Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500km from the nearest paved road, solo in Northern BC.

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Crooked Creek, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Right in front of your camera?
  2. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    Thanks again.
    The fox is unbelievably beautiful.
  3. 1Down-5Up

    1Down-5Up Been here awhile

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    Wow those packrafts are neat looking, I could see myself getting one of those. Are you using a Alpacka model?
    Just did a quick search on them.

    JB
  4. Rodsbike

    Rodsbike Adventurer

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    Wow, amazing photos and spectacular scenery. Those waterfalls are spectacular. Really enjoying this report. Got so much on my bucket list that I would need to win 3 lotteries to do it all. But I feel I am right with you.
  5. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Nope. Johansen Lake. Close though.

    It's a Feathercraft Baylee River Runner I have.



    Sorry for the delay guys. ( I actually didn't get any email notifications re: this thread for some reason, so I thought everyone had forgetten...) But I've been unable to post for a couple reasons. One of them being I lost my glasses and can't see a thing. Getting laser eyes in a hour or two here.

    Want to see how I lost my glasses:

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Mye6FUzpSk0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" width="853"></iframe>
  6. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

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    Holy shite, Superman, that was some wild ride! Does your cape ever get caught up in your spokes or interfere with your paddling? :D Does your wife know you're doing stuff like this on your days out away from the kiddies?? Is your life insurance paid up? :lol3 When my kids were little my wife was loathe to let me do anything anywhere close to exciting for fear she'd end up raising the kids by herself or need to find a replacement.

    Damn, that was fun! I took my glasses off to watch the video after you lost yours and it was very wild, definitely added to the excitement to be partially blind to what was coming. I'm sitting here exhausted and soaked to the skin. We enjoy kayaking here in Virginia but it ain't nothing like that! We have really old worn down mountains and big wide low gradient rivers with lots of flats between rapids. We're only a few miles from where the James River cuts through the entirety of the Blue Ridge Mountains and that's pretty fun, but with only one major falls to navigate. Some of the boulders in that stretch are bigger than my house and round like a beach ball. That river you were on was just relentless; I realize you probably edited out the flat stuff, but still... The rivers here don't have much sediment in them, just the occasional "rock garden" (usually where a tributary joins) and lots and lots of rock ledges that can be at any angle to the direction the water is flowing = very challenging. One minute you're floating over 20 feet of water and the next ripping the bottom out of the boat. I saw you go through a few narrow chutes where the flow from both sides likes to blast right into the boat and swamp you if you don't have the skirt on. I've never used an inflatable boat like that before but it looks like just the ticket.

    A couple friends of mine have gotten the laser surgery and it worked so well they have perfect eyesight now. One guy said he didn't get any sleep at all the first night after the procedure. Why, did the pain keep you awake? Nope, after 25 years of wearing glasses he kept looking at his alarm clock and marvelling that he could see it clearly without having to find his glasses! Good luck with that.

    Very cool video, thanks for sharing!

    Doug
  7. Platypus-3in1

    Platypus-3in1 Fluid Journey

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    Nice Work! :clap

    That is really cool that you lost your glasses at that exact moment ... Not that you lost them but that if you hadn’t you would have continued around that bend into a possible life threatening situation.

    What I was curious about from there-on was what could you actually see ... Could you only see things close up after it was too late to make adjustments or was it just all a blur? ... I noticed once you came up on a boulder and let out a “Oh-Momma!” as though you hadn’t seen it coming.

    Was that blood on your hand after the second flip over ... If so what was the fix ... Let me guess ... You caught a fish and used one of its ribs as a needle then you snuck up behind a sleeping grizzly plucking a few hairs off his back so you could stitch it up without any pain killers and it simply wasn’t worth mentioning in the video because thats just what any 6 year old Canadian kid would do... :huh

    One more ... I think I noticed that you turned up the survival mindset a click or two after loosing your glasses, while I was following you down this river I was wondering what you would do to get out of this wilderness if the boat or paddle got away from you in one of those flip overs ... “What” would have been your survival plan? ... I’m not raggin-on-ya for running it solo ... I am inspired by watching it!

    Some people are scared to live, few live brighter than most and fewer still are those with an inner knowledge that gives them courage to love this life there given.




    Hope the laser eye surgery was a complete success ... :thumb
  8. 1Down-5Up

    1Down-5Up Been here awhile

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  9. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    She's the first one I showed the video :clap. That's a big part of why I got into packrafting--she was interested in it first, so it's something we will do together. My marriage is too important to have 2 hobbies that I don't share with my wife (as she's not planning to get on a bike anytime soon.) Can't wait until next summer when we can do overnight trips together.
    It really is quite a steep creek and is dangerous (up to Class 5+) in high water. It's a whole different animal in June. Right now there is about 5km of easy going at the beginning, but it's pretty steady from then on. I didn't do much editing, just hit record before and after rapids that sounded (cause I'd couldn't see too well) that they would be good.
    I love that this boat is self-bailing and without a skirt because it's easy in and out when you have to bail over a sweeper or something. And in splashy waves the water goes out as fast as it going in. It handled very different than a kayak.
    So far the laser surgery seems to be a success. Still not supposed to be using a computer and it's a little blurry, but already it's amazing how well I can see.

