By Michelle Hopkins, Travel Writer
When I was invited on a trip to Lund, I must confess I had no idea where Lund was!
Driving only 30 minutes north of Powell River through scenic coastal views, you will arrive at this tranquil town of just under 300 residents.
For the Tla’amin First Nation – who have inhabited this region for thousands of years – Lund is a sanctuary which they have long referenced as a place of rest and refuge.
Soon after placing my suitcase in my oceanfront suite in the newly refurbished Lund Resort at Klah ah men – the first, full service Indigenous resort on the Sunshine Coast – I met up with Tla’amin First Nation Cultural Ambassador, Drew Blaney.
We sat in the resort’s Back Eatery restaurant, overlooking the bay, enjoying a fusion of Coast Salish and west coast inspired cuisine. Blaney regaled me with the history of the First Nations people in these parts.
“Klah-ah-men (aka Lund in English) means a place of refuge,” notes Blaney. “This is a destination that literally translates into a place to reconnect with nature and decompress.”
While we both bit into the mouth-watering Tla’amin Burger, a deliciously messy combination of bison, smothered in a bacon onion and peach jam, requiring the need for several napkins, Blaney went on to say: “We (the three Northern Salish Nations people), are still very much one people, we speak the same language, share the same cultural practices and continue to have strong family connections.”
Originally built in 1895 by one of the Swedish Thulin brothers, The Lund Resort at Klah ah men has served as the heart of this quiet community for decades, and previously was a village site of the Indigenous Tla’amin People. Today, the resort has been transformed and the décor honours the rich Tla’amin Nation’s history.
Overlooking the bay, surrounded by old growth Douglas fir and Western red cedar, the resort, including my spacious waterfront view room, features beautiful art work and giftware throughout. I was mesmerized by the sheer beauty and symbolism of the massive wall carving in the lobby depicting a bear by Coast Salish artist Alano Edzerza of the Tahltan Nation’s Raven clan.
As an outdoor enthusiast, I took out one of the resort’s kayak to discover the waters around the area, where granite walls are coated with seaweed and oyster shells; where eagles soar high above, and mountain ridges rise through clouds to glaciers on high.
Off for an afternoon cruise and picnic lunch on the Spirit of Lund vessel, a stop at Refuge Cove was a highlight. It is a popular marina stop for boaters to refuel and buy supplies. Old wooden boardwalks connect to weather-beaten buildings oozing with charm. I meandered into the bookstore, the art gallery, and one of those rural gems – the old-fashioned general store, selling everything from household wares to groceries and memorabilia, to art work showcasing local artists.
The following morning, after yet another fabulous meal at The Lund Resort’s Back Eatery, I headed for a two-hour cultural walk with Terracentric Coastal Adventures’ owner / guide Christine Hollmann. As we hiked along a portion of the Sunshine Coast Trail, Christine regaled us with her vast knowledge of the area’s fauna, the lush riparian zones, and thoughtfully included several stops for Instagram-worthy photos.
After only two days, it is incredibly easy to understand why the Tla’amin First Nation have long called this unique, quiet enclave a place of rest and refuge.
Learn more at Lund Resort at Klah ah men.