NORTHERN EX­PO­SURE

Prince Ru­pert might re­ceive some two and a half me­tres of rain each year, but that’s in the win­ter months. Come sum­mer, it’s all late sun­sets and jaw-drop­ping beauty.

Western Living - - TRAVEL -

fri­day For starters, get your­self sit­u­ated with a de­cent van­tage point. That means a har­bour view room at the Crest Ho­tel ( crestho­tel

.bc.ca), whose el­e­vated lo­ca­tion awards a bird’s-eye view of the is­land city’s wa­ter­front and the ver­dant peaks across the in­let. In-room binoc­u­lars will help you spot bald ea­gles or spy on in­com­ing BC Fer­ries ves­sels or scope out your first civic ad­ven­ture.

Drive 10 min­utes out of town to work up an ap­petite on the five-kilo­me­tre Butze Rap

ids In­ter­pre­tive Trail, which loops past sec­ond and old-growth for­est, open bogs and a beach with rope swings to bring out your in­ner child. Re­plen­ish your en­ergy at Cargo

Kitchen ( face­book.com/car­gok­itchen), whose eclec­tic of­fer­ings run from the usual sal­ads and burgers to agedashi tofu and falafel. Re­turn to the ho­tel to sip a night­cap on the heated pa­tio as the­sun sets over the har­bour. (Near sol­stice this can be close to mid­night, so there’sno need to rush.) satur­day Fuel up with a leisurely brunch: re­quest a win­dow ta­ble at the in-house Wa­ter­front

Restau­rant to savour your eggs and cau­li­flower hash or eggs Benny with cold-smoked lo­cal salmon at a leisurely pace.

Then am­ble down to the dock ( bring your best wind­breaker and zoom lens) for an out­ing with Prince Ru­pert Ad­ven­ture Tours ( ad­ven­ture­tours.net) and their big yel­low boat, com­plete with bath­rooms and snack bar. As you head north through Chatham Sound, watch for por­poises, seals, sea lions, blue herons and the ubiq­ui­tous bald ea­gles—plus the head­lin­ing mam­mals: griz­zly bears (in the Khutzey­ma­teen Griz­zly Sanc­tu­ary) from mid-May to late July and hump­back, grey and orca whales from July through Oc­to­ber. On-board guides tell sto­ries about their favourite bears and teach guests how to snap iPhone pho­tos through binoc­u­lars when their cameras aren’t up to snuff.

Back in town, quench your thirst with a tast­ing at Wheel­house Brew­ing ( wheel

house­brew­ing.com), whose sea­sonal Scurvy Dog Spruce Ale is such a hit with Prince Late to Bed Even a short drive out of town (above, left) re­veals miles of un­touched coast­line ripe for ex­plor­ing, and when you re­turn to town you can still en­joy the so­phis­ti­cated cui­sine of Cargo Kitchen (above, right). Af­ter din­ner, go for a still- light- out- stroll to Cow Bay and snag a cap­puc­cino from, where else, lo­cal leg­end Cow­puc­cino’s (inset).

“Quench your thirst with a tast­ing at Wheel­house Brew­ing, whose sea­sonal Scurvy Dog Spruce Ale comes with a pur­chase limit.”

Ru­per­tites, it comes with a pur­chase limit. Then wan­der two min­utes down the road to take a seat (at lo­cally made cedar ta­bles and chairs, natch) at Ja­panese restau­rant Fuka

saku ( fukasaku.ca), where the B.C.-first ethos en­com­passes not just the seafood (also 100 per­cent Ocean Wise) but the fresh-grated wasabi ( har­vested in Nanaimo) and the beer, wine and sake list, too. sUN­DAY Ex­pect line­ups at Cow Bay neigh­bour­hood main­stay Cow­puc­cino’s ( face­book.com

/yawn­be­gone), cel­e­brat­ing its 21st birth­day this year, so leave a lit­tle ex­tra time for your meal to ap­pear, whether you’re go­ing for a sim­ple green smoothie or a more sub­stan­tial smoked salmon break­fast.

Once for­ti­fied, fit in some his­tory with a visit to North Pa­cific Can­nery ( north

paci­fic­can­nery.ca) in nearby Port Ed­ward, whose close to 90 years of con­tin­u­ous salmon pro­duc­tion (it ended its run in the 1970s) makes it the prov­ince’s long­est-run­ning can­nery. A Na­tional his­toric site open from May 1 to late Septem­ber, it’s best ex­plored on a 40-minute guided tour, ori­ented ei­ther around in­dus­try ( how did they get the salmon into the cans?) or can­nery life. Visit the on-site Mess House for an on-theme lunch—salmon chow­der, a salmon melt, per­haps salmon chow mein, plus freshly baked cin­na­mon buns and pies—and pick up a few cans (with gift-wor­thy his­toric la­bels) to take home to help re­mem­ber your sunny northern ex­cur­sion. Get Lost The craft beer revolution has hit here hard, with lo­cal fave Wheel­house Brew

ing (top, right). But this place re­ally ex­cels at the out­doors, like hit­ting the Khutzey

ma­teen Griz­zly Sanc­tu­ary with a lo­cal op­er­a­tor (above, right), and his­tory, which is sat­is­fied by a visit to the North Pa­cific

Can­nery (above, left) and a les­son on how com­mer­cial fish­ing shaped this re­gion.

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