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Old 01-03-2014, 11:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
That is truly an incredible tale, and some great pictures. I can see why you like it there! But... 2 to 8 inches of rain most days?? Is there a dry season?


Hi Mike! Actually, we should have between 4 and 6 feet of snow on the ground by this time of year. Just like the rest of North America; the weather has been weird the last few years. Only snowed once last winter. And this summer there was so little rain that the giant falls were only 3 feet wide. Two years ago it didn't stop raining from mid February until the first snow in November. Honestly! We had 3 days of partial sun during that whole 9 months. Horrible! I was in Kitimat at the time, but the weather is the same there as in Butedale.

I've actually only had 5 or 6 days where I had to empty my coffee cup "rain gauge" three times in one day, but that's enough! A week ago during one of those massive rains a bunch of big trees in the neighborhood had enough and let go of the slopes. None were TOO close, but when the entire cabin jumps an inch into the air, you know they were big; and close enough.

I haven't gone looking for the fallen trees yet, (too wet), but hopefully some of them are close enough to the cabin that I can buck 'em up and get a good start on next year's firewood supply. If they were big enough to make the cabin jump, then there's gotta be some sweet firewood layin' around somewhere.

I just hope none of them were THIS big.

That's one of the "seeder trees" left behind by the logging crews 50 years ago when they clearcut Work Island across the channel from Butedale.

Oh! And I keep forgetting to add one photo. This is that massive waterfall at the back of the lake I was talkin' about.

To give you a bit of perspective; that rock "wedge" in the middle of the falls is ~100 feet tall. Dat's a BIG waterfall! My YouTube video "Butedale Lake" shows the falls better. Actually; here's the vid.

Butedale Lake. - YouTube

One cool thing I should film when I get my new video camera dropped off by floatplane is the constant shaking of the ground. When the river is as big as it is now; and it's just WILD right now; it shakes the granite bedrock the town is built upon. Lou never believed it until I showed him. Remember the coffee cup scene in the first Jurassic Park movie; where the coffee made a bunch of concentric rings as the tyrannosaur was approaching? Well, a cup of coffee set upon a granite protrusion or huge old stump does the same thing. Constantly. I'd love to get a seismometer set up here and find out what the equivalent Richter is for all the shaking. It's always noticeable, (if you have sensitive feet, which I do. Oh do I!) so it's probably near a constant 3 on the Richter scale. It can get a wee bit hairy when one knows that when we have as much rain as were getting, for as long as we've gotten; the lake overflows the 70+ year old dam and turns the "small" creek into a river by it's own right.

OLD dam.

You can just make out the 1944 in the concrete at the top of the bunker thingy.

Dam overflowing.

That was a spooky day too when I took that picture. I had crossed the dam, and the water was JUST overtopping it. in FIFTEEN minutes; when I crossed back, the water was 2 inches over top of the dam. THAT was an unbelievably fast rise! But not unimaginable. Butedale Lake's drainage basin covers and enormous area, I don't know the acreage, but it's BIG.

Butedale Lake Watershed.



Anyways; if it were a normal year, we should look like this.


But instead, in the first week of January, it looks like this.

That's some serious green! Even the ferns are still growing! Like, Whut?!

But, I don't know if I mind the lack of snow or not. I don't have to shovel rain, but at 100% humidity, the only way I can get my firewood dry enough to burn is to sit it dangerously close to my wood stove for a week. And not forget to rotate the wood every couple days to get it uniformly dry. Ah well. Nothin' I can do about it anyways, so I don't complain.

Righty then, Thank you, y'all, and I'll chat at ya's later.

Cheers!

