Bruce moved to this site by kayak in 1980 at the age of 18, following the call of the whales and nature, and his passion to live in and be a part of the wilderness. His homesteading began as a sea side squatter, who after years of persistence and on site presence and development, was able to arm wrestle the provincial government into allowing a small tenure and right of occupation.
Year after year the form of the resort began to unfold, creating a facility offering seaside vacations, guided kayak tours, and wilderness immersion.
When Bruce wasn’t busy “homesteading” or offering guided kayak trips, he could be found working in the silviculture industry, replacing trees where once great forests had stood.
This type of work suited Bruce’s all seasons approach to outdoor life, assuring that his personal activities demonstrated a form of wilderness immersion, and an ecological contribution, and allowed for a communal living experience, a welcome contrast to his independent pioneering hermitage lifestyle.
After 10 years of reclusive ocean-side living Bruce met Josée the world traveler, and they began their family life together. They lived in Simoom Sound running the resort in the summers, and a tree planting company in the fall and spring.
When the kids ( Indra & Solomon ) were school age the family moved to Cortes Island where they began a new life of schooling etc. for the kids, and seasonally full time employment at the Hollyhock Retreat Center for Bruce, as a bodywork practitioner, where he provided Jin Shin Do acupressure, deep tissue – Esalen massage, Reiki, and Hakomi body centered psychotherapy for six years.
Once the kids were on their own, Bruce turned his attention back to their homestead, and life in the wilderness, returning to re-open the lodge, and live in “the cradle of nature” again. Bruce gets great pleasure from welcoming guests to experience the beauty of the Broughton Archipleago, and to reconnect with nature.
Josee comes from a large Quebec family, where everybody and their friends would gather every Sunday, to celebrate family life by cooking and dining together. Her father’s career as a chef, taught her both comfort and expression in the kitchen, by preparing meals for people to enjoy.
Josee’s love of people and children, combined with her curiosity and hunger to know the world, first led her toward a degree in education, and then was followed with years of traveling to many countries where she experienced a variety of cultures, languages, and ethnic foods.
During one of Josee’s periods back in Canada, after traveling abroad, she met Bruce and fell in love. She appreciated his life style of “living off the land” and being self sufficient, living in a small community in the wilderness, where kayaking was their primary mode of transportation.
Never to shy away from hard physical or mental work, the idea of raising a family and building a business in this wilderness paradise, having to paddle to the post office for her mail, or to rock her child to sleep, or paddling home in the dark after a dinner out at a neighbors, seemed more like adventure than hardship.
Together they started the lodge in 1990, and operated a tree planting company for several years, as well as home-schooled their children, until with her children’s best interests in mind, the family moved seasonally to Cortes Island, where Josee studied to be an herbalist, and started a line of products under the name Living Soul Herbs. Josee had a huge garden, where she grew over 100 varieties of herbs, and much of her families vegetable needs. Freezing, canning, and drying foods and herbs seemed constant. The life of a farmer is closely connected to the soil, and health of the earth. Her children learned through experience, all of the things that would nurture their growth and understanding, as well as their independence and creativity.
For Josee having children is both the greatest gift one can receive, as well as the greatest gift that one can devote ones life and love toward.
Today, with her family grown and rippling out into the world, Josee finds great pleasure in creating, and providing an environment where she and Bruce can welcome and receive guests from around the world, to enjoy the peacefulness and vibrancy of the nature. She can easily recall the needs of the traveler, and loves to now be able to be the host of world wonderers.
Josee manages guest services at Paddlers Inn, ensuring that all the accommodations are fresh and welcoming. She also creates dozens of flowering baskets, adorning and accenting the beauty of each cabin.
Josee also loves to spend time relating to, and training her dogs, and she encourages guests to join her on her daily walks along the forest trails that extend out from the lodge.