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!
On our Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery tour we use jet boat son a few of the days to travel on the ocean to remote coastal estuaries that are filled with thick carpets of Lyngby Sedge. We use jet boats so that we can maneuver through all the side channels and that intertwine amongst the estuary. The shallow draft of the jet boat allows us to pole or use electric motors to slowly stalk and maneuver the boat into position to see the bears without scaring them. We know the bears come out every day to feed so sometimes its just a matter of time before they decide to show themselves. At the end of the bear viewing day we then use the louder jet boat engines to cruise of the river on a sightseeing tour. This year’s tour is June 6-10, 2017 starting in Terrace, BC.
Many of our Adventure Tours through Continuing Studies focus on accessing remote and rarely visited sites and to do this we utilize Jet Boats. Running a jet boat with guests who are relying on their guide to bring them back safely after each days adventure requires someone with a vast amount of experience and skill. For our tours in Northwest BC we utilize the services of Fred Seiler who has thousands of hours of jet boating and experience exploring the rivers of this magnificent region. His past experience in delivering eco tours and commercial jet boat services is invaluable. Fred also teaches a Jet Boat safety course for us and has also taught me a vast amount about the safe driving of jet boats and shared all kinds of information about areas to explore and adventure in Northwest BC. Here are a few photos of Fred in action on our tours.
For coastal Grizzly Bears one of the most important spring food sources is the Lyngby sedge (Carex lyngbyei). This sedge grows in the intertidal zone and can tolerate fresh and salt water. The bears feast on this abundant spring vegetation because of its high crude protein content as it contains 25% raw protein. One of the easiest ways to determine a Grizzly Bears activity in an area is to look at the tops of the Lyngby Sedge. If they are flat on the top instead of pointed then this would indicate that a bear has eaten the tops off. The next step is too see if the tops are still green which would indicate that the bear has just recently eaten the sedge or is there a brown stain or color to the top which indicates that some time has passed since the bear ate them.
The estuaries and coastline with sedges in the spring months are definitely areas where one would begin to look for Grizzly Bears as they begin their summer long process of fattening up.
To see these bears in their natural habitat feeding in a sea of green sedge our UNBC “Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour” is an excellent way to visit very remote locations and watch these magnificent creatures photograph them. June 6-10, 2017 starting in Terrace, BC
One of the highlights to the Ghost Town of Anyox is the Graveyard. It is now overgrown with mature trees but amazingly little else grows under the trees as the area suddenly opens up and is devoid of vegetation once entering the cemetery. On my first visit to Anyox when we did a reconnaissance trip to source out unique things to see fro the guests. I was with the owner of the town and it had been many years since he had been to the cemetery. He had a basic idea where it was but it still took us two hours of bushwacking to find the site. That is how seldom visited this place is. We then spent two days brushing out a path for the guests to walk into the graveyard and keep it cleared every year.
One of the first headstones you will see is that of 8 year old Wilfred Sheldon Teabo. He was a young boy who tragically drowned in the toxic waters of Fall Creek. Read the caption below from the book “The Town that got Lost” for more information on his death.
The cemetery is about one km for the ocean. The bottom historic photo show the cemetery and the faint white crosses at the base of the hill.
We still have a few spots left in our two day Anyox tour June 3-4, 2017 or June 10-11, 2017. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit one of BC’s largest towns from the early 1900’s
One of the most unique research projects in Northern BC is now available for the community to take part or for professional development purposes for biologists. The White Sturgeon Biology Tour in partnership with Lheidli Tenneh fisheries allows individuals to experience the searching, catching, observing and recording of white sturgeon on the upper Fraser River. One of the first techniques that the guests are exposed to is the use of radio telemetry in tracking previously tagged White Sturgeon. By using an antenna and receiver we can pin point the location of these prehistoric creatures. The tour is conducted in jet boats as we boat to known holding locations of the fish and then use angling and set lines to catch these fish for the research project.
Are you a photographer or adventurer who likes to explore off the beaten path. Our “Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour” is a tour uses jet boats, ocean boats and seaplanes to access some of Northwest BC’s most inaccessible and remote Grizzly Bear viewing areas. Imagine being poled through narrow channels surrounded by fields of sedge grass and waiting in anticipation around each bend for the perfect photo of of a grizzly bear in its natural habitat. We utilize jet boats and ocean boats maneuver the guests into that perfect location for bear viewing. Imagine staying overnight in a lodge in the midst of a grizzly bear sanctuary where the bears are only minutes away. Imagine jet boating through narrow ocean inlets to remote estuaries where feeding grizzly bears go about there daily fill of lygby sedge. You do not want to miss this opportunity view, photograph and explore northwest BC in search of the Grizzly Bear. Photos credit @simonsees
Our Two day “Anyox – The town that got Lost” tour June 3-4, 2017 and June 10-11, 2017 will visit this iconic structure that is till standing almost 100 years later. It was Canada’s tallest dam at one time and is still an amazing structure. Don’t miss your chance to be on of the few people to visit this iconic structure.
The dam was completed in 1923 and was built by hauling pallets of concrete bags up a single guauge railway line operated by electric hoists. The dam is 635 ft long and 137 ft high and 28 000 acre ft of water capacity. In 1923 before the dam was complete heavy rains caused a landslide above the dam and the debris from the slide plugged the penstocks and the water level rose to dangerous levels so much so that they had to evacuate people living in the lower parts of Anyox below. The water eventually subsided and the dam was completed.
How many of you would jump at a chance to be taken back in time to the 80’s ? Well…… it is now possible through the Ghost Towns of Northwest BC Tour where we visit the town of Kitsault. Our exclusive access to this 1980’s ghost town will take you back in time to 1983 when the moly mine closed and the towns residents were told to pack up and leave. The town has been left as is for 35 years. Complete with a shopping mall, swimming pool, fully equipped hospital, curling rink, movie theatre, library, pub, gymnasium, stores, apartments and houses. How many of you remember the harvest gold appliances? you will be re-aquainted as you spend the night in one of the 1908 apartments complete with harvest gold stoves and fridges. You do not want to miss an opportunity to be one of the few people allowed exclusive access to this town and btw who wouldn’t jump at the chance to go back in time!
This two day tour is one of our most unique with the opportunity to participate in an active Sturgeon tagging program. The guest swill actively participate in the catching and observing the inserting of radio telemetry tags inside the belly of the sturgeon. Guests will learn how to search for past tagged sturgeon with the radio telemetry equipment. The use of set lines and angling equipment will be used to catch the magnificent creatures and then perform a variety of measurements for research purposes. The following video provides a good overview of the two day tour.