A smokey dawn found me down at the Hide by the river. The quiet was interrupted once by a bear foraging along the opposite sandbar but the real show was about to come.
Following breakfast we headed up the road to start our river drift with Bryn as our guide again. We were welcomed by a large sow doing some kick fishing up river as we climbed into the raft and started our journey downstream.
Rivers are conducive to conversations, our ramblings covering everything from climate change, to history, to philosophy as well as bears and the ecology of the river. Mergansers kept pace with us, at one point fishing right off our side. How a 7 inch fish got into a bird not that much bigger was interesting to watch.
Merganser with fish
Our next stop was to watch a small black bear moving along the edge of the river. Black bears are not common here, as grizzlies will kill and eat them. When they are spotted they generally spook easily and head into the bush. This fellow posed obligingly for me before disappearing up the bank. The remainder of the drift passed peacefully and we headed back to the Lodge for lunch.
Three short hikes into different areas were the focus of the afternoon. Highlights included a squirrel larder – fir cones arranged under partially decayed roots of a long dead hemlock (giving new meaning to the term root cellar), – some spectacular moss, bear day beds scraped into the dirt, a brief glimpse of the Bella Coola River full of glacial silt and more mushrooms.
The end to a perfect visit came this evening with the visit to the Lodge grounds of a grizzly sow, ambling among the cabins eating berries. Turns out her name is Perfect. Magic!
This is an incredible place. Accommodation, naturalists, logistics, food all A+. I highly recommend a visit here. You must drive in – “The Hill” is worth the experience as a stand alone. We head home tomorrow after an incredible week. Thank you for following us on this journey!