If you go down to the woods today
We are finally at rest in Port Hardy for a couple of nights after the long boat trip down the Inland Passage from Prince Rupert. Allthego had booked the Pioneer Motel on Booking.com and hadn’t paid much attention to it’s location. It is about equidistant from the ferry terminal and the town, 6 km in either direction. It is also very aptly named. It is a circa 1950/60s establishment probably done up from time to time, but not much. The room had that funny lived in feeling with a musty overlay of humankind, perhaps the odd fish or two had also been in residence from time to time. The electrics were a bit average, when you plugged something in the lights or whatever else you had on went off. The power point was loaded up with plugs and you wobbled it around a bit to get the power to work. The people were really helpful though and pointed out the scenic features of the 6 km walk into town along the river bank through the woods. The salmon were running and the bears were out they said. Only black ones, no grizzlies on Vancouver island.
We caught a cab into town and had lunch at Captain Hardys. this establishment was named after Vice Admiral Hardy who commanded The Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson was the Admiral. The calamari was really good, as was the Fat Tug IPA Allthego had later on our walk to the marina. The marina being about half way back to the Pioneer Motel. The memorial to the Carrot campaign is a prominent feature, this was installed after ‘carrots were dangled’ in front of politicians to get the road paved through to Port Hardy. The campaign was ultimately successful.
But the highlight of the day was our ‘walk in the woods’ back to the Pioneer in the early evening, 7 pm or so. It was getting a bit dim under the tree canopies as we walked the trail. Evidence of bear was sighted on the path, relatively fresh too. We paused to look at the stream on an old rustic bridge. It was full of salmon thrashing around in the shallows.
Then out of the under growth came the black bear. It stood on the bank and perused the salmon, before wading into the stream and across to the other side. It wasn’t interested in catching any salmon. Maybe it had already had its fill, perhaps the salmon were not good enough! What a sight!
We rather hurriedly moved on up the trail as darkness set in, occasionally looking back over our shoulders.
Now if we hadn’t stayed at the Pioneer Motel we wouldn’t have seen that bear!
We are now back in Vancouver having flown down from Port Hardy. The next stage of the journey begins when we board the Star Princess and head north to Alaska.