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Dease Lake

Dease Lake, Canada

On the road again! After a night in Stewart we headed off in the morning but before hitting the road north, we decided to go back to Alaska, just a few miles from the border to Fish Creek. This was apparently the place to see BEARS as they come down to the river when the salmon is spawning in late summer/early fall.

Even though Victoria is pretty much terrified by bears she agreed that since the bears could be watched from a safe distance on a manmade boardwalk she would give it a try….
Several people were already at the boardwalk early in the morning and once we got to the river we quickly understood how the river got its name ‘Fish Creek’. In the shallow river, hundreds of salmon were standing, swimming upstream. Along the river bank were fish guts, half eaten fish and just the bones of not so lucky fish. It looked like the bears had had a feast!

It didn’t take long before the bushes rattled and a huge black bear came tumbling down the river bank. He must have smelled all the humans standing there, but he really didn’t care. Apparently he wasn’t in the mood for ‘human snack’. We were able to follow the bear which ate some fish (too lazy to fish himself so he just finished off somebody else’s half eaten fish) and mixed up his diet with some ‘salad’ from the nearby trees. Good thing to know that bears eat a balanced diet!

Once we were on the road again, we drove a few miles and saw this ‘little’ guy walking next to the road. This was a grizzly bear but a very young and small one. Robert kept rolling down the window – on Victoria’s side (!!!) to get a better view. Victoria kept rolling it up again. While she can watch bears from a safe distance on the boardwalk, she wasn’t convinced that the bear wouldn’t leap in through the open window to get a Victoria snack….

Our destination was now Dease Lake in northern B.C. As we kept driving north, we also hit about 3,000 feet and the suddenly it was evident that fall is here. On higher altitude, the leaves have turned to beautiful fall colours!

Dease Lake is a bigger ‘town’ than we thought and we did some grocery shopping but decided to continue a little bit north to find a camp site. The idea is to stay at Dease Lake for four days and do a few day hikes and trips from the ‘base camp’.
We missed the camp site we were aiming for but probably for a reason. Because instead we ended up at Dease River Crossing camp site which is an amazing place right by one of the lakes that the river flows in to. The camp site is surrounded by mountains and forests and it’s just gorgeous! The camp site has little cabins or you can just set up your own tent. In the middle of nowhere in B.C.’s wilderness this camp site has hot showers, laundry facilities, and internet access!!! Who said camping can’t be comfortable?

Since it’s getting a little chilly we decided to put the wood burning stove inside the tent. So now we even have heating inside the tent! In fact, our tent is actually bigger than the cabins you can rent here!

The second day Victoria decided to go for a run in the morning, but in fear of running into a moose or bear, she ran around the camp site. Not just once or twice though: eight and a half loops around makes 30 minutes. Our fellow campers probably thought she was completely nuts!

We decided to do some more exploration in the area around Dease Lake and Dease River. A friend of Robert’s had advised us where to go for hikes, fishing, hunting etc. so we set off to see what we could find. Dease Lake is a very long but narrow lake. Somehow we ended up on the WRONG side of the lake so we found ourselves at the end of the road with a small passage of the river between us and the road which continued on the other side. Robert wanted to drive across. Victoria was scared it would be too deep and the car would…hmmm…. float away….. After weighing pros against cons (getting across in 10 minutes instead of an hour, or going for river rafting in a landcruiser) we came to the conclusion that we would take the safer route and drive around the lake instead.

We tried some fishing along the river, but the fish were too smart or we were too clueless. Or perhaps both… The only thing we were fishing for was tree branches and Robert had to get the hook unstuck as Victoria managed to hook on to a tree instead of a fish. Robert got to test his rifle and probably scared away all wildlife within a few kilometers radius….

Back at the camp site, Robert is right now fishing for dinner in the lake. Victoria
is pessimistic and has prepared short ribs from the store. We’ll let you know in the next blog what we had for dinner!

permalink written by  Victoria & Robert on September 11, 2009 from Dease Lake, Canada
from the travel blog: the Canadian Arctic
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Hi folks, relatives from Canada say that only time the grizzly is really deadly/attacks you is when they see you trying to take away their prey (little, medium and large fish). So take care. Stick to BBQs?They're from Toronto but niece did major in natural sciences/zoology though...

Giulia & Benny

permalink written by  giulial123 on September 13, 2009

Hi Giulia,

I promise not to fight the grizzly if he has a bigger fish than me!!!


permalink written by  Robert ryan on September 14, 2009

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This is the blog of a Brit and Korean looking Swedish-Canadian who met in Vancouver and decided to travel the world together.

We plan on traveling through Northern Canada to the Arctic Circle, then across the country to then continue over the Atlantic sea and resume our adventure in Europe...

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