This sturdy, hand-made table is two thick slabs of white pine resting snugly upon a mortise-and-tenon-constructed, rock maple trestle. It was carried disassembled to Labrador in my truck, then strapped onto the pontoon of an Otter floatplane and flown 150 air miles into camp. Truly a work of functional art, it has been the focal point of our dining lodge since the roof became tight to the weather. Upon its surface, thousands of traveling fly anglers have taken well-prepared meals and enjoyed countless cups of coffee (and a variety of other beverages). Scads of flies have been tied, invented, debated and exchanged. It has been hand-slapped in fits of laughter, fist-pounded in frustrations, and witness to hundreds of cribbage spankings handed out remorselessly by Frances Barry. Still, it has not loosened a lick in thirteen years.
But it has never born the weight of a Thanksgiving Dinner. Oh it’s seen its fair share of turkey, dressing and trimmings, but at TRL, that is just our usual Sunday evening dinner. But no Thanksgiving meals – neither the Canadian nor the United States version.
No Thanksgivings because the windows you see there behind the table are boarded up now and the room is dark. Deep, drifting snow has fallen around the camps marked only with the tracks of wolves and the little red foxes that live under the cabins in wintertime. The land is quiet. The sweep of winter winds is more akin to silence than to sound. In February, a small team of adventurers will arrive on snow sleds, open the Guides’ Camp and spend two or three weeks gathering firewood, cutting and hauling saw logs and generally tending to the well-being of the camps. It is a magical time. And a place of extraordinary peace and beauty. Someday, you should make such a trip.
(click each picture for enlargements)