Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Week 11

Its been raining a lot for the past week. We have had a few delays in guest departures/arrivals. Our team has managed to keep our heads high and our guests happy. Things are starting to come to an end here at the lodge. We are beginning to get our stuff slowly packed up so that the shutdown is a little bit easier. James, Logan, Jess and Kristi are leaving on the next changeover. Its going to be great to see them in the real world and I hope that we can stay in contact.

I have had some issues with my things this season at the lodge...I think the combo of me living in the freakin' Bermuda Triangle and the moisture in the air have destroyed all my electronics. First my computer stopped working; freezing all the time. Then my camera, hard drive, and phone get all messed up and stopped working. I have such bad luck.

Haven't had much opportunity to get out on the boats to go fishing or sightseeing. But of course on the one day I do I forgot my camera. Kristi, Naomi, James and I went out halibut fishing and and got a spectacular show from 2 humpback whales feeding and breaching no more that 25 feet from our small boat. To top it off while the whales were feeding, a large pod of porpoises joined the party and teamed up on the bait ball clusters around the boat. If only I had my camera...

Friday, September 10, 2010


Rain rain go away...

There was about 3 days in the last week and a half that didn't rain. Regardless I was able to make the best of my time with back to back fishing trips and lake expeditions. I had a blast with Logan, James, Naomi and Kristie; pretty solid team.

A horrible thing happened on the Whalen Lake adventure. First of all we had a pretty short time in which we were able to stay out because I had to work at 5....so we left the lodge around 12:00 and made it to the creek at 1:00....things just took too long to get going because of a dropping tide and lack of parking space in the estuary. We had to then portage the canoe up hill through the a overgrown trail for about 30 mins.
Once we made it to the lake we took time to eat a little snack of leftover pizza and cantaloupe. After eating we set up our rods and the four of us packed into the canoe. Our goal was to make it to the second point of the lake which we estimated would take us about an hour. Logan was sure that there was a creek feeding into the lake at that point. It was most likely to have fish residing in the creek mouth thus making our chances of catching fish higher. Once we actually got the the spot we had a 30 minute window to fish.
I think at about 3:35 we decided to leave. Logan steered and I sat up front paddling. We basically went full tilt all the way for about 40 minutes...I didn't want to be late for work! It was official, we were in a rush. We scrambled out of the canoe and I was flailing around to put my rod away not realizing that my reel spool was coming lose. I stuck it rod in the rod case and the reel popped off and rolled off a steep rocky drop off. I lost the reel my dad gave me. :( I felt helpless as the last of my floating line disappeared into the mirky darkness....
Me and Logan portaged the canoe downhill in an impressive 20 minutes with Naomi. Meanwhile James was back at the lake searching for my reel haha. A valiant effort on his part for sure. Once he caught up we canoed out to the boat and took off full tilt towards home. Obviously made it back in time!

Work has been pretty good this last week. No hiccups in service and we had a successful changeover once again. It's bear season and we have been graced with the presence of a medium sized black bear that stops by every now and then. There has also been a bunch of Kermode bear sightings in Cameron Cove just around the corner from the lodge. Pretty exciting times. Wish me luck, I'mma catch me a spirit bear!



So for the last few weeks my new MacBook Pro has been having some issues. Basically it freezes every time I try to use it so I have had some trouble keeping up to date with my weekly blogs due to this. SOOOO you are getting a double blog entry today.

So things are starting to slow down in the GBR and KPL. It has began to feel more and more like summer is ending. We haven't seen a lot of sun in the past week. Lots of rain, I guess that's why they call it the rain forest. I've been working in the kitchen and the dinning room for the past little while and things have been going well on both sides. We are starting to run like a fine tuned machine.

We have seen sooo many cool things this week. We had a couple humpback whales swim into the harbor and came nearly 15-20 feet away from the dock at the front of our lodge. I took some footage of them for a few minutes and I hope to use it in my short video I'm "trying" to work on. The sunsets have been pretty spectacular for the best couple days too. Reminds me how beautiful this place is and of how much I'm going to miss it when I leave.

