Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

Archive for July, 2007

Donating Blood for a Good Cause…

Posted by todblog on July 25, 2007

July 25, 2007

Jacob is now 14 yrs old and growing fast. He will soon fit into my size 11 shoes and will surely be taller than me (another reason I stopped spanking him). Soon he will have less time for his dad as he takes on more responsibilities like working part-time, school activities, sports, driving, girl(s), etc.
Therefore, I’m always looking for opportunities to build some solid memories with him so he can look back on them fondly one day. We had plenty of them this July.

First, we caught a Seattle Mariners game. (Pretty awesome to see a pitcher throw 100+ mph fastball! & watch Jessie have fun doing the WAVE over and over again..)


Then, Jacob and I said goodbye and headed off for our wilderness adventure…

We hooked up with our Roseburg River Rat pals Ray Lehne and Randy Poe and his two boys Jason and Chris. Six of us packed into Ray’s Ford F250 pickup towing our home made trailer with canoes and gear and we began our 1300 mile trip north into British Columbia. We crossed the border late at night and spent the first night on the edge of a ball field in the town of Hope.


At each rest stop we agreed to rotate seating positions in the truck. One of the most comfortable places was in the bed of the truck bundled in a sleeping bag. After driving a full day, we reached the town of Fort St. James, an old trading post. We were nearing the end of the paved road and only 1.5 hrs away from our destination when we were pulled over by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Apparently, we were pulling an unlicensed and uninsured trailer… a $500 violation. After explaining Oregon’s trailer laws and not being told anything different at the border we were completely at a loss for words. The two officers understood our dilemma but, were faced with an obvious violation of their law. They tried to get us in touch with an insurance company in town but, being a Sunday and Canada Day (like our July 4th holiday) nothing was open. The officers had a private huddle and then came to us with their solution.

“We cannot allow you to travel with this trailer. You need to unhitch it at this park and you will then be in compliance with the law. After watching you do this, we will leave and drive away…(motioning in the opposite direction of our travel).” We wondered, what could this mean? When would our trailer be stolen in this park? The officer repeated his statement and we unhitched the trailer. They wished us well on our trip and drove away as they said they would. Those guys were cool. We hooked up the trailer and got back on the road.

We arrived on the shores of Chuchi Lake. It was buzzing with mosquito activity. Big slow moving blood suckers in the sky. If you kept moving and swatting your hand every now and then, you might avoid growing a welt in some exposed part of your body. Chuchi Lake was to be the end point of our canoe trip. Our plans were to negotiate a series of four lakes connected by a river, a journey of over 70 miles and end up here. However our shuttle guide, Doug French, said the waters were too high and that log jams would make it too risky. He recommended doing only two lakes and use the extra time to fish. Not wanting to question Doug’s judgment or explain that he was addressing the Roseburg River Rats, we agreed with his advice. The next day we rearranged our gear and canoes to fit in the truck and left my “illegal” trailer behind at Doug’s house.


Doug drove us to our starting point 50 miles away at Tchentlo Lake and said goodbye. We were immediately greeted by hungry skeeters which helped us to work quickly. We packed our gear and shoved off for open water and relief from the bugs. Being in a sheltered stand of trees was a favorite place for mosquitos and required headnets or lots of repellant. Finding open areas or breezy points on the lake made for comfortable campsites.

The remoteness and tranquility of the area was simply spectacular. For the next seven days it was just us, the bears, wolves, moose, and mosquitos (BUZZ!)…


Each day we were given beautiful solitude and scenery in such vast country.


Our menu was simple…FISH! We used coffee cans with wire to boil water and cook meals over an open fire. This was a kids dream come true…camping, building fires, living off the land, no school, bathe if you want…


We took advantage of the mid-day winds and built masts out of branches and duct tape and used our tent fly to sail to our next camp spots.


Here’s Chris using his tarp for a sail.


Did I mention we caught some fish? …rainbow and lake trout. Here’s Randy and Ray with a stringer of plump rainbows for dinner.


Here’s Jacob with a nice lake trout caught in the river on a spinning lure.


Jason with a nice lake trout caught trolling a spinner.


Here’s a picture of Ray’s minimal set-up (air mattress, mosquito netting and tarp).


Lots of fishing stories every night…


What a great trip! Lots of fish, lots of water, lots of good food, good weather, lots of moose tracks, heard wolves, and all with great company! The only bad thing was having to donate some blood to mosquitos but, it was for a very good cause…total quality father-son time that we’ll both remember forever!


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