Friday, June 29, 2012

June 29 2012 .....Not Much Going On.

     Well I have set a record of sorts for the longest stretch without posting something, looks like it has been a month at least. This is certainly easier to keep up when the days are shorter and I'm inside more. I used to sweat it if I didn't post something for a few weeks, dissapointing a fan or two out there in internet land, and its not like money comes pouring in when I ramble on and post pictures from around the 'yard'. So if I post something that is fine, but if not I'm not worrying myself over it anymore. I have some stories unrelated to the hot spring that may start to show up soon too.
    On the other hand, I keep interrupting my usual work and wanderings and wondering if I should stop and compose a picture, all the time with some witty commentary going on in my head, and it is a wonder I get anything done around here any more.
I keep waiting for a really nice day and something exciting to happen to post about. But most days just blend into the other out here with not too much out of the ordinary.
    For instance. Since the hikers I wrote about last month clomped past there has been practically nothing noteworthy to write about. I was standing around one day waiting for something to happen. Pretty soon I remembered something that has been bugging me for a long time, and maybe I would go do that until something unfolded to report on.
   Without getting into a lot of detail believe me when I say years ago a large flat rock had been brought in and placed next to a favorite hanging out spot at the base of a near by waterfall. You by now have a mental picture of what a 'large flat rock' might look like, but I can assure you,  this one is considerably larger. It was set in there, leveled up and stayed there for many years, serving as a surface to enjoy the magic waterfall. During one of the worst winter storms I've seen out here the higher than normal crashing water at the base of the falls washed it out underneath and it tilted down towards the creek, almost too steep to stand on, and it gave you a wedgie if you tired to sit on it. This bugged me considerably the past several years. When nothing else was going on that is.
I knew how to fix it, but it was quite far down the list, until now.

I fired some light rigging into the box on the quad and proceeded to a nearby area, parking and hoofing it in from there with the jacks, chains, come-along and thermos of tea.

This will never do.
Don't attempt this at home. Using the 5 ton shop floor jack gave me the creeps, because I had to operate it on the lower side and was afraid of the slab coming down and pinning me in that cold water for a week or so. A considerable time could go by before anyone missed me and a search was initiated. My cats would be the first to wonder what the hell. Safety first.
I knew this come-along was a little on the light side but it was easier to carry. It will pull a couple tons, then I run the cable to a pully and back which doubles the pull. Chained to a large stump it was pretty much all it could do to budge the rock slab, and pretty much at its safe limit. A good rule to follow is that if you can operate a tool by hand you are ok, but if you put a 'snipe', or short pipe over the handle for extra leverage, you are asking for trouble. I would get as much force on it as I could then go around the front of the rock with a long steel pry bar underneath and manage to move it a little at a time, then go tighten the line again.
It took a few tries to get the chain on the rock slab properly. The jacket draped on the cable slows it whipping back should it break, hopefully only partially maiming me.

Well I am now much happier with the off kilter rock situation. When the water drops I'll go back with a bottle jack and do a little more shimming underneath for a large level area.
One less thing on my mind, and just in time for those hot summer afternoons!

You think you have a big lawn. Theres not really much reason to mow the airstrip, I just prefer how it looks from the 'lodge', and I do use it as a frequent route down to the hotspring campsite.
Great way to work on your tan in nice weather too.

 That nice weather brought on the seasonal melt on the snowpack, bringing the river level up, it begins like this. This is a spill channel of the main Lillooett River, which is glacier fed and that green color. I can spend a lot of time looking at it waiting for something to happen too. The clear water on the right comes down the mountain above, the same one I generate electricity with, the two intermingle here.
Nicest swimming hole in the territory, but cold.

Overnight it can fill the entire channel.

 SkoOk, ChUk, and ChYk have all enjoyed the 'crossing log' out front.
This cedar was hauled over by hand and layed across the creek just below the main cabin 17 years ago and is still there. Over the years I have seen maybe hundreds of people fall off it into the water, myself accounting for a rather high percentage of those dunkings.

Wildlife use it, I've caught several bears, including this little guy last week.
He just comes over to eat grass, we get along fine.

This is still just normal high water but floats the log loose, I have it chained to a stake on this side so it can swing if need be but can't go too far.

