Wade Davis images (above), portrait by Tyler Mallory
A walk in the woods:
my encounter with Wade Davis
Iskut - Thursday, February 22, 2007, by: Micahel Townsend
That great dog, Bear

As you might recall I lived in Iskut BC for a couple of years. One summer day, Bear and I decided to go for an overnight hike. I knew this road that was used infrequently but lead into some of the most beautiful country anywhere. We set out one morning, full pack, several days’ worth of food for Bear and me, and my .308 Parker Hale.

The day was wonderful with just perfect weather, a little cool so that the hiking was ideal. We made about 25 km that first day. As the pack was quite heavy and Bear refused to shoulder any of the load, (he felt his job as scout would be compromised if he were
burdened by a pack.) I was quite tired and ready to stop around 5 pm. The day was quite uneventful but we did see some wild life; a young black bear that Bear chose not to chase, and quite a variety of birds.

We struck our camp near a stunning little lake and made a fire in the sand by the water’s edge. As always the first day out on any hike, I slowly became accustomed to the sights and sounds of the woods. And there is so much to see, hear and smell!! The longer I am in the woods away from others, the better my senses become and the less I have to rely on Bear to point out interesting and important things.

When nightfall arrived I was ready for sleep. I crawled into my sleeping bag and was fast asleep with my faithful companion on guard outside. It seemed I had not been asleep long when I was awaken by noises that seemed to be coming from the lake. At first I was not sure whether these sounds were coming from my head or were of a more concrete nature. When spending time alone in the woods I have often experienced phenomena best left for
another telling. But these sounds were also giving Bear some concern so the source was external. This eerie sound


seemed to start as a human chant. If there were two voices or ten I couldn’t be sure. The volume increased over time and changed from a chant to screams, crying, something I could only imagine coming from the very depths of hell. But as the lake remained placid, fire did not appear in the heavens, and Bear deciding to lay down next to the tent apparently unconcerned, I realized this had to be of a terrestrial nature that could be handled with a .308 slug and Bear teeth should anything approach. This auditory performance would last for about an hour and a half. When it was over I returned to my tent, locked and loaded, and tried to get some sleep knowing that should those who disturbed the night approach, we would be ready.

The next morning brought the beauty of another Iskut day. But not being sure what had occurred the night before, I decided it would be best to return home, at least for now. I discussed with one of the locals a little about what had happened. (“You know, I think I heard something a little weird last night on my hike. Any ideas what it might have been?”) Very understated, as I still was not sure what I experienced originated from outside my head. He told me that I had probably camped near Wade Davis’s property and he was here for the week.

Several days later we returned only to see Davis and company leaving. We met them on the road, Bear and I on foot once again and them in a vehicle. They didn’t stop to chat. We then proceeded to their camp, poked around; looking for any signs of blood or body parts but found nothing. We then headed further down the road to the security of uninhabited nature. We did not see the “rainbow” that night but we most certainly heard the “serpent”.

Mike Townsend



MacKenzie, Ian, Wade Davis, December 28, 1996, Ian MacKenzie web site

CBC, Wade Davis: The Explorer, March 12, 2002, CBC Life and Times


Wikipedia, Wade Davis, as seen February 22, 2007, Wikipedia


Parsell, Diiana, Explorer Wade Davis on Vanishing cultures, June 28, 2002, National Geographic News