It is November, and I finally woke up with some snow this morning. The weather has been beautiful up here in the Northwest Territories, I think it was +8 yesterday! Last weekend Jeremy and I went for a drive to cut some more wood for our wood stove (which luckily we havn’t had to use yet due to the unusual warm temperatures). We took the truck and left at around 7:00am while it was still dark. After driving through the forest along a cut trail for about 30 kms, we decided to turn around and head back to cut the fallen trees that we had spotted on the way down the path.
We stopped and got our gloves on and Jeremy cut the first fallen tree with the chainsaw- we don’t like to cut down standing trees because there are so many that have fallen naturally and that have dried out. One good tree will barely fill the back of the truck so we have to get quite a bit of wood. We had cut about three fallen trees on our way back out of the forest when we got to our fourth tree, about 6 km. back to the highway. We did our usual routine; Jeremy got out and began to cut, and once he had cut about 6-10 logs I got out and carried them to the truck and organized them. I got back into the truck while he continued cutting and I rolled up the window, since it was a bit cool outside.
While rolling up the window, I noticed that it rolled very slowly, so I called Jeremy and said “I think the truck is dying….” He got in, and the battery was toast. Luckily, he had an extra battery which he brough with him in case of this ever happening, and it too was dead. He figured that the batteries were not recieving the charge for some reason. He asked if I was ready for a walk…
Not happy about this situation, I began to bundle up with what we had: a few sweaters, gum boots (because they were insulated and would be better than my shoes), a touque, camo gloves and sunglasses. I stuffed matches and a water bottle into my pocket and Jeremy had his GPS which told us how far the highway was (6km), a compass and a gun with him for protection. Which reminds me, did I mention the wolf prints?… On our way down the path, there was a light dusting of snow which allowed you to see all of the animal tracks. We stopped to take pictures (all with my Iphone- I forgot the camera) of these really cool wolf tracks over a big, frozen puddle. You can see where their tails were draging in the snow behind them as they walked. They were very fresh because there was no snow covering the tracks at all-we figured they must have been there that morning. We counted 7 sets of prints and two babies. Pretty cool, until you start to walk that same path however many hours later.
Luckily it was a pretty warm day out. The sun was bright and shining which makes a huge difference. After a couple of hours of following the winding path, we made it to the highway. We were still an hour out of town. We decided to hitchhike (which I have never done in my life. But we had no choice with no cell service). Jeremy laughed and told me the first car would definately stop once seeing us with our small dog, and I told him nobody would pick ups up with a gun slung over his shoulder- so he hid it just in the bush a bit. He was right though, the first truck pulled over, and a very nice, older man named George from Fort Resolution picked us up.
He dropped us off at our house in Hay River where we warmed up some more and ate a hot lunch of sausage, eggs and toast, and hopped inthe car to drive out to the truck. It was about 3:00 by this time.
We drove back out of town for an hour, back to the turnoff into the bush and down the winding cut path in the forest to the stalled truck. Jeremy began to charge the batteries and cut another fallen tree while waiting. I took some pictures of the sun setting- it was so pretty but it was getting dark fast.
The truck charged but because the problem was the battery holding a charge like Jeremy had thought, he kept his lights off while I led him out of the bush in my car. It was very dark at about 8:00 when we got back home. What an adventure. I am realizing that a lot of my posts are about us going into the bush for some reason or another! I guess that’s where our adventures lie. Jeremy is out training to become a Canadian Ranger right now though, so we will be much more knowledgable about safety and survival situations in the future. Very cool.