Fishing has been not so good on the water for the past little while, but the rivers have been stocked full of pink salmon returning to the rivers as well as steelhead and cut throat trout. I've been trying to get out there as much as possible to get good use out of my new fly rod and new setup. I finally got my PFD this week so no more bulky orange life jacket!

Friday, August 20, 2010


Back to the lodge, and its been a week of adventures and lots of hours worked. For a majority of the week I have been in the kitchen dishwashing, helping with dinner service, and serving in the dinning room. It was nice to get away from the lodge, but is a bit of a relief getting away from society once again.

Have definitely got good use out of the fly rod Dad sent up with me. Almost every day since I've been home i've been out on the water or creekside fishing the estuaries and creeks. Have had very little luck with fishing from the Tyee boat in the harbor, but fly fishing the fresh water was pretty successful with 14 fish in one day. I've been taking lots of footage lately as well. Have been able to get some pretty cool shots of dinner service in the kitchen with Chef on more than one occasion. I have been taking that camera everywhere I go because you never know when there will be an opportunity to see something awesome.

I sent in my 3 pictures for the co-op photo competition this month. I'm pretty happy with the pictures I submitted but worry that the photos didn't look "work related" enough....I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I believe all the pictures I've submitted have been, at one point, either on my blog or Facebook so you have already seen them!


This week started off with me packing my bags, my fish, and taking a plane home. Met up with Kelly at the airport and proceeded to get a fix on my sushi addiction in Richmond at some all-u-can-eat. After we did a bit of shopping and then attempted to find our way to the Nanaimo ferry...which we missed. In the lineup at the ferry, ran into Brenton and Mike. We Met up with Brenton once we boarded the boat and caught up for a while. Made it into town late that night and stayed with my Dad.
While I was in Courtenay with Kel we went to all my favourite rivers spots, for dinner with my dad and brother, and ran into a few friends.
Two days later I planned on going back to Victoria to see more family and friends. It all seemed pretty rushed due to the fact I only had 5 days to accomplish everything; buy 5 bandanas, wool for Kristie, deliver all my fish, go out with my friends, take old laptop to get fixed.
It was great seeing everyone and wished It could have been for 7 days since 2 of 5 were spent driving and waiting in ferry lineups.
Pretty excited to use the fly rod and flies Dad sent me home with. Im ready to get some fishing done.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


This has been an amazing week! I had a pretty mellow week work wise which gave me a lots of free time to get out and about! I spent a few days in the kitchen before my 2 days off. I was able to get out to the Kiel/Cameron Cove hike which is supposed to go from one cove to another by crossing dense rainforest and and hilly terrain. We didn't make it due to too many right turns... We did however see lots of cool things while we were adventuring. We dubbed our new route, the Kiel to Kiel friendship loop. Once we made it to the top of the loop, we began to follow a wolf trail that ran alongside a small creek which lead straight back to the Kiel inlet. This is probably where we went wrong. All in all good times!

Day 2 of my adventures started early with my sights on X Mountain located on Campania Island 20 minutes away from the lodge. The team was made up of Michelle, Kristi, Naomi, and myself with our trusted driver Dan. Before we got the the mountain we were distracted by two large humpback whales playing in the channel. We stopped to watch them for a few minutes and got to see them breech and dance in the water. It's a pretty spectacular seeing such massive animals getting air like that. The day before the hike another group of coworkers went to X Mountain and it took them 9 hours....they got lost to say the least. So we made sure that we knew where we were going and the routes to take. We took the route on the left side of the X and went straight up. The views all the way to the top were amazing. It took us just under 2 hours to make it to the top of the mountain. We could see surrounding lakes, valleys, islands, boats, and whales. Once we made it to the top we had lunch and did some deep breathing and stretching. The rest of the day consisted of me putting on a wetsuit that was too small for me, and going swimming in the harbor to the empty West Coast fishing dock next door. I did some arial acrobatics off the shed on the dock and swam like a seal....until I cramped up on the way back and swam in circles.

On my last day off I was able to do some fishing and caught a 10 lb coho. I need to get more fish in the freezer so I can give some out to my friends and family. I have lots of plans to cook, cure, and smoke the fish I catch. I need to get some halibut too.