    I'm very thankful and grateful about that. Who knows what would have happened. Also, what's amazing is that the first vehicle (not counting an obvious tourist RV) to come by the the takeout right after I pulled out not only picked me up, but volunteered to give me a ride up the 4x4 trail (a 32km detour for them) to bring me right to my Land Cruiser. And what's more amazing is that the one guy way out there camping at the put in bridge happened to offer me his spare contact lenses as he had the exact same prescription in one eye. So off I went with two right contacts and 20/20 vision, right on time.
    Let's just say I am (was :clap) very near nearsighted. I was going by feel quite a lot, but also from the low angle many times you can't see the clear passages (if there are any) on ledges even if you're 20/20. In a canoe I will stand up and look, but that's not really possible in a packraft. You can tell a lot by the sound though and I got better as I went. Also I learned (at least at this flow level) that as long as you really book it over the ledge, you can usually overcome the recirculating hole. If you get at all sideways though; it'll spin you and you'll be swimming (as you saw.) You're right about that boulder though; I didn't see it coming at all. But packrafts do much better on rocks than a rigid craft.
    :roflNice guess. Yeah, I did smash my thumb somehow in the last swim (there was one more I didn't bother sharing) and spit my thumbnail almost all the way. With something that minor though, I prefer to let it bleed until it's done so it keeps clean.
    That is a good question, and your assessment is correct. Well, not as much as "survival" to be honest but I had promised my wife I would be home to help put the kids in bed, and I was determined not to be late. So I was running scenarios and setting priorities as I went. Priorities were avoiding serious injury/death (obviously,) then avoiding losing the boat, then the paddle. It would be extremely dangerous to tether yourself to a raft or paddle in a river like this, so that was out. I could have made a serviceable paddle in about a 1/2 half hour (with the cord and Leatherman I was carrying) so that wouldn't have been the end of the world. Or I could have just used a pole and took about an hour longer to get there.

    Re: loosing the boat, I would have swam after it if at all possible to do safely (even if I had to temporarily ditch the paddle) because though it would stop eventually, it likely would be because it got pinned on a log and then it likely would get punctured with the tremendous force of the current. I was carrying a very basic repair kit (fine for a rock puncture, but not a pin-induced blowout.) This packraft (unlike the single-chambered Alpacka) has 2 main chambers and 4 more in the floor, so it is still useful if you lose one side.

    After the point of where I lost my glasses, hiking out in that terrain would have been a solid two day affair over nasty canyons and through thick bush to take the direct route to the highway. I would have followed the creek instead (and provided it wasn't punctured) floating in my drysuit and life jacket anywhere it was safe. I would have still been out by dark that way. That's glacial water in this creek though, so you can't swim in it w/o a drysuit (or good wetsuit) for any manner of time, no matter how hot it is outside.
    Yep. They are pricy, but the quality and service are second to none. I don't want to spoil what happened on the trip we're supposed to be talking about, but Feathercraft proved itself.
  10. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

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    She's the first one I showed the video :clap. That's a big part of why I got into packrafting--she was interested in it first, so it's something we will do together. My marriage is too important to have 2 hobbies that I don't share with my wife (as she's not planning to get on a bike anytime soon.) Can't wait until next summer when we can do overnight trips together.


    You've found yourself a "keeper", I'd say. You are a lucky man! I've found one of those for myself and the partnership we share is truly amazing.

    :lurk

    Doug
  11. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

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    Way to go Ben, some river trip, glad all went well. My wife had some eye sight very similar to what you were blessed with and bike riding, xc skiing, alpine skiing ,etc all were a challenge with the contacts.

    Lasik eye surgery to the rescue, each eye was maybe 20 minutes to prep and 10 seconds for the true surgery. Today I will bet she can see the nit on a black fly's a&& at 200 yards:lol3 Great success and she could not be happier with her eyesight and lack of problems.

    Hope you get the same!!

    Keep this RR coming, we are all enjoying.
    gale
  12. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    I'm encouraged to see so many success stories about laser eye surgery. My wife will be getting this done in October. I know there are risks in any surgery but eye surgery just makes me a bit more leery.....

    Ben: I'm curious....which river are you running there in your vid?
  13. Platypus-3in1

    Platypus-3in1 Fluid Journey

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    You made that sound so simple ...

    Two days later it finally dawned on me how ...


    When you know what you are doing; what you are doing is just another day!


    Its taken a while ... It started way back where I read about you camping out solo with bears walking around your tent .... How Can He Do That? ... Is he crazy? ... He dosent sound crazy! ... But thats just crazy!


