Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Jumping On Board the Caboose!

This Spring I decided it was time to change up the pace a bit, so I moved from a pretty idyllic situation on Orcas Island to come live with my girlfriend Lise-Anne in Squamish B.C.. Most of my friends and family are sick of me talking about how incredible this place is, but I can't help but speak the truth. With the Ashlu, Elaho, Callaghan, Upper Cheak, Soo, and various other creeks within an hour of home, I almost don't know what to do with myself but go boating! As Johnny Utah would say, "LTD...Living the dream!" Every day I am amazed and feel lucky to call this place home.

My rub in many ways with coming up here was going to be finding a good working situation. Finding a boss who would allow me to work just a few days of week, when I want, and understand that I might need to just straight bail for a few weeks if any of the "must do this summer rivers" came into the ideal level. I left this situation on Orcas and it took many years to create, so I was a bit scared coming into Squamish. So when Jonaven Moore (boater who knows the local rivers better than anyone, pro shredder, and a super down to earth good friend) offered me work on his property in the lower Squamish valley I felt about as set up as I could be in my new surroundings. Not only do I have the flexibility to boat all summer, I have a boss who loves to talk shit about boating as much if not more than me.

the view looking east into the Tantalus Range from Jonaven's property

photo by Bryan Smith

Last year Jonaven moved an old BC Rail caboose from the Squamish rail station out to his six acres in the valley. He laid 75 feet of track and then had an enormous crane and flatbed trailer deliver the 60,000 pound hunk of steel. His stories of the moving process keep you on edge all the way through, but it now rests on the tracks and the project is in full swing. The caboose had been burned badly on the inside and Jonaven has spent the past year in between big snowboarding and boating trips inching away at gutting the interior. A major project, but I can't think of a better man for the job than Jonaven. I don't think I've seen anyone who works as hard with so much patience since traveling to India.

The Caboose!

photo by Bryan Smith

The man himself...war paint from sand blasting...Mr. Jonaven Moore

photo by Lise-Anne Beyries

With the two of us working away, progress has been amazing. I'm coming onto the project at an ideal stage. Most of the dirty work has been done and a lot of the new construction is just now starting. After another week or so of exterior painting we will begin framing a roof and a huge deck of the front. It is going to be such a killer pad!

One of the other huge benefits of this job is that Jonaven has a "mountain swing" on the property as well. I helped him with this project in the early Spring by setting two anchors about 70 feet up a couple huge cedar trees. The swing is hung from these two trees and you swing off the hill side, airing out a good 80-100 feet on the first swing. It is absurd. So much fun!

The swing...you can see the take off platform on the left and then you swing out above the trees that are limbed.


When the rangelife project started it was all about living that nomadic, get after it sort of lifestyle. The move to Squamish is just fueling that fire for me and the job with Jonaven is the most recent addition. Not bad to have a lunch break where we talk about how to pull off another upcoming creeking mission in BC.

Bryan

1 comment:

JB said...

I look forward to more pics of the cabosse when it's done.