MAY 2004





          Well I left you in suspense with us meeting the Blue Bombardier and 140 miles to go. Iíll now continue with the adventures with Double J. After meeting up with Double J and getting underway, I was getting hungry. So I climbed over the back of the Famous Black Cat and walked the hitch to the stone boat where Xena was riding while we were still in motion. Xena and I started making lunch for ourselves when all of a sudden, the Famous Black Cat hit a very hard snow drift and turned sharply to the right. Now Double J who are following in the Blue Bombardier can see that no one is driving the Famous Black Cat because Iím standing on the stone boat eating lunch. So of course I wave at them and then stand on the hitch and reach over the fuel tank of the Famous Black Cat to adjust the steering clutches to get us going in the correct direction.


        Now that Xena had her fill of the good fancy food, she now wants to ride in the Blue Bombardier which not to many kids get to do any more. This Blue Bombardier is amazing because Jim2 keeps it in top shape and has everything you need for survival in the bush. Plus everything has a place and everything is in its place. Not like us where everything has its place and everything is all over the place.  Once Xena is in the Blue Bombardier, Double J and her head to the next portage and wait for me to arrive with the Famous Black Cat. It must have seemed like hours to them watching the Cat Train come closer and closer at the top speed of 6 km per hour. I finally arrive and have to plow the portage because the snow was blown in so deep. When I finished plowing the snow it was higher than the exhaust pipe on the Famous Black Cat. Good thing I plowed or I would have had everything stuck in the deep snow and that would be no fun.


          Once I had all the sleighs thru the portage, the Blue Bombardier heads off to Laurie Lake outpost camp to get a fire started and prepare supper for when I arrive. Of course I arrive about 4 hours after they did so when I got there, the cabin was toasty warm and supper was ready. Jim barbequed some really nice southern meat, Jim2 cooked up the potatoes and we ate like Kings. The last guy in bed gets to stock up the wood stove which is the rule in the Great White North. But on this night, the last guy (JIM) put too much wood in the stove for the unseasonally warm night. So Ĺ way thru the night we are all roasting in our beds as if it is a hot summer night but the only thing missing was the 100 or so mosquitoes flying around. By morning we are all frozen popsicle in our sleeping bags waiting for JIM to get the wood stove fired up. The joys of wood stove. But not as bad as the fellow who forgot to bring the toilet seat in from the outhouse so it would be warm for the next person to use it.


         One of the great joys of winter Cat Train Freighting is that time has no meaning. Yes, no meaning. Remember we are travelling on a cat with the top speed of 9 km per hour. We get up in the morning when the sun shines thru the cabin windows and eat when we are hungry just like Xena does all the time. Quit at night when it gets dark or when we complete the task we set out to do that day. If problem arise, it could be late. On this 4th day - 180 mile tour I only ask Jim2 for the time when we sat down to eat our evening meal. This is so relaxing compared to 9-5 job in the south and I would not trade this lifestyle for anything else.


         After a so called good night sleep,  Jim has the cabin warm enough for us to come out from our sleeping bags because we smell the morning coffee that he brewed on the wood stove(Jim2 had gotten it ready for Jim the night before, they had quite a discussion on this before we went to bed on who is responsible for morning coffee) Jim2 makes us an excellent breakfast with the eggs and bacon cooked just right. No flame broiling from Jim2. With breakfast done we head out and move the big tank shed into place, which was a piece of cake because it was well planned.

           After we placed the tank shed, we headed out to retrieve the TD-6 with the broken final drive. So that will be the next issue of the CAT TRAIN NEWSLETTER.



BOX 372