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Flash Back Fridays

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Flash Back Fridays

A BUNCH OF OLD TROUTS? NEVER

By Arthur Mayse, October 1986

Strathcona Park Lodge, which sprawls along the rugged shoreline of Upper Campbell Lake, is much more than a holiday resort.

It is also a training center that specializes in such outdoor skills as canoeing, kayaking, mountaineering and wilderness survival.

All this, of course, didn’t happen overnight. The program, unique on this continent, was developed through years.

It was in its infancy, and the lodge itself smaller by most of its chalet-type frame units when Win and I first ventured to Strathcona over a gravel road that threatened to dump us into the lake at every turn and twist.

Posing at the famous Roosevelt Elk, the entrance to Strathcona Provincial Park.

Posing at the famous Roosevelt Elk, the entrance to Strathcona Provincial Park.

Big Jim Boulding, the former Campbell River school teacher who founded the lodge on a dream and shoestring, was still alive in those years. Even then, Jim Boulding worried about the future of Strathcona Park, a wild empire of mountain, lake and timbered slopes.

A mine had intruded. Other mining claims stakes before the park was established in 1911, threatened, and the loggers had an eye on Strathcona’s grand first- growth evergreens. The threat remains unresolved.

We remembered Strathcona Lodge kindly, and when Myrna Boulding asked us to come up for a week and teach memoir writing to an Elderhostel which was about to descend on her retreat, we were quick to accept.

Not that we had any idea what an Elderhostel was. Myrna explained.

“As I understand it,” she told us, “Elderhostel is an organization of seniors who stay in groups at one college or resort.. They’re strong on education and adventure.”

With that to go on, we scrambled a mini-course together and on the Sunday set out for Strathcona Park Lodge. Read more

Picture This! (WYLD)

Did you know Vancouver Island is known as the island of caves?  They are over 1000 explored caves.

Did you know Vancouver Island is known as the island of caves? They are over 1000 explored caves.

Flash Back Fridays

Flash Back Fridays

JIM BOULDING

By Hilary Stewart

Jim Boulding was pitch sticks & lighting fires in the rain
And a film on hypothermia –
Jim was a Zodiak & a tin boat roaring down
Muchalat Inlet out to the pacific & on to Escalante –
Jim was buzz-bombs and salmon dinners at the
camp & late night saunas on the sand amid loud laughter,
raucous song & icy dips in the ocean –
Jim was apples & oranges & respect for the Indians at Friendly Cove –

Jim was Nanaimo bars and a mountain of gear On the U chuck & laugher all the way back to the Lodge –
Jim was teaching & caring &learning; observing and thinking & crating. And fighting –

Jim was opportunity & impossible dreams made real for himself & others –
Jim was many things to many people, & the people and the land are richer because this mountain of man cared. And shared.

Jim was a celebration of life

Jim Boulding fly fishing during a rare moment of relaxation

Jim Boulding fly fishing during a rare moment of relaxation

Flash Back Fridays

ISOBEL SPRINGETT 1965

The Springett Family arrived from England and got a job managing the Lodge. Joan and Walter had two boys and two girls, one of whom was Isobel Springett, who was eight at the time. She is now a well-known photographer. Isobel liked this area so much that she now lives in the Comox Valley.

Isobel Springett enjoying a big snowfall

Isobel Springett enjoying a big snowfall

One night we were awakened by my brother shouting “there’s a cougar in the basement!” We all scrambled into our clothes and headed to the back of the Lodge. The basement was really a storage area located on the lower level at the rear of the building. My father and one of my brothers crept very slowly towards the open door, a 2 x 4 and gun in hand not quite sure what they were going to find. As they got closer they could see something large looming in the doorway. “Maybe it’s a bear” my brother whispered. By now they could hear the uninvited guest rummaging through the gas cans and firewood stored there. Suddenly something large and quite round appeared to be coming slowly towards them. As it advanced my brother suddenly realized what they were looking at. “It’s one of the bloody horses!” he exclaimed in a very annoyed voice. Apparently someone had left the door open and Gypsy, a big pinto, had decided to investigate even though there was not really enough room for a horse in the human-sized doorway. By now Gypsy had decided to head back in and had planted himself firmly in the doorway. My father and brother tried coaxing him with words promising treats and pats. Of course being a horse this went in one ear and out the other. By now they were getting quite annoyed. It was three in the morning and the Lodge would be waking up in a couple of hours. My dad picked up a stick and started swatting him on the ‘arse’ as he called that part of the anatomy. Read more

Flash Back Fridays

LIFE AT THE LODGE

By Juli Porter, Western Wonderland, 1965

One of the cottages in the early stages of Strathcona Park Lodge.

