|Trip to Lac Brochet (by winter road) March 24 to 29, 2000
Picture 1. Frederick, Roddy, Keith and me at official sign post
Arrived in Thompson at 7:00 am. by bus. Was to head to South Indian Lake but the water was too high because of an early thaw that spring. Stayed at William Dumas home for the night.
Was introduced to Frederick Soucy and his wife, Sophie, who are from Lac Brochet. Frederick was taking his Toyota truck with supplies and leaving tomorrow with two other fellows who would be driving a cargo van. Heading to Lac Brochet they wanted to know if I wished to go. It was estimated the trip would take just over 14 hours. I had some apprehension but agreed. This would be my first trip on a winter road and much of the driving would be done at night. We would not be traveling over ice, however, as this was a permanent winter road just carved out of the bush. Unfortunately being so new it had not had much use.
Frederick picked me up and we drove to the house of the mechanic who had worked on the suspension system of his Toyota. We had no idea how important this work would become. Leaving at 5:30 pm. we decided to stay the night at Lynn Lake which was on the way. We wanted to leave on the winter road (on the outskirts of Lynn Lake) when it was fairly cold hoping there would be less water to contend with.
We had breakfast and I bought some cigarettes for the elders. Our 2 vehicle caravan left at 11:00 am. It was an overcast day which was good but we knew we had a long drive ahead of us.
A little while later we arrived at the official sign that stated you are now on the winter road.
Between the two of us Frederick did all the driving while I was in charge of entertainment. This was provided by the 20 cassette tapes we bought along. I decided to keep them on the dash board as we were extremely cramped in the cab. They did provide some humor as well because I determined after several hours we could measure the severity of the bumps by how many cassettes flew off the dashboard.
We hit countless potholes, rocks and ice blocks and lost several tapes each time but at 5:27 pm we hit an incredible pothole and 5 tapes flew off, 3 hitting the roof and 2 flying horizontally. We thought that pothole had almost ripped the truck apart! We pulled over and watched to see if Roddy and Keith would make it through in the cargo van. They did but the van was twisted and gyrated all the while making obscene noises in protest. We asked how they felt afterwards. Roddy replied that he and Keith bounced so high they hit their heads on the roof of the cab. Now they thought they will start to wear their seat belts. Frederick and I looked at one another and burst out laughing.