Go try something new! Thanks to Jen Segger for sharing her little adventure
Words don’t describe how amazing and unique our stand up paddleboard trip to the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR) was. This past week of exploration and adventure to one of the most remote places on BC’s west coast is one of the coolest experiences that I have ever had.
The 17hr drive to Prince Rupert was something that I have always wanted to do too so I consider the lengthly travel just icing on the cake. I had never driven past Prince George so finally getting to see Smithers and Terrace and all the small towns in between was awesome. There are playgrounds here that I MUST come back to see.Thursday night was spent in Rupert packing food and meeting up with Masa and Taylor (our Explore Magazine journalist and photographer.) Friday morning I snuck in a rainy run in the residential area around where we were staying before we loaded all of our SUP’s and drybags onto the ferry. 4hrs of boat travel later, we were greeted by the folks of Hartley Bay. Everyone was so excited to see Norm back in the community and I got introduced to many of them. Cam and Eva opened their doors to us and we feasted on an amazing fresh salmon dinner and all kinds of dried salmon, seaweed and fishes.
Saturday morning – time to get going. We loaded up Cam’s boat and set out for Cornwall Inlet, a solid 30minute boat ride away from Hartley Bay. And then from there…..well…it was 5 days of incredible exploration on the SUP boards. Loaded with all our gear and food, we paddled and explored everything via the SUP. This my friends is the way to travel and see everything. We brought 2 South Points and the new wooded red cedar board made by Andy in Pemberton. Norm had outfitted the boards with decking and tie downs and it worked great. It’s actually incredible to see the amount of gear and weight that these boards can handle. We stayed in a longhouse at the back of Cornwall Inlet on night 1 and then at various cabins in both Bernard Harbor and MacDonald Bay on the other nights. Long days of paddling, lots of board time and a few good sections of against current travel to make for some added adventure. We saw bears, killer whales, hump backs, wolves and a huge abundance of sea life. Wednesday afternoon we were picked up by Marvin and brought back to Hartley Bay to enjoy THE BEST traditional west coast dinner that I have ever had. Fresh crab, crab cakes, octopus, halibut and sea cucumber among the other fixings were prepared. Unreal – we ate so much, way more than I needed but stopping was not an option! Just before bed time we managed a 30minute run around the community, making me feel somewhat better. Thursday morning I got in another run before we were invited over to Lynn and Ernie’s place for a traditional fried bread breakfast! Oh my gosh – so good but, well, I had to put the reigns on myself, I’ve got to be able to fit into my bike shorts in a few days time J
I can’t explain this trip in the detail that it deserves so I hope these pictures give a little glimpse. If you truly want a remote trip that is 100% unique, come to the GBR and see it on the SUP. Norm knows these waters so well and is very connected to it’s people. It’s the kind of place that is not easily accessible on your own so I feel very honored to have had this experience. We will be running trips here in September when chances of seeing the White Spirit Bear are high and the fish are spawning – I’m already excited to return. It's the trip of a lifetime.