Photo: Tim Hunt

At Armstrong Waiting for Flight on a Beaver float plane. Left to right, back row: George de Brigard, Dave Ries, Will Reimers (guide), Chuck Barnes (staffman), Eli Fierer. Front row: Jeff Hill, Brendan Gallagher, Tim Hunt. Not pictured (left early): Guyton Ash, Tyson Schoelzel. 



Spoiled Wetbacks

We were supposed to catch the train back to the outpost towards the end of the season, but the track got washed out. We had seven days to kill in the village of Armstrong. So we did what any Keewaydin section would do, we got jobs. 

There was a motel and a nice restaurant next to where we were camping, and they had a basketball hoop. The owner let us play. After we finished, Chuck asked the owner if there was any work to be done, because we had nothing to do. The next morning the owner showed up at our campsite and said that he had chain-sawed a bunch of birch trees into billets for the winter. They were still in the woods and needed to be collected and put into a pile. In exchange for working, we would all get a free meal in his restaurant. We agreed and went to work. The owner even threw Chuck the keys to a pickup. We hauled all of the billets out of the woods and made a pile about 10-feet tall and 15-feet wide. 

At the end of the day, the owner asked if we could put on clean clothes for dinner. We had left our paddle-in clothes back at the outpost, so we didn't have any. Will Reimers asked if we could clean up in one of the hotel rooms. So we all got hot showers with Karate Kid on TV while we waited our turn. 

If the restaurant meal, hot showers and Karate Kid weren't enough, the next day the owner gave us a half-hour ride in one of his bush planes (see Beaver in section photo.)

              Dave Ries, 12/15/99


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