The Actual Trip (Part 3)

Charles Dowdell---Aug 8, 2003


Day 4 Still

Last night after our first power plant tour we headed over to Chisasibi. It is about an hour's drive to Chisasibi from Raddison. There is not much in between. Occasionally you will see a teepee or other Indian camp, but there was not a lot to look at besides enjoying the wilderness.


We were to meet up with our Cree Indian contact. But before we did that we had some quick dinner at Googoom's Kitchen. I had some excellent pizza with something weird on it. It was great. The service was slow. It was after business hours and there was no one in the community center office where we were to meet our contact, so we asked around for "Sherman". Sure enough, someone told us where he lived and we headed over there.


Chisasibi is a new Cree Indian town of about 4000 people, much larger than Raddison and of course very different culturally. Chisasibi was established as part of the "relocation" that took place around 1980. Previously, these folks lived mostly on Fort George island. For some reason the Quebecers thought the power plant would destroy their homes there. Fort George island is still there and is now actually experiencing a bit of a Renaissance.




We found Sherman and told us to meet him over at his office in a few minutes. WE did and decided what we were to do the few next days. I noticed a article on his office wall indicating that Sherman had seen Bigfoot. I asked and he explained he had and that he figures Bigfoot hibernates like a bear and that is why we don't find tracks.


Sherman told us where to camp down at the shore of James bay., I asked if there were bear and he replied that, "the bear won't bother you, you just talk to them." I of course laughed and said, "what do I say to the bear?" He calmly told me that you say ShooBoo (or something like that) and that they won't hurt you. He went on and said that the road back will not look the same to you before we came up. I definately found myself interested in his outlook, it was so foreign. It was strange enough that I knew there must be something new and rewarding.


Chisasibi Community Center

Camp 2 at Waters Edge

We made camp knowing that we would drive back to Raddison tommorow, then take a bus almost all the way back to Chisasibi to LG-1 and then turn around and head back to Raddison to get the truck to head back to Chisasibi again. At least we could snooze on the bus.


It was primitive camping and the bugs were incredible. I could see where peoiple would prey for rain or wind or anything to get these bugs away.





High tide in our camp ground

Notice Jeff's coat. The coat is more for bug protection than temperature.



Camp at Waters Edge


Here I am relaxing with a brew inside my bug-suit. It works pretty good, except for one night, in my sleep, I took the head mask off and the bugs had a feast.


The bug suit

Day 5

Today we visited LG-1 and hung out at the camp ground. Oh yeah, we drove around locally for 5 hours.


LG-1 is an impressive power plant. The main differences between LG-1 and LG-2 are that LG-1 is a low-head high-volume mill. The turbines are a very different design and the overall vibration is considerably less.


We went into the belly of the power plant and it was clear that LG-1 was practically new. Not that LG-2 is old, LG-1 is brand new even in power plant years.


It is a very impressive power plant.



Hanging around the camp site was fun. The bugs acome in a great assortment of shapes and sizes. Some of the cree cam up and talked with us and a few other campers came and went. I gave some guy a jump start for his Nissan Alterra.


Checking the gill nets

Fort George Island

Jeff and I put the canoe and in a paddled over to Fort George island. Supposedly there was about to be a Pow Wow or something and there were quite a few folks on the island, mostly working on the shacks and Teepees.





Cree Indian kid we met on Fort George island

There is a car ferry operating out to the island, I think it was 20.00 CN. Too much, we put the canoe in and paddled across.



Ferry to Fort George Island



Continue to Part 5- The Actual Trip