Adirondack Guide, Adirondack Mountains, Adirondacks, Alfred Donaldson, Alvah Dunning, Blue Mountain Lake, Boreal Swamp, brook trout, canoe, Chateaugay, Durant, French Louis Seymour, geese, Indian Pass, John Leaf, loggers, Nobleboro, Railroads, saranac, Thomas Tahauwas, West Canada Creek
It was the worst rainstorm that we ever had in the Adirondacks. Thank God there was not a lot of wind with it or we would have lost millions of lumber trees. Not a lot of wind, just a downpour for five days without letup.
Prior to the storm I had walked down to Limekiln Lake. I was to meet Old Man Dodge there. He had told me that there was some work going on up on Hatchery Brook. We met at Bender’s cabin at the edge of the lake. Bender was in ill-health and had lost his wife several years before. Dodge was looking in on Bender from time to time.
Old Dodge, he was a funny character. He had more stories than a book. When he told a story everyone listened. I think it was because he could change his voice and his face to match whatever story he was telling. He was a hoot, that old Dodge was.
Dodge informed me that some well-to-do guy from Boston had purchased six hundred acres up on Hatchery Brook. There was a lumber trail that led to the property. I knew the area well. That was good bear hunting area. The territory was flat and had a lot of pine trees, ponds and berry bushes. A lumber company had cleared it a while back. The fellow from Boston wanted a cabin to be built.
So Old Dodge and I get in his buckboard and headed in on the lumber trail. It was all bumpy and such. The lumber company’s wagons continually beat up the road. It was best to travel in the winter when the holes were filled in with snow. The lumber company had a big roller that they rolled the snow down with. They had big sleds that brought the lumber out in the winter. Hatchery brook was not big enough to float the logs down to the Moose River.
It was really a pleasant ride in the winter. But this was fall and the road was pretty beat up. We met the fellow from Boston on his property. He had a nice set up. A tent for living and another tent for cooking. He said the bears had been bothering him. He was using a quarter stick of dynamite every day to chase them away. He said he was running out. Old Dodge said he would bring him some on the next trip.
The Boston fellow took us on a short walk to show me what he wanted done. There was plenty of stone in the brook for a foundation and plenty of trees for the cabin.
We could feel a cold breeze and commented on the coming winter. As we talked and walked the breeze got a little stiffer and colder. Old Dodge said it was a storm coming and we should get going. The fellow from Boston, I wish I could remember his name, this Boston fellow insisted that we have something to eat before we headed back to Limekiln Lake. We agreed but it was a big mistake.
While we were having a nice meal it started raining really hard. Old Dodge asked the fellow from Boston if we could sleep in the cooking tent that night. The weather would probably be better the next day. Well, it wasn’t. We stayed in the cooking tent for five days. We were lucky that the bears didn’t bother us. It was probably because of the heavy rain.
When we finally left the property we found that every low spot across the sandy and gravel road had been washed out. We had to rebuild the road at every one of these spots. After three days we realized that it would be another week before we could get back to Limekiln Lake.
Fortune and fate were with us though. Coming from the other direction was a road crew that belonged to the lumber company. They had rebuilt the road from Limekiln to where we met them. It only took us another four hours to reach Bender’s cabin. He was in the same condition as we left him eight days ago; which wasn’t too bad for a sick old man.
I had the cabin foundation laid for the Boston fellow before the dead of winter. I finished up the cabin the following spring.
While I was at it I put some manners on those bears.