Humans of Campbell River: Strathcona Park Lodge
Humans of Campbell River is a collaboration between Destination Campbell River and Bluetree Photography. Showcasing the stories of those who call our coastal community home. Each week we deep dive into a new story and the connections between people and place. This week we’re sharing the story of Strathcona Park Lodge.
It was muggy mid-May in 1983 when we met in Ontario at a National Team Rowing Camp where our training schedules overlapped for a few weeks. That summer Jamie was heading to the Pan American Games in Venezuela and I was heading to the World Championships at Wedau, in Duisburg Germany, racing on the oldest purpose-built rowing lake in Europe. In an almost textbook moment of foreshadowing, a mutual friend told me,
“If you go out with Jamie Boulding, you will be at Strathcona Park Lodge for the rest of your life.”
Thirty-eight years later this statement could not have rung more true.
Strathcona Park Lodge was founded by Jamie’s parents, Jim and Myrna Boulding, in 1959. Jamie and I were married at the lodge in 1989, and four years later Myrna passed the reins to us.
The Lodge is perched on Upper Campbell Lake’s shores, with the property surrounded by snow-capped mountains and hugged by the dramatic vistas of the Elk River Valley. We have 160 acres of rugged natural wonders waiting to be explored, including beaches, hiking trails, waterways and lush rainforest. Our neighbour is Strathcona Provincial Park, the oldest Provincial Park in BC.
On almost any given day, you will find Jamie and me at Strathcona, welcoming guests and running our off-the-grid wilderness lodge and outdoor education centre, along with the strength of a dedicated group of amazing people.
There is so much to explore in Strathcona Park and our wild backyard. In 2020/2021, we decided to take on the challenge of completing 60 experiences in our 60th years. For me, it came in the form of 60 days/nights away from the Lodge. I hiked local mountains, rugged coasts and paddled lakes and oceans, almost always sharing the idyllic camp spots with only the loved ones who came along.
2021 is Jamie’s turn. His goal is 60 new experiences/places explored. Although he was born and raised in Campbell River Jamie is confident there are many more fantastic places to find nearby. He’s checked off a few already – sought out some legendary big trees, skied some front and backcountry, and paddled some new whitewater stretches and pristine new lakes all close to home.
Though 2020 brought about unique challenges, it has also reminded so many of us to get outside and experience nature in our backyards. We call this paradise home and are convinced there is so much more here to explore than we can manage in one lifetime. We’re taking on 2021, knowing we have loved ones, new faces and the natural world to connect with. Who knew that our aforementioned friend who predicted my life together with Jamie at Strathcona would be right? We are eternally grateful for this home and each other.