Saturday, July 29, 2006


A "Pawn" in "Life's Grand Scheme".........

A "Pawn Lake", that is. Pawn Lake is on the headwaters of the Etomami River system in Manitoba, about 35 miles east of the community of Berens River. Berens River is on the east shore of "Unforgiving Lake Winnipeg". It is a shallow lake, and produces a large quantity of "wild rice" every year. The lease on the lake to pick the rice is held by Laurie Gaffray from Silver Falls, Manitoba. I personally have hauled numerous loads of rice from this lake in the "Fall". With this information in mind, we recently took a Manitoba Forestry crew into Pawn Lake. They will be studying the rate of forest regrowth around the Etomami River and the Berens River locally, as there has been logging occurring in the area for many years. Having been familiar with the lake previous was a bonus, as I knew where the deeper water channels were, and where the rice doesn't grow. In no way would we want to damage any of the rice. I have always stated that taxiing an aircraft through thick standing rice on a rice lake is like driving a pickup truck through a mature wheat field, and is to be avoided. The rice is not yet standing above water, but nevertheless, all due caution was applied when considering landing and taxiing areas. It was a beautiful day at Pawn Lake when I dropped the boys off.

"City boys", dropped off in "the bush"! No "7-11" close by, boys! Posted by Picasa

These boys had a lot of gear. Posted by Picasa

UKN "towers" in this picture! Posted by Picasa

"Bush" transportation. You can make a case for all aircraft involved, of which contributed most to the development of northern Canada. The "hands-down" winner is the de Havilland Otter. The Beaver is a great aircraft, but never accomplished close to what the Otter accomplished. From Antarctica to the Arctic, operating in temperatures from +50*C to -50*C, the Otter is an "unsung hero"! Don't believe me? Ask a "higher authority"! Ask........."Max Ward"! Posted by Picasa

This is Laurie Gaffray's "rice-picker" at Pawn Lake.  Posted by Picasa

During rice season he will attach a 24' "header" to the front to scoop the rice, and attach a "prop" to the engine, making it a "pusher". Posted by Picasa

That is a 350 CI Chevy engine, folks, "balanced and blueprinted". Posted by Picasa

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Heading south after dropping the boys off, here is what the "winter road" that goes past Pawn Lake looks like in the summer. "Winter Road", is self-explanatory", as this swamp would have a hard time supporting a vehicle when not frozen! Posted by Picasa

Then I hit the Berens River, and I enjoyed the scenery on the way back. So, what "awe-inspiring" views did you have at work today? Till next time, "Adios"! Posted by Picasa

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