Sunday, October 6, 2013

Going Home, Fall 2013

My last freight run home for the 2013 season went unexpectedly smooth! I was stressed out waiting for the departure date as the trip up the preceding fall was anything but easy, and I really didn't want to repeat it again so soon. Despite the love of adventure, sometimes it's just nice to get there the easy way.

Fortunately the weather remained quite mild and while the wait dragged on worse than waiting for the last day of school it did finally arrive. I worked hard the day before packing up my fuel, oil, and other miscellaneous last minute gear into the back of Mikes pickup. My Chevy was parked for the winter, and I wouldn't be needing it anyhow.

We departed approximately 7:30 am on the 4th of October to meet my fishing guide friend, whom I had hired to boat my freight up to my landing. He had a load a late season fishermen to drop off first, which was fine with me. It would give me a bit of time to consolidate a few things. My last load was meant to be light but it had somehow morphed into a fairly respectable load. I had left a few things behind, like my doghouse, which I had built to be easily disassembled for transport. I will post on that later.

When the boat returned to the landing we made a quick job of loading gear and dogs, and started the familiar ride towards home. The river had been dropping and as we approached a seasonal fish camp, we decided that the load should be redistributed more towards the rear of the boat. So we moved the best (leak proof) gas cans from the bow and stowed them further back. While we never hit a gravel bar, the trip probably shouldn't have been made by an inexperienced boater.

When we arrived at the landing I saw that a fellow who has a small cabin over on little moose lake was up. His small 12' jonboat was moored in the eddy which forms the landing. Unloading was as quick as loading if not quicker. My friend light his usual cigarette and he and Mike and I visited while he relaxed a bit. I paid him and presented him with a gift I had made for his wife, as an extra thank you. Then he and Mike turned the boat around and headed back down river.

It was time for me to get to work. I fired up my ATV and loaded both racks with a decent sized load. Securing everything with ratchet straps and bunji's.. I made my way up the hills to the top of a hill I refer too as Noble Hill. It isn't as steep as some, but very long. Walking up requires many to take a break, as it just seems to go on forever. I found my little freight trailer unmolested and the tires were up. That's a good thing. I transferred the load into the trailer and headed back down to the landing. I made four trips before the gear was all up at the trailer. I then repacked everything and found I could just barely squeeze everything into one load. With that done I started the long slow crawl to the homestead.

The terrain levels out after the big hill and my main obstacles this year are water and muck. With all the rain much of the trails have standing water and the spots that are normally wet are a quagmire.. As I was about to exit the trail around the big swamp, I stopped to let the ATV cool down a bit, as she had been pulling quite a load. Not long after I did, I heard a voice and turned around to see a neighbor (Jesse) walking down the trail with his shotgun cradled in his arm and his dog running along ahead.

We exchanged small talk and visited a bit while I let my machine cool off. Jesse has been working on his place about a mile from me for some time, and plans on staying the whole winter this year to get the roof on his log cabin. It will be a bit different having others up here, that is for sure... He was on his way to the landing, and I really wanted to get home and open up the cabin, so we continued on our separate way.

I had a few small bogs to go through as well as a few mucky spots on the trail yet, and I was unsure if I'd have to unload and shuttle things, as I've had to do in the past. Suprisingly, I was able to get everything through without much trouble. I did get stuck for a few minutes while trying to turn a bend in the trail, when the tire of my trailer lodged against the roots of a downed tree. Other than that it was just a slow ride.

I pulled into my yard about 2:30pm. I'd spend the rest of the day taking down bear boards and organizing the food, and storage barrels for the winter. By 7:30, Id gotten as much done as I wanted, and proceeded to fall asleep in my camp chair while trying to watch a movie... No biggie as I had planned a few day recoup time, and the pressure was off. My life was mine again...