Monday, March 31, 2008

A Camp Is Made Of Wood - Part 2

Another Use For A Sled

With the land in place and cleared, the process of building was set to begin. We got the materials from all over. Studs from a Christmas tree stand (Thanks to the Tree Man), pine siding we bought, windows from old construction sites. Whatever we could find, from wherever we could find it. Of course now we had to get it there. That took a lot of twists and turns, and about two years. Here is one twist.

Robert's truck was a 1985 Chevy 3/4 ton diesel. It looked as bad as it sounds. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't four wheel drive, and all of us smart guys thought what better way to get the wood there than in this truck, in the winter, sliding the wood across the ice to save carrying time. Actually, it was a good idea for the most part. At least until we left to go home. You see, none of us are known for knowing when to stop. It is January and we haul wood until 8:00 PM, and pitch black. Robert leads the parade out, with Steven and me behind in Stevens truck. The old Chevy catches some ice and the wheels spin. Robert revs, they spin harder. He revs more, and then we hear the snap. That is the sound of a broken rear axle. One problem. We are 10 kms back a logging road. In the winter. On a hill. We have about a kilometer to go to have any prayer of getting a tow. We hook the old Chevy up to Stevens truck and try to tow it that 1 km. Move 10 feet, and the axle starts to come out of the sleeve. In the back of Stevens truck was a wooden sled. In the front, an idea.

Picture this. A 3/4 ton Chevy truck. On the rear passenger wheel, a 6 foot wooden sled lashed to the tire with rope, with the idea being the tire would slide easily up the hill as we towed the truck. It worked, sort of. We made it up the hill. The sled wasn't so lucky. It is now 11:00 pm. 10 kms back a logging road in the middle of nowhere. A drive to a payphone and we find a tow truck driver who is brave (fool) enough to come and get us. I got home at 2:30 am. Remarkably, i am still married.

That old 3/4 ton Chevy was ugly, crude, rough and on that night earned itself a $1500 rear end job after a $350 tow. It also holds a special place in the lore of the camp. The sled was the first of many sacrifices, that also included a chain saw, a snowmobile, an 8 foot punt and more hand tools than i could count. The 1985 Chevy is gone, and sadly, so is Robert. We couldn't have done it without either of them.

No comments: