Save Jumbo! An adventure in Canada's beautiful wildness

Breakfast in the wildness
Breakfast in the wildness
One my friends came home to the wwoofing place and said that someone gave a speech there and asked for support to save Jumbo Wild because someone would plan to build a winter resort there. 

My friends said that they wanted to go there for 3 to 4 days and support the community there. 
I was in two minds... I was a bit confused what exactly we should do there because nobody knew it. They just wanted to go there. Also the idea of being in the wildness without anything scared me. In addition I feared to be trapped...
Actually that was the reason why I came with them. 
I took it as great chance to face this fear and see how it will feel in reality. Also I wanted to experience a full connection with nature.

So we went with 5 people and a dog in a pick up, a huge package full of raisins on an 8 hours drive and then 32 km in the forest for 4 days without any civilization around. 

4 days without a shower and very cold nights... It was a great experience.

And on our way back we stopped in a town which could be a town in Bavaria: Kimberly, BC. So cute with very good Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel.

In addition find out what Yoga DVD's and soft porn have in common... ;-)
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Some researches before

Before we went I checked out some more information about Jumbo and the ski resort thing. I found actually already some photos online and a own website of the planned ski resort. Well, it couldn't be that illegal then I thought.
Keep Jumbo Wild! Promotion in Nelson.

Damage of the Grizzly bears and forest
But I found another article online which explained that the plans are 20 years old. The community voted against the resort but there where too much politicians and money involved. The ski resort would destroy the environment of the Grizzly bears there and also the forest itself.

But the certification would be just valid until October this year. To hold the certificate they have to prove that they are building something there. Hmmm, ok. I still had no clue what would be our task there but... I decided that I will join the tour. Even there are Grizzly bears...

Great chance to face some fears
I saw it as great chance to get rid of some fears. Actually I feared the most that I would be trapped at this place. I really don't like it if I cannot go when I want to go.

Also the imagination of not having a shower for the next 3 or 4 days was something strange but not such a big deal like being trapped...
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Let's go

The day before I bought some thick socks especially for outdoor. The others which means my hosts' very outdoor experienced daughter Violet and her brother Clark organized the equipment like sleeping bags and tends. Their cousin Jacob helped them. 

Me and Sarah we couldn't do that much because we both were pretty much beginners.

On the next morning we left the house, filled up the pick-up and went. I sat behind the driver Clark which was very narrow. Beside me sat Jacob. Sarah was the seat partner because she had long legs. In the back of the pick-up where Violet and her dog Al. 
Leaving Nelson over the bridge.
Beautiful British Colombia
As short cut we took the ferry over the Lake Kootenay. The ferry was for free by the way! So we could save some petrol and had a great view. 

Violet and her dog slept in the meantime in the pick-up hidden under some blankets because it wasn't quite allowed to transport persons on that...

The 5 friends and a stopover
We took a longer break in a village where we went around. I was so glad to stretch my legs... 

By the way we were an interesting combo:
  • Jacob with his long hair and full beard and hippie style who had such a good heart and approached to everyone without any prejudice. He would give you the feeling that you know him for ages. Such a nice guy.
  • Anarchist Violet who didn't care what she wore and had a lot of survival tips. She traveled a lot and sometimes just slept outside with her dog who didn't go far from her. She also did train hopping. Well, with a dog it was difficult to get on a passenger train. I admired her for her enthusiasm and braveness. But sometimes it would be good if she sees some of her ideas from different points of views... Like the one to shut down some severs and delete things on the internet because in her opinion it was full of crap and waste of electricity...
  • Clark who saw things from different points of view and was more the one who was also more critical and rational. The opposite of his sister Violet. It was really great to have his point of views to bring balance in the group.
  • Al the dog for his sense for approaching bears. He would hear them before anyone else...
  • Sarah with her great sense for diplomacy and empathy in sense of understanding how people think. Polite but certain. She was the one who kept Violet's enthusiasm a bit in balance with her words without insulting or hurting her.
  • Me with my pragmatical thinking and organisational skills in sense of which step first and which instruments help for an efficient solution. 
So everyone had his or her role in our team of 5 :-).
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Arrival in the Jumbo Wild supporter camp

The tour from Nelson to Jumbo Wild. Google Maps is a bit more optimistic. We needed two hours more.
After approximate 8 hours we arrived at the forest. The directions leaded us 32 km into the forest which means absolute wildness with nothing around. 

It got slowly dark and finally I saw: Mr Bear!

Mr Bear
A small black bear which was so fast in the forest when it saw us that I wondered how fast a Grizzly might be... I heart that they can run 60 km/h. So running away wouldn't be a good idea...

We found the camp and I was just very tired. It was already dark. But it was priceless to see the stars... I never saw such a sky full with stars like this. Without any light pollution... I could see the Milky Way so clear. It was amazing.

Luxury in the middle of nowhere
Three elder people greeted us very friendly. Two elder guys and a woman with the name of a Greek myths animal. I mean the horse with the wings. I couldn't find out if it was her real name or her chosen name. She was very Hippie like therefore I guess she chose this name. 

