Paws for thought
The 2016 season has drawn to a close.
October 17th saw the last guests for 2016 depart the lodge. Over the next few days there was a flurry of activity at the lodge as staff readied the lodge for its winter hibernation. With that taken care of there are just caretakers Dickson, Anna and their dog Stella residing at the lodge for the winter months. If you are interested in what winter at Knight Inlet Lodge is like keep an eye on the web camera and weather station located on our web camera page.
The 2016 season was a great one with lots of unusual bear behaviour and, as usual, a fantastic group of guests. Every year I get reminded of how lucky we are to have guests that not only care about the bears but are simply wonderful people to deal with.
|Photo Credit - Brian Collen|
Knight Inlet Lodge has always been popular with television and film crews and 2016 was no exception. Globo Reporter from Brazil visited in June and the Dutch Travel television show Romancing the Globe visited in late September - early October. No word on when Romancing the Globe will premier but Globo Reporter aired in September and can be seen here
Our Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages are great ways to not only keep in touch with what is going on at the lodge but also see some wonderful photos and videos. We’ll be regularly updating all 3 as the winter moves along so keep checking back.
Congratulations to the Campbell River Comfort Inn & Suites for winning Choice Hotels Canada’s Apex award for "most likely to recommend". This is not all that surprising considering the many positive comments we get on the hotel and its staff. Owner Jonathan Shead and Operations Manager Rebecca Berry lead a very dedicated team that do a wonderful job of looking after our guests.
|Photo Credit - Brian Collen|
Knight Inlet Lodge is a big supporter of, and a charter member of, the Commercial Bear Viewing Association. We would like to extend a big welcome to Katherine MacRae who has joined the C.B.V.A as the Executive Director. All Guides at Knight Inlet Lodge take the C.B.V.A. Bear Guide certification course which is the only one of its kind in B.C.
Looking for a Knight Inlet Lodge souvenir? Check out our online store for a selection of our most popular items.
If you are thinking of visiting the lodge in 2017 we still have lots of great space left in late May – mid August time frame plus a few very good dates after the 7th of October. For updated availability and pricing email us at info [at] grizzlytours [dot] com If 2018 is a more likely time frame for a visit email us and we will add you to our list of people to contact when we open reservation in mid July of 2017. For people looking to visit in the peak month of September booking early is highly recommended.
|Photo Credit - Eddy Savage|
Chief William Glendale of the Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala First nation passed away on April 14th, 2016. Chief Glendale was a friend and supporter of Knight Inlet Lodge and will be missed. Our lodge resides in the traditional territory of the Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala First Nation and we look forward to working with Chief Gordon Glendale in the coming years.
Cool Videos from 2016
We were treated to some incredible bear activity in 2016 including our top 3.
- Beatrice nursing her triplet’s right in front of some very lucky guests at the viewing stand. Our thanks to guest Linda T for sharing this video with us.
- In 2015 we saw "Jacques" diving for salmon and we wondered if other bears would copy him. This video taken by Lodge Manager Brian Collen answers that question with a definitive yes! At over 2.4 million views this is by far the most watched video we have ever posted to Facebook.
- Knight Inlet Lodge Guest and "Artist in residence" Doria Moodie came back for a visit this fall and took this video of a grizzly using a more traditional fishing method. To see some of Doria’s paintings featuring the bears of Knight Inlet check out her website.
Questions for Paul
An interview with Chef Paul Aitken
- How long have you worked for Knight Inlet Lodge?
"I believe my first tenure would have been from 1999 until 2006 followed by a brief stint back to the restaurant industry. I returned to the lodge in 2010 and have been there ever since."
- What is the most challenging thing about being the Head Chef at a remote lodge?
"The biggest challenges are getting the supplies you need, and getting good quality items. Now that we have such a good working relationship with local farms and providers it has become much easier to get quality products, nothing beats a strawberry that was picked on the farm a day before you get it compared to one that has travelled all the way from California. You also have to be very flexible and able to adapt to any situation that may occur."
- What do you enjoy the most about working at Knight Inlet Lodge?
"I enjoy many things, the commute by floatplane is nice, the fact that I can look out the window of my kitchen and see a Grizzly bear or black bear feeding on the shoreline, impromptu visits by Orca and humpback whales, fishing for salmon, crab and prawns. The freedom to be creative in the kitchen is also a big thing for me, making whatever I want. I cherish my time spent in the outdoors and away from the daily rat race of society, so even just being able to go to bed in Glendale Cove and wake up in Glendale Cove away from it all is a treat."
- Do you work elsewhere while the lodge is closed?
"I have spent the last five winters working as a chef in a remote heli-skiing resort. This winter I will be doing the same, it will be the beginning of a new chapter though as I will be heading to a new resort in another area of Northern B.C."
- Where do you live in the off season?
"After many years of living in various places on Vancouver Island I have recently relocated to my home town of Campbell River and purchased my first home."
- Tell us the funniest request / question you have ever had from a guest?
"Being that I work in the kitchen most of my interaction with clients is food based, and mostly centered on food allergies and preferences. Some times it can be quite hard to differentiate between the two, but we try to make everyone happy, two things that stand out to me are a request for no whale meat (not sure what they had heard about Canadian cuisine before hand.) That one as you can imagine was quite easy to accommodate. We had another client years ago who wouldn't eat, or sit by anyone eating anything with a pudding consistency."
Stop The Hunt
While some slight progress has been made on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears it is still occuring with no end in sight. Knight Inlet Lodge continues to work on educating our elected officials as to the value of bear viewing versus bear hunting. Morally there is no question the hunt should end but sadly money, or the false belief that the hunt is economically valuable, plays a role as well. The spring of 2016 saw Knight Inlet host members of both the Government and Opposition parties at our lodge. We believe it is important for them to not only hear about what we do but also to see it firsthand.
|Photo Credit - Eddy Savage|
A look back at 2016
|Photo Credit - Roman D.|
As mentioned earlier on 2016 was a great one with another record year for guests and lots of interesting wildlife viewing. Some of the highlights were,
- Bella appearing from her winter hibernation with triplets in tow. Our movie star bear was one busy mom but all in all she did a great job as the cubs looked very healthy in the fall.
- A number of bears adopting Jacques method of diving for his salmon. Some were better at it than others but it’s amazing to see multiple bears now diving for their meal. This particular bear has some work to do on it's technique as you will see in this video.
- The humpback whales returning to Knight Inlet in 2016. This is the second year in a row that we have ben treated to an extended visit by these magnificent creatures.
- A pod of transient orcas hunting pacific white sided dolphins at the mouth of Glendale Cove. While not great for the dolphins it was still an amazing sight.
- A significant number of guests returning for a second, third or fourth visit to the lodge. We even had guests returning with their children after first visiting as a child with their parents. We can’t think of many finer compliments than wanting to share a treasured childhood vacation with your own children.
|Photo Credit - Brian Collen|
Looking forward to 2017
As incredible as it seems we are less than 6 months from welcoming our first guests of 2017. In reality our "season" will start in April as reactivation the lodge, trail work, road work, and dock positioning will take at least 6 weeks to complete. Pre season staff training and hosting our annual Bear Guide certification course on behalf of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association will also take place right before we open. All in all April and early May will be a very busy time at the lodge even if we aren’t open!