Photo: Hart Farm Beach at Redsand Lake, BC Ministry of Forests
Redsand Lake was a special place of my young days. It seemed to take an eternity to drive up West Kalum Lake Road through an uninhabited mix of logged-off hillsides, burnt slash and gorgeous untouched forests. Along the road, creeks and lakes sparkled beneath the sky, a peerless northern summer blue.
The summer I was eighteen, I took care of kids at a camp at Redsand Lake. We swam in the clear and fragrant water and sang folksongs by nocturnal campsites on the beach. One afternoon a bear was seen on the trail and Marianne, my fellow camp leader and I sang at the top of our lungs to keep bears away.
A skunk sprayed under the cabin one night while our charges were sleeping. Kids kept waking up saying, "Pew! What's that smell?"
Then I got an abscessed tooth and had to hitch a ride to town for an emergency visit to the dentist. The only one who could see me had alcohol on his breath and equipment that looked as if it dated back to WWII. He pulled the tooth, and relieved, I returned to the lake.
Later, back in Vancouver, my dentist asked me why on earth I'd let the fellow pull a molar. Hadn't this dentist heard of root canals? Grumbling, he fitted me up for a bridge.
At the time, the mishaps at the lake didn't seem very amusing. Yet by the time the camp was packed up, we were reluctant to leave. In retrospect, our adventures became hilarious stories.