One of the older guys was a very nice Hippie guy: Wild long hair which he kept in control with a bandanna around his head, long wild full beard and John Lennon glasses. He was very chilled out. The woman with the interesting name was more the one with clear and precises answers which almost sounded rude. She had very short grey hair and was very robust. I really liked her.

The guys explained where the toilet was and the kitchen. The camp consisted of some old vans, a self-made toilet and a self-made kitchen covered with tarp and a small oven inside. I didn't expect such a luxury. I mean I really thought there would be nothing. 
In this tend slept Jacob with his beard friend.
That was the kitchen. A small oven in the corner.
The camp on the next morning.
Great was that the camp was beside the river which contained pure glacier water and tasted so good like just the nature can be.

Lucky girls
They offered two persons to sleep in one of their vans. I just said:"Well, I wouldn't mind to sleep in the van..." So Sarah and I could sleep in the van. That didn't mean it was very warm but at least a bit warmer then in a tend... I was glad that I bought the thick socks the day before in the outdoor shop... 
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The first day

The first night was actually quite cold... Even with my warm socks. I could barely sleep and woke up a couple of times in the night. Sarah had the same problem. We had actually frost on our van... 

I didn't want to leave my sleeping bag because it was so cold. But that was the wild life...

When I went to the kitchen I was happy that Jacob came over and poured me fresh brewed coffee in a cup. Well, that was actually great and also the nice fresh smell of fresh air and the sound of the forest. 
This cute little fellow joined us one morning in the kitchen. 
We gave him some sun flower seeds.
I felt actually great and enjoyed to be surrounded by nature. My fear of being trapped was gone.

Checking out the area
After breakfast and some talks with Sarah, I went to check out the surroundings.

I went quite far and took my safety whistle with me. Just in case if a Grizzle bear wants to join me... It was a nice walk through the forest. After a while I turned, went to the river and did some Yoga and meditation there. 

It was amazing just to listen to the sound of the water. At had its own nice melody. I felt totally connected with nature. I wondered how the life of the Indians might be here years ago and how they felt the nature...

On my way back a butterfly came over. I stopped and put my feet so that it could sit on it.

And it did! It stayed there for quite long until I slowly moved my feet.
Fully connected with nature and accepted...
What's the story?
When I came back to the camp a disscusion about Jumbo and the intention of the community there took place. One of the elder guys who greeted us the evening before explained what was going on. Some other people where also there from the community in town. They brought some food with them for everyone.

To put it briefly:
The certification of the ski resort expires mid October. The company has to prove that they are building something there. What they do at the moment was not really working. The court said last time they need to see more. Therefore the community just watched what was going on there and documented who came in and out. No boycott of the construction work etc.

That was the story. Our task would be to take some pictures with time stamps to prove it as well. I think the guys were just happy to have some accompany and exchange in the forest.

Too much enthusiasm
However, enthusiastic and anarchic Violet wanted to boycott the construction work... Well, not quite what the community wanted.

Actually some of the community members were a bit pissed of about the discussion.  I was quite relaxed after my Yoga and meditation and just waited...Violet had good intentions but...

Hike to the construction
When the heated discussion was over Clark, Jacob, Sarah and I went up to check out the construction work. It was a quite long walk and it was also very muddy. But great to be in the outdoors. I was most of the time very quiet and just listen to the chats of my friends.

I just enjoyed to be with very nice and open minded people in the nature. All of us did Yoga and meditation and we talked about that as well. So it wasn't anything strange to talk about.

When we reached the construction there was actually not that much to see... One guy was working there. We talked shortly with him. He said a bit further we could see the lift. So we went to check it out. Well, we couldn't find the lift... The only thing which was there was a place where some trees where cut nothing else.

"Down by the river..."
Jacob went deeper in the forest. We followed him after a while and found him happily smiling at the river. Such a beautiful place! Almost untouched nature.
Almost untouched nature with pure glacier water.
We stayed there for a while and the guys tried to jump stones on the water surface. I don't know for how long we were there until we went slowly back to the camp.
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Next days

On the next day Clark, Sarah and I went with the woman with the interesting name up to the construction. This time three people were working there. But it didn't really look like ambitious work...

Or elder friend went further up and disappeared in the forest.

Clark, Sarah and I waited until we realized that she wouldn't come back. So we followed her through the forest and found her sitting on a cut tree and having her lunch.

I packed before some raisins from the huge package and shared them with my friends before we headed back.
Beautiful nature. Great place for Grizzlies. 
A new ski resort would destroy a lot of this environment.

Interesting chat with a rebel
When we reached a special point our friend with the mythic name asked if we could check this out. Clark and Sarah went up. I was actually too tired and also I wanted to get to know better to her,

She and I walked for a while in silence until I asked her what she did before. She was by the way 73 years old but I guessed her on 60. I respected her a lot that she came up to the camp and fight for the right of the environment.

