Tag Archives: Strathcona Park Lodge

Flash Back Fridays

LODGE AS SEEN BY A CANADIAN ‘TRAVEL’ ARTICLE 1982

Strathcona Lodge is Canadian in outlook

What you see is what you get. Jim Boulding in the city is the Jim Boulding you’ll meet in the wilds of Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island. Granted, there may be a necktie in the city, but somehow you know it’s just a piece of cloth worn like some trifling accoutrement in deference to social custom he’s long ceased believing in. Jim be- lieves in people, their potential and ability to be positive. Nothing bores him more than negativism.

The layout of the Lodge.

The layout of the Lodge.

“After 23 years in the tourism business, I know what tough times are. I know what it’s like to live with near-failure, and I also know that there’s always a way out if you’re willing to work at it,” says Jim who, with wife Myrna, owns and operates Strathcona Park Lodge as an outdoor education centre, world-renowned wilderness training centre and family resort.

The Bouldings may be out in the boonies, but they have a definite concept of Canada, tourism and its international potential.
“We have scenery that is unsurpassable,” says Jim bluntly of the 160-acre property on central Vancouver Island. “Mountains, lakes, forests, history, Read more

Picture This!(#SPL)

Want to practise your climbing skills before hopping on the rock?  We have built a climbing wall on the outside of our barn.  Come challenge yourself!

Want to practise your climbing skills before hopping on the rock? We have built a climbing wall on the outside of our barn. Come challenge yourself!08

Flash Back Fridays

KRISTIN FINKBINER 1982

Kristin (centre), pictured with Nancy on right

Kristin (centre), pictured with Nancy on right

My first visit to Strathcona Park Lodge was in August 1982, when I was 16. My cousin Brad Mielke was working at the Lodge as a chef for the summer. I returned as a volunteer in 1989 when I was 23. I stayed from Aug 1989 through January 1990. My job was in the kitchen doing meal prep and dishes, and also in the dining room, serving food. My only remuneration was room and board. Read more

Picture This! (#SPL)

Hiking to Karst Creek in Strathcona Provincial Park.

Hiking to Karst Creek in Strathcona Provincial Park.

Flash Back Fridays

YVONNE WILLIAMS 1981

Yvonne Williams

Yvonne Williams

In September of 1981, after eight months of going through a miserable divorce and down to 99 pounds (boy is that a long time ago) I drove from Calgary to the Lodge. I think I realized that a little time there would help me to get my equilibrium back. I remember Myrna taking a horrified look at me and insisting that I go immediately to the kitchen and start eating, and as I like the food at the Lodge this was not a problem.
After I settled in I found myself back in the office at the front desk, sort of like a homing pigeon I guess, because no matter what that is where I always ended up.

Myrna used to sweet talk me with compliments about how well I dealt with the tourists, so much better than hersel, blah, blah, blah….. But I must say that the blarney (and Myrna isn’t even Irish) always seemed to work on me so that is where I spent the next two months. Of course the tourists are few and far between at that time of the year, but there were some school groups; I don’t think as many as in later years because there were definitely some financial problems during that period. I remember times that Myrna or Jim would say that someone was coming to collect on a bill and then they would disappear and I would be left to make excuses, to sweet talk, or whatever worked. I must say that I got pretty adept at being evasive.

I remember some of those cold mornings in the office when Jim and I would be trying to decipher his handwriting (believe me, that is being kind) with chattering teeth and one morning he opened a drawer in his desk and said “want a drink?” – mind you this is about 9 AM, and we are talking about over proof rum—but I tell you, it was so cold that it somehow seemed the only reasonable thing to do. So we did, and let me just say, more than once.

What is reasonable at the Lodge is not necessarily what is reasonable in the rest of the world, but then, that is part of the charm of the place.

Picture This! (#SPL)

stand up sea kayaking

The staff at play! Last fall a few of the staff went out to Surge Narrows off of Quadra Island and had a great time sea kayaking.

Picture This! (WYLD)

zip zipping #zipididydooda through the forest of #strathconaparklodge because...it's #fun!

zip zipping #zipididydooda through the forest of #strathconaparklodge because…it’s #fun!

Flash Back Fridays

NOOTKA’S HOT SPRINGS

The strongest hikers were in front, pushing a tunnel through a three-metre- high jungle of salal. One by one, they plunged into the bush and disappeared. From above, on a granite bluff, it looked as if the salal was being shaken by a monstrous snake.

We were plodding across a point at Nootka Sound on the west side of Vancouver Island. There were no signs of humanity, not even a crude trail, when he jumped off a float plane’s pontoons and waded to a crescent-shaped beach. It was the same Van- couver Island that Captain cook saw when he make his first landing in North American at Friendly Cove, a few kilometres across the sound.

Six days later, when another floatplane picked us up at Hot Springs Cove, we knew why few hikers tackle that untracked coastline. We had managed to make it to our pre-arranged pickup point, but not without mooching a ride on a fishing boat. The worst injury was a slightly sprained ankle, but a spry, 61-year-old Toronto man bailed out three days early and had a lighthouse keeper arrange for a floatplane to take him away.

There were nine of us; four were experienced hikers.

The West Coast of Vancouver Island has many treasures for those willing to go off the beaten path.

The West Coast of Vancouver Island has many treasures for those willing to go off the beaten path.

We were on a trip organized by Strathcona Park Lodge and Outdoor Educational Centre, a trip that cost us $360 a piece. It was led by Daphne Hnatiuk, a 22- year-old woman and outdoor educator who had just returned from a stint of prospecting in the Yukon.

Daphne’s log, July 21: “We had to bushwhack across Burdwood Point to the next, Read more

Flash Back Fridays

Dave King lost with kids on mountain

One of my favourite stories from Strathcona involved a hike on Elk Mountain which was located across the lake from the Lodge. It was before the mountain was so dramatically clear cut. The original Elk Mountain was beautiful. Trees like what you would expect to see in Cathedral Grove; cool creeks running through lush forests. Dave King, one of the SPL instructors, was guiding a group of students on Elk Mountain. They had planned to hike a short distance and then establish a base camp from which they would do day hikes. The group got to their destination, established the camp, and then headed up the mountain on a day trip. Read more

Picture This! (#SPL)

jim leishman

We were fortunate to have Jim Leishman of Quadra Island bring some of his sculptures to the Lodge last year. This particular piece is made out of copper and wood. Find out more of his work by going to http://jimleishmanarts.com/