This is a story told by Georgette Major who had the sawmill with her husband Stan at Wekusko Falls and supplied much of the lumber that was used in the construction of buildings at Snow Lake, including Vance’s Store, that my parents owned.
MY ADVENTUROUS SHOPPING TRIP
By Linda C Butler
Told by Georgette Major
In the 1950s I was a private school teacher for Claire Tribble, the daughter of Wilda and Brock Tribble, who lived at Herb Lake. One time two of my girlfriends from Winnipeg came to visit and when it was time for them to leave, I decided to accompany them on the short flight to Flin Flon to shop for a couple hours until the plane was ready to return to Herb Lake.
The weather was fair when we left Herb Lake but it turned stormy before we reached Flin Flon and the pilot was forced to land on a small lake. There was no dock, but the pilot steered the plane into a little bay and we stopped near the shoreline, where he tied the plane to a tree. We were able to go ashore, but we spent the night in our seats in the plane bouncing in the water. The pilot handed out emergency rations of hardtack for us to eat and we were comfortable.
In the morning the weather cleared and we resumed our flight to Flin Flon and arrived safely. I said my goodbyes to my friends and they departed on their flight to Winnipeg.
The pilot was worried about the weather and he was anxious to fly before the storm developed again as the weather was unsettled. He told me that there was no time to shop and we would depart as soon as the plane was loaded. He had supplies for Herb Lake and for a mining camp at Squall Lake, and once he was ready to fly, we departed. We went to Squall Lake first and by the time we arrived at the camp the weather was closing in. We unloaded the camp cargo and waited in the cookshack for the weather to clear so we could resume our trip. There never was a break and after supper the men brought out the cribbage board and we played cards. I was the only woman and the fellows pitched a tent for me to sleep in.
We expected to fly in the morning but conditions remained stormy for the next couple days. Finally the storm cleared and we flew back to Herb Lake.
It was a relief to finally get home. I had had a five-day adventurous shopping trip and never made a purchase.