On the way to Tyax lake in Verg’s van we picked up James Crowe in Whistler and saw a young bald eagle standing on the side of the road near Downtown Lake, just chilling. It wasn’t hitchhiking. It didn’t look injured. And it was nonplussed by all of its many admirers and paparazzi. It might have been smoking a cigarette, something filterless, like Lucky Strikes, or maybe it was a Camel. It was definitely waiting for something to happen—aren’t we all—but it wasn’t in what I would describe as a hurry. This was basically the James Dean of eagles. In fact it was probably waiting on the side of the road for some babe to come back with his motorcycle.
We parked in the parking lot at Tyax Lodge, unloaded, finished packing, locked the van, which van still had a SHITLOAD of food in it. [Side note: we thought about Verg’s van cum refrigerator a lot while we were in the bush. Like when we returned to the parking lot four days later, would we find the van roofless, some kinda custom tuna-can job done by an infamous grizzly the folks at Tyax Lodge lovingly call Dumpster Dan?] Then we got in Dale’s Beaver. There is no point pontificating about the sensations one experiences flying in a Beaver over the Chilcotin Range. Maybe the only thing we can say is this: Dale charged us something like $1500.00 dollars for what was effectively a 45-minute airborne cab ride to a lake, and the experience alone was worth the money.
“If we had just parked at the lake to refuel and throw our NAVY SEAL SPACE RANGER bikes into the glacial water, then turned around and flew back home with Dale—no riding, no nothing, as though that was that—it still would have been well worth it.”
The Cabin at Crystal Lake is called Sky Camp. First things first; to reduce Sky Camp to a cabin is a gross misrepresentation of what’s really there. Also, while the main cabin is technically a cabin—you know, because of the log construction and it being in the woods and all that—it’s about 90% as nice, and well-equipped, as the house I live in. We assumed Dale and the folks at Tyax call it “Sky” Cabin because of its elevation and remoteness and the misty-cloudy mountains surrounding it. Either way it reminded all of us of Lando Calrissian’s outpost Cloud City.
That night James made a fire so hot I had to sleep on the porch like grizzly bait for two hours. He also liberated me of my Luna sandals and put them, one can only assume, in the Croc Box. Erik did some mapping and Kyle some farting.
“It was by all accounts the most luxurious first night of camping on record.”