One of the cottages in the early stages of Strathcona Park Lodge.

Jim and Myrna Boulding are both school teachers. They spend their holidays as hosts at Strathcona Park Lodge, nestled on the side of Upper Campbell Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes on Vancouver Island. It is surrounded by high snow-capped mountains and steeply sloping hills. The gardens were laid out by Clive Justice, a landscape architect from Vancouver. For those who wish more vigorous entertainment than just relaxing in the sun there is riding, swimming, the lake abounds in trout and it is possible to catch a good string before breakfast – a sportsman’s paradise. Read more

Flash Back Fridays

MARIA MCLEISH, Daughter of Jack and Lila Berman, 1962.

A plane load of Bouldings and Bermans

A plane load of Bouldings and Bermans

As I recall, my parents began taking vacations without my brother and me the year before my senior year in high school. Johnny had just graduated; Jack got a full month off every August and they would get in the station wagon with their camping gear and head up to their favorite spot in Gold Beach Oregon. Since they were not burdened with two bored teens, they decided to drive up through Washington State to Vancouver Island. After stops in Seattle and Vancouver they went up-Island and camped by the Quinsam River. A park ranger told them about the Lodge and they went up for a visit. They stayed a day or two. That year, 1962, was a banner year for the Tyee and there was a long article in the Vancouver Sun about Jim that my parents saved. Then in 1963 they went again and this was their first extended stay of more than a few days.

You see, there was a problem. Jack (my beloved step-dad) was a very loyal person and he could not bring himself to abandon ‘Pop’s Landing’ in Gold Beach where our family had camped for ten years. Jack and my mother Lila were enthralled with the Strathcona scenery, the fishing, and the young Boulding family. Jack was a great raconteur, Read more

Flash Back Fridays

EARLY GUESTS 1960

“It was 1960 when I came up here to rent a boat and put out our motor to fish. We were from Seattle and were guests of Dr. Simpkins. How things have changed since then. (Jim has gone.) I was planning to give him a bad time as we two used to go at each other with barbs. He was a large, great guy who we all loved and respected from 1960 through 1972. Sorry I missed his beautiful bride.”  John McQuaker

Dr. Simpkins and Myrna

Dr. Simpkins and Myrna

Dr. Simpkins came to the Lodge to rent boats many times over the early years. I ran into him at an exercise class in Campbell River in the late 1980s. I remembered his distinctive voice. He was 93 by then. He was a dentist and lived in Seattle. All those years he had owned a small waterfront house south of Campbell River where he would stay to fish the Campbell River area. I went salmon fishing with him one day. On another occasion, he cooked dinner for all the female staff at the exercise Read more

Flash Back Fridays

BRUCE BAIKIE early 1960s

 Dan Matthews and Bruce Baikie

Dan Matthews and Bruce Baikie

My brother Bruce was in grade twelve in the same school where Jim and I first came to teach in Campbell River. In 1958 and 1959 Bruce had worked with B.C. Hydro doing survey work and remembers the crew stayed near the Lodge, but had yet to work for his brother-in-law Jim. One of Bruce’s first encounters with the Lodge was with Jim’s boat, the Fair Isle, an attractive 24 ft. oak and mahogany Turner- built boat with an inboard Ford industrial engine. Bruce arrived at the Lodge with his friend Barry Ross and some girls to go for a boat ride only to find the boat underwater after a heavy snowfall. It was tied to the Lodge boat dock and was able to be re-floated. Another time Bruce was heading out on a fishing trip on Muchalat Inlet with two dentists, Roger Mielke and his brother. Read more