A recent trip to the Chilcotin area in B.C. gave a Pitt Meadows adventurer a fright after he and his fellow travellers were almost attacked by grizzlies.
Pitt Meadows resident Chris Cooper and four other travellers were expecting to have a great adventure in the area about 280 nautical miles north of Maple Ridge.
And they did, at first.
Soon after arriving, they dropped Cooper's North Canoe into Chilko Lake.
The group of adventurers were invited by the Xeni Gwet'in for lunch and Cooper asked the tribe to christen his canoe, which was built in 1993.
The art and design was created by native artist Brandon Gabriel of the Kwantlen First Nation. The canoe name is "Chief of the River" and its native name is "Hiyakw e te Staluxw."
Cooper said the christening was a beautiful experience.
After that, though, the trip turned alarming - and sad, said Cooper, a semi-retired adventurer who has spent 35 years planning and participating in people's adventure holidays.
While out on a hiking trail, Cooper's friend spotted a silvertip grizzly bear and her three cubs about 20 metres away - the same ones that they had seen earlier while canoeing on the lake and the grizzly saw them.
"She false charged us. We got off very lightly. If she had changed her mind it would have been disastrous," he said.
Cooper said there's a big lodge for overseas tourists who go out on boats with tripods and cameras and chase the bears into the open.
"One boat goes one way and the other boat goes the other way and forces the bears out. They are being harassed to the point of being annoyed," Cooper said.
"They are stunning, beautiful things but I'm worried something is going to happen. It's a horrific problem," he said.
"That was the most frightening experience I've had with a bear. The bears are getting chased off. This is a sensitive issue," he said.
For more information about Cooper and his journeys visit spiritdancercanoejourneys.ca.
@ Copyright 2013