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|The Trappers' Village (standard:non fiction, 4555 words)|
|Author: Steve Remington||Added: Sep 23 2003||Views/Reads: 2272/2234||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A true-life, bittersweet story of two men who lived in the Canadian wilderness for 55 years. The nature of their existence stuns the imagination and defies the norms of "everyday life". ENJOY!!|
THE TRAPPERS' CABIN A remarkable true story of two lives lived in the Canadian wilderness for 55 years By Steve Remington © With lasting friendship to those who were there - - - Jon, Louie, Tim and Bill (in memoriam) THE TRAPPERS' CABIN After twenty-seven years, I have no idea why this small vignette of life is still so haunting to me. Others that were there at the time were clearly not as touched by this experience as I was. I have recalled it hundreds of times over the years. I hardly need to look at the photos of it because I can recapture every minute detail in my mind. My poker club buddies and I had taken a few Canadian fishing trips, usually for 4-5 days north of Toronto. In the spring of 1976, we decided that we were ready for a full wilderness experience and for an entire week. We did a lot of planning, confirmed the participants and set off via the Trans-Canadian railroad for the ultimate fishing adventure at midnight on the last Friday in August. The train ride is itself one of the great train trips of the world spanning 5,000 miles of Canada from the Atlantic Provinces to the Pacific Ocean in British Columbia. There are two sections of the train at its beginning - - one coming through Montreal from the Maritime Provinces and the other commencing in Toronto. They become one train at a remote rail station in the town of Capreol, Ontario. The passengers amble about the tiny village as the cars of the train are reassembled into one enormous set of rolling stock - - - sleeping cars, domed cars, dining cars, bar cars, coaches and, in our case, even a private car bearing the Minister of Transportation of the Dominion of Canada and his family. As the train rolls north and west, one begins to absorb the enormity of the Canadian wilderness. It is a panorama of rolling hills of Pre-Cambrian rock, thousands of lakes, forests of evergreen, bucolic streams and raging rivers. Civilization disappears with slow but steady progression as towns diminish in size and distances between them expand. Wildlife proliferates as moose, deer, bear and fox are visible from the train. The incongruity is relevant. We were aboard a modern miracle, cosseted in air-conditioned surroundings, linen and silverware at meals, utilizing reclining seats and comfortable beds. Outside our windows we observed vanishing development and rapidly encroaching emptiness. The immensity of the Great North can be considered when one realizes that we were on the train for 28 hours and were still in Ontario. When we debarked at Armstrong in western Ontario, the train was still two stops from exiting the province into Manitoba. The telling factor was the weather. It was 4AM and it was the last Sunday in August and it was lightly snowing! We later learned that it had been in the 90's on the previous day. At that tiny rail station, which was both the northern terminus of roads and a tiny settlement, two men from the fishing camp met us. After loading our possessions into two trucks, we began a trek down a dirt and gravel road for ten miles before loading into a large boat to cross a small bay to our camp. When dawn broke, cold and clear, it became immediately evident that we were truly in the wilderness. The young man managing the camp, which was owned by his father and uncle, answered questions, gave advice and tips and told us that we were on a lake 28 miles long and named Caribou Lake. The only other Click here to read the rest of this story (374 more lines)
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