I am one of the four Seattle kayakers whose ears were "chewed off" in the Shearwater bar by Keith Webb after he returned from his trip to Bill's most remote haunts in 2005. It was my first trip to the BC coast. I had never heard of Kayak Bill but it inspired more adventures. I've returned three times since and each trip plan has included visits to Bill's camps.
In 2007 I stayed at Bill's camp on Dallas Island. It was in OK shape still and we were astonished to find a narrow boardwalk through the forest that wandered through the woods. At a fork in the boardwalk was a signpost with fanciful carved arrows pointing in both directions. There was no lettering on the arrows to suggest where they led. Choosing the right fork we were led to a platform built over a freshwater seep surrounded by Skunk Cabbage. Billís water supply. Following the other fork we found that it branched across the island and up the hill.
Ramps, stairs and flat catwalks wound through the forest in a way that suited Bill. Seldom direct and often indirect to, apparently, visit a favorite tree or to cross a ravine that didnít need to be crossed. The boardwalk was constructed of what he found available. Some of the stairways built up the hillsides were made from round sections of logs cut to length and set into the ground. Handrails were built of straight-ish long sections of driftwood while the upright standards were often twisted and appeared to have been purposefully chosen for their artistic value rather than their suitability for the purpose. There were some logs that had fallen across ravines that he had flattened to provide a walking surface. Some with a hand hewn cross-hatch pattern and some with crushed shells pressed into their surface to increase traction. One large sloping log bridge had stairs cut into it. Handrails were the norm. Some of the path was constructed of 16 foot lengths of 4 x 12 lumber that he found somewhere. These pieces of lumber were very heavy and placed far into the forest. He had to drag them for hundreds of yards along a winding up and down boardwalk to set them in place. Hung along the trail at strategic distance and at head height were small pieces of brightly colored plastic doo-dah flotsam to mark the way. He had a large pile of them stored at his camp
I believe that Bill lived a modern day hunter-gatherer lifestyle. While Bic lighters were a part of his normal day so, too, was gathering water and providing food. The BC coast bounty is rich but it takes time each day to harvest. In his spare time he built infrastructure. From what I have seen of that infrastructure it could not have been produced by a slacker.