Flash Back Fridays

LEARNING TO LIVE OUTDOORS BIG JIM BOULDING SURE KNOWS HOW

(Excerpts) By Sean Rossiter

Jim Boulding is one of those BC characters who have turned their lives into trademarks, have built their own corners of this province. Boulding’s surroundings are exceptional. Here is the raw material for a mini Whistler, in front, sunsets which in mid – October drop right into the V formed by the mountains around the Elk River valley across from Upper Campbell Lake. From there Boulding can range out to windy Escalante Point, south of Nootka Sound, or up to the top of Mt. Waddington in the Coast Range, the tallest mountain wholly inside Canada. Boulding is intimate with the most of North Vancouver Island, somewhere near the middle of a Nootkan tribal heaven, between the mountains and the sea, the rain and the sun, warmth and the cold.

Boulding is a big man, as required by the genre and is bigger in person than his physical dimensions. Urban sophisticates find him irresistible. He has this style fine tuned down to the ten pound wool trousers, bulky Cowichan sweater and sweat blotter Clint Eastwood hat. At the Ankor bar, he ordered whiskey and within minutes came the invitation to join the manager’s table. Strathcona Lodge catalogues were passed around. Boulding uses them like business cards, 33 pages thick. As always in these junkets to the air conditioned, he was a smash. He returned with a few more lines open from the bricks to the sticks.

Jim Boulding and his tobacco pipe

Jim Boulding and his tobacco pipe

There is a stimulating blend of intelligence and celebrity at the lodge: Rod Haig Brown, Burl Ives, Ted Peck, Jim Conway, were among the guests in the early days. They came for the fishing with the best Class A guide on the North Island. Jim guided and Myrna cooked during their summers off from teaching high school in Campbell River. The town was split over the principal John Young who had strong beliefs about learning. Read more