Episode 43: Groovin in Moose Jaw

5:22 am Doug

For us, this trip through the great white north has at times tested our skills, tried our patience, and questioned our resolve. This Great Arctic Air Adventure is fascinating to us in part because our experiences are so different from our every day lives. Our concerns center around keeping the planes well fed, finding a good campsite, and marveling at the every changing panorama below us. We also stress over more important issues, such as how to wash our socks, clip our nose hairs, and how to offload certain bodily solid wastes while floating in the middle of the lake.

But for our Canadian hosts, most of this is a part of everyday life, and they seem to dismiss the vicissitudes of northern life with gross understatements such as describing a 40 knot wind as “a bit of a blow, eh?”

Of all the sterling characteristics of our northern neighbors, perhaps the most endearing is their ability come with cool names for their cities and villages. For example, in the U.S. we have places like Juanita Bay , which tells me nothing about the place. Contrast this with our fuel stop yesterday at Thunder Bay , which conjures up visions of a fierce and untamed place. In fact, the Canadian Water Aerodrome Supplement, a book which has taken on biblical significance for the GAAA team, describes the place as having “strong gusty winds and large ocean swells”. A place well named.

Tonight, we are camped about twenty miles north of Moose Jaw . Now I am not exactly sure how they came up with this descriptive epithet but it just kind of sums up the place. I guess they could have named it Mouse Femur, but it just wouldn’t have captured the essence of the place.

After flying some nine thousand miles over the last six weeks, perhaps Mark and Doug have become a bit complacent about our flying. Our landing here at Buffalo Pound Lake (I rest my case re the name thing) jerked us back to the reality of flying seaplanes into new places. Doug managed to log four touch downs with a single approach, while Mark demonstrated some rather unique docking strategies, including a rather interesting maneuver where the plane is docked rudders first. The dock, intended for boats, had several strategically placed steel poles that appear to have been designed to prevent the occasional rogue seaplane from docking here. Not to worry, the GAAA team successfully evaded these hazards and made it to the dock, where the birds are roosted for the night.

Anyway, after entertaining the local boaters with these antics, we got the planes tied and packed our gear up to a very cool Provincial Park , where we set up camp. As we speak, we are probably violating several regulations by tying up our planes at a boat dock and camping in a closed park, but so far we have not been arrested and hopefully we will be out of here before our presence causes an international incident.

Our shout-outs tonight go to local Moose Jawer’s Liam, Tristan, Quinlan, and Kaden, some great kids with a love of airplanes. Also many thanks to Bill Nyman for hauling a couple of hundred gallons of avgas out to us here at Buffalo Pound Lake . Thanks Bill, you’re the best.

From Brian, love you tons Mama and Papa, and looking forward to seeing you soon.

The GAAA Team

From N50d 35.7m, W105d 24.7m

P.S. The “questions” for the GAAA Jeopardy will be posted in tomorrow’s BLOG, Episode 44.

Leave a Comment

Your comment

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.