Friday, September 30, 2005


"Wild Rice Crop" Fails In Manitoba.........

This morning I loaded up BTU with freight and headed for Pauingassi AGAIN! I beat Doug Burton flying Otter VQD to the dock by a few minutes, and he had to taxi around on the lake, as Pauingassi, a community of 600 people, accessible only by float-plane, has only 1 usable dock. How do you help people that won't lift a finger to help make their community more accessible? Anyways, Doug had to wait 20 minutes, taxiing around a turbine-engined airplane, wasting fuel, as I unloaded. Then I loaded 7 passengers, and I would be doing a side-trip, and crossing the border, to Pikangikum, Ontario. The flight lasted half an hour.

Unloaded on the hotel dock at Pikangikum, Ontario! Posted by Picasa

Some of the community houses. Posted by Picasa

BTU on the dock at Pikangikum! Posted by Picasa

You know how in southern communities, everybody has a car for local transportation? Well, in Pikangikum, as in other isolated communities in Canada's north, you travel by boat! (and by Ski-Doo in winter) Posted by Picasa

Later on in the day, I did another freight load to Pauingassi, and checked some of our moose hunters coming south, and there was 1 moose to come out of one of our lakes, which Johnny in Otter HYB retrieved.

My day was done, and I grabbed my camera to take some photos. I went up by the hangar to photograph the meager pile of wild rice that will be processed at the company wild rice processing plant at Silver Falls. Basically, due to the record-high water levels all spring and summer, and the cold temperatures, the wild rice crop failed in Manitoba. We haul hundreds of thousands of pounds of rice from local lakes every fall, and this year I haven't hauled a single bag. The rice in the following photos was purchased from Alberta.

Wild rice pile, and the loader used to move it in the background. Posted by Picasa

A pile of rice, but nowhere near the amount that would usually be aging. Posted by Picasa

A mound of rice. Posted by Picasa

Rice kernels in my hand, the "hulls" still on. Posted by Picasa

3 green rice kernels in my hand with the hulls removed. Posted by Picasa

Anyway, too bad the crop failed, I love hauling rice. The rice bags all behave, never puke, whine, or say or do "moronic" things numerous tourists do. I then noticed C-FEYQ in the hangar, as the "hangar boys" were tidying her up. We had the aircraft on lease for a number of years, but now it has been sold, so they were "going through" the aircraft.

Old EYQ will soon head east to her new home and owner! Adios, old girl! Posted by Picasa

Well, the day is done, time to run! I hear VQD, last Otter made, overhead, arriving for maintenance! The pilot, Doug Burton, will probably want to drink some "Colorado Cool-Aid" (beer), that "Son of a Butt"!


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Han Solo" Prefers The "de Havilland Beaver" To The "Millenium Falcon"! (Part 1)

I remember years ago when I first saw "Star Wars" I bet my friends Han Solo would probably prefer to fly a de Havilland Beaver, than the patched-up Millenium Falcon! Well, guess what? I was right! (and even Han Solo had trouble with the insurance company)

VIDEO - "Han Solo" Prefers The "de Havilland Beaver" To The "Millenium Falcon"! (Part 1)

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Back In The "Saddle", Doing What I Do Best.........

Last night I returned to Silver Falls, having completed the CRM Course I was enrolled in in Winnipeg. Winnipeg is OK, but it ain't the bush! So, this morning, I loaded up BTU and headed for Pauingassi with freight for the new school that has been built there, and on my return trip I was going to check on some of our moose hunters! I arrived in Pauingassi, loaded to the roof, and my buddy Randy was landing behind me in Otter CF-UKN also. He had the "Circuit Court" party on board, and out of professional courtesy, I let him unload his passengers first, as I only had freight, and there is only 1 usable dock in Pauingassi.

Randy and UKN at the dock in Pauingassi, and the tower the "sniffer" climbed in the background. Posted by Picasa

BTU after unloading in Pauingassi. Posted by Picasa

Then I headed for "Paleface Lake", to check on some hunters. I landed there to chat with the boys and see if they had killed a moose. They hadn't, but had heard 3 moose calling, but couldn't get them to come out of the bush. Still, they were having a great time and loved the lake. It was a new lake I had chosen to put hunters in this fall. Due to the water colour, murky, but not black, I thought it should be a good fishing lake. A good fishing lake is a bonus when you are hunting. Well, the boys said there were so many pickerel in the lake, they were having a blast. The pickerel averaged 15" to 16", and they had caught one northern pike over 40". Yes, definitely a good fishing lake. They had a nice "bush camp" set up, so I took some photos.

"Paleface Lake" camp! Posted by Picasa

Different angle. Posted by Picasa

This is where the boys sit and eat, drink, and tell lies. Posted by Picasa

I love smoke from a bush fire. Posted by Picasa

Then, I bid the boys adieu, as I was going to check some hunters on the Bloodvein River. The wind was starting to pick up! I found the stretch of river, and dropped BTU in, and taxied in to the moose camp!

BTU tied up on the Bloodvein River! Posted by Picasa

Aye-yi-yi, these boys have done well! They had harvested 2 moose, and had a nice structure for hanging their meat! Posted by Picasa

Different angle view! Posted by Picasa

BTU and her soon-to-be load! Posted by Picasa

The bottom rack is the nicest one I have seen yet this year, measuring 57 3/8". Posted by Picasa

Rack and meat, loaded and secured, in BTU! Posted by Picasa

I left the guys on the Bloodvein, as they will hunt for a few more days. I took off and headed for Silver Falls, as we would hang the moose meat for the hunters until they came out off the river.

Look at this, the "Blue Water Aviation Butcher Shop"! Just kidding, the moose meat, safe and sound, hanging in our walk-in cooler at Silver Falls! Posted by Picasa

Yup, that is "one helluva' rack"! Posted by Picasa

Beautiful! Posted by Picasa

Can you believe that a moose grew this on his head just since spring, as moose shed their antlers every year? Unbelievable, but that is part of what I did today, folks, what was the excitement today in your life? (Paper cuts don't count!) Posted by Picasa