Wanipigow Happenings: Heike & Eike, the German Superstars

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Although 'Eike' and 'Heike' may have been difficult to distinguish from one another by name, their ten day visit to the Wanipigow Garden and Trail project gave our work efforts a big boost. When they first arrived in Wanipigow, the weather was a perfect sunny 25 degrees with a light breeze. However, by the weekend it had reached a record-pushing 37 degrees with plenty of humidity. Nevertheless, the couple was eager and willing to work through scorching temperatures during the day and through ravenous bugs at dusk. After just two days they had upgraded the outhouse, tackled a large patch of thick weeds in the garden, completed the plumbing on our new water reservoir, and got the garden well watered. They even constructed a clay oven! In honour of these impressive two days of manual achievement, the outhouse has been nicknamed “Eike's Place.”

Our two German superstars came with us on a paddle down the Rice River into the Heart of the Boreal. Also joining us was Reynold Raven, son of Gary Raven, who was coming to visit the trapping cabin, as he is taking over the trapline in the area this winter. Throughout our overnight adventure and through blazing heat, we were constantly in awe of beautiful meandering waters, rapids, old-growth forests and rocky outcroppings. We took almost every opportunity for a swim possible to avoid heat exhaustion and even swam in a waterfall! A highlight of the trip was stopping at an ancient rock painting that could be thousands of years old. Fishing was also a highlight of the trip as some of the volunteers on the trip had never had the opportunity to catch a fish before. Jackfish and pickerel were being reeled in almost too quickly for our designated fish wrangler, Director Eric, to handle. The next day, Heike and Eike once again labored away cleaning up the mess which had been left by less-than-respectful visitors to the cabin.

Cooling off in the Rice River

When we arrived back at Raven's Creek, Eike and Heike tackled a cleanup of the Health Centre Garden in the still unyielding temperatures, and managed to construct a garden shed from salvaged materials. We will miss their company, humour and inspiring work ethic as they make their way to BC and beyond. As our next long term volunteer, Gaspard, begins his stay on the Wanipigow, I wonder what stories we will have to share in the coming weeks.

Eike constructing the shed with salvaged materials

- Robin

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