Saturday, February 13, 2010

British Columbia Dead Man Valley

OK, to be honest, I made these pics sometime around 10 years ago, around the year 1999 or 2000. Nevertheless the present situation is probably very the same. What is time? So, I'll take you on a short virtual trip into some depts of Canada into some places that are quite distant from 'normal civilization'. Places where the next gas station is 90 miles away and the best place to shop is right in the woods, not kidding,nevertheless the licenses to fish are much more cheaper than in Europe or Austria. You get the permission (the licence to fish) and according to the season of the year it's allowed to fish certain kinds of fish.
We did some ice-fishing, however we didn't catch very much, nevertheless we caught enough to get a taste what the fishes are like here in British Columbia. And they were delicate (delicious).
10 years ago, this means around the time of a new millenium starting and more, a time before 9/11 happened, cheap flights from Europe to North America, no very tight security measures (just the usual hassles when dogs come to sniff at you because you've got an apple in your bag ('dangerous seeds that might threaten the dominance of Monsanto).
Our flight took us from Linz to Frankfurt to Vancouver. After spending a couple of days there we went with a greyhound bus to Kamloops. The driver of the bus was a former scientist in the atomic industries who had given up his job in order to drive a simple bus and to get engaged in local politics. In the bus there were also a young woman and a young man who had just returned from their trip to Europe and now came back to their home town Kamloops.
When we headed over a mountain and saw Kamloops down at our feet the young woman made a sigh and said "Ohhhhhh, Kamloops", which I guess was a sign of her love to her hometown.Though the young man and the young woman both grew up here in Kamloops they hadn't known each other. They made a date and today ... maybe they are a happy family, have babies, children ... don't kow. I didn't spy on them but they were sitting just in front of me and I couldn't help but checked their coversation, their comments about having been in Europe etc.
At Kamloops we got picked up by friends who came with an airconditioned Ford 450 pick-up truck. Airconditioning is very advisible in this area here. Winters are cold and the summers are hot. Though Canada got a lot of water rescources, there are areas which need artificial water supply. Ginseng is grown here ...
So we got picked up and drove some 100 miles to an area which is called 'dead man valley'. Well it looked like there would have died more than one man :) no, just kidding. People are dying all over the world and no one makes a big fuss about it, or shuldn't in order to make people depressive when they haven't got plans for more than one life.
After driving miles and miles through endless woods and along lakes we find ourselves in an area with some wooden lodges, huts, horses and corals. Actually it looks like some areas in the Austrian Alps, however the huts are somehow different and there are even tipis standing around.
Indian culture has left it's influences in this area here. When driving here we passed by some Indian graveyards. In the time of the 19th century passing over to the 20th century there was the influenca here that killed hundreds and thousands of Indians. Unlike the European invaders they were not resistant against this virus. In such a case and with lacking medical resources you don't have much choices ... you just die when you get such a virus.
As we make the decision to live a little bit longer, we have to chop some wood because the nights are still pretty cold here.
It's also a nice idea to have a fire outside, where you can return when you hands get cold. The wood is a bit damp so it makes lots of smoke. Hm ... smoke signs ... have been used by Indians to communicate across wider destinations. If you want to communicate by this way you'll need a bunch of people who hold a carpet or blanket over the fire to keep the smoke from escaping. And then in certain rhythms you let the smoke escape which produces smoke clouds or smoke balloons rising to the sky. Hm, I don't think the Indians used Morse-signals :) haha so if you know more about Indians cloud-codes please tell and comment (I'm usually too lazy to make Internet researches).
As there are bears, brown bears, in this area it's of advantage to have some dogs around. Bears are not so fond of dogs, dogs bark when a bear is approaching. Bears are'nt usually a problem but they can be one. It's dangerous to frighten bears. That's possible when they concentrate on their food or their children and you frighten them even if you didn't want to. Then bears can have an aggressive reaction. To avoid this, when walking and hiking in the woods, we wore some tiny bells. These tiny bells make the bears aware that somebody is coming and they voluntarily don't want to make their way crossing yours. I saw bears a couple of times from a distance. The thing that was amazing to me was that they can really run up mountains. Their front feet are so strong so that they have the power to do this. You know that other kinds of animals only depend on the quality of their back-legs in order to survive, like canins, rabbits etc.
