Anne Salter operates the North Coast Trail Hostel in Port Hardy with husband Rob.

North Coast Trail Hostel a Hub for Explorers

Hostel operator Anne Salter discusses what it is like to do her job

  • May. 22, 2015 5:00 p.m.

“That was not part of my plans, to be involved in running a hostel,” says Anne Salter from behind a display case full of treasures from the ocean and natural world. Salter is speaking from the Port Hardy office of the North Coast Trail Hostel, the hub for explorers, adventurers and travellers alike who make their way to the end of the road here on Vancouver Island.

Anne, who runs the hostel with her husband Rob Salter, explains on this quiet Monday afternoon that the most rewarding part of her job is meeting the different people from all kinds of backgrounds and origins who enter this sprawling structure.

Between them, Anne and Rob have six children, and a love of travelling has trickled down through the clan. A 20-year-old daughter is presently working so that she can go travelling.

Salter leads the way up the stairwell to the main room of the hostel, an enormous space that in its past life was a dance hall and a dojo.  Today the room is open and bright, encouraging socializing and inviting guests to relax alongside murals of bears, coast guard boats battling stormy weather, and eagles flying through the clouds around a sun, painted by local artist Mehran “Raz” Razmpoosh.

Bright rooms line a hallway that leads back out to the social room and a packed bookshelf housing five rows of DVDs, the one on highest rotation at the moment being “Blood Diamond.”

Walking back down the stairwell, Anne encounters a man she counts as one of her most interesting guests, Boulder, Colorado resident Ed Sejud. Sejud, tall and charismatic with a head of white hair, is working his way towards the impressive goal of kayaking from the North Island to Glacier Bay, Alaska.

The journey was planned for this spring, but Sejud has faced a few setbacks, including damage to his kayak sustained in a rocky cove. “Right now I’m working my way to a boat repair in Victoria,” he jokes. After some tweaking of his plans, Sejud intends to return later in the season to embark on his Alaska adventure.

Sejud echoes Anne’s point that many of the guests who pass through the doors of the North Coast Trail Hostel are fascinating individuals, as he recounts the number of biologists and scientists he has met, as well as a cartographer he chatted with just the previous evening.

Anne mentions that an anthropologist will be checking in later today. Sejud continues on with his preparations, and Anne walks out to some additional hostel housing beside the main building. At the moment a group of divers occupies the spacious building.

Anne says that although she loves her job, one of the challenges can be the hours. During the summer the ferry schedule calls for long days for the hostel owners, as the lengthy ferry ride to Prince Rupert requires guests to depart very early in the morning and arrive at the hostel late. Back outside, Anne opens the door to a cavernous ground level space that is part of the hostel’s property. Anne says that the presently-vacant area has potential for many different uses, possibly even a co-op.

The tour ends outside in the mid-afternoon sunshine, and Anne heads back inside the main office to continue running this North Island hostel with clear passion and genuine love for the area.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port McNeill council tackles the issue of AirBnBs

Council wants a public hearing to identify options for short-term rentals in Port McNeill.

Port McNeill council roundup: Feb. 11 meeting

Various stories from Port McNeill council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

REVIEW: Poetry helps Conshinz heal from brain trauma

The Book of 1000 Poems, Volumes 1-4, by Conshinz, a.k.a. Port Alice… Continue reading

Meet the new owner of the Scarlet Ibis Pub & Restaurant

Kevin Foley is originally from Regina, Saskatchewan.

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Forestry convoy headed down Vancouver Island to legislature lawn

Rally to be held Tuesday in Victoria pushing for the protection of ‘working forests’

Woman charged after alleged fuel thefts, ramming of RCMP car in B.C. Interior

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Flight to evacuate Canadians from cruise ship ‘expected’ to depart Japan on Thursday

Canadians seeking to return to home by commercial means will be subject to the Quarantine Act

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

Most Read