Cory
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:49 AM   #16
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Beautiful pictures, Cory. What a special place to end up in.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:37 PM   #17
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That is just a great story thank you for sharing. fantastic pictures would love to see more. I'm going to check out your you tube.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:53 PM   #18
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cory---i am SO glad that i asked how you ended up in butedale! as i read your story--the first time, because i read it twice---i kept shaking my head saying "this could be a fantastic movie!". your story is amazing. i don't think you chose butedale. i think butedale chose you.
thanks for sharing. you must have smiled alot as you were writing because your joy and happiness came across in your words. it is an indescribably beautiful locale and as much as i know you want others to enjoy it and to love it as you do... you must be torn by also not wanting to lose it to commercialization and the influx of people that will bring.
you are truly blessed to live there.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:03 PM   #19
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cory---i am SO glad that i asked how you ended up in butedale! as i read your story--the first time, because i read it twice---i kept shaking my head saying "this could be a fantastic movie!". your story is amazing. i don't think you chose butedale. i think butedale chose you.
thanks for sharing. you must have smiled alot as you were writing because your joy and happiness came across in your words. it is an indescribably beautiful locale and as much as i know you want others to enjoy it and to love it as you do... you must be torn by also not wanting to lose it to commercialization and the influx of people that will bring.
you are truly blessed to live there.
HI Theresa! Thank you so much! And I'm glad you asked too! I do truly love sharing with others the astonishing beauty and peace that this area offers. I have been many places in my life; and even here on BC's coast, there is no other location that has such a hold on my heart and spirit. There is beauty all round me at all times, (even when it's pouring an inch an hour), and no matter how I try I can never feel as though I've said enough to describe the feeling of blessedness that is upon me. And there is a spirit here; that is to me, indescribable. Many First Nations Peoples lived here while the cannery was in operation, and many of the elders in the Klemtu and Hartley Bay were children living here as their parents worked in the cannery. There were several homes and bunkhouses for the natives near the large creek at the back of the harbor, and well, I don't know what the actual explanation is; but that creek sings. It's not just an occasional thing either. When the water is low, and not too loud; if you are sitting on the porch, or standing on the docks; or otherwise enjoying the serenity, you will begin to swear you hear singing. There are no words, just pure song, mixed with what sounds like women and children laughing. It is not a frightening sound by any means, but it is there; and I love it. There are many local Natives who actually won't set foot on land at Butedale, so certain they are that it's haunted. Even if it is; with all the singing and laughing, they are not unhappy ghosts. We actually have REAL spirits living in the woods; Spirit Bears actually. They are Black Bears with a double recessive gene that turns every tenth bear white. They aren't albino; (they have black noses and brown eyes; almost human eyes actually) and they are beautiful. Here's a couple pictures (Not my pictures, unfortunately)




Lou had some amazing videos of Spirit Bears that go silver dollar-sized crab hunting on the beach at low tide, and a couple vids of one that spent most of last summer eating sage grass and berries right in town. Unfortunately, the videos were all lost with his boat.

They are remarkable animals; so unlike any bears anywhere else in the world. The have never been hunted, ever. And as such, have absolutely no fear of man. But inversely, they are completely non-aggressive when they do encounter a human. You can be sitting upon a log while a Spirit Bear is fishing in the creek right under your feet, and they couldn't be less care-free about it. I truly can't wait for the day that I am blessed with a "close encounter" with one.


And yes, Theresa, my greatest fear is that the development of the marina and associated cleanup of the wreckage will scare the bears away from the area. They are so remarkable, and so beautiful, that even seeing one from a few hundred feet away makes my breath catch and I gotta do a lot of blinking to see clearly. (I love 'em.)

Beyond the Spirit Bears, there are of course Humpback and Killer Whales that ply the waters in the area, and the Humpbacks often come right into the harbor chasing schools of herring.





Butedale has just so much wonder and delight to offer that even were I to spend a month describing everything, I'd still miss a lot. There is even a 55 degree C (131 F) hotspring just 6 miles away at the end of the nearby Klekane Inlet. (two actually) One is 10 liters per minute, (2.6 gallons) and the other is 250 liters per minute. (66 gallons) The small one has a covered bath house built for it in the woods. But I prefer the big one which is just above high tide and fills a natural sandy basin and has a view straight down the Inlet. (Just LOVELY.)

