You've heard the drunken stories. You've seen the scars. You might have even had the pleasure of smelling the socks that Tom had framed. Here at last is the illustrated narrative to prove the legend true!
The year was 2002 and my brother Tom needed a job. And my cousin Colin was bored or feeling adventurous or something. At the last minute he decided treeplanting might be fun so he came along for the ride. Buwuhahahahahaha!
The plan was to pile everything into my $500 car and drive up straight to Nipigon...
Two brothers and a cousin.
Well, so much for the plan! Ten kilometres outside of Matheson my favourite brother swerved off the road in the pre-dawn twilight. The car cartwheeled once and rolled a couple of times before it came to rest on the verge of the bush. Miraculously we all walked away with out so much as a scratch.
We walked away without even a scratch. The car on the other hand... I hate to confuse nouns, but my car in this instance was toast.
I sold the old car for the price of towing. We then strapped and duct-taped all of our possessions to ourselves and attempted to hitch-hike the remaining eight hundred kilometres or so to Nipigon. We made a valiant effort, making it about 250km to Kapuskasing where our luck finally ran dry. We reluctantly admitted defeat and bought bus tickets with the last of our cash. The moral of the story is this: when God gives you lemons, make lemonade. But you can't make cheese from boogers.
The Wreck and the Reckless: Colin poses for a shot in front of carcass or my car.
We arrived in the dead of night and set up our tents in the dark. With only one giant tarpaulin between us we had to set up our three tents close to one another. It's good we did, because the temperature dropped precipitously two days later, covering the whole camp in a blanket of snow. With drifts beginning to accumulate against our tents we determined to build a windbreak out of whatever we could scavenge. A downed spruce tree and a poplar tree provided us with most of the material that built what was to be universally referred to as "The Compound".
We were snowed out three or four days in May (that is to say, there was too much accumulated snow to plant trees). Without being able to work and having no place to stay warm we had to keep moving. A bunch of us determined to build a shelter based on... well, I'm not sure what the blueprints were based on. Basically we burried the bases of several poplars around a hole in the ground and then bent them over to form a dome. Then we wove poplar branches between the posts and covered as much of the dome as we could with and sod and evergreen boughs, trying to make a windbreak with a bit of insulating value.
Nigel and Jay crack the whip on a frantic close out.
Is this Treeplanting or Resevoir Dogs? At least the weather got nicer...
Won't you send some POT 2 JO please? Won't you send some POT 2 JO please? -sung to the tune of American Pie.
Three brothers: Delmar, The Hurricane and myself.