In the early 70's we spent about a month hauling gravel at Cross Lake. This building was our residence while we were there. It used to be a school building. We had brought along a metal bunk bed for me and my brother. Dad had a sheet of plywood on some five gallon pails and the hired man slept on the counter along one wall. When my sister came to cook for us we made her a room by setting up some plywood walls and then the plywood on some pails trick. Periodically we had to remove her bed supports as we needed oil. Our table was a ping pong table. Nice and big, 5' x 9'. We ended up using one end as the pantry and ate at the other end. For chairs we had five gallon pails with bombardier tires on them so that the table was at a decent level to the body for eating.

This is the ice road that we hauled gravel on at Cross Lake. This is on the way to the pit and at the end of 2 miles of ice. At 12 mph that was a 10 minute crossing. Because it was nice and smooth I used to set the hand throttle and pour myself some tea while crossing the lake. From here it was still almost 3 miles into the bush to the pit. On a good day you could get up to 15 loads, although usually we did not get that much. A speedy trip including loading was 55 minutes. It was about 11 miles per round trip. When the road was cleared about a week or so before we started there was 30" inches of ice. According to the book that was lots for a tandem truck. Most of the gravel was stockpiled at the airstrip for graveling the runway. Some was dumped at the skating rink for a future community center.

When we started loading gravel here this was just a test hole. After hauling many thousands of cubic yards out we had a nice sized hole. We also had trouble with a frozen layer on top that caved in when it was undermined far enough. One cave in landed on the loader and broke a cylinder and did some damage to the side of the bucket. After that we got some dynamite. We drilled hole with a jack hammer along the top and placed dynamite in the holes and when it blew up we sometimes had big chunks to haul out of the hole.

This was the first new truck that I got to drive. Here it is pictured backing in at the pit in Crosslake ready to get loaded.

The cloud of dust at the center of the picture is part of a demolition project. There used to be a 3 story stone building located at this location. The walls were almost 3 feet thick. A few years before this they had done a major renovation project and spent lots of money on the school. Then they decided that it cost too much to heat the building so it was blasted down. They drilled holes every few feet along the wall and put in a stick of dynamite. Then BANG and down came the building. We ended up pulling the truss rafters out of the rubble. The stone from the building we hauled to the causway for the footbridge over the Nelson River.

On the right side center of this picture you can see a causway to the footbridge over the Nelson River. This footbridge ran from the causeway to the island and then to the far side of the river. It was built so that the children could walk over the river and attend the stone school that I mentioned in the previous picture. Now the school was gone and the causeway was built up and reinforced against erosion using the stone from the building. But now there was no longer and need for the bridge because the school was gone. Talk about irony!

This is at the Crosslake airport. I'm not sure if you could call the building the terminal or not. The airplane behind the snow is on the runway. Dad sometimes dragged the runway with the small loader and the drag. Turns out the pilots were not too happy with him. When he did it on some muddy days he left some tracks more or less along the runway. When the airplanes dropped a tire into those tracks they had to go wherever the tracks went even if not in a straight line. At takeoff and landing speeds that could be quite interesting. They said if he would drag crossways then all they'd get is a bump and not loss of control.