May 20th, 2012: Our first guests arrive today and it’s a beautiful day! It rained most of the day yesterday and we spent the previous day getting Aswap set up. The new motors are on the boats, the boats are cleaned and ready with all the nets, paddles, life preservers, seats and measuring boards. The cabin was beaten pretty badly by a bear or it could have been a bunch of bears there was so much damage! The fridge and stove were tossed over, mattresses were missing, the diesel barrel was knocked down and the front window and part of the wall was gone!! I believe the bear got in through the door but when that shut behind him, he had to make a new exit. We rebuilt the wall and we have 2 new windows coming in with the guests today. They will be installed by this afternoon. Unbelievable the damage a bear can cause, I’ve seen it a bit before, but I’ve never seen this much damage. Everything else is working well in the cabin, we installed a new antenna wire at the lodge yesterday so we should have no problem hearing the guys at the outposts on the radio.
Our float plane is delayed for a few more days until Transport Canada has a chance to inspect it. In the meantime, we’re using my father’s Beaver so we can’t complain. I spent a lot of my time this spring getting the plane ready. With the multiple trips to the lodge, I was making sure the bugs were worked out, we replaced a bunch of instruments, repaired the flaps, repaired and repainted the floats, added all the placards and exit stickers, restocked the survival and first aid kits and bought new life preservers, a new float pump and new ropes. Our training and exams are done, we just need the plane now.
The freight haul was completed a week ago but the fuel haul finally came to an end last night. Rough weather and strong winds delayed the fuel plane so he sat and waited for better conditions. So all in all, it’s been a tough start to the season, break ins by locals and bears, delays with the freight and fuel planes and a delay with our float plane. Other than that, the weather has actually been pretty good, the ice is gone and we have guests today!
Tomorrow we will set up Joint Lake for the guests coming in on Tuesday. More staff will be arriving daily so it’s going to get busier right away! We’re looking forward to a great season now that the bugs are worked out!!