Day 6 – Trip home

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.

Day 5 – Amigo Centre

Friday, December 3, 2021

Wieland and I got up at 6:30 am and at 7:15 am, we met Cheryl by the maintenance building where we prepared some more magic dust and then Wieland used Cheryl’s car to go into town and get some diesel fuel before breakfast.

After breakfast, Wieland continued to work on the bathroom in the cabin where he had installed the electrical circuits. He cut a hole in the wall to accommodate the window he later installed.

He also installed the drain and vent pipes for the shower, toilet and sink and then he started the installation of the drywall.

Most of the volunteers continued to cut and burn the fallen trees, however, some of the volunteers worked on rebuilding trails.

Some spent their day cutting down trees.

And some raked leaves.

Lynn and I fed some of the fires that had been started the day before and started some new ones. We then cleared a path of debris, before returning to the meadow. Because a quilting group was using the camp and they had a special lunch, the volunteers had a brunch at 10:30 am instead of lunch, however Lynn and I decided to skip brunch.

After brunch Cheryl took a group photo.

After Lynn and I restarted the fire in the meadow we cleared the trail along the property line. I cut the trees and Lynn moved them with his skid steer. I had lost my gloves during a short break and when Cheryl came back to see us, she found them along the trail we had cleared and brought them to me.

After clearing the trail, we fed the fire and then cleared another trail in the meadows.

At 4:30 pm we fed the fire again and then headed back to the dining hall for supper. After supper, Lynn and I went out to feed some of the fires and he created a huge bonfire in the meadows. I was a bit concerned that the fire might spread to other areas, because it got so hot that the flames shot up about 4.5 m ( 15 ft ) and the sparks flew about 30 m ( 100 ft ) in the air. Fortunately it was a very calm night and the did not travel far.

When I got back to the lodge, I helped Cheryl find buckets for magic dust and bottles for diesel fuel so that they would be ready for starting fires in the morning. We filled up eight plastic containers with the old diesel fuel and then I returned to my room to have a shower and rest.