Two short flights (in progressively smaller planes) out of Vancouver International Airport will deliver you to Nootka Wilderness Lodge.
We’re tucked away in Nootka Sound – where the Pacific Ocean narrows itself into a waterway separating Vancouver Island from Nootka Island in British Columbia, Canada.
This is true North-West Pacific wilderness.
Nootka Sound is part of the traditional territory of the indigenous Nuu-chah-nulth people, a collection of formidable tribes sustained by whaling and fishing.
Europeans arrived in the late 1700s. The Spanish Navy called by in 1774 and Captain Cook landed in 1778, recording the native name as ‘Nutka’ but in typical colonialist fashion, christened the inlet ‘King George’s Sound’.
What’s remarkable about Nootka Wilderness Lodge all these years later, is that you’re surrounded by exactly the same natural, unspoilt vistas identical to those viewed by both Cook and the Nuu-chah-nulth people.
Whether indigenous or western, the culture here has always been a response to wild nature.
In the same way that stories and songs and family lines of the Nuu-chah-nulth were centered around whaling and salmon runs, so too does the western culture hold the nature of this place in reverence.
Life here is about harmony and respect for the elements. It’s a cultural attitude the rest of the planet would do well to emulate.