Thursday, June 28, 2007


Date: friday, June 15th 07 for all it matters

Written by: Duane then Dan

We are now officially in the land of the grizz. While still being in B.C. on a long road north, we have been in nothing but wilderness for over 1,000 K's.

The day started last night, when I cooked a good old fashioned feed of bangers and mash. Too full and burping like mad at about 8 O'clock I was reminded that cooking meat and sleeping in its smell really aint cool.

We drove off after doin da dishes and found and excellent side road with a lake and a huge fallen tree stopping us from getting to it. The rivers were high due to snow melt and it was now late and after 11 k's of walking today we had had enough. Living in a small space such as a van, has its moments, especially when the team is tired. It doesn't get dark till close to 11 and although with snow-sunburn I thought I'd be out like a light, ah ah..... eeeeeeeeeeer eeerrrrr (mozzy noise). F...... mosquitoes!!!

The van's shut tight, checked twice, they must be coming in through the vents. At 5am it was beyond a joke and the reality of Alaska's national bird was upon us. After having shifted from the penthouse bed to the downstairs luxury sweet with absolutely no success in putting our insomnia to rest, we decided it must be time to hit the road.

Well, that was easier said then done....

Vinnie would not start.

Flat battery.

Shit, that's handy when you're in the heart of Bear Country without a cellphone.

Before heading off by foot to the main road to wait for a car to hopefully give us a jumpstart, Muza needed to go no. 2's. He walked into the bush, clapping loudly to scare off any wildlife and as he did so, a truck went past on the highway and tooted his horn loudly... was he doing this to scare some big hairy bear off the road? Was that the same bear that Duane just chased off too?

Anyway, so we armed ourselves with the usuals: bearspray, bells, mozzy repellent etc. and took a shortcut through the bush to the highway. As soon as we had climbed the bank onto the road Muza spotted a black bear about 100 meters away on the other side of the road in the grass. Pino had been singing bullshit songs out loud while Muza was clapping, as well as the noise created by one very annoying bearbell on Pino's shoe, but still this bear had failed to hear us.

Then we both started calling out and clapping loudly, which made mr. bear look our way and bolt off. Holy shit, this was our first real bear experience!! Freaky shit.

This day luck turned out to be on our side again and in the next few minutes a ute appeared on the horizon and stopped at our frantic waving. The two guys stared at us with a rather cloudy-eyed gaze, but then agreed to give us a hand. With one attempt Vinnie started purring like a satisfied cat, so off we went, on our way to the next adventure in this wild land of extremes.

Snowshoeing in the Babine Range, BC

Date: 14th of June 07
Nearest town: Smithers, BC
Area: Babine Range

Our first wilderness experience in Canada!
A 9 kilometre hike/snowshoe adventure to a logcabine above the snowline in the Babine Range. The night before we stayed in the van at the trailhead after having hired some snowshoes from the local outdoor shop.
Some details that might juice up this story a bit:

1. A faulty car battery, which was likely to fail us upon our return
2. This area has a healthy population of bears, moose, cougars, wolves and wolverines

Enough reasons to keep the mind on edge!

So we set off, following an old road that would lead us most of the way to the cabin. Armed with bearbells, spray and Pino singing of course, we started our ascend.

On the way we saw paw prints in the mud then snow and claw skretches high on the treetrunks. Once we reached the snowline it wasn't just those big footprints that sparked our imagination...
It was the continuous red sprinkled colour in the snow.
It lead our way and made us wonder...
Was this the trail of a wounded animal? A bear's path after a big feed? A cougar dragging something back to its den? Or...

Until this day this curious observation remains a mystery to us, although we now believe it must have been pollen of the trees, since we discovered this redness to be everywhere we went. Eerie though.

After 2 k's of snowshoeing we reached the logcabin, which was empty and for only $5 each a night a true palace. It was equipped with a fireplace, plenty of firewood and even a half functioning gascooker. Once settled in and tasting some of BC's finest, Pino took time out to read the logbook. One story in particular is worth recalling.

In May, two people stayed in the cabin and were woken up at night by a loud noise upstairs. Note that no one else was staying at the cabin that night. It sounded like footsteps on the stairs. A short while later their bedroom turned bitterly cold and the noise continued. All this happened between 1 and 3 am.
Nice one. That really helps to put the mind at ease when you are about to go to bed...

Suddenly we woke up to the loud sound of something upstairs. I ask Muza: "What's the time?"
"1 O'clock" he replies. So Duane investigates the eerie situation and concludes that it must be a rodent in the ceiling. We left it at that.

Next day we snowshoed up to a pass, chilled in the sun and bumslid back down to the cabin. On our way out we spotted some fresh wolverine prints in the snow as well as some other humangous and unidentified animal prints. Luck was on our side back at the Van ( Vinnie we named him) as he purred when his ignition was turned.

Off we went!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A quick Intro

Hello Hello,

How are you all doing?
I created this blog to keep some friends and family up to date on the adventures Muza and I are having in Alaska and Canada. I will put some photos on it and of course some good stories. Hope you will all enjoy it!!

Dan, Daan, Pino