Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: , , Canada.
Interest: Hiking, hunting, fishing, and many others.
I was a railroad camp foreman at Bulkley House at the north end of Takla Lake for a couple of years and then John Locke took over from me and I left before they shut down the push to Dease Lake. The end of steal was not far from Klappan when I left.
There were a few want to be trappers that I fed and gave rooms to at the camp for a few days rest after they walked the dirt road north from Fort Saint James and then forking left or west at Germansen Landing to meet the railway track at Takla Landing.
I let them freshen up and fed the dogs of the ones that brought dogs with them.
Heck I even had my own dogs there.
One guy come through with 6 grown Huskies and one of the females had 13 pups on the road between Ft.St.James and Germansen Landing. All the dogs had packsacks and then instead of getting lighter as they consumed their food supply they got heavier packing these new born pups.
Another guy came through with a large cinnimom coloured Malamute Husky, (beautiful dog), and a three month old Siberian which he packed in his packsack.
There were some First Nations People that lived by the lake and they had a large St. Bernard that for some reason wanted to eat that pup. Well that Malamute put the run on that St.Bernard so badly it never came by our railroad camp for a week after.
Then there were the two guys that came down from Alaska following a connecting chain of explorers trails to Dease Lake and heard about the railway bed so decided to take it. It was great until they got to the head of steal and started walking on railroad ties.
They were walking from the north part of Alaska to Central America and writing a book about there venture of hiking North America from the North to the South.
They were so tired of walking over a couple of hundred miles on railroad ties by the time they got to my camp they were sick of looking at them. I had purchased a canoe from Ft.St.James and had it up there at camp so they asked if they could borrow it and walk with their hands instead of feet and canoe down the lake and river system to Fort St. James and send it back on the train. I let them use it.
I got a letter from them about four months later stating that they enjoyed the canoe trip from Bulkley House to Ft.St.James so much that when they got to Vanderhoof they headed west and walked to Prince Rupert and rented a ocean canoe and paddled it down to Vancouver along the coast and then hiked over to what I believe it was the Pacific Crest Trail to Mexico and on through to Central America. They also wanted me to buy their book saying that my canoe and I were in it. Then once they raised enough money selling that book they were going to hike South America from North to South and eventually intended to hike every continent in the world except Antartica.
Yep, at that time there were lots of adventurers, weirdos and draft dodgers from the Vietnam War up in that part of the country. There was Michel Oros scaring everyone from Telegraph Creek to Teslin where he killed that German Trapper and shot a RCMP and the book was later written by Vernon Frolick called Descent into Madness.
There was Tony Sailor another draft dodger down at Middle River who was going to develop a new strain of pot that would grow in the north. Then another couple from California husband and wife, Jim dodged the draft and she was a Mexican which was taboo to marry so he was disowned by his rich family and came north into Canada to escape the draft. They tried to live in a tent through the winter camped by Takla Landing. Then tried to have her baby in the tent in 30 degree below weather and the First Nations People had to force them into their home so they did not freeze to death well she was having the baby.
There were lots of other stories going around up there at that time but I can not remember them all and it was so bad you did not know what to believe unless you witnessed it yourself and I witnessed a few.
I got a few very poor pictures from up there of nothing much special, mostly random shots trying out the camera.
I lost most of my old pictures when I was moving and my truck had a canopy where the picture box was under it on top of other furniture near the tailgate. It started raining really hard and the box flew out from under the canopy well going down the highway, the box broke open and there were pictures all over the highway in the rain. Almost all my old pictures were detroyed.
The ones from Takla were taken with the rage of the time a Polaroid Camera which I bought at the Trading Post at Takla Landing for five times as much as it would have coast at Ft.St.James. I didn't take many pics up there because polariod film was $25.00 for a film of 10 pictures at the time up there.
I would sure like to see your pictures. Brings back old memories and good times.
I can't remember about the fellow you are talking about but most likely met him if he travelled up there from my way but he may have come in from Dease Lake so I may not have met him and yes at the end of steal it was a roaring railway camp and most likely never met your grandfather and can not remember the names of the ones I did meet.