North Branch of Main Southwest Miramichi
Opening my eyes to the sound of the early robins and the river flowing past the house in Juniper, on the South Branch of the Main Southwest Miramichi. I had spent the last part of my sleep with one eye open, as Klondike, the family dog who had been sleeping near my bedside, woke me up and made believe she was going to be sick. I crept to the back door and let her out for a short spell, but when I wanted her to come in, she refused me. All I could think of was skunk, or someone running over her on their way home from the 3 am shift at the mill. Anyhow I kept a look out the window for her till I fell back to sleep.
Bill Ensor had Invited me to come with him on a trip up the North Branch with Donnie Boucher and Dwayne (Bimbo) Shaw. A trip he had bought at the annual Miarmichi Headwaters Salmon Federation Inc, dinner in April. Of course this was a trip I had dreamed of all my life, and could not refuse such an invite.
We spent the night at Judy and Randy Lute's home, and were to go early-- 9am in the morning. The weather for the time of year was promising to be warm. We had spent the evening celebrating Randy's Birthday on the back porch, where friends gathered to extend good wishes to him and to just pass the time in the great weather.
Getting out to the door to find it locked and Klondike in the house gave me a relaxed feeling, I knew it was going to be a good day.
Eating breakfast and getting ready for the trip passed quickly, Randy loaned me his can of D15 so we would be able to keep the black flies out of our hair. We then headed up to the spot where we were to take off.
Bimbo and Donnie were there waiting for us, so after parking the truck in the shade, we got into the canoes, I travelled in Bimbo's 22 footer and Bill went in Donnie's canoe. The outboards started flawlessly and we were off. heading up to the barrier, where we were let through by the man on duty. We arrived at the Alder grounds where I took a few photographs, and marvelled at what a pristine area we were in,. This is without a doubt a paradise. Smoke covered the far hills from a giant fire in Quebec many miles to the northwest of us.
Weaving our way through the alder grounds by professional canoe men, made the trip a very relaxing trip. We made believe we were on a trout fishing trip, but it really was four big kids on an outing in the wilderness with thoughts of days gone by with old friends and mentors like our dad's and granddads.
Arriving at West Brook, we stopped and had a great lunch which was cooked on the spot, some salad and fruit, a little nectar of the gods was spilled toasting the wonderful day.
After a little say, we motored up to the Bruin Camp,. This is the place where many memories were shared by Donnie and Bimbo. Stories of snakes rolling out of the mattress, to huge trout caught on their way up to Beadle. It was getting very hot for the time of year so we turned the canoes for home. Now if you ever want a thrill, you want to be in a canoe driven by a lad who knows every turn weaving in and out of the hairpin turns with ease, I thought I was in one of those formula one races in downtown Montreal.
Arriving at the Barrier, we signed the book, and were let through the fence, getting back to the landing around 5pm. We had to head home after one of the most memorable trips in my life to a great sanctuary in the center of the Province of New Brunswick.
Thank you Bill for the honour to accompany you on such a magnificent trip, thank you Donnie and Dwayne, and most of all thanks to the hosts, Judy and Randy Lutes, President and Secretary of the Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation Inc.