Honestly, I could just keep on waxing rhapsodic about everything that the area has to offer, but this thread would end up being 20 pages long.

Ahh, what the heck! At the end of work Island there is a ridge that runs from the island to Klekane Island about half a mile away. On this ridge at slack tide there are Halibut unending. If one likes to fish, and if one likes Halibut, then that's the place to be! Along the North side of Work Island are Rockfish and Rock-cod coming out the Yin~Yang. (The best being the Yelloweye Rockfish; otherwise known as Red Snapper. OMG, so good!) In Klekane Inlet there's Dungeness Crab at 40 feet, and Tiger Prawns at 300 feet. If Clam is your thing; between Klekane Island and the mainland is a "Clam Garden" originally created by the Natives in the Klekane village at Marmot Cove that predated Butedale by millennia.

Ancient Midden.

That pile of clamshells is around 100 feet wide, and a couple yards high. (Took a lot of centuries to build that pile!)

Clams anyone?

The entire channel between Klekane Island and the mainland is coated with clams like that. (1/2 mile or so.)

Anyhoo, I could go on, but I don't know how much more Butedale ya guys can handle.

Righty then, I'm still amazed every day by my blessings to have the opportunity to exist in such a wonderland, and I must say, it feels GOOD to be able to share.

Thank you all so much!

Cheers!

Cory
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:38 PM   #20
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Cory, do you do any prospecting for gold there? Great pictures.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:43 PM   #21
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Read that white bears can catch more fish as the fish have a harder time spotting them against a generally light sky. Glad to know you have the nicer variety of bears around, not the generally less nice brown bears. I've spent several weeks this year around Sitka enjoying the beautiful rain forest, but having to keep an eye out.

Love your tale about Butedale. I found some of your earlier posts on the wooden boat forum. What an absolutely riveting read! If you start a weekly blog be sure to post a link here (please!).
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:01 AM   #22
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Cory, aside from being a great storyteller, you are absolutely a fabulous photographer. What are you shooting with?
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:05 AM   #23
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Cory, do you do any prospecting for gold there? Great pictures.
Thank you! And; Oh no; you didn't! As a matter of fact...

Not yet! Buuuut, here's another neat tidbit for ya's

Back in the early years of Butedale (1930's) there were two persons living near Butedale whom actually had nothing to do with the town. They were just, there. No-one knew why they were there; though some hypothesis were tossed around at the time. First, there was a guy living for years on Work Island near the peak of one of the 3 main hilltops on the island. It wasn't known what he did there, but the assumption was that he did some bootlegging. (Butedale was a dry town.) No other suggestions have I ever heard regarding his presence on the Island. Then, there was another man living in the dankest darkest dreary part of Butedale. (A beach across the harbor where the sun NEVER reaches due to the shape of the bay and the surrounding mountains.) No-one ever had any clue, or even any assumptions of what the heck he was doing living there. (It's a nasty spot. Dark and dank and slimy. Just nasty.) Anyways, he also lived there for years, but would take off to the South for a few weeks every so often. He was an absolute mystery man.

Until... Google Earth and Data BC led me to the correct answer.



See those little circles near the points of my arrows? I didn't put those there. Data BC did. Know what they are? ...Known Gold Occurrences... And precisely where those two mystery men were living for years. The guy on Work Island wasn't a bootlegger, he was highgrading gold! And same goes for the guy in the harbor. I could never figure out why someone would have any desire to live in Butedale's bumhole; where the sun don't shine, ever. And now I know. Gold! I haven't had the opportunity to explore that section of land yet, but come better weather; YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT! I've got my pans, and my classifier that fits on a 5 gallon bucket, and I'm just waiting for enough nice weather that I can get some work done for a few day, and still have time to spend a day or two panning the creek at that point in the harbor. If I can find the guy's tailings pile I will work on that first. He was mining illegally, so I imagine that he went for the "big" gold and would have left the bits of quartz full of wire gold behind. So yeah, I'll assuredly be doing some gold panning in the near future!

