Port Carling Snowmobile Bridge

Unexpected Work Weekend!

Last Friday night we were forced to cancel the mat installation project for a lack of volunteers. Gary and I spent Saturday trying to figure out how we were ever going to get those rubber mats on the bridge. With only a couple of guys it becomes about a 2 day job and we are both getting too old for that much hard physical labour. Our solution was to not open C102D from Port Carling to Brandy lake this season. Late on Saturday afternoon I heard from a few guys guys that indicated they could be available on Sunday morning for 2 or 3 hours tops to help out. I contacted Gary and he had also heard from some different folks that also could help for a bit! Things were starting to look better rather quickly! With a few more phone calls we were ready to start first thing Sunday morning with a full crew.

Well, it had snowed over night and we had an unexpected job of removing about 6”+ of fresh snow. Not to be dissuaded, Myself, Jack and “BIG” Steve arrived a bit earlier and removed the snow before the rest of the crew showed. “BOB”, (that’s the Bob-Cat) was unloaded and began bringing the rolled mats to the bridge to be placed on the 2 wheel dollies and taken to the far end of the bridge to get us started. I think we all took at least one tumble down the very slippery ramp at the Island end. Finally we were on the flat and away we went. Great team work by our crew and we were done in a couple of hours. The snow continued all morning and we were constantly shoveling and rolling out the mats and screwing them down trying to out run the snow accumulation. Another job well done by our volunteers. Please don’t leave your commitment to the last minute. I don’t know if my heart can take this again! If the guys had not pulled together at the last minute I do not know where we would be right now! We have already had about 20” of snow on the bridge and they are calling for at least 10” more. Looks like we are off to a great start for the season.

Before I forget, I must send out a special THANK YOU to Adam Scott. He and his crew kindly donated all materials and labour required to install a new bridge on “C114” north of Bala at one of the railway crossings. Always great to have our local contractors help out when needed.

I would like to personally thank, Mike Webb, Terry Grant, Dan Vatcher, Jack Fenn and “Big” Steve Long. In addition, I need to thank my “right hand”, Gary Quaife, without him I would really be lost. To you all again, THANK YOU!

We have 2 more projects on the books for the up coming weeks:- one is the bridge rebuild on C101D at Southwood Road and the 2nd one is a lot more brushing on “C” trail north to Moon River Bridge.

See you all on the trails, we hope to start packing the beginning of next week.

Rene’

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