Dianne’s Excellent Northern Adventure – Day 2

The morning began with Harriet driving me about an hour to Hall Lake (population 500) to do my first reading. The kids were a little unsettled, but not horrible. My guess is that they don’t do a lot of group stuff, or get a lot of presentations, and are more comfortable one-on-one.

[I didn’t take pictures of the kids at any of the places, for privacy reasons.]

Then we drove back to La Ronge, grabbed a sub at Subway, and changed chaperones. Harriet doesn’t like to fly, so Kathie Tenold will be accompanying me for the next four days. Kathy and I drove to the airport and went on a one-hour charter flight to Southend. We flew in a 3-passenger Cessna 185. That’s the smallest plane I’ve been in since my air cadet days.  I got to ride in the front. It was fun! Our handsome young pilot, Kyle, was great.

 

Cessna 185 to Southend

Cessna 185 to Southend

At Southend, we landed on the ice on the skis that you see behind the wheels. They flip down under the wheels or up, as needed.

pilot Kyle

pilot Kyle

 

inside view from the front seat

inside view from the front seat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

outside view from the front seat

outside view from the front seat

You don’t realize just how many lakes and how much water there is in the north until you see it from above. The bare patches are areas where a forest fire swept through.

once the haze cleared

Southend is at the southern tip of Reindeer Lake and is home to about 900 people.

Southend

Southend

 The kids were even more unsettled at Southend unfortunately (I had to break up a wrestling match on the floor in front of me), and the teachers didn’t seem too interested in doing anything about it. Except for one teacher. She came in and got them under control pretty quickly and made the comment to them “Yes, I’m here now so you better settle down.”  I kind of felt sorry for her – sounds like she had to be the perennial bad guy. But after her intervention it went better.

[Truthfully, I was starting to worry that I wasn’t going to be able to connect with any of the kids up north. Things did get much better, I’m happy to say.]

One neat thing that happened was when I was asking the kids if they had any favourite books and one little guy said “Mystery of the Lunchbox Criminal!” which was written by my good friend, Alison Lohans from Regina. Shout out to you, Alison!

Whitesand Dam

Whitesand Dam

Kyle flew us over the Whitesand Dam on the Reindeer River, just east of Southend (the water doesn’t freeze over on this stretch of the river because the current is so strong) and then back to La Ronge.

 

 

 

 

 

Twin-engine turboprop Saab 340

Twin-engine turboprop Saab 340

 

 

Then we hopped on a 75 minute scheduled flight to Stony Rapids via Fond-du-Lac on a much larger (34 passenger) Saab 340. There was even a flight attendant!

We got settled into “Al’s Place,” our home base for the next three days, had a delicious supper and then off to bed, for an early start tomorrow.

 

 

La Ronge to Hall Lake to La Ronge to Southend to La Ronge to Fond-du-Lac to Stony Rapids – it’s hard to believe we fit all this into one day!

 

3 Responses

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  1. Thx for sharing your adventure Dianne….pics are amazing. I am sure you made a difference to a few young children.

  2. Wow! Your photos made me feel I was flying beside you. Actually they made me WISH I was flying beside you! It certainly instils awe to cover so much wilderness. Have fun with the rest of the adventure.

  3. Dianne, it is such a thrill reading this! It brings back so many memories, revisiting my fly-in tour three years ago (and the driving tours, the two previous years) – seeing the scenery, hearing about the places – what fun! And you even got to land on ice!
    My impressions of the kids in Southend vs Hall Lake were opposite yours; Hall Lake was among my most difficult, even a little scary, over 30 years of doing this. I’m glad you had a better time there. That wrestling match; I’ve seen a couple of those!
    AJ’s in Stony Rapids – I enjoyed staying there. Does the Fond du Lac airport still have signs about geese, and you’re only allowed to carry half a cake on the plane?
    ….And … wow! – that a kid would mention one of my books! Thanks for passing this along, Dianne!
    I am SO looking forward to reading your next instalments!!

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