4WDrive

- Iceland · Rembrandt

Gas­pard Creek and stop­ping to ex­plore it, I dis­cov­ered and feasted on the most de­li­cious batch of wild rasp­ber­ries.

We reached the end of the trail and the start of beau­ti­ful Gas­pard Lake; a large dam marked the gate­way to an area that gave ‘boun­ti­ful fish­ing’ a whole new mean­ing, as you could sim­ply scoop your net in and bring it out chock­full of fish. We con­tin­ued on, pass­ing through the cat­tle gates and old cab­ins that are still used by cowhands and as emer­gency shel­ters dur­ing in­clement weather.

Shortly af­ter, we came across an al­lur­ing lit­tle spot called Mos­quito Is­land with a beau­ti­ful out­let on the lake I was hop­ing to call home for the evening. We con­tin­ued past it, as our first pri­or­ity was find­ing the Chilco Choates (an in­fa­mous lo­cal guide and out­fit­ter) home­stead. We rounded the west end of the lake, and knew we were in the right area when sar­cas­tic signs ap­peared on the trees. Soon enough the gates to Chilco’s home, with horns and the warn­ing that all ve­hi­cles must stop there, greeted us.

We wan­dered onto what can only be de­scribed as a flash back to days gone by. Nu­mer­ous shacks, a line of clas­sic Jeeps, and as­sorted knick-knacks spoke of the years Chilco had spent build­ing his home­stead. The man him­self came out and greeted us, the wry ex­pres­sion, which had made him well known in these lands, could eas­ily be seen. He was taller than I had ex­pected, but had that smile on his face that you could tell held a thou­sand tales. I didn’t just read his book; I de­voured it - its pages per­me­ated with be­guil­ing camp­fire tales only old guides can tell.

The guys asked for a tour of his prop­erty, and a Un­i­mog in par­tic­u­lar caught their eye, ap­par­ently the first one to ever be im­ported into Canada. It was in charm­ing con­di­tion con­sid­er­ing its long his­tory work­ing in a harsh en­vi­ron­ment. Shawn asked him to turn her over, it took a few tries but then the throaty sound of the an­cient en­gine roared to life. I watched with a smirk as I taped the con­ver­sa­tion be­tween the Tribe and Chilco, know­ing I was wit­ness­ing a life­long me­mory be­ing made for all in­volved.

Over a few hours the Tribe got their fill of guide sto­ries, in­clud­ing how Chilco chal­lenged the Gang Ranch, and I wan­dered around his home­stead. The land is still used to house the guests on guided tours, al­though he has handed most of the reigns to a new cou­ple. There were cu­rios ev­ery­where that spoke to the heart, and I fell in love with a sign on one of the walls that said: “There is room for all of God’s crea­tures, right next to the mashed pota­toes”.

We made our way back to Mos­quito Is­land, most of the Tribe pulling out their poles and mak­ing their way to the lake­side, catch­ing some huge trout. The sun­set over the hori­zon of the lake re­sem­bled a can­vas catch­ing the artis­tic strokes of Rem­brandt. Din­ner was to be an over­land-ex­pe­di­tion test - pub night! A few of the Tribe got the camp­fire started, as Shawn pulled out the deep fryer; tonight we would be en­joy­ing au­then­tic pub treats in­clud­ing rib bites, mozza sticks, wings… if it could be or­dered in a pub he had it for us. I poured a few drinks for Shawn and Glen and every­one set­tled around the fire, shar­ing sto­ries while en­joy­ing the fin­ger food.

Light melded into dark­ness, and the night sky took cen­tre stage, with fall­ing stars as silent fire­works. As I climbed into my tent, it made me think of just how many wishes I could make, for me it was sim­ple – just one wish to live this life ev­ery day.

 ??  ?? Wind­ing smiles
Wind­ing smiles
 ??  ?? Straw­berry Eter­nity
Straw­berry Eter­nity
 ??  ?? Gas­pard Fish­ing
Gas­pard Fish­ing
 ??  ?? Mos­quito Is­land
Mos­quito Is­land
 ??  ?? BC’s old­est Un­i­mog
BC’s old­est Un­i­mog
 ??  ?? There is plenty of room...
There is plenty of room...

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