By mid-July the LGL survey ended up in Rae Straight, and from there, terminated. I ended up ferrying south and picking up some itinerant work with the OMNR and again with Ontario Hydro in Manitouwadge. Hydro was using some brush-cutting equipment to clean up a line into the town, and I was transporting the crews out each day to do the work.
It wasn’t long before the hot, dry weather that summer transpired to contribute plenty of smoke and fire in the area surrounding Manitouwadge. Since I was right there, Hydro eventually relented and shut down their job. I was released to do the fire flying on Terrace Bay 21. It wasn’t long before Terrace 22 ignited and the show started all over again.
Those fires ended up being quite a social event in the hotel. Some debauchery went on in the hotel’s broom closets with some of the locals and imports when we ended up partaking of the facilities. How the crews beat us to the best seats in the house every night continued to be a complete mystery for quite a while.
I can recall spending the occasional night in a local basement, on the lookout for hiding from an axe-wielding individual suspicious of something or other. I do recall that the mostly innocent second party to the crime was a blonde with a huge rack. She wasn’t shy about showing it off by draping it in a white sweater, and I made it my personal business to carve out a landing spot where the sweat likes to pool.
I still shake my head at that little indiscretion and consider myself lucky – both for the rackage and the escape from sure and certain perdition had I sneezed.