Flash Back Fridays
SUE HELLARD AND DOUG PATERSON 1977
Jim Boulding—My Mentor
When I think of Jim Boulding I remember someone who believed in me. His gruff voice saying “You can do it” made me take a big gulp and then just go do it. He was right, I could do it! My confidence started to soar. I found myself running white- water rivers with joy, and leading groups to the west coast on my own. I was filled with an exuberance for life as I did these things! The skills to make this possible were learned at the Lodge so I was confident in the knowledge that I could take on these challenges safely and responsibly.
There were of course memorable moments….Escalante was and is heaven for me, with the beauty and the power of the west coast. I treasure the skills and learning I received from all the resource people who came out on the trips.
Thanks to Hilary Stewart for sharing love and respect for plants and how to use them, cedar especially. I still love to weave baskets every year when we are at Escalante.
Thanks to Ray Williams at Nootka for stories of the trickster of the west coast as we sat in a sweat Lodge.
Thanks to Jim Boulding for showing me how to gift: he would send buckets of oranges out to Ray and his family at Nootka and at other times arrive on the wind- swept beach with a huge tray of Nanaimo bars for the group. Thanks also to Jim for the know how to survive in style on the coast, warm in the proper clothing and armed with shelter building and fire lighting skills. Surviving in style came from Jim’s line “any fool can rough it.” With a bit of thought and preparation a west coast camp can be and still is amazing.
Running Rivers with Brian Creer
Running rivers was a joy for me…I remember being in the lead canoe with Brian Creer one day and demonstrating the route down the Gold. We then tucked in behind a rock to watch the group’s efforts. I will always remember the chuckles from Brian as my fellow paddlers dinged the boulders and bumped their way down to us.
Otters on the Gold
There was a moment on the Gold River that I fell in love with otters. There was a group of paddlers diligently practicing eddy turns. Imagine our delight when we watched a group of otters come down the river into the same eddy. Then they proceeded to scamper back up the river bank to have another go. I love their playful spirit!
As a good group leader I remember encouraging school groups toward independence in their overnight trip planning and preparations. I remember many meals of rice, tuna and surprise peas that we called Tuna Delight. I will not eat it ever again!