    Now I get it ... People do the same thing to me! ... I always take the KLR on all of these Tennessee backroads to go give my construction bids (makes the work day that much more rewarding)

    Many times people would say to me: "You be careful on that motorcycle, those things are REALLY dangerous!"

    Kind of the same: Now Crooked Creek You be careful out there sleeping with the bears, those things are REALLY dangerous.
  14. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    That's Sheep Creek, near Grande Cache, AB.
    I promise to get back on the RR Monday, but speaking of bears, guess what was on my deck this morning... He's been around for a few days: tipped the BBQ over, carried off a 100lb bag of diapers, got into the recycling, tore up our living room window screen to name a few. He got his final warning today.

    I don't take the same chances with my kids playing outside.

    [​IMG]


    WARNING, THE FOLLOWING PICS ARE NOT FOR THOSE WHO DON'T LIKE TO SEE DEAD ANIMALS!















    [​IMG]


    He didn't suffer.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Our little girl was the one who saw him this morning.

    [​IMG]


    My new laser eyes seem to work pretty good.

    [​IMG]
  15. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

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    Good looking black , hope you get to keep the hide for the foot warmer in front of the air tight!!

    Had exactly the same thing at Tete Jaune CAche, true garbage bear, on the deck, knocking thing over, never did have any garbage out side but this bear did not understand that. Bounced a stick of stove wood off his snout, chased him off with the final plea," leave for I am coming back with the 06 to let some air out of you", well had that nice rug for 15 years!

    Glad you /family are ok, right now here in Pagosa we have a small one with 3 or 4 tags already in it's ear, will not last long if he does not smarten up.

    keep us smiling, great RR.

    gale
  16. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Wow! That's a big bear.! Educate a city girl....is that legal to do in off season? I mean, you're not gonna get a fine or anything? And don't forget about the story of the murderer you met....m'kay!:freaky
  17. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Unfortunately once bears get a taste for garbage and have a reasonably easy time of accessing it, they are EXTREMELY difficult to get rid of. Even relocating the animal doesn't help in some cases as they will actually return to the source eventually.

    With 4 little ones running around the house, I wouldn't hesitate to 'ventilate' a problem bear.
  18. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Actually, it's a pretty small one by my standards (a two and half year old, about 250lbs) but still strong enough to take any human. It's the adolescent males like this one (out trying to find themselves a territory and prove their manhood) that tend to get into this kind of trouble. Sound familiar :lol3?

    Don't worry, there are still a half a million black bears left in Canada, and In Alberta:

    Same is true for coyote, wolf, and cougar, but cougar have to be turned in.
  19. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    That is my experience as well. Even if they can't get at garbage or food they will keep trying if they can smell something or if they have had success at camp robbing somewhere else. From what I understand, FIsh and Wildlife here will not even bother to relocate black bears as they will usually just come right back. Black bears (unlike grizzlies) have a very small home range. (When I was guiding, we would have stands less than a mile apart that didn't see any overlap of bears.) So relocation messes with the territories bears have established and can result in a young bear starving or being killed by the dominant male in the new territory.

    A bears sense of smell is 2000 times better than a human's (20 times better than dogs) and they have a good memory, so they'll find what they're looking for. In my area there are more black bears than there have ever been (because agriculture has given them more food than ever) but once they learn to mooch off people, they don't unlearn it. Fortunately, it's mostly young males that get shot, so it doesn't affect the population hardly at all and it helps to educate the remaining ones.
  20. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

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    A 100 pound bag of DIAPERS??? Really? And he ate your car keys and you had to dig them out of a poop?

    Yeah, you can't have that guy rooting around with little kids playing outside. Are you going to eat it?

    We have LOTS of black bears here in Virginia but even the biggest ones I've seen are significantly smaller than your bear. I noticed when I first moved here that ALL the animals are significantly smaller, everything from squirrels to bears (only blacks here) to deer (only white tails here) than they are in Wyoming. I was used to huge elk, mule deer, bears (both), bison, etc. I thought WTF, the habitat in Virginia is fantastically richer than the habitats in Wyo, so why aren't the critters BIGGER? Several people have told me it's because we have such mild Winters here, the critters don't need as much body mass to survive the extreme cold like they do in colder climates. It makes sense, but it still seems odd; look at us humans, give us more food and we blossom! :lol3 Lots of that around here too, sadly.

    It could be also that anything that moves is hunted relentlessly here so they never get a chance to grow to trophy size. It's part of the Red Neck culture, like NASCAR which was actually started just about 100 miles from where I live when the moonshiners were running from the revenuers. We have zillions of tiny white tailed deer and they are the single biggest hazard to motorcycling out here, in my mind, far more dangerous than idiot drivers (which are also plentiful). On a general hunting license you can bag seven (7) deer and you can buy extra tags. It takes at least seven deer to make it worth hunting the tiny things, can't be more than 50 pounds of meat on them.

    Cool news about your laser eyes!!

    Doug