This year’s Spring trip to Bear Lake in Ontario Canada found eight of us traveling together. Each person has duties to perform and after so many years together, the chores become almost automatic. Big Jim Teusch takes care of the groceries. Normal fare included 8 dozen eggs, eight pounds of bacon, 9 pounds of Pork tenderloin and 8 pounds of beef tenderloin. He also buys all the staples to accompany each of the meals on the weeklong adventure. Each of the meals are planned before the trip starts, but the schedule is only a rough outline that can be modified as needed.
The border crossing going into Canada was less stringent and therefore faster than the last couple of years. We all had our Drivers Licensees ready, but the border patrol only asked a few questions and then sent us on our way.
Big Bear Lake is part of the Willisville and Whitefish Falls watershed that drains into Georgian Bay. Prior to 1919 there were only rivulets of water that connected 8 major lakes. In order to log the area, dams were built to raise the lakes, which allowed for timber to be floated across the lakes and Narrows and into the Great Lakes, for dispersion to wherever there was a market.
The raising of the lake made way for outback camps that are used to this day. Our camp is on an island in the middle of Big Bear Lake. There are 20 or more surrounding lakes that can be accessed by portage. Big Bear also lies on the boundaries of Killarney Provincial Park which harbors bear, wolf, deer, elk, beaver, and porcupine.
Initially the cabin was purchased by Tom Perkiser, George Malcom, and John Ceruti, all of Fort Wayne. When John passed away new investors were found, and luckily, my older brother Bill was one of them. We have been going on this spring trip for over thirty years, but in the early days the accommodations were much rougher than the luxuries we enjoy today. We now have hot and cold running water, gaslights, gas refrigerators, piers for the boats and a shed for motors and accessories. A large deck is situated on the north end of the cabin, which provides a beautiful place for fishermen to sit around in the evening and tell lies. Even though this is a wilderness paradise it is not without it’s aggravations. Black Flies and mosquitoes are in abundance and this year there was a new pest. It looked like the common housefly, and it didn’t bite, but there will millions of them to pester you. This new pest is a genetic experiment by the Canadian Government to try to eradicate the Gypsy Moth. There has been a recent infestation of Gypsy Moths, which damage trees. The solution is a genetically altered housefly that is supposed to lay its eggs in the nests or egg masses of the Gypsy Moth. The housefly larva then destroys the egg mass. Hopefully the flies then perish and presto changeo, a new modified Jurassic environment. I sure hope it works, as we all love the Big Bear Lake paradise.
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