple of guests in the Maple Leaf Pub
Kitsault Movie Theatre
Squash Courts
Faded stop sign
Blue Heron Gallery in Alice Arm
The entrance to the Kitsault Mall
A faded swing set seat
Chests in the teacherage of the Alice Arm school

One our Ultimate Ghost Town Adventure we visit two of Northern BC’s most unique ghosts towns which are essentially neighbors.  The early 1900 silver mining town of Alice Arm was home to the Dolly Varden Mine and railway while Kitsault just across the inlet was home to the early 1980’s molydenum mine of Kitsault.  Alice Arm still buzzes with hoped of finding the next big silver “find” as exploration crews still scour the valley in the summer.  Other than that the town is largely abandoned with a scattering of locals who spend the summer in the town.

Across the inlet is the modern day ghost town of Kitsault.  It was a complete town that was built on the premise of strong moly prices for years, but after a couple of years the price of moly crashed and the mine was shut down.  The fully serviced town with shopping mall, swimming pool, basketball court, curling rink, hospital, pub, movie theater, apartments and houses sat vacant until 2005 when Viriginia business man bought the town sight unseen for 5.7 million dollars.  The town has still sat vacant other than caretakers and a summer crew of maintenance people.

Everything still remains relatively eerily as it was in 1982.  We are fortunate enough to be granted access to tour the town and also stay overnight in it.

We will be heading back to Kitsault and Alice Arm,  August 17-18, 2019 for any of you that are interested.  Here are some photos from last year.

Fort George River Journey – In your backyard!

With Prince George being at the confluence of two rivers it is not surprising that many of the most interesting historical sites and features are located near one of the rivers.  Many people who have lived in the region for many years have still not experienced this rich history.  Our “Fort George River Journey” is the perfect one day adventure to see what lies in you back yard.  The view from the river is spectacular and provides a unique perspective of our region.  We jet boat up the Nechako River and down the Fraser River, stopping at unique sites along the way! These include the old 1940 reaction ferry site and hulls, Goat Island, Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, Sternwheeler Bollard, historic Fort George Canyon and much more!

Guests looking at the Ferry Pontoons
Learning about the history of Goat Island while on Goat Island
An old Sternwheeler Bollard for tying up
Checking out Ft George Canyon
The old pontoons on the Nechako River
The span of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
Jet Boating through Ft George Canyon

 

Anyox – “The Town that got Lost” 2018 Tour Highlights

Our June 2-3, 2018 tour to Anyox was one of our best as we had a couple of guests ( future story to come ) that had relatives that had lived and work in the copper mining town. This remote and hard to access ghost town has been abandoned since 1942.  Even after that many years the structures that remain are like gong back into a time warp.  With special permissions from the owner to visit and tour the site our guests are typically a handful of  lucky ones to visit the town each year.  Our group last year lucked out with blue skies and calm seas as we journeyed to this magical place.  Here are some photos from last year’s tour.

We are heading back to Anyox June 8-9, 2019 for those of you that are interested in exploring one of Canada’s most unique ghost towns.

1922 Anyox Surge tank still standing after almost 100 years
One of the guests looking through a window of the Anyox Powerhouse
Guests exploring inside the historic Anyox Powerhouse
One of the many headstones that still stand in the Anyox cemtery
Guests sitting on the top deck of the boat as we cruise down Observatory inlet enroute to Anyox
Checking out the water release valves inside the Anyox dam
Guests checking out the side of the Anyox Powerhouse
Guests photographing a lonely fire hydrant in the forest
The almost 100 year old Anyox Dam
An old steam locomotive lying abandoned in the swamp
The walls of the Anyox General Store
The Anyox Coking plant and stack reaching out above the forest

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