So it pays to have some dogs around in the wilderness, some watch dogs in order to avoid problems with bears. Because they can make a habit of showing up at your trash, checking it and coming again and again. And this is a thing that you definitely don't want to let them do.
The above picture shows a cabin or lodge where we slept for a couple of weeks. It had no bathroom or toilet (whatever you call it) so even in the middle of night we had to go outside to see a bathroom that was quite in the distance of a couple of hundred meters. It takes a minimum amount of braveness to walk to the bathroom in the middle of a dark night and someone might tend to rather control his or hers bio-rhythm :) .
One thing that we were told was that in Canada everything is bigger. The woods, the deers, bears, fish ... whatsoever. Compared to Austria this might be true for a couple of things. Flying over the country definitely gives a different impression than flying over European countries. European countries are somehow tight, the villages, towns and cities are growing into something more complex. An expression of this phenomenon is also the management of the European Union.
Looking from an airplane, the views upon European and North American cities are quite different. The European cities seem to be in a kind of disorder, this because they have grown since the middle ages (or longer) and were built because of logics of defence, strategic points and considering the natural environment. North American cities seem to be planned from scratch with a lot of cubic patterns.
Walking in the woods and hiking up the moutains clears ones mind and gives strength to body and soul. The urban fanatism is left behind. Nature itself challenges you, is demanding and you are directed by also your personal needs in order to survive.
A simple consideration that comes up, has to do with death and flesh or death and meat. There is a question to sacrifice yourself or to make others sacrifice themselves.
The egoistic will to survive makes others to victims of your personal lust and desire. If a lion or tiger would show up then would you say "Hi it's me and I'm your meal for today, eat my flesh and drink my blood, be happy and content, enjoy your life, because I don't care for mine". ?
Nevertheless if I remember some verses of the King James Version of the bible there were some words of Jesus who said something like "Except you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no part in me ...", something like that, I guess this verse is somewhere in the gospel of John.
So you might say, that walking in the wilderness doesn't clear ones mind but rather makes someone go nuts. Hm, maybe, nevertheless ... there are people and they are not a view who go to deserts for example they travel to the Sahara in North Africa to make certain experiences. John the Baptist and Jesus Christ himself spent times in the wilderness. So it might pay to visit some kinds of 'desolate' areas where you can free your mind from the blessings and curses of civilisation.
Through heavy rainfalls we got completely wet. Yes we found shelters under big trees however you can't stay under big trees forever. We found a rotten watch 'tower' of a former gold mine and some dry wood so we could make a fire and dry ourselves. We crawlded into some caves of this gold water and saw some 'Cat-gold'. Most of the caves were under water and we were not equipped nore in the mood for diving.
On the outside we were watched by eagles, there were many eagles, some rare sort with typical shouts.
When the days got warmer we did a bit of gold washing. Yes, there was gold in the ground, tiny little pieces which sparkled in the sun, however not enough to get rich, haha :)
Neither enough to pay for our flights or other expenses. The gold just somehow said "I'm here".
In an old cabin, left by human beings long ago, I found a book that told me a bit of the history of British Columbia. It told of fights between Indians and Whites. It told of mass murder of animals to get their furs. Just normal history as everywhere else, people exploiting the grounds and resources, trying to make huge profits and giving their lives for this purpose. The history of money-making.


wilbau said...


H. Nizam said...

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Joe Grossinger said...

Loved your Canada post. I am originally from Leoben Steiermark but have lived in El Paso Texas for decades now.
Your comment about finding gold also struck home since this was a hobby of mine.

オテモヤン said...


r-oomx said...

Cool. Will drive up here in a couple of weeks

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