Toby Creek

Toby Creek











I was now involved in the Panorama Resort project working for the past two years plus with just a few weekends off and doing the required resort duty manager day and fire duty was fiisicaly draining me down.

The third summer was upon us and the mighty Toby Creek was flowing from its glacier tributary to Lake Windermere like raging bull rapids in some sections and a strong current snaking along a flat stretch in another spot. This creek had a world-wide reputation as a first class river too rough water kayak your butt off.

The Tobey Creek Fast Water Regatta was held at the resort and some world class rapid riders were in competition for world point standings. Altogether there were some 600 competitors and teams.

The three day event was weather perfect. I was asked to do a large pig roast accommodating the several BC teams that remained and resort contractors and resort workers saying goodbye to three plus years. The resort was sold and my contract ended. A new company was taking over. I decided that this wrap party should go out with one of my best outdoor feasts ever.

I got Six 180 pound pigs and all the fixings for a largeoutdoor gathering. After planning out the menu and organising the staff’s duties I was ready to proceed. I got the equipment operator Mico to dig a large deep pit about 12x12x12 feet. It was first lined with rocks on the bottom and a large amount of hard wood was set ablaze atop the rocks till it burnt down to embers. Another load of river rock and the same procedure repeated for three more burns.

The heat source was now ready for step 2. The pigs had been rubbed down with a good flavourful seasoning rub and marinated. They were then laid out butterflied across the surface of the hot rocks and covered with another pile of more hot rocks. One extra large intense hard wood fire was lit on top and for the next 18 hours as it burned I sat in my truck and tended the fire.

At just about day break I caught the sight of a big black bear looking my way through an opening in the treeline. He was now standing up and was picking up the scent of the baking porkers. The moon light was all I had for vision and the bear approached my truck and started to pace around the outdoor ground oven. I was helpless. My walkie-talkie distress messages went unanswered. I sat and watched as this bear started to dig down alongside the excavation firing out 200 pound boulders at 600 degree like they were ping pong balls. Ten minutes later he had a half part of a pig carcass and scampered back into the bushes just as quick as he first arrived. It was a story that got more fascinating and dangerous as the liquor induced wrap party progressed. It sure was a saga for me and I looked forward to my well-deserved R&R.

Thekitchenman’s B.C.