MAY 2004


    In the last issue of the CAT TRAIN NEWSLETTER, I was tell you how powerful the Linn Tractor is and being misinformed by Mr. Lip-gloss. I sure could not see the forest for the trees or the writing was on the wall. That this was not going to be a money making adventure which is nothing new for me because it is the story of my life. We went back to Laurie River and started making winter roads and hauling logs all in hopes of money being deposited into the bank account. All I did was run up my bills and the was never any deposit into the bank account to cover the cost that I was generating. But I still kept going in the cold winter months of the great white north, flat broke and living on promises.

    The real kick in the butt that took me to an all time low was when Mr. Lip-gloss guided me out on to a lake that the beavers had been playing with. These little furry creatures have a very bad habit of screwing up the water systems and creating bad ice or no ice that the fresh snow fall covers. I was following Mr. Lip-gloss across the ice because he had just checked it and then the Famous Black cat started going down like riding an elevator. With me being afraid of water, I only got the bottoms of my pants wet because I looked like Willie the Coyote running up the cliff after it fell away from him. I stood there watching the Famous Black Cat disappear in the icy water, thinking to myself, now I get to salvage it. Mr. Lip-Gloss walks over to see the air bubbles coming up in the hole where the Famous Black Cat went down. The first thing words that come across his Lip Glossed lips. Where is your cat? I looked at him and very calmly said, I parked in this water hole because it was dirty. He just looked at me and said it your problem, Iím going back to the city in my rented airplane. After the long walk back to the Freighting Caboose, I never seen Mr. Lip-gloss ever again, thank God.

    Now I got my main cat sitting in an unknown depth of water, flat broke to hire men to help salvage or to even pay for the costs if I did it myself. So what to do, I never give up and I started salvaging it myself using the Red Swing Crane Cat and my 922 Cat loader. Well you know you really up the creek with out a paddle or the boat when you start sinking the salvage equipment through the ice too. This ice was over 18" thick but very brittle so this salvage turned in to salvaging and more salvaging. I sunk the Red Cat and got it out, no problem. But on the second time the red Cat broke thru the ice I could not get off the cat fast enough, little own shut the motor off. So the red cat went through the ice running which is not a good like Martha says. I salvaged it the second time and when I got the engine running I had lots of engine antifreeze coming out the exhaust pipe. Oh well this is not good, but the Red Cat made the 60 mile journey home on the Cat Train Trail. We just added lots of water because there was nothing else we could do.

    The cold weather was not helping the salvage operations very much but there was nothing I could do but keep working at minus 45C below. I couldnít give up and none of the other loggers would help me. I remembered this when one of them sunk a skidder a year later, I didnít help them or loan them any of my salvage equipment because what goes around comes around. I even sunk the little 922 Cat loader, which is not very little when you are trying to salvage it with the Red Cat. When I got the loader out and on to good ground, one of the tubeless tires had popped of the rim. The ice had cut the o-ring seal that seals the rim to the rubber tire. Now Iím toast. I donít have a spare here but I got three, 60 miles at home. Jump on the ski-doo and off I go at minus 40C to Lynn Lake to get the seal and some candy bars for Xena. I stopped at the c for a coffee to warm up and of course the Table of Truth boys are asking all sorts of questions on the sunken Famous Black Cat. When they start driving me nuts, it was time to leave the cafť for the long cold ski-doo ride back to Laurie River. I arrive at the Freighting Caboose and check the temperature, it was only -47C, no wonder I was getting cold on the ski-doo.

    On the ninth day the Famous Black Cat was out of its watery grave and was nothing but a big ice cube. I worked all night to keep the heat on so the water inside the machine had a chance to drain before freezing and splitting any housings. What a long night but it was worth because I could not afford to lose the Famous Black Cat. I had lodges to winter freight to as soon as I got back to Lynn lake, Mb because there is no money in logging. It only took me four months to figure it out not bad I would have to say. Now lets get back to home and go freighting to the lodges where the cheque is always good. Ten days after the Famous Black Cat went down like a Titanic, I had him running and driving around the Freighting Caboose, what a sight to see.

    It was now 10:30PM and the loggers where pissing me off with there no help for you attitude. So I hooked the sleighs up and left Laurie River in the darkness which I should have done the day after we arrived. Mr. Lip-gloss would not order us railcars to take us back to Lynn Lake, Mb like the way we came to Laurie River. Mr. Lip-gloss forgot that Laurie River Hydro Dam was built by the Cat Trains and there still are the trails back to Lynn Lake, Mb. Also I wrote the  issue#3 of the CAT TRAIN NEWSLETTER on this adventure back to Lynn Lake, Mb. Which was a walk in the park for us, yeah right!!!!!