It was a clear October (2009) morning as we departed Campbell River on Vancouver Island Air’s turbo Otter. We could see for miles in every direction and had amazing views of all the grand mountain peaks and fjords of the BC Coast as we flew into Knight Inlet Lodge in Glendale Cove. On the flight was our family of four and six other guests. As it was near the end of the season Knight Inlet Lodge was able to accommodate our family with our two children Zach 8 and Clem 6
Within an hour of arriving at the lodge we were viewing our first grizzly bears – a sow and her cub in the estuary. These would be the first of many that we would see during our two-day stay at the lodge. In the afternoon, after a hearty lunch, we went up to the ‘Weir viewing stand’ to try and see more bears. Another sow with two cubs were there feeding on the abundant salmon when we arrived and two more quickly joined them. Our guide Jamie explained that there was a good return of Pink and Chum salmon this year so the bears had lots to eat. It appeared as so as the bears could easily and effortlessly scoop up salmon with their paws or their mouths.
When we returned to the lodge we had the option of participating in a marine cruise up Knight Inlet, which we were all eager to join. Highlights of the cruise included waterfalls, humpback whales and Dahl’s porpoise all within an hours boat ride from the lodge. Our guide also shared some stories and legends from local First Nations people. After dinner we were treated to an interpretive talk by one of the naturalists. Then it was a quick hot tub before bed.
With all the highlights of our first day I wondered what was in store for us on our second day. I wondered if we would see the blond grizzly cub the guides were talking about. After breakfast our guide Jamie offered to take just our family on an interpretive walk to find animal tracks and other signs of wildlife. He brought along some plaster to make some casts if we found some good animal tracks. We did find lots of great tracks of bear, wolf and cougar among others, but the best were two perfect deep grizzly tracks in a sand bar by the river. While we let the plaster set Jamie took us back to the ‘Weir viewing stand’ and then to the ‘Finger viewing stand’. Like the day before we saw lots of bears, and yes we also saw the blond cub.
That afternoon we went on a family paddle in the lodge’s kayaks. We paddled up into the estuary to see the ducks and sea birds. The boys got a bit chilled so we warmed up in the hot tub when we returned to the lodge. After another great dinner and interpretive presentation we retired to our comfortable suite. We spent the next morning lazing around and checking out the Lodge’s salmon hatchery before departing. Jaime gave the kids the plaster casts of the bear tracks we made the day before. They were all nicely wrapped and safe for the trip home. There couldn’t be better souvenirs from our stay.
Thanks to Dean and Kathy and everyone at Knight Inlet Lodge for two amazing days of adventure, learning and exploration. The tour package was seamless right down to every detail, from start to finish. We look forward to our next adventure in British Columbia’s wilderness.
Evan, Sue, Zack and Clem Loveless