Saturday, December 4, 2021
Wieland and I got up shortly after 6 am and Wieland went to the maintenance shop to fill some buckets with magic dust. We then brought the magic dust, diesel, kindling and firewood to each of the locations where the fires would be started.
By the time we finished delivering the materials, it was 7:30 am and group of Amish volunteers had arrived. I escorted 5 of them to the area where they would be cutting logs, as well as clearing and burning debris. Once they were familiar with the work that was to be done, I returned to the dining hall and had a little breakfast.
After breakfast, I joined Lynn, who had started to cut wood on the burn piles with the saw attachment on his skid steer. We spent the rest of the morning feeding the fires and cutting the wood in the piles and pushing the piles together with the skid steer.
There was a total of 32 volunteers, 11 of which were Amish that were at the camp. Most of the volunteers cut and burned the wood debris . One of them had also brought a bobcat,
and another volunteer had brought a forklift truck
At one point the forklift truck had to be used to help the bobcat because it had tipped over on one of the steep hills.
We had brunch at 10:30 am and Cheryl took a group picture with some of the volunteers.
I had noticed that here were fresh deer tracks in the mud and occasionally we would spot a few running through the area.
After brunch we all returned to the hills to clear and burn more brush. Just before noon the driver’s side front wheel came off of the rim of the forklift truck, most likely when it rubbed against a log that was lodged in the ground and the owner had to park it for the day. Fortunately he only lived a mile away and had driven the forklift truck to the camp. Wieland gave him a ride home so that he could get his tools to remove the wheel and have it fixed.
At noon, I headed back to the dorm area to shower and change into clean clothes for the drive. I packed my dirty clothes and shoes in garbage bags and threw them in the back of the car. As I was packing the car, Cheryl gave me some snacks and drinks for the road, as well as the printouts of our negative Covid tests and calendars she had made. When Wieland returned to the camp, we said our goodbyes and started the drive home.
Just before the border, we filled up with gas, completed our ArriveCan app information and picked up some Tim Horton’s coffee before heading across the BlueWater Bridge to Sarnia. At the border, we gave the guard our Nexus cards and Wieland’s phone with the ArriveCan app. He asked us what we had been doing and after looking in the back of the car, he asked me what I had in the garbage bags. When I told him that it was dirty clothes and shoes, he gave us the phone and cards back and sent us on our way. The drive was uneventful and we arrived in Niagara on the Lake at 7:30 pm, approximately 7 hours after we had left Amigo Centre.
When I got home, I noticed that a large branch from one of my ash trees had broken and fallen down on my lawn. I’ll have to spend some time this week cutting, cleaning and burning brush at my house. I’ve had a lot of practice so it shouldn’t be a problem, but I don’t have the advantage of using Lynn’s skid steer.
The trip was a wonderful experience and I am planning on the possibility of going back to help again in the spring.