Flash Back Fridays


1979 A story by David Boulding

One day, a fellow walked into the office and demanded Myrna pay him either 20 or 50 thousand dollars. The amount demanded is irrelevant. What every- one remembers was that he had two semi-automatic 45-calibre pistols in holsters, one on each hip. He claimed to have the mineral claim on the sand that covered the top of the Sand hills road. He said the sand contained gold.

Sand Hills Road is called Berry Creek Main by the loggers. It is the road that branches off the highway about three miles from the road to Strathcona Dam. Originally logged in the late 1960’s, this hill is about 1500 feet above Upper Campbell Lake. The hill has fine white sand that covers about 100 acres and seems to be about 200 feet deep. As a teenager, I went with Jim and two shovels to help load this beautiful sand into his pickup truck. The sand was sprinkled on the rocky beach at the Lodge. Later, Kenny Boulding and I made many trips gath- ering sand by shovel.

At this time, Jim had bought Mr. McKenzie’s ancient Case, 580 Back- hoe. Mr. McKenzie was the push for Elk River Timber and had a side business with this yellow rubber-tired backhoe. After Jim had a backhoe, I bought an old fire truck from a farmer in Comox. The farmer had re-engineered the 1949 flat head six cylinder Ford into a dump truck. With the Dodge 300 Fargo 4×4 re- vitalized with a strong work box that had some dump capabilities (a complex sys- tem of cables and a massive steel post behind the cab driven by a power take off) and now with a dump with an honest gosh goodness hydraulic ram dump Jim Nelson and I could have truck races to town to get gravel to build the septic fields from the Uplands pit on the Spit. We would roar out of Campbell River and go past the John Hart Dam turnoff at close to 50 miles an hour, three or four hun- dred yards later as General Hill steepened we would both be in first gear and at barely walking speed.

The famous tractor and dump truck.

The famous tractor and dump truck.

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