dease lake rail line, son of a b**ch creek, - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada.
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Default dease lake rail line, son of a b**ch creek,

Im wondering if anyones ever treked or even 4x4ed the dease lake rail line/right of way and has come across a creek with this sign, or an old trappers hut. Its about 120 miles in(towars takla) where the trail from tatooga lake meets the right of way. The sign is probally long gone now. im just courious about this, its at the top of my bucket list for places to explore, I'll explain. After grandpa showing me some pics (will get them scanned when im over this flu) I just have to go there.

Many years ago Gramps had a very good friend and co worker by the name of Terry McMillan, after several years of saving he quit his job and decided he was gonna be a trapper. So about 90-110 miles in from where the trail from tatooga lake met the right of way he made his home/base(bout a mile or two off the right of way). One winter while trapping terry was crossing this creek when he broke through the ice, he almost lost his foot over it. Since then on he made a sign that would be mistaken for bc rec site signs and called the creek son of a b*tch creek, sob being the term when he broke through lol. He'd always visit my Gramps and family, he was a genuinely nice guy who liked visiting with friends and the outdoors. Gramps and Grandma would visit him as well. During the winter when it got too cold and the snow too deep he'd go and visit with the guys at this big 200 man camp about 20? miles from him. One of the crew would routinely go out and and check the half way point to try and meet him. Well one winter Terry caught a nasty flu, well here the camp had pulled out, terry made it to the camp, they found signs that he had made a cup of tea inside a building at the camp where he could of got warm, but he moved on and so I guess he only got about 10-20 miles outa the camp till he decided to stop in the middle of the road and make some tea, he took his rifle poped it up had a tarp over it and thats where he passed away. Someguys came out on skidoos to check on him , they ended up passing where he was about 4-6 times. Was in 92? I believe.

Anyways after watching grandpa show me these old photos (and remembering his old friend) of terrys hut, treasure stash (tree hut about 50-60 feet in air) and sob creek I've become insipered to 4x4 in to there and see what its like today. I doubt theres anything left, but want to make a sign of the same design and put it near where the old one was for sob creek and take a pic for Grandpa. One cool thing that would be neat is if Terrys "welcome" mat was still there, a 8x4 sheet of plywood with 8" spikes driven into every piece of it, so that way when he went out trapping he left out the "welcome" mat for the grizzly bears so they could'nt raid his cabin lol.
Sorry if the story is long and boring.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 04:08 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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That sounds very interesting. Post an update if you find it.
This guy might have some info:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/bcrail/...7600541709752/

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 04:12 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Not boring at all. I very much like that story. Good luck in your quest, I'm sure your grandpa would appreciate your efforts in attempting to locate the old cache.

Sounds like that Welcome mat would work in urban areas as well, to fend off the stalking jehova's witnesses!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 08:29 PM
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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.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 08:32 PM
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when i die....bury me at son of a bitch creek.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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quote:Originally posted by splitboarder

Not boring at all. I very much like that story. Good luck in your quest, I'm sure your grandpa would appreciate your efforts in attempting to locate the old cache.

Sounds like that Welcome mat would work in urban areas as well, to fend off the stalking jehova's witnesses!
I could of used that the other day

Wildman, yeah he came in from the trail across the service station at tatooga lake and about 100 miles down from the trail meeting the rail line is where he made his camp. I just ment instead of going towards dease he went the other way. He had a dune buggy as he called it (an 81 ford with no doors or winshield, only 1 seat and big tires), hed go exploring with that lol. Don't think he had any dogs. Gramps said the name of this big 200-400 man camp (coal, minerals) and how far down the line terry was from them, but I cant remember now. I bought a map of the area, so i'm gonna get gramps to mark it when I'm over this flu, and get those pics as well. Those stories of yours are cool, im a fan of huskies tho I think this year I'm get a newfoundland
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 10:13 AM
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I love these kind of stories. It reminds me a bit of a book I'm currently reading, "The Dangerous River" by R.M. Patterson.
I can't wait to see the pics RyanT.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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quote:Originally posted by brett

I love these kind of stories. It reminds me a bit of a book I'm currently reading, "The Dangerous River" by R.M. Patterson.
I can't wait to see the pics RyanT.
nice I have "40 years on the yukon telegraph" by Guy Lawrence next to me.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 10:57 PM
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In the "summer" of 1974 I worked at Stikine Camp, which was at Conglomerate Creek. Stikine Camp was one of the construction camps on the line to Dease Lake. It was operated by Keene Construction. I was a summer student and worked in the camp kitchen. Started at 4am and worked until 8pm, doing split shifts 7 days a week. I have always wanted to return as the terrain and the animals were great. We flew into a remote airstrip about 1 hour from the camp in a DC3, like the ones used in Ice Pilot NWT except this one had web seats. Later we flew out of a newly construction airstrip that was closer. I remember the D-9 Cats building the strip and the ground moving in a wave like fashion as the Cats moved over the ground. The most interesting thing here was the caribou. You would think that they would be scared of the equipment and noise but they just continued to feed feet away from the construction. I will get back.
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