Actually she lived for a year in Berlin in Germany when she was young. In addition she worked as one of the first woman in computer business and in the 60s she supported the Black Power movement by fighting for there rights to go to university. 

Wow! I was impressed. Our chat was very inspirational for me. Before I had a vague idea that she was more the just the silent woman who gave short and almost harsh answers. She was really amazing.
Feeling like a fairy tale world...
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Bye bye

On our fourth day it was time to say Goodbye to the camp. I loved to be in the nature but I also looked forward to a hot shower after 4 days... 

We dropped Violet and her dog of in a village from where she hitchhiked to the next town. She was lucky and a woman stopped beside us and asked if she could help us. The woman went into the same direction like Violet wanted to go.

Feeling like being in Bavaria
So we were then Clark, Jacob, Sarah and I. After around 4 hours we took a break in the town Kimberly in British Columbia. It looked like Bavaria with a large Kuckucksuhr. 
Large Kuckucksuhr in Kimberly.
Have a look on the right side. Applestrudel and Bratwurst :-).
We went into a restaurant and ordered Schnitzel with potatoes, Sauerkraut and Apfelstrudel. The Schnitzel was actually pretty good! Thin and tasty. As well the Apfelstrudel.

Last stop before Nelson and what Yoga DVD's and soft porn have in common
One hour before we arrived in Nelson we took a break at a petrol station. We did some Yoga to stretch a bit. 

Jacob mentioned the Yoga video which my host played in the mornings. It was one from the 90s where everyone wore white tight spandex suits without any place for fantasy with interesting music...

I couldn't hold and just said:"The music in the video sounds like a soft porn from the 90s..." 

Sarah just said:"Well, you spoke out what everyone was thinking..." So we cracked up and couldn't stop laughing.

I just hoped that my host will never ask again if we want to join the Yoga session from the video :-).
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Great experience and appreciation of the connection with nature

I loved to be in the nature and felt totally connected. 4 days without cellphone connection, internet, Facebook etc. Well, I survived :-). OK, probably it had been better if I had informed my mum that I am offline the next days... She was a bit concerned that there was no life sign at all.

Great chance to face my fears
I am very happy that I did the tour in the wildness even I feared to be trapped and cannot got when I want to go. 

I took it as chance to face this fear. I mean if you fear something, you often don't know how it really would be like. You will just find it out if you try it out.

Sarah was more concerned about the toilet situation which turned out to be OK as well. So everyone has different things.

By the way
That was the recent information about Jumbo Wild. So I will cross my fingers that the whole project will stop completely.
Latest News about Jumbo Wild. So patience pays off in the end.
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What comes next?

Read next about my stay in the hostel Dancing Bear in Nelson after I left my woofing place earlier than planned. It was my stopover before I started my Yoga teacher training and went to a beautiful accommodation which I would share with two other woman from my training. 

I really like this hostel and after the tension during the last week it felt really great to be there. But I have to admit that first I was first in fear and needed a bit to let it go... Also a strange allergy on my eye lids bothered me which I got after a couple of days at my wwoofing place. Red itchy spots. I tried lot of things to get rid of it but they are very stubborn... I will see.

Great concert with a 67 years old power lady
But in that hostel I met very nice people like Margret. A 67 years old power lady who took me with her to a great concert of her friends and gave me her ticket because she was on the VIP list. She was really great. I see that I met so far a lot of elder women who are just great and I learnt a lot from them.

Great start for Yoga Teacher Training and enjoying Indian Summer
So I enjoyed Indian Summer in Nelson before I went to my teacher training at Shanti Yoga in Nelson.

Thank you for reading my story and following me on my journey! I really appreciate it and I am happy to have you with me.
Enjoying Indian Summer and curious what my Yoga Teacher Training will bring to me.

Write a comment

Comments: 4
  • #1

    f (Friday, 14 November 2014 23:14)

    Ania Zielinska 9 November 2014 09:51
    Jeanine I wish I had been there with you in the wilderness! Sometimes the things we fear turn out to be the source of freedom ;) Hey, I hope I'm on the list of the elderly women you met on the way :D Bear hugs!!!

  • #2

    f (Friday, 14 November 2014 23:15)

    Jeanine 10 November 2014 07:25
    Huhu lovely Ania! Yeah that would be nice! I'm sure you would love it. Yes you are right. Actually I want to face my fears to see what is behind them. I think that is the best way to learn for me.

    Hahaha! We are almost in the same age. So you are on my list of wisely young and confident women who influenced me! Hugs and kisses!


  • #3

    Roberto (Monday, 24 November 2014 17:59)

    Nice story Jeanine, you definitely have guts to get out of your comfort zone. Now I can tell why Toronto was not the best place for you. Keep up the stories :)

  • #4

    Jeanine Pötter (Wednesday, 26 November 2014 20:52)

    Hi Roberto! Thank you so much for reading my story! Yeah it was definitely a great experience to be in the wildness. I liked the connection with nature a lot :-)