Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Camp Is Made Of Wood Part 4

What The Hell Were We Thinking?

It's a Sunday Morning, May 3, 1999, and on a logging road in Nova Scotia, a Green 1985 Chevy Diesel, and a 1989 Dodge Caravan pick their way through soup holes and tire ruts, making a 12 kilometer trek take almost 40 minutes. It's raining lightly with an occasional peak of sunshine. Inside the vehicles, 6 of the most naive and demented men seen in many, many years. Parking in the clearing, they pile out of the vehicle, eager to get to work to make their mark on the backwoods of Nova Scotia. A fishing camp. We walked hurriedly down the path, across the rock bar on the first lake, and into the path. On the right of the path, a sight that would punch them in the gut and knock the wind out of them. A horrible, almost unimaginable sight.......... a pile of lumber.

Not just any pile. Enough to do the studding, floor, roof trusses, siding and roof for an 18 by 24 lodging which would later be known as the Chateau. Normally a pile of lumber is not a scary sight. This one however, was a 10 minute walk from it's final resting place, and would have to carried there, over our shoulders. After a walk to the site, we set up our tents and gear for a 4 day stay. The sun was shining and the air was warm. That would be the last time we would see that for the next 4 days.

Standing in front of the pile, Steven B. simply asked "what the hell were we thinking". The reply, was a quiet "we weren't". And so it started. When you felt good, you take 4 lengths of pine siding, or 3 studs. When you were sore, you could handle two studs, or maybe two lengths of siding. We stumbled over roots, walked through mossy bog, tripped and fell more times than we could count. Stopping only to eat, smoke or drink the occasional shot of rum to warm your innards. For 4 days straight, from mid morning until last light, the four of us hauled wood, while Merle and Robert built a floor. The story of those 4 days doesn't stop there. Over the next few entries there will be mentions of Coyotes eating pop bottles, strange noises in the woods, red raw shoulders, a 40 ouncer of rum that led to a snoring contest, the worst drive in my life to a pay phone, an early May snowfall, and a blood blister the size of a golf ball.

These four days were the defining moments in the journey to a backwoods haven, by four guys who didn't know what they got into, and were too stupid to care.

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