Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puntzi_Lake

It explains itself, and would be a great source for Coast to Coast.

Of course, if you think about it reasonably - think about it reasonably - then it makes a different sort of sense. By which I mean if you are paying attention you have just explained the whole Bigfoot mythology...

Note they don't mention bears - and I'm pretty sure they knew what they were.

 

I'd been there last year, with James, the old homeless waiter, and we'd walked the long way, up overgrown logging roads, a total of 10 KM in and 10 KM out for what amounted to about half an hour of looking around for gems. An old aquamarine claim, apparently, and now it's open and I want to check it out. From the parking lot it's about - judging from my satellite map on my phone - about half a mile, but you have to walk up about a half a mile, then cut over, across the creek and a short hike later you're there!

Easy-Peasy.

But - this proves the adage - the map is not the territory. Everything - until crossing the creek - is easy, but climbing the other side, up, up, high stepping over countless fallen trees, this hike, mountain, it's a steady upward 45 degree climb, Up, Up, Up. Check your phone, have to be close...

Nope. And for every step I take that little dot on my phone stays further and further away - this forest, it's not been logged for 100 years, just deadfall, logs to be gone over, under, around, and always up.

3 hours later I'm at the heart of the claim, only - no one, not even the owner of the claim, has been here for 100 years. There are trees 3 feet in diameter growing up through what must have at one time been an old logging road - and this makes perfect sense, most claims are founded on logging cuts, someone finding something after they've cut the road, but the cut, it's under 3 feet of moss - the presence of the road reassures me I'm close, but everything is overgrown and like before night is falling, the daylight's off this side of the mountain and there's a long trek down the mountain to get back to the car.

Probably a great claim, but you need to camp up there for a week, bring in supplies, and in addition to a pick you'll need a rake to clear the cuts and see where to dig. And given it's relatively inaccessible position it's not my first choice of where to prospect. Maybe another summer...

Returning from Calgary, the whirlwind visit, a few short blog posts, visit with daughter, then back to work. And I'm taking the shortcut, Gray Greek Pass, I've done it a few times, I hit it about 6:00 PM, more or less, and if I'm quick I can catch the second to last ferry and be home, rest - all the rest I can, before work tomorrow.

There's been a windstorm...trees down everywhere, and somehow I miss my sign, I've a feeling that I'm on the wrong road, a vague intuition, it's better than I remembered, but I'm sidetracked, down a few logging roads that end in downed trees and branches, backing out, then trying the other fork, onward, onward, these days off, they're devouring me, my time, these obligations to Calgary, to here, and already I can't wait for the summer to be over.

The road, it's gone from being vaguely unrecognizable to completely unrecognizable, ruts filled deep with water, I don't care, if I've made a mistake I'm committed, and I console myself with how easy it is to get lost on logging roads, dirt, gravel, trees, mountains, there's no familiar landmarks, and finally, finally, I arrive.

At the Purcell Wilderness Conservatory. 50 KM up the wrong logging road, a dead end, I'm nowhere and all I can do is backtrack. And I'm pissed, there's no cell service, no google mapping this, it's just turn around and retrace your steps...

....Back, back, back, this has been a clusterfuck of shortcuts, I've already missed my second to last ferry, need to find the right road and fast or I'll miss them all, be condemned to a night in the car, there's no way I want to drive around, a 3 hour detour, and I'm glad I had the foresight to gas up in Kimberley, otherwise I'd be fucked....

50 KM back and I find the sign that I missed, a downed tree hid the arrow pointing the turnoff, and I'm off again, only now I'm late...

Leadfoot on a road who's speed limit is 50 KM an hour.

That's for pussies though, you can drive it faster, a lot faster, ruts, mud, bumps, there's no other traffic on this road, on the whole pass the most I've ever passed is a single car, and this trip I haven't seen a single one. It's part of the beauty of it. 

Only now - now - time is of the essence, and I'm watching the clock, the last ferry is at 10:20 and I've no idea how far I've left to go....

The top of the pass, past the lake, the rest area, now down the mountain, it's 10:00 PM, the last ferry leaves in 20 minutes, from Gray Creek it's about 10 minutes to the Ferry (!!!!), and I'm late, I'm late, I'm not going to spend the night in my car, fuck this, pedal down, pedal down, and I start to see the KM markings down the road, I'm 13 KM up the pass...

And I'm not going to be late...

Switchback, switchback, loose gravel over washboard and I'm done. The Rav-4, slipping, sliding, over the cliff or into the cliff? Into the cliff...

It's not the worst impact, a boom, over the ditch, into the cliff, the airbags didn't even go off but while the engine's still running the car isn't moving, the wheels aren't engaging, I've done some damage for sure. Get out, it's dark, look at what's up, try and figure it out, the radiator's hanging over the right tire and leaking fluid which is not looking so good, not so good at all, and I'm spending the night on the east shore. Fucking fucking fucking fuck this was the worst shortcut in the world.

And I knew it, knew it all along, that I was going too fast, pushing it, that I should have slowed down, should have driven the long way around...

I check my phone. There's no cell service up here. And so I gather the shit I can carry from the car and set off down the mountain. 8 miles, walking, down a dark logging road in the middle of the night, strange noises, brayings, howls from the woods, weird groans, I go back and get a flashlight and my bear-bangers. And start again.

3 AM and I'm settled on a bridge near the highway, 7:00 AM and I'm hitchhiking my way to the ferry. I get a ride from a clearly coked-over flame-artist who talks about his craft in the most animated terms, his sniffles and enthusiasm betray his vices, and eventually I make it to the ferry and "home".

Home - to me, btw, is wherever the hammock is. Home should have been where the Rav-4 was, but the Rav-4, it wasn't my thing, not my car, not my 4X4, it was too shiny, too new, too....

Well, not a jeep.

I arrange the towing - Hey - I've got AMA - only I'm off the main road so I'm due a 225$ towing charge. And the car, well, it's ... it should be fine, only it's a write-off.

Look around at all the Rav-4's on the road, count the ones you see with damage. Because they can't fucking take it. They're fucking pussies. Hit a chipmunk, chipmunk needs a cast, you need a new car. They're fucking garbage. The jeep, crushed by a logging truck, still drove me home. This - a minor bump, hit a cliff, didn't even set off the airbag and it's a write-off. People complain about single use plastic bags yet where's the lobby against single use fucking plastic cars?

Now - early August and I'm a pedestrian - my fault - fuck, that stings the most, and even worse is the minor damage done, I could live with something grand, a rollover, explosion, anything, but this should be fixable, this should not be a write-off, yet it is, and I'm done with prospecting for the summer.

Fucking bloody hell.

A day off not spent in transit - the Ymir General Store, out prospecting for gold...

The typical selection of business cards with some rather "original" art. "Prince Philip"? WTF? Is there some sort of bizarre Cargo Cult out here? Did he visit?

Anyways, take it to the next level with this:

Posted on the outside. There's so much wrong with this, and yet there's so much right as well, and it is, if nothing else, inspiring...