The Power of Dreams tells the story of a couple, already in their 40’s, who uprooted themselves from urban life to follow their dream of living in the wilderness. They settled in a remote mountain valley called Precipice Valley, part of the ancient trade route linking B.C.’s Chilcotin plateau to the Pacific Coast.
Surrounded by mountain vastness they lived there for nearly three decades, much of it in near-total isolation. Their dreams sustained them while they carved out a lifestyle that was both rewarding and challenging.
These are the stories of how the two of them designed and hand-built a solar-powered, two-storey post and beam house while learning to live off-grid and in harmony with nature. They share their experiences with you through vivid descriptions of the adventures, people, places and the ingenious solutions needed as they forged their Precipice lifestyle and explored the wild world of the west Chilcotin.
These vignettes will give you a feeling for life in the wilderness and perhaps inspire you to fulfill your own wilderness dream, helping you find a path through these challenging times when new ideas and insights are so desperately needed.
About the authors
Dave moved into Precipice Valley in the West Chilcotin in 1986. With him were his wife Rosemary, two dogs, two cats, and 3 horses. Although the nearest village was 3 — hours away on a seasonal access road he first worked as a Park Ranger in Tweedsmuir Park and then became involved in environmental campaigns. He then worked extensively on conservation and wilderness tourism issues, both locally and provincially. As an activist he helped create several organizations to assist communities and First Nations in the creation of land use plans that reflected their conservation and tourism interests. Dave also played a key role in several government land use planning processes. In this regard, he was instrumental in the creation of several Provincial Parks for protecting important biodiversity and endangered species. During those years he wrote an environmental column for the Williams Lake Tribune and had articles in various publications. He also wrote a blog as a way to express his feelings and philosophies about wilderness living, along with the life and adventures he and Rosemary had during their 27 years in Precipice Valley. Dave and Rosemary now live on Gabriola Island where he continues his activism, designs and sells solar systems, and teaches the solar pioneers on the Gulf Islands how to do it themselves.
“What a thorough and delightful account of latter-day back-to-the-landers Dave and Rosemary Neads, and their 27 years in the Precipice Valley where they built their home on the western edge of the Chilcotin Plateau. An important story told from a conservationist perspective giving the reader an intimate perspective of the natural world, seasons and wonders, and insight into the rigors of backwoods survival."
— Sage Birchwater, author of Chilcotin Chronicles and Chiwid.