After only a few days in Cold Lake, we will be moving to the Yukon tomorrow. That's a little unexpected, as we here there's already snow on the ground in Whitehorse, but we go where we're sent. I loved the Yukon last time I was there, so here's my chance to see if that was a fluke. And this time the destination is Watson Lake, which with a population of about 800 is the Yukon's second largest community.
The client has already booked rooms there for the whole crew, but my wonderful chief pilot, who is working with me on this shift, reports that internet reviews of the proposed accommodation are not favourable. The most recent one reads, "Don't stop at this hotel, if all other places are full, sleep in the car."
The best place in town, considering quality, availability, and not exceeding the price at the hotel the client chose is the Air Force Lodge. There's one catch: barracks-style shared toilets and showers. We decide we're okay with that, and tell the the clients where they will find us.
There's no flying today, so I do a workout, read the newspaper, go to lunch with the crew, sent some e-mail and read through the archive of an Internet comic that wasn't worth recommending. Leftovers for dinner. So yeah, my working day was kind of like your weekend. Tomorrow we'll fly to Watson Lake.
"What time do you want to meet in the morning?" I'm asked.
"Nine," I respond, for no particular reason. There's no hurry, we don't have to be there until the day after.
"Is that breakfast at nine, or checked out at nine?"
"The latter. Breakfast at eight forty-two."
I don't need eighteen whole minutes to eat breakfast and check out, but as I said, there's no hurry.
ah, Watson is a subtle place. The best place in town is actually "a Nice Motel", hidden off the main drag Alaska Highway. One picks up keys at the Petro Canada. Strange, but it's Watson.
Larry has true information! A Nice Motel was twice the price of the Air Force Lodge, and as we were rejecting the client's choice we felt obliged to not pay more.
Did you notice the names of the Lakes in Watson? I'll save you the suspense:
Wye Lake, Second Wye Lake (they must be short on imagination) and Hour Lake (looks like an hourglass I guess).
You know, you have a pretty awesome life. I mean, you fly planes for living! And you fly them all over the continent! I know this kind of job is considered low-level, and doesn't pay that much, and everyone is vying for the airlines... but decades from now, when you're an old lady, you'll have some unbelievable memories from this job, and great stories to tell while sipping tea by the fireplace. I am sure part of why your life seems so fascinating is the way you have with words - you can really tell a mean story (I would never have guessed that I'd find reading about carpet installation interesting :-). But even the best writers need a meaty subject to keep a reader's interest.
Yes, we figured they should by Wye Lake, Ex Lake and Zed Lake. The Air Force Lodge is right by Hour Lake.
I love how as I approach different subject and geographical areas, readers I didn't know I had pop up with topical knowledge.
I have a problem with the advice to sleep in your car. What if you flew in and didn't have one? That's what we did. But we had tents, and spent the night camping by the side of a taxiway at the airport.
Soon after we set up camp, we noticed a pair of small aircraft, apparently Cessnas, taking off in formation. My father could only think of one group crazy enough to do that, called to check, and verified that they were from the same place we were. The guy on the airport radio had assumed we were traveling together, but it was just coincidence that we visited Watson Lake on the same day.
My mother wants me to let everyone know that she swam in Watson Lake.
I suppose a Canadian lake would have to be known as Zed lake, but Zee lake would also be a lot of fun.
"I'm going to zee lake now."
Anoynmous, I salute your mother. I kind of wish I had taken the opportunity to swim in all the lakes I've stayed beside. I even thought of swimming in Watson Lake, but it was starting to freeze, and I didn't want to get that cold.
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