OH! I also hike up Ladder Falls which is located just around the corner from the lodge. Once we made it to the top there was a swimming hole called Infinity pool which overlooks the steep waterfall, ocean, and glacier covered mountains. Kristi brought clay with her...we covered ourselves in clay and I got a few pretty funny pictures. Check them out.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The last few weeks have been crazy. It has been busy to say the least...and with chef down and out with his surgery I was able to step up and help out the kitchen for an entire week. Working in the kitchen again was refreshing. It's great to get out of the front of house where the guests roam and into the place where all the magic happens. I was able to help with breakfast, lunch, and dinner preparations. I got to quality check dishes, garnish, work in the pastry shop, and oversee dinner service. On our turnover day I helped sort and take inventory of incoming goods and applied Doug Cliff's FIFO method. I was able to learn a lot...and in the process learned the difference between tablespoon vs teaspoon measures....mmm mmm salty cookies! The week was pretty tough, but I enjoyed the hard work and hopefully it will show on my paycheck. Im pretty sure I worked 10-14 hours almost every day last week...and haven't had a day of in 12. Not that big of deal when you consider that the kitchen crew hasn't had a day off in over a month.

Spirits are still high! Its Tuesday and I get my day off tomorrow. I don't know what I will do. I think an adventure into the heart of the forest followed by covering myself completely in clay will be fun. It will also help with the bugs, which if I haven't previously mentioned, are terrible...

This coming week will be much slower. Our numbers drop so I think everyone will be able to get a little r&r. I also should get back on the school train...since it's left and I feel like I'm running after it. I feel pretty overwhelmed even though we are still only half way through our coop. I can't even decide what I want to do for my winter coop. Lodge? winter/heli resort? I'm thinkin tropical would fit best. Hell yeahhh!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The mind is its own place,
and in itself
Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.

- John Milton, Paradise Lost

This place has a way on making you forget about
everything else that goes on beyond Barnard Harbor. I'm still in full spirits and can't believe the amazing opportunity I have been presented working at KPL. I've been able to get around to almost all the departments. I've done everything in the F&B department such as dinning room server, food prep, and dish pit. Chef, Sherri, and Naomi have been awesome to work with and have taught me so much. Their professional attitude, patients, and work ethic is inspirational. They always seem to come up with fresh ideas and are more then willing to share their secrets.

I've also had the opportunity in the last week to join the guest services team; welcoming guests, helping them to their rooms, and making sure that their everyday activities are organized and on time. Its really nice to see that side of the spectrum.

My day off this week was incredible! I woke up early monday morning and went on my first heli ride in Fred's "machine"(chopper lingo). We flew to the Gamble guided by James. We dropped him off at the river all by his lonesome, then flew back to the lodge to pick up his guests. We were gone for almost 2 hours. It was an amazing flight. The clouds were all very low so there was very little visibility in some areas. The scenery was spectacular and from what i hear the fishing was just as good.

This week the weather was crazy! The kitchen temp climbed to a whopping 40 degrees and the outside temp was about 25-28 degrees. It made for a hot and sweaty kitchen and restaurant. We all powered through the heat but we lost Chef due to a burst appendix. He's on the road to recovery now and we are hoping to see him back in action asap. I look forward to the return of our fearless leader.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Week three was slower as I previously had mentioned in my last post. All rested up and ready for the arrival/departure of our guests. Changeover went smoothly, I kept the fire going in the Great Room and the guests happy with house made chocolate ganache hot chocolate. This week I was also able to meet KPL's president Michael Uehara who will be staying with us for the week. He definitely was a hit with the staff with his kind, professional manner and box of sweets and gossip magazines he smuggled into the staff lodge. We all suffered from sugar highs for the next few days but were able to power through the early mornings and late nights.

