I wrote this almost 25 years ago. I have no idea how many times it has been published since then. I also have nothing more to add.
I make no observations regarding the following. It was as I have written. n August 23, 1960, I had been out on my own for six months, living by competing at rodeos. I was just 16. I had just finished a rodeo in Washington and had a couple hundred in my pocket. Three fellow hands asked me to go with them on a canoe trip in BC to get their winter meat. They were all BC natives.
They were Jim Palmantier, “Kid” Chatlain and Earl Condon. Jim and Kid were sons of French trappers and native mothers. Earl was a full-blood native. They had lots of equipment and knew the area to the north and east of Riske Creek. We would launch the freighter canoes, 20 ft long with 7.5 Evinrude kickers at a place near Horsely, east of Williams Lake and go north and east from there up a string of lakes and rivers.
We took two canoes with 35 gallons of spare gas, spare prop and 100 shear pins. We had a tent in each canoe, a rifle and shotgun, two fishing rods, one tackle box, bed rolls and grub box. We traveled light because we knew there would portages and since they were all Natives, could shoot anything as we went. (The word, 'portage' refers to the practice of carrying a canoe or other boat overland to avoid an obstacle on the water route such as rapids or a waterfall... )
We had 20 pounds flour, salt, pepper, tea, lard, pemmican, and tobacco to give to natives we encountered.
(The word, 'pemmican' is a concentrated mixture of fat and protein used as a nutritious emergency foodstuff. The word comes from the Cree word pimîhkân... Native people use it to get through hard times, it is a varying mixture made of dried meats, fruits, berries and nuts and is highly nutritious... some of the oral history handed down by Native Americans say that pemmican was traded back and forth between the waring Sasquatches and the peaceful Natives years ago, often in trade for fresh meat & fish... )
My friends were from 20-23 years old. I was the baby. The first two days were uneventful. We made good time and moved steadily up a series of lakes and creeks. The first night we camped at an abandoned mine of some sort and dined on fresh fish and rice and beans. Day two the streams got narrower and swifter and we had two portages. Still we made nearly 50 miles.
In our canoe, Jim Palmantier and I, we had Winchester, model 110 30.06 and my 12 gauge, Model 12 pump. Ducks and geese were everywhere and we had those for dinner the second night, fixed with some French name I can’t recall. You pick them, rub them with lard and season them. A green branch is bent in a U and inserted in the cavity and they are suspended over the coals. Best duck I ever ate.
On day three, Kid and Earl in the lead canoe, rounded a bend and shot a young moose of about 600 pounds. We spent four hours dressing and boning caching the meat on an elevated platform. It froze every night.
We were at the base of a small lake and as we were working, three canoes with natives came down the lake at full speed. Kid waved them in. There were four adult males and two maybe teenagers and three adult women and one girl of about 10. I assumed they were an extended family. We gave them about 100 pounds of meat and some flour and tea and tobacco. They spoke no English, at least not in front of me and I understood not one word except twice when one of the women said “sasquash” and laughed twice. At the time, I assumed she was making a joke for me. They left after smoking with us and giving us three big whitefish and some pemmican.
We took maybe 20 pounds of prime meat, caching the rest under a tarp and some bark. The platform was standard cache for that area, about 12 feet off the ground. We went on, still heading north and east. We left the small lake and went through a chute into another lake and then east into a smaller river. This stream was maybe 40-60 feet wide and medium swift.
About seven we started looking for a campsite and found one on the north bank in a bend of the river.
The right bank was covered with boulders, rounded by glaciation and current but the left bank was clear with a flat area under some trees. We were all tired and hit the sack before full dark. It doesn’t get dark there until tomorrow.
Some time, maybe 2 or 3 in the morning, Jim and I were awakened by a loud crash in the campsite. Thinking bear, we grabbed our guns and kicked back the tent flap. Nothing. Jim had a flashlight and he turned it on, Earl and Kid were now out of their tent and armed. A boulder about the size and shape of a bowling ball had destroyed our dutch oven and part of the cook box. We stood around trying to sort things out when a second boulder hit Kid and Earl’s tent dead center. It came straight down through the trees. I was standing there, open mouth when both Kid and Jim grabbed me and Earl and drug us deeper into the trees.
Naturally there was a lot of discussion but I won’t relate the tenor of that. We spent the rest of the short night in a circle, back to back, safeties off. From time to time we would hear more rocks hit and once, just once, some sort of strange hooting from the other side of the river.
After good sunup we slowly crept back to camp. One tent was toast as were the cook box and most of the cooking equipment. I counted nine rocks ranging in size from bowling ball to beach ball size. The largest weighted maybe 150-200 pounds.
Fortunately the canoes were undamaged and we quickly pulled up camp and started out. We got to the meat cache that morning and it was gone. Not destroyed, -gone. Totally, 100% gone. No logs, no rope, no meat. No carcass. I have no opinion.
We ran wide open going out and “camped” that night in the canoes in the middle of a lake.
Jim and Kid are now dead, Killed in a float plane crash some years ago. Earl, I don’t know about. I am certain of only five things regarding that trip:
1-Those rocks were not on the bank where we pitched camp when we pitched camp.
2-They were not carried into our camp, they were thrown.
3-No human being did it.
4-I have no desire to ever again go into that country.
5-I am not a believer or a skeptic. But I don’t exactly discount much if which I don’t understand.
As to the lack of scientific evidence. It is just in recent times we have learned that cacausoids lived in North America as long as 12,000 years ago. If our ancestors had not lived in villages with middens, had they roamed in groups of two or three, we might still not know about Clovis Woman or many of them. (The word 'midden' refers to a very old refuse heaps that contain discarded materials, food remains, bones, etc. Midden is an old English word for a household rubbish dump...)
Try and throw a 150-pound boulder across a 50-foot stream. I saw it done. I don’t know what did it.
Story is from the Bowsite written by "Bowriter"
June 21, 2008
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