Estuary Rice Roots

Northern Rice-Root or Fritillaria camschatcensis is a small lily that grows in the coastal estuaries of northwest BC. The plant is nutritionally similar to the potato, which displaced traditional root vegetables in Aboriginal diets after being introduced by European settlers. Grizzly bears find them tasty and will dig them where possible.  The small rice kernels that make up the bulb will scatter when dug up by the bears then spread to another site where another plant will grow.  We will see the Rice Root on our Coastal Estuary Day of the Jet Boat Photography Tour and see the evidence of dug up roots by the local grizzly bears.

Rice Root Flower
Our guide holding the rice root
Close up of the rice root bulb

 

Getting excited about Banks & Groceries!

On our Ghost Towns of Northwest BC we will get you excited to see modern day businesses.  We will travel by boat across Alice arm to the modern day Ghost Town of Kitsault. Our exclusive access to this site will include a tour of the site and the many buildings that have sat vacant as is since 1981. This will include the shopping centre, swimming pool, school, theatre and much more. We will spend the night in this ghost town in one of the 1980’s style apartments.

Here is an 16×9 short documentary on the town that is quite interesting!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX2MvCnyRTo

The empty shelves of the local grocery store that has sat vacant for 35 years.

The old Royal Bank which served the customers for just over a year in 1981! Looks like it could be opened up on a moments notice!

36 years of emptiness in Kitsault Shopping Centre

Wolf Calling and Casting

Coastal wolves are abundant but elusive as we did not have an opportunity to photograph any but we did do some wolf foot print casting on some fresh tracks up one of the remote rivers we visit.  Everyone in the group gets an opportunity to make their own cast of a foot print and take home this unique keepsake.

Our guide pouring the casting material into a fresh wolf print
A few members of the group watching how to make a cast
Our guide “wolf howling” up the valley to get a response from the local wolf pack.

Staying at the Yellow Cedar Lodge

All five nights of our  Jet Boat Photography Tour and three nights of our Ghost Towns of Northwest BC will be spent at the magnificent Yellow Cedar Lodge.  The lodge is just a few minutes outside of Terrace BC on the banks of the Skeena River.  All of our dinners and breakfasts will be served here as well.  Red Seal Chef Alf Leslie will provide gourmet dinners int he beautiful Yellow Cedar Dining Hall.   We will depart each morning for our next adventure from the lodge.  The lounge area in the lodge will be the location for our evening social and guest presentations.

The Dining Hall at the Yellow Cedar Lodge
Evening photo of the Lodge
The group listening to one of our evening presenters

Alice Arm Schoolhouse

Alice Arm is another of our stops on the Ghost Towns of Northwest BC Tour.  It is home to the historic  Dolly Varden mine which  operated from 1919 to 1940 and the North Star mine which ran  from 1919 to 1921, and the Torbrit mine from 1949 to 1959.  We will cruise along Observatory in our chartered yacht and begin exploring this eerie community.  The Alice Arm Schoolhouse is one of the structures still standing and it is full of stories from the past.   The names of the kids still remain above each coat hook where they were to hang up their jackets.  Hundreds of old textbooks from the 30’s scatter the shelves and remnants of the past can be found everywhere.

The Alice Arm schoolhouse still remains from the early 1900’s
Old Chests in the attic of the schoolhouse

Anyox Dam

The 44 metre high, 207 – metre long concrete dam on Anyox Creek was built in 1924 to power a copper mine and smelter, and abandoned in 1935.

In the mid 1920′s the town of Anyox was a thriving community of over 3,000, with each home supported by electricity and hot water from the hydroelectric plant.

In the early 1920s concrete pioneer and dam engineer John S. Eastwood designed the  hydroelectric dam as it stood as the tallest dam in Canada for many years.

We will have the opportunity to explore in and around this magnificent structure that seems so out of place in the middle of nowhere.

The owner of the site Jeff Wolrige still has plans to one day reactivate the dam and start producing power again.  For now the water passes through the dam through a couple of small outlets and a larger hole that they created with dynamite to alleviate any backlog of water while decomissioned.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be one of a handful of people to visit the dam this year!

Come and explore the Anyox Dam as a part of the Ghost Towns of Northwest BC
Exploring the Inside of the Anyox Dam

Welcome

Welcome to the site of UNBC Continuing Studies’ Experiential Tourism blog!

Rob Bryce

I’m Rob Bryce and I want to share with you my knowledge of Northern BC and my passion for adventure. Come along with me on some of the most exclusive trips in Northern British Columbia!

As a coordinator for Continuing Studies at UNBC, one of my true pleasures is to bring together my love and knowledge of Northern BC and my passion for adventure resulting in this new Experiential Tourism program. I’m always looking for that new niche based northern BC “experience” that can be coordinated into a new “Experiential Tourism Program” through Continuing Studies.

This year we have a great line-up of tours:

 

These tours pride themselves in taking you off the beaten track and seeing sights that are exclusive to this program.

Check back daily for a new photo and story about our trips.

If you are interested in any of these adventures or have any questions, please email me at rob.bryce@unbc.ca.