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"!

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