MAY 2004




          Now we only have the last leg of our 4 day- 180 mile Cat Train trip with Double J to tell you about. This last two days were the easiest and no thrills on this part of the trip. But looking back at it now, there were a few thrills and the more I think of it, the thrills were large. First, I head out from Laurie Lake outpost camp with the Famous Black Cat pulling the TD-6 on the stone boat pulling in 5th gear which will give him a top speed of 9 km per hour. Now that is really putting the hammer down as far as Cat Training goes plus what makes the difference is the snow melted of the road that I plowed on the way down. With a thin layer of water on the ice the stone boat really slid well and I made good time until I had to turn off the road and head south to the main lodge.

         One of the joys of being the slowest piece of equipment is that I have to leave the camp first to make time and that is a plus because I never had to clean the camp or do the dishes. So once I started heading south on the trail that Double J made only a few days before, I looked to the west and what a site it was to see. The Blue Bombardier at full speed on the ice road, pulling the sleigh bunks from the tank shed with about twenty empty drums stacked on it. What a site to see and it didnít take them long to drop the sleigh and catch up to me on the Famous Black Cat. We were making great time following the Blue Bombardier trail that was only a couple of days old and with the melting snow it made the trail better. This was my first time ever following on a bombardier trail and what a pleasure it was compared to a ski-doo trail that hangs up the cat.

         I made really good time on the big lake to Jimís main lodge and of course the Blue Bombardier sped ahead and had the lodge toasty warm for me. When I arrived, we wasted no time unloading the tank shed from the sleigh before we ran out of daylight. Then it was off to the main lodge that Jim built with logs hauled from Lynn Lake, Mb about 6 years ago. What a very impressive job Jim did on the lodge and we enjoyed sleeping in the main room which had the seating furniture removed for the beds to be set up. We have come along way from last year when lodge owner treated us like crap and put us in a tin shed at -45C and fed us caribou stew out of a 5 gallon pail. Now we are treated very well and we enjoy staying in the best accommodation with the finest of food. It is amazing how the CAT TRAIN NEWSLETTER has affected people and the way they treat me and Xena.

         After a good night sleep Xena and I are ready to head out because we have a long way to go and a time limit to do it in. We phoned Bob the trapper last night on Jimís space phone and he is going to come looking for us at the Fox Mine end of the trail. The Blue Bombardier is heading back south 90 miles to Islandfalls, Sk where Double J calls home, plus they are taking Jim2's D4 cat and 4 Bombardier size sleigh back with them. So we are going to be on our own for 50 miles and we have a time frame to do it in so we must hustling or as we say in Cat Train terms, Hammer Down. Before we leave we must get a picture of the Famous Black Cat with the D4 cat from the south. Not very often two Cat Trains meet any more. Sign of changing time I guess?

          We leave the lodge and head north while Double J heads south at the same time, they have 90 miles to go and we have 50 miles to Fox mine. So who will be home first? The race is on at top speed of 9 km per hour??? Xena and I make really good time and pick up the stone boat and the other empty sleigh and put the Hammer Down to be on time at Fox Mine for Bob the trapper. Well, we made Fox Mine and Bob could not believe how far we had travelled in a short time. Then we unload all our luggage and food, and head to Lynn Lake, Mb because Double J should be phoning to see how we made out. Sure enough at 12:05 AM, Jim phones to say they are home at Islandfalls, Sk and glad we are home with no problems.


          Now the fun begins. We must move everything back to Lynn Lake, Mb but the snow has melted off the road. So the next day my buddy Barry comes out with his semi and we load everything on to make the least number of trips. To do this, the cats are loaded sideways on his lowbed and Barry goes right down main street Lynn Lake, Mb so he can wave at all the ladies.


         Hope you enjoyed the adventures with Double J because we sure did. You can see their lodges that they each own below. Thanks



BOX 372