 As soon as the water crests and begins to drop you need to get the other end of the log back in place while it is floating and easy to handle. I'm not going to relate how I took two long poles to use as stabalisers and attempted to walk across the floating log a few days ago to put it back in place. Well ok.... As I neared the skinny end of the log the floating soon turned to bobbing and rolling and a certain degree of sinking  I remembered then that was the same thing happened to me last year. Once more, I ending up taking a cold swim the last part and having to drag myself up the far bank with the aid of some kind of bush with prickles, and it took 2 days to dry my boots. You think I would have learned by now, and thank god no one saw me!

The receeding water leaves driftwood on the lower lawn that gets fired back into the creek to complete its journey or into the woodpile.

Well, as you can see, I had killed quite a bit of time and still bugger all had happened to write about.
Maybe I better go for a wander over on  the island.
You can rock hop over there most of the year on foot, but it is more exciting during high water.
It helps to have your own secret cable trolley to get there.
I had a roll of cable sitting around here from construction of the power system years ago.
Naturally I had to stretch it across the channel to the island, pulling it tight with a backhoe from this end and hung a wheeled trolley on it. I'm the only kid on the block with one. People often ask why I went to the effort. I tell them because I couldn't find a long enough log to reach! 
Dangling in mid point looking out towards the main river, always a cool breeze on a hot day out here.
It is always a gas pulling myself across but harder work than you may think, and gloves are a must.
Something that I always do when the water is high is undo the laces on my boots before going out, in the remote chance you end up in the water, this allows you to kick them off and greatly improves the odds at getting out.
Mid point looking upstream towards Cloudraker Mtn.

The best part about a secret trolley to a secret island is that no one knows where it is!

 A great exploring area over there on my secret, mossy island.

You can travel quite a bit on fallen logs like this and never touch the forest floor.

This old cedar always fascinates me. On the far side of the island there are several old stumps, trees that were fallen towards the river and sent downstream by men working by hand. Just a few choice trees that would land partially in the river, likely the work of locals 80 years ago. They would chop an under cut with axes to direct the tree to the river, then finish the cut from the other side with a saw. They undercut into this particular old cedar and found the core soft, so it was left.
The men that swung this axe are long gone, and the now hollow old snag has attempted to heal over the wound.

This is at top end of the Island, here it splits the flooding river in mid stream, to the left is the main river, the right flows down past the lodge.
I better get back home in case I miss something exciting.

Next day I found this couple on the side of the road not far away, trying to use their cel phone. The heavy laden van bottomed out and the oil pan contacted a rock embedded in the road, splitting the aluminium engine block open. Sorry, no service.
This nugget had their name on it, you can see the metal stuck to it.
Bang, and left a trail of oil down the road, thats a $600 tow bill out of this country, plus repairs.

A few days ago we had a gig to play over in Whistler, I stopped for a leak by the lake and took this pic.

The occasion  was a 150 person private corporate party.
Two thirds of Blackwater MC, front man Josh and bass Ross converse backstage.
 A beautiful location to play Josh's original music.

File this under shameless plug. The event was hosted at this lakeside facility.

Lead man Josh works here doing river kayak trips and interesting stuff.
We played for our dinner, which are often the best gigs.
Josh has the opportunity to chat up a lot of young women in his travels, I'm not so sure he tells them the guys he 'rocks out with' are both pushing 60, and one of those is pushing from the other side!

The next day several big black vehicles wheeled into the yard here and disgorged an entourage from the BC Treaty Commission, out for a scheduled tour of the hot spring and surrounding area, it being included in the native treaty going on in the valley. A new chief negotiator was stepping in to the treaty process that is in its final stages, and he was out seeing the remote territory for the first time. Three generations of the Trethewey family have had amicable relations with the local Inshuckch peoples, and support their efforts at the negotiating table. 

There was quite a big wind last weekend bringing down several trees around. I hadn't been over to check the pelton wheel that generates electricity for the place for awhile. I go there today to find a tree top has come down and clobbered the pelton wheel shack. Dang.
Dirty bastard. Looks like I will have something to do while I'm waiting for something to happen around here.

Blackwater MC have another gig tonight. Rockin' the Pemberton Hotel, 9-2am.
I'll leave here with my gear at 6, and come rolling back in again when its light out at 4am., provided I don't get more than one flat tire or fall asleep and drive into the lake.
A Canada Day long weekend too, the campsite down at the hot spring could be busy.
Maybe something will happen there to write about. I'll keep you posted.

I better get some rest.


  1. Wow, the water level is so high, it puts the flooding issues into perspective for me. I also can't believe how greeny, blue the water is. Its been so murky since the land slide a few years back, its nice to a little of the colour back. Thats for sharing Robin!

  2. What a fantastic blog.
    Ann Scullard