Sorry about the slight
delay, but when we left off we were here:
Downtown Germansen Landing.
Okay, not quite downtown.
That would be here.
It was easy to find.
What wasn't under water, that is.
The Omineca River, like the others along the way had overrun its banks and was occupying Scott Müller's front yard.
My plans for packrafting the Finlay were looking less and less likely to happen.
But even if I had traveled all this way just to meet Scott, it it would have been worth it. A true gem of a man. I won't spoil all the details, but suffice it to say that if you get a chance to spend some time listening to his stories, you'll be blessed.
There's a picture of his family in this article here
In the feature (in British Columbia Magazine) the writer mentions that in addition to supplying gas, groceries and other goods to the locals (which include those hundreds of kms north), Mr. Müller is the notary public, marriage commissioner, electoral officer, and weather station operator. He also runs another gas station/convenience store 2 days a week in Vanderhoof and serves as a lay pastor there. The only thing he doesn't supply in Germansen is alcohol. Like in many communities in the North, alcoholism and related issues are a blight among the First Nation communities, and Scott doesn't want to contribute to the problem.
While I was fueling up (from a plastic 55 gallon drum I might add) I chatted for a few minutes with a friendly gentleman who was asking questions about my bike. Had a great talk about my family and why I'm up here and about his way of life. Scott later tells me how this man had called him up a few years ago in the middle of night confessing that he had just killed a friend of his in an alcohol-fueled dispute. He was distraught and asked Scott to call the RCMP for him and stay with him until they arrived. So Scott did. But but the time the case went to trial, the man's story had changed and he was never convicted.
That's not that abnormal up here unfortunately. On the other side of Williston Lake, in Fort Ware (which was my secondary destination) things are even worse, as this thread
in a BC hunting forum attests. Sadly, it also reflect that racism in still an issue in a "enlightened" society like ours.
Anyways, I told Scott about my exploration plans and how I was banking on connecting with a couple of remote outfitters to secure fuel. We both agreed it was better for me to make myself useful if I was going to show up unannounced, so he gave me Ron Steffey's mail, so I would have a gift to give when I arrived. More about Ron and Moose Valley later, but he lives over 350km (and an 8-16 hours drive) from the nearest town so let's just say he doesn't get he mail that often. By the way, Wednesday is "mail day" in Germansen, so that's the day to be there if you want to meet some of the "locals."
That's Ron's mail in the plastic bag.