But there's something else; and for me, even more important than the gold. There may be a hotspring right on Butedale land. MIGHT. While playing with the Data BC info on Google Earth I discovered a VERY interesting correlation between the hotsprings in the area, and gold. As in; EVERY gold occurrence in the surrounding 50 miles has a hotspring associated with it. Every gold occurrence except the one on Work Island, and the one on the far side of Butedale Harbor. Now, I don't know if there is a hotspring near the gold occurrence in Butedale, but the odds look pretty darn good. So that's another thing I have to look for when the weather improves. Here's another map showing the gold occurrences and their associated hotsprings.



By gosh I hope I'm right! That'd be just so amazing! A hotspring within walking distance! Woo-hoo! (Or hopefully; woo-hoo!)

Righty then...

Cheerio!

Cory
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:36 AM   #24
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Cory, aside from being a great storyteller, you are absolutely a fabulous photographer. What are you shooting with?
Hey there outlaw! Thank you, thank you!! You may not believe it, but 90% of the pictures were taken with a 10.1 MP $100 Sony CyberShot I bought in 2009. I learned to trick the camera into getting the right lighting and contrasts by using "point exposure" and looking around the scene until I got the colors and highlights I wanted, then locked the exposure by holding the trigger 1/2 way and then moving the scene I wanted to shoot into view. (Make any sense?)

Many of my newer shots were also taken with the CyberShot, but I inherited my father's Nikon D50 when he passed 2 years ago, and have been using that for most of my pictures since I returned to Butedale. I'd still be using the Sony too, but unfortunately I tried to do a doggy-cam thing by attaching the Sony to a harness I made to go around Bud's neck. I let him out in the morning with the set-up, because I wanted to see where he went roaming in the mornings, but when he came back; no camera. I looked for several days, but could never find it. So, that gave me the impetus to decide to get myself a new camera. The D50 is a good camera; but it's 8 years old, and only 6.1 MP. The new camera I'm getting air dropped is another Sony Cybershot, (H200) but this time it's a "crossover" camera. It's still a point and shoot, but has exceptional capabilities. In manual; you can set every aspect to your desired settings. iso 80 to 3200, 28mm to 600mm equivilent lens for a 1cm (1/2 inch) macro to 26x zoom. And best of all; up to 30 seconds exposure. Never seen that on a point and shot before. It's a sweet camera, and I can't wait to get it delivered.

Yo, Leonard! Can't believe you stumbled upon my posts in Woodenboat Forum! Too cool! For those haven't read those posts; and that's probably all the rest of ya's, I was on the Woodenboat Forum trying to discover the make of a boat I was going to adopt from Lou. She was a sweetheart of an old trawler, but had some bad leaks and was drinking about 60 or so gallons per hour. I never got the boat. Not because I didn't want it; nor because Lou wasn't willing to give it to me, but rather because Lou's son's old wooden trawler was here too, and was even more of a drunk than Lou's boat. (300+ gallons per hour.) So, when 2 bilge pups in a row failed on Lou's son's boat, I made the decision to give my boat's bilge pump up to save Lou's son's boat. And with that ended my lil' dream of owning the Sea Pryde III. And so we stripped her of every piece of teak and all good mechanical components and beached her.

Here's what she looked like before we scrapped her.


What a lovely boat. Hurt to let her go, Lou's son's boat was more important.

After she was stripped and beached in front of the boiler house.



And then, to add insult to injury; the boiler house collapsed onto her. The NERVE!

You can see the stern of the boat sticking out of the wreckage. Poor thing got squashed.

Ahh well, can't win 'em all!

Cheers!

Cory
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