Active Travels: Grizzly Bears in British Columbia
By Steve Jermanok
There was a time in Tom Rivest’s life that he was writing computer models for the semiconductor industry. “Being shown my windowless office that first day on the job, I suddenly realized the importance of following your passion,” he tells me. The next thing you know, Rivest is staring out a huge window of his lodge in the remote Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia watching grizzlies in his backyard. As owner of Great Bear Nature Tours, Rivest shares his love and knowledge of the grizzly with 10 lucky guests who overnight at the lodge during the late spring to early autumn months. Floating in the ocean, the remote lodge is 50 miles by float plane from the nearest town, Port Hardy, on the northern half of Vancouver Island. Guests typically spend three nights at the lodge, going out with a wildlife biologist on bear viewings during the course of the day. Lost in this unvarnished wilderness, you might also spot black bears, gray wolves, minks, otters, and bald eagles. This being prime grizzly bear country, you return back to the lodge for your own portion of salmon, baked on a cedar plank. A lover of all bears, Rivest also organizes tours to visit polar bears in northern Manitoba in the winter months and panda viewing in the Qin Ling Mountains of China.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World, due out late 2010. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.