In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau

Home is Where the Grizzly Lives! – Grizzlytour Day 5

Out of bed and into the boat. That is the motto this morning, because we want to make it to the confluence of the Little and Big Toba rivers. The atmosphere is tense because no one knows what we can expect.  As we travel up the river, we are accompanied by an unbelievable number of bald eagles. They fly very close above and next to the boat, as if they want to show us the way to the bears and the ancient trees that we are here to see. On the way up, we pass the DIAMIR Forest and the SK Touristik Forest, which lie in the Land of the Ghost Flowers and the Land of the Wapitis. When we arrive in the Land of the Grizzlies, everything looks different than it did just two months ago. Large tree trunks block the boat’s path, there is little water in the Little Toba River, there are no salmon, and we can’t find a way to the shoreline. Therefore, we decide to anchor the boat on a sand bank between the Big Toba and the Little Toba, and carry the luggage and supplies through the 5-degree cold glacier water that reaches up to our chests. Ouch! We see further evidence that bears had recently been there, including fresh tracks. This means they are around here somewhere. The excitement and nervousness can be felt. The grizzlies live here, this is their home. After we set up the tents, Carsten and Knut have an important mission: fishing! It does not take long until there is a sudden pull on the line. A salmon – and what a salmon! It has a very healthy survival instinct. After about 20 minutes and with David’s help, the fish is caught and on dry land. And Carsten? Carsten is more than thrilled! Just as Carsten and David take the first photos of their conquest, there is another pull on the rod.  Knut is also fishing and has caught his first fish! Both are fine specimens. We decide to free Knut’s catch back into the water because we do not want to take more from nature than we need. One sockeye is enough to feed nine hungry men. And so our day ends like a kitshy ad for adventure travel in western Canada: Nine rugged men sit at a campfire, eating sockeye salmon as the sun sets. In the middle of the wilderness. In the middle of the protected land of Wilderness International.

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