Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hotspring Lodge Back On-Line. Call Off The Search Party.

Due to the cold snap and snow storm several weeks back I have been out of commission as you have probably noticed. Until about an hour and a half ago I had been out of electricity and water. I have re-established the power, but there are some issues with water lines under the cabin yet I need to deal with, now that I know where they are. No more sitting around here at night with candles and burning up my wood pile and packing water from the pond out front. Anyways there is lots to tell, there will be some posts begin to show up here in the next day or so.
So stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bear Repair

    After 10 years or so the bear fell down for the last time. The ants had inhabited his base and the entire lower section had become honey combed and crumbled away and over he went. I hauled him back here last summer on the meat wagon to try and figure a way to save it, and attempt to eradicate the ant colony in his legs. People were always asking what happened to him.

It sat in the way out in the shop until I finally got it all together here in the last couple days.
I screwed what was left of his toes back on and trimmed around his feet.

I had a long bit that I could bore 45 cm (18") up his legs, beyond the ant damaged interior.

I squirted linseed oil in the holes and turned in threaded rods.
Sort of like a foot canal.

All the remaining toes etc were trimmed up and screwed back on with  glue. The area was given a liberal coating of linseed oil.

This hoop is about a meter (3') across and will serve as his new base.
Arc welded up with green power.

All the weight will be carried on the threaded rods going up his legs. Once he is set up, the base will be filled with rocks to hide the interior support and look like the bear stands on gravel.

His paw had been knocked off some time ago, it was turned in to me last summer for safe keeping.

Even with out the log base the carving must still weigh 160 kilos (350 lbs). I rigged up a harness and a hand winch and cranked him up until I could tilt him up on his base to see if he stood straight.
Skookie immediately climbed up and perched on his head.

So, 'Bear' stands again. He's got more pins and screws in him than Evil Knievel, and he's not as tall as he used to be, but better than being in the scrap pile. I'm going to wrestle him outside somehow and keep him around here while I enjoy it and do some other detail work on it. Eventually I will turn him loose and he can find his way back down to oversee the hot spring area once more.

All that bending over welding and wrestling the bear has been a little hard on my back.
Theres just one cure for that, a little ice and into the hot tub.
I caught the last of the sun on Fire Mountain.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hot Spring Airstrip

    The airstrip just kind of evolved out there after the clearing, we got the grader going by to come in and make a couple quick passes out front and roughed in a bit less than 500 meters, complete with a good sized hump right at the mid way point. I seeded it all in clover and it grew back within a few seasons, and I've always just mowed it like an extension of the lawn. A long lawn. The short length, crooked approach, and rise in the middle limited landing to small bush type planes and rugged home builts with experienced pilots. I had a wind-sock up in the early years, and it didn't look like much of a strip from the air but in 1995 a Search + Rescue Bison made repeated circuits overhead, I assume having a look and getting a position on it as soon after the front yard began to show up on maps as an emergency strip.
My buddy Gil Fanslau and I taken a few years ago with his Piper PA12.
Gil lands on a lot of gravel bars and short places, he was the first to land here in October of '95. On an invite he came up to see and just flew it straight in with no circle around to look first either.
He still comes in once a year on the last nice days of fall.

It was never unusual to have planes drop in 2 or more at one time.
I recall times early on having 6-8 parked there on the grass.

Amphibious sea plane.

Cessna 182, probably the "hottest" plane to come in.
Not for the meek of heart, coming or going.

A nice kit build on floats with retractable gear.
Before landing here he was up at 1000 meters bobbing around on Fire Lake.

A Russian fella I met, he brought this machine over with him. He brought a gal up to visit, they reached 7000 feet to clear the  mountains on the way. Note insulated suits.

My Russian friend again with a different machine. It had tandem seating and he took me across the valley and up to the head waters of Glacier Lake. It was quite a trip and a perfect day. I didn't take any pictures because I was too afraid of dropping my camera or having it blown back through the propeller.

 On final approach, Hot Spring International.

You can see how the approach is not straight, you come over the river past the campsite and squeeze your wings between the trees then skid the plane with the rudder to line yourself up, then get stopped before you pile into the cabin at the end. 

I've had my share of helicopters over the years as well.
A privately owned Robinson R44 out of Whistler.

This is the base of choice for any heli activity in the area.
Fire fighters, exploration, RCMP, and medical responders have used it for operations.
BC Medical Services Sikorsky S-76 medavac.

                                         Fire suppression base.

A-Star picking up geologists.

Exploration geologists ready to head into the mountains.

Hydro worked out of here when they had a crew replacing spacers on the power line. Quite specialised work, a lineman sits on a platform and changes the spacers with an electric wrench while machine hovers.

Parked planes receive a thorough inspection from Skook n Chuck.