Next thing we saw was the boat and Greg being shot up in the air about twenty feet over the falls, upside down.
We began madly crashing through the bush to get down stream and rescue him. We finally found Greg on the side of the river shivering and soaking wet. He had injured his leg and back.
The boat was gone, all the gear and food was gone. Paul’s shotgun was lost in the river when he slipped on a log crossing the river to reach Greg. We managed to retrieve a tube of toothpaste and a can of stew. We were about 10 miles from the coast, rain and snow began to fall, and the temperature was dropping.
We had to carry Greg on our backs all the way out to the coast which we reached the next afternoon.
Hungry, tired and cold we sat down behind a large boulder to discuss the problem at hand. We had seen several planes flying over head since we arrived but couldn’t attract their attention. We decided that the best thing to do would be for two of us to walk out to the nearest civilized area which was Port Hardy BC.
It was going to take several days to get out of there and Greg said he couldn’t make it with his injuries. We decided to leave him in as comfortable a position as we could possibly set up. We left him the can of stew and the toothpaste to eat while we were gone.
Paul and I had been working in the logging industry for a number of years so our legs and stamina were in good shape as we began the long trek.
We thought it would only take us a couple of days, but the weather was against us with cold and snow. The whole area was covered in a type of vine that wrapped around all the trees and shrubs. We had to crawl on hands and knees, sometimes for a half a mile or so, to get through the thick vines.
We ended up crawling into holes or sleeping under logs at night. We were soaking wet and cold but couldn’t travel at night because of the darkness. I think the whole process took us about five and a half days before we finally stumbled into an Indian village on the far edge of Port Hardy, more dead than alive. We were some glad to finally see houses and the end of that terrible wilderness.
We met a really nice guy on the edge of the woods and told him what had happened. He helped us into his home and called the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) which is the police force that looks after that area.
A police officer came out and questioned us about what had happened and then drove us into the town of Port Hardy and to the only hotel available there.
The desk clerk took one look at us and didn’t want to rent us a room. We were soaking wet, dehydrated, and covered in mud. The police officer intervened and explained the situation to him. We had money, but it was soaking wet and we had tried to burn it several times to get a fire going in the bush with no luck.
He accepted our wet money and gave us a suite in the hotel and arranged for the kitchen to send up two very large bowls of hot soup. The police officer left us and arranged for a helicopter to go back up the coast to pick up Greg.
We both took a hot shower and then laid on the beds waiting for the soup.
That’s when the trouble began – the soup arrived but the minute we took any of it into our mouths and swallowed, it went right through our system because of the lack of food for such a long period of time. We ended up taking turns sitting in the bathroom because we hadn’t eaten anything for such a long time and everything just passed right through us as soon as we swallowed.
So Paul and I had to take turns sitting on the toilet and eating our soup which we did until it was all consumed. We were totally exhausted from our ordeal so we took cat naps while waiting for Greg to arrive on the helicopter.
Several hours later the door burst open and Greg came running in filled with energy and looking like he had been at a health spa for a week or so. He had even managed to get a tan as he had been sheltered by large boulders on all sides which absorbed the suns heat. As long as Greg was not exposed to the cold winds it was pretty comfortable for him for the period he had to wait on us.
Of course by the time we got back to Vancouver, British Columbia the press had heard all about our exciting expedition and wanted to do an article for the Vancouver Sun Newspaper.
Reporters from the Vancouver Sun newspaper came up to my apartment in English Bay and interviewed the both of us concerning what had happened on the expedition.
They called the article Torturous Tale of a Cursed Cannon and took photos of Paul and me sitting on the couch looking like we had been sucked through a knot hole, discouraged and dejected.
After catching up on our sleep for several days we went down to our favorite watering hole called the Ritz Hotel and began to regale all our friends with the tales of the expedition.
Friends kept telling us that there were some people looking for us so I was not surprised when an old friend Danny arrived and told me his boss wanted to meet us and discuss another expedition.
I told Danny to tell him there was no way in hell that I was going back into that God forsaken country again after all I had just gone through, almost losing my life and freezing to death in the wilds of British Columbia.
Danny said he had promised his boss he could arrange a meeting with me. He asked that I meet with his boss which would allow Danny to save face, and to make my decision after hearing what his boss had to say.