Me and Chels were able to get off the lodge this week and went for a hike up the unnamed waterfall/river to the unnamed lake. I'll eventually come up with a name for it. The hike was beautiful. Moss covered everything, numerous waterfalls, mountains, and mosquitos. The hike took us a total 3.5 hours to and from. Although we did take longer to the lake because we did stop to look at our surroundings and treaded lightly because...afterall, we are in the heart in the Great "Bear" Rainforest. I got to borrow a knife and bear spray, felt pretty tough and "mountain-man-like". I took a few pictures and videos of our journey. To top it off we found the canoe stored away in the woods and took it out for a paddle. So gorgeous! The only people out on the lake. So untouched and truly a great experience.

This week we have our co-op meeting with our supervisors at the lodge. We are going over our goals and expectations I believe. Look forward to getting to sit down and hammer out this part of our project for school. Things have got off to a pretty slow start school wise as we have been fairly busy getting the lodge up and running 100%. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Week two was the first week we had a decent occupancy rate. We had 20 guests staying over for 4-6 days. KPL usually operates at no more than 36 guests at a time. Operation of the lodge went smoothly due the the well trained staff and enthusiastic visitors who were out on their adventures rain or shine. It was a real test for everyone in all departments, and from what I saw on the food and beverage side, our high service standards and attention to the detail made their dinning experience at KPL a memorable one.
Our Executive Chef Richard Benson is one of the most talented chefs I've worked with to date. The things he creates in the kitchen knocks my socks off. He creates his ever changing seasonal menu by using what is readily available and fresh. He is always teaching us new things, terminology,cooking methods and tastings of the food we serve. Mmmm mmmm good! To top it off guests go bananas for his food. Going above and beyond their expectations on a daily basis. No wonder he was approached by one of our guests who offered to publish his own book and suggested that we pitch a reality TV show....it would be a cross between the hills and deadliest catch. Bomb digity. 30 Staff members who give up 4-6 months of their lives to work on a luxury adventure lodge in the middle of the second largest remaining temperate rainforest. High maintenance guests, busy schedules, early morning, and late night debauchery make for an exciting summer season! It takes a certain kind of person to handle this sort of lifestyle.
PS, this week i worked a ton, slept pretty much half a day today(saturday). We only have 6 guests this week so i got the weekend off. We are all in need of a little r&r. last week in two days I worked 28 hours....not very fun but $$$! Beginning to finalize my goal setting with my supervisors. We are working together to find goals that will apply to me and the lodge. Number one goal....survival. jk

Friday, June 18, 2010


This has been a week of many firsts for me! The beginning of my adventures started on Saturday. I stayed in Richmond that night at the Delta Airport hotel. It was UFC night and there were fighters everywhere...luckily i managed to avoid confrontation for the weekend. My Flight was 10am Sunday morning. It was my first time flying as well as my first time away from home for this length of time. Basically an emotional train wreck the night before.

I took a bunch of pictures and videos on my flight. I got to sit right over the wing of the plane on the first flight to Port Hardy and Bella Bella, then from there we took the sketchy 70 year old float plane to the lodge. On the way to KPL I was able to sneak my way into the "cockpit" with pilot Brian. In total the journey to the lodge was 2.5 hours. It was amazing to see all the lakes, rivers, and glaciers.

The lodge is more beautiful then pictures can describe. It rained for the first 2 days at the lodge. Once the rest of the crew arrived we were able to go to a local whale watching facility and had awesome BBQ with all the staff together. The next few days consisted of final touches,setup, and department orientations. The unique thing about KPL is that each year the resort is towed by tugboats from Prince Rupert to Barnard Harbor. It takes about 50 hours to get the both lodges, docks and boats to our spot tucked behind Princess Royal Island. Its almost like opening up a brand new resort every season.

The day before opening most of us had a half day off. A great day for a fishing derby! So into the boats we went and the competition began. We spent about 4.5 hours out on the water in an area called Eclipse. There were eagles, humpback whales, orcas, and wildlife everywhere! To top it off me and Chels were able to hook two chinook salmon. I caught the first fish for out boat and it weighed about 13lbs....hers was 16. Although it was a valiant effort, we lost the derby. Troy took the win with a 20 lb spring.

Our first group of guests arrive friday. Its a group of 12 consisting of 4 that are staff and family. Should be good times. We have a great team here and I look forward to their arrival!