And when we did, we came across the most amazing thing ever.
It was a long time ago now, back in 2010, when my partner, myself, my mum and sister in law all decided to take a very long road trip in Canada. We started from Vancouver on the west coast and slowly worked our way over to the east coast, ending in Quebec. Okay, okay, we did take a shortcut along the way. We stopped the road trip in Calgary, hitched a ride on a nice airplane to Toronto and continued the rest of our journey by car.
It was whilst we were travelling through on the west coast, through the Canadian Rocky Mountains, we made an amazing discovery. Sick of the main roads and your typical tourists attractions and always on the hunt for a good hot chocolate or coffee, we decided to turn off the main road and found ourselves in the small town of Golden.
The town itself is very sweet, but not a lot to offer in the sightseeing department.So, we found a diner serving up really bad coffee, drank it anyway, and continued on our way through the district of Golden, enjoying the lush pine landscape of the Rocky Mountains along the way.
As we were winding our way back to the main road slowly, my partner spotted a sign. A strange sign. It was literally a giant sheet of wood, with a huge dog paw print painted on it and underneath were the words Wolf Centre, followed by an arrow directing you where to go. Intrigued, we made the turn and followed the hand made signs all the way to a weird looking place, that looked neither like a house nor an animal sanctuary.
Worried the signs were a trap for tourists. Yes, paranoia was starting to set in. We drove past a few times trying to get a better look at the place before making the decision to risk it all and drive into the driveway of the property. And boy, what a surprise. It really was a genuine Wolf Centre.
The sanctuary is called The Northern Lights Wolf Centre and they receive no government funding at all. They are a self made Sanctuary by the owners of the property; Shelly and Casey Black, who have made it their life’s mission to educate people on wolves, help protect them and even house them when they have been discovered injured or abandoned from their pack and left to die.
I have always been a fan of wolves, in-fact they are probably my favourite animal of all time. So of course, I fell in love with the center and the owners immediately. Even though we didn’t meet the owners, only the fabulous people who work there; you certainly pick up a sense of the type of people they are by wandering through the sanctuary.
The focus of the park is educate everyone on the importance of wolves in our ecosystem and how misunderstood and treated they are by humans. It was sad to hear how they are treated, but also beautiful to know that such wonderful place existed, where people are really trying to make a difference when it comes to animal protection in a country. Especially where hunting season is still a popular sport for many locals. So inspired by the park and what they do, I even decided to adopt a wolf. Wiley is his name and I donate money every year towards him to ensure he is well housed and protected by the wonderful people at the Wolf Centre.
This place truly is a gem to discover, hidden away in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. To learn more about what they do, or to donate to a wolf yourself, click here.
And just so you know, this email is not endorsed by the Wolf Centre in anyway. I simply just fell in love with this place and wanted to share that love with you.