Yesterday we took a trip style = spa + weekend getaway to Harrison Hot Springs for a cozy and rejuvenating escape. Beyond the springs, travel down some of area's country roads to pick up award-winning cheese and fresh-roast coffee, or meander down the Harrison River to view t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d-s of bald eagles in their natural habitat.
Harrison's Secrets Sturgeon Fishing And Eagle Watching Huddled around a heater on a BC Sport Fishing Group jet boat, I asked owner Tony Nootebos if his 22-boat operation catered mainly to men. I assumed reeling in 5-11ft dinosaur-era sturgeons was the ultimate mancation---ok, it is. Turns out ladies like it too, accounting for 21% of his clients, some of whom come for stagettes. During the late-fall/winter grab the binocs and eagle watch! This year, over 400,000 salmon spawning drew in excess of 4000 eagles. It was a party! Know this: - BC Sport Fishing group uses a barbless hook to catch, tag and release sturgeon, working in concert with the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society. - Some boats are specialized for wheelchairs! - Open everyday but Christmas.
Farm Fresh Cheese When local cheesemaker Debra Amrein-Boyes of The Farm House Natural Cheeses was asked to send three cheeses to the White House as a gift to Obama, she obviously cleared her schedule. Within a 12-minute drive of Harrison, this family-run, working farm, makes cheese that pushes the boundaries of non-confrontational cheese with goat gouda, quark and 20+ other varieties. Know this: - Open Mon - Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. Closed January, Easter Sunday, Dec. 25 & 26. - Buy in Vancouver at les amis du FROMAGE, Whole Foods and Save-On-Foods.
Fresh-Roast Coffee, And Pottery Learn what it's like to live and work off the land by a family of artisans. At The Back Porch, Lynda sells her recently spun pottery and Dan uses his circa 1919 flame roaster to churn farmer-friendly, organic and shade-grown beans. Roasted daily, far, far away from any Starbucks! Know this: - Open Wed - Sun 11 - 5. Closed December 25 to March 1.
[eagle photos by Tony Nootebos, all others by @tripstyler, taken while a guest of Tourism Harrison]