The first time I remember flying in a float plane was when the family went to Watta Lake for a Dillon Consulting fishing trip back in 1998. The Fishing Lodge is still to this day one of my favourite places. The place was owned by Trevor’s mother, who was/is a Dillon engineer of some sort. Cool, guy, always had purple glasses and long blond hair. Later about 6 year later I saw him and he had shaves his head.
This is not about that trip though. This is about one of the first memorable timesI flew in a float plane. My mom, brother and I were flying Bathurst Inlet Lodge to meet up with my father and spend a week as tourist. Dad, was up there for a good portion of the summer working with clients.
We were flying in a Turbo Single Otter. It was blue and owned by the company. It was just the three of us on the flight and the rest was cargo. There is an old saying that is still true to this day, never fly a plane in the north empty. There is always something going somewhere. Folks always share a plane, to get the moneys worth. The trip to Bathurst is 360 miles as the crow flies, but this we had to make a couple stops first.
Me, I love flying, and could do it without any sweat, my mother and brother on the other had, not so much. Needless to say by our second stop we had to dispose of some little baggies. Our first stop was, I think, Treeline Lodge or the old Salmita Mine, on the shores of Matthews Lake, which is on, you guessed it, the treeline. It is one of my favourite places in the world and where I learned to drive, but that story will wait. The second stop was at, arguably, one of the best fishing places in the north, the Burnside River Camp.
After many hours of going up and down we finally landed in Bathurst Inlet, an Inlet of the Arctic Ocean. Ironically one of the first people to meet us at the plane, who was also flying back to Yellowknife, was Archie Johnson, who was an elementary school councillor. I later came to learn that many of my school teachers also worked up at camps during the summer.
I don’t have many memories of actually being at the Lodge that week. I remember the Blue Lou, which was a homemade pontoon boat which was named after the blue colour outhouse that was situated on the back of the boat. I also can remember Susie’s cooking, amazing. She and her husband Sam, members of the community of Bathurst Inlet have become good friends with our family over the years.
So concludes another memory. Wait until I tell you the time we flew the Turbo Single Otter to Pilote Point Lodge. That was fun.