Canada Cabin


June 1 Don and Eaton Nilsson left Boulder. Arrived at Plentywood at 8:45 PM.

June 2 Up at 5 AM. Eaton’s cell phone was off by 1 hour. Bought fishing licenses at Prince Albert Tourism office. Gassed truck and cans in LaRonge. Drove to Brabant. Made phone calls, all is OK.

June 3 Up at 5 AM and underway by 6 AM. Four-wheel road blocked with Joseph’s abandoned trailer. Moved it with long rope looped around tree and pulled with truck. Started to unload at 9:10 AM. Eaton retrieved 30 HP motor alone and mounted it on the 16’ Lund. Eaton also carried 98% of all gear from truck across the portage to the waiting boats. Don loaded the boats as the gear arrived over the portage. Underway for the island at 6 PM, making 6.8 MPH. The boats were trimmed OK and did not require adjusting after we were underway. A rising wind caused the towed boats to “dance” up and down as we got more into open water. I reduced speed to compensate for the increasing rough water and passed ½ Way Island doing 2 MPH. Going around the narrow point just past ½ Way Island, the waves were too much to continue and I slowly turned around and sought shelter from the wind on the lea side of the point. We waited there for three hours, hoping the wind would ease up after the sun went down. Three hours later, we made another attempt around the point and found the wind still blowing strong but it had lowered enough to allow us to continue. About a mile from Jay’s Island, the wind increased and it looked doubtful that we could continue, then after a couple miles, the wind slowed up enough to allow us to continue. It was now quite dark and I was steering completely by the silhouette of the skyline, quite familiar to me in that end of the lake. The beach, however, was almost impossible to see and was posing a significant problem to land the train of boats because the Northeast wind caused the trailing boats to drift severely off to the side of our line of travel and since the landing beach is rock free in a relatively narrow band, we were risking getting the trailing boats dashed by the waves on the rocks. I made an approach to the beach as best I could guess where it was. As we got closer, we spotted the bathing rock and were obviously not in the right spot. I reversed the motor and managed to get back to deeper water where I shortened the line to our towed 14’ Lund and in the wind, finally managed to get the whole train straightened out for another attempt. I aimed for what I thought was the old 17’Lund abandoned to the left of the beach, knowing the wind would drift us to the right where the main beach is. Suddenly, Jason saw the rock opposite the bathing rock and called to abort the approach. I was sure he had misidentified the rock, not being familiar with the beach and continues on. We hit the sand beach perfectly with the two lead boats, but the canoe with its longer towrope drifted on the wrong side of the “bathing” rock. Fortunately, the water was so high that we were able to pull the canoe ashore, skimming over the stone jetty and other rocks. I was very cold, tired and my back quite sore. Eaton did most of the emptying of the boats and our gear was covered with tarps for the night. Minimal gear got to the cabin that night. I drifted off to sleep quickly at 1:33 AM.

June 26 Left island on an emergency basis to get Eaton back to Denver where his father was involved in a very bad auto accident and was in a coma. We drove straight back and arrived in Boulder about 6PM. On June 27. Eaton’s sister picked him up a few minutes after he had emptied my truck.

July 2 Don and Leigh Pierson leave Longmont in two vehicles for Canada. Spend night at Culbertson.

July 3 Drive to Brabant.

July 4 Drive to landing by 8AM and arrive island at 2:30 PM, having dodged a couple rain cells.

July 13 Leigh leaves island and Don stays alone.

July 22 Dick Berreth arrived at 7 PM via canoe.

July 28 Dick Berreth departs via canoe.

July 29 Pat Doyle and Jimmy Buck arrive via truck.

Aug 4 Pat & Jimmy leave island. Wayne was no-show so Don returned to island alone.

August 12 Rod & Mike Ury plus Boyd Gentry arrive via truck.

August 24 Rod, Mike & Boyd leave island. Duke and Jay Niebur arrive via truck.

August 29 Jay leaves via truck.

August 31 Don and Duke leave island for season. Rainy all the last ½ of boat trip and for the portage.

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