Saturday, May 27, 2006


"Gunsmoke" and "Little Grand Rapids"!

Thursday I hauled Willie Bilawchuk and 10 of his close buddies to their private cabin at Little Grand Rapids. Their cabin is situated across the lake from the Indian Reserve. A year ago it burnt, and they had rebuilt it, but it was still a work in progress. They had hauled more supplies in this past winter across the winter road, and I took them and their personal supplies in by Otter. They had quite a bit of gear, enough for 2 Otter trips. The ice had demolished the original "crib dock" they had built, so they were also going to build another dock. The first flight to Little Grand was very smooth, and we "splashed down"!

No dock means improvising. We have made a fine ramp! Willie is standing on the ramp on the float. Hey, that looks like "Bud Light" in the background. Posted by Picasa

Whatever works. Posted by Picasa

Unloaded! Posted by Picasa

On the way back to Pine Dock........... Posted by Picasa

2nd trip "splashdown". Willie's cabin. Posted by Picasa

The cabin. Posted by Picasa

The "view" from inside the cabin. Posted by Picasa

UKN empty again. Posted by Picasa

Oh yeah, the "Gunsmoke" part of the title. Apparently an old trapper by the name of Frank Duck comes to visit Willie and his pals when they are there, and just hangs around. His nickname locally is "Gunsmoke". I used to fly Frank to the trapline about 20 years ago, and I haven't seen him in a long time. I am glad that he is still alive. He couldn't speak a word of English years ago, and still can't. Guess what, though. He can sing like Hank Williams. I remember Frank sometimes would come to the Float Base in Little Grand when I lived there, and sit in our screened-in porch. He would bring his guitar, and strum away. One time I was playing some good old "Luke the Drifter" (Hank Williams) tunes, when "Your Cheatin' Heart" came on through our outside speakers. Before I knew it, Frank was mournfully singing at the top of his lungs, and he sounded somewhat like Hank! I was stunned! I guess he had listened so many times, he could repeat the words, even though he couldn't speak or understand any English, and his singing was emotional. And people think Hank Williams never had an impact? 170 miles north of Winnipeg "in the sticks", and old Frank is "warbling Hank"! Anyways, I bid Willie and boys adieu, and taxied out. I took a little detour past where Frank had an old cabin that he used as a "hideaway", but there was no sign of life, just an old boat on the shore upside down.

If you look very closely under UKN's wing, you will see the "green and white" colours of Frank's old cabin, and his upside down boat. Legend has it, that on calm, crystal clear nights, the voice of Hank Williams can be heard wafting soulfully across the water from inside the cabin........................... Posted by Picasa


this is my community and i seen you guys for a while and i never spoken with you's
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