Monday, June 30, 2008

Operation Outpost

We made it!

After dragging my sorry butt out of bed at the ungodly hour of 3:30 AM on Sat. morning, Ben and I arrived in Armstrong at 7:30 AM ready for our flight scheduled to leave at 10:00 AM. Don't ask me why they need us there 2 1/2 hours early, but we don't do we were there with our bells on and very patiently waited...and waited....and waited and waited some more. The "ceiling" was low and it was absolutely pouring out there. We waited until about 6:30 pm for that flight and were lucky enough to have met some very interesting American fellows, who were waiting to fly about an hour north for a more remote fly in trip even, than ours. Turns out American folk patiently wait, just add booze. One of those fine gentleman broke out a case of Blue, and when we were done that, opened up his $45 bottle of Crown Royal. Turns out this particular type of Crown Royal goes down bored wives dying to get fishing very very very smoothly. By the time I boarded our Beaver, I was feeling completely relaxed, and totally willing to board an airplane with visible duct tape and patched pontoons that was made in ummm....1959. I was clear enough headed to make sure I knew where the door handles were and how they opened. And we were off....

We caught a few fish that first night, but only had a few hours on the lake and it was getting dark.

Fast forward to the next morning. Turns out Crown Royal goes down real smooth....and comes up like road rage. After my stomach expelled both my fruit loops and the bit of coffee I managed to make and pour between moaning and digging desperately for Advil, I boarded the boat Ben sat in glaring at me with that particular look he gets on his face when he disapproves of his wife's behaviour. I made it through that morning by the skin of my teeth, forced my eyes open when they were rolling back desperately trying to return to the blessed state of slumber they really wanted to still be in. By afternoon, I still wasn't real interested in my beloved beer, but I was game on for fishing and we portaged through a narrow trail (that actually initially more resembled a creek) for about a km, and made it into Boulder Lake (the name speaks for itself). We smoked em out of that lake like they were going out of style. Once the fuel started to get low in the boat (we had to portage the motor with us, and the only fuel we had was in it) I started to get a bit ansy to get back. Ben promised me left right and centre that it had plenty of fuel in it to make it back to the portage point, but alas, we were about 200 feet from short (forgot our paddles in other lake) when it stalled. Turns out if you rock the boat hard enough you can get some fuel to splash into the carb and narrowly, we made it back to shore. I am scared half to death of bears and refused to carry anything that resembled fish through that trail and practically had to run to keep up with Ben's long legs, but we made it back with big huge smiles on both of our faces. No big ones, but lots of eaters and action to spark both of us up.

As our kind of luck would have it, the water pump at the camp bit the bullet and we were forced into washing in the very fresh lake. And hauling water for dishes from the lake to the cottage. The swim was actually really fun, and really refreshing, but I was somewhat ansy at the number of bloodsuckers I could see hungrily swimming around the dock.

I had spent a fair amount of my liquored up state trying to convince Brenda (the lady who runs the B&B we hung out in waiting for our plane to be able to take off from) to push off our return flight on Monday a bit later (originally scheduled for 10:00 AM), but found when we checked in with them this morning that they actually bumped us forward until 9:15 AM...pppphhhhht to Brenda! I guess they had to bring our plane to Winnipeg for some maintenance.

The flights were totally uneventful. The view is beautiful. Our pilot was amazing and the landings were completely smooth and perfect. Turns out some Americans who rented a 1.5 million dollar float plane to do their own fly in fishing trip crashed their plane on Sunday morning. Of course, I discovered this as we flew over the plane while it was floating pontoon side up in the lake. Thankfully, they were able to get out and no one was hurt. Apparently one of the pontoons was full of water and it put them off balance as they landed, flipped, and began to sink. We were about 1 minute from our landing when I saw the plane and heard the story. I simply tightened my seat belt and prayed. LOL.

We loved it. It was short but sweet, and I think it may become an annual event. (minus the Crown Royal...which by the way, will never ever get near my lips ever ever again. Ever.)

1 comment:

Liisa said...

Must run in the family Kaija... One good night of Crown Royal... smooth as silk... and then... NEVER again... LOL.

So glad you guys had a good trip!!!!!