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Page 48 - Mail and Snow and Roads and Mud

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/6/1 (240 reads)

ferry to New Campbellton, then drive over Kelly's Mountain and then cross at the Englishtown ferry and go down the North Shore and then go up over Smokey and down to North Bay • and then home, most of the time. The latest I drove the mail to North Bay Ingonish was the 20th of January. Used to try to get the Christmas mail down by truck, because there was so much. And we alvv'ays got it dou-n. But my we used to have some terrible storms before Christmas* /' ' '%. (Eddie Gordon told us that your's was considered the toughest mail run in Cana? da.) That's because there v'ere two fer? ries to contend with, and two mountains. And the roads weren't paved* And the spring of the year they were terrible with mud. Terrible* But I always got through some way or another • if the ferry would take me* Number of nights I stayed at the ferry. Or went up Rockyside and took the Ross ferry--a bigger ferry* And then, there were 65 miles one way. And ice* All kinds of ice* No sanding in them days. Set of cross chains every couple daySo I got a new truck every year • 45 to 47,000 miles • they were old in a year* They got hard times. (Did you worry?) It didn't do any good. (Malce a lot of money?) Not too much. For a year I got around $1200. Of course, in the worst of winter I got a much shorter run. (Did they plow in those days?) Our road to Little Bras d'Or was plowed but the roads over the mountain weren't plowed. To get over Smo? key I always had somebody with me the month of December. Till I'd stop there was two of us* We always shoveled our way* The people were real good to open the road if they knew I was down* But at Smo? key you had to do it yourself • We had two bags of sand with us* Shovels and chains* Once I crossed on the ferr'y at Little Bras d'Or and there was quite a storm on. It was a short ferry • it would take about 3 cars on a calm day • and it was well- built, had sides on it • a wonderful fer? ry. I was going to go to Ross ferry and Rod MacLeod said wait a little while and perhaps I'll be able to take you across* I was on the Big Bras d'Or side, going north V'jith the mail* So I waited* He said, " /e'll take a chance on ferrying you." It was quite a run round Ross fer? ry. So we went across* It was terrible rough* We had to tie the truck, it was so rough. It was sliding back and forth on the deck. We tied a rope around the bumper and tied it on one of the posts* And I got a little scared • the ferry used, to go up and down • and how in the world was I going to get off the ferry? You had to back off. Drive off backwards on skids* Just hardivood plank about 5 feet long* Any? how, we got into the wharf* And they made fast* And these two ferrymen, one on each side, holding those skids • and the ferry would go way down amd then she'd come way up above the wharf • and I didn't know how I was going to get off* She was going way up and way down and I just watched my chance when she was coming up and I give it to her till I got the hind wheels on the wharf and I.said, "Goodbyee You can go as high as you like now*" Edited & Published by Ronald Caplan with the help of Bonnie Thompson JUI-' 19J7 THE SECOND COLLECTORS' EDITION ' Cape Breton's m a c. a z i n t Cape Breton's MAGAZINE Issues 7 through 12 ?? 216 pages • $4.50 WRECK COVE CAPE BRETON NOVA SCOTIA .Send me'The Second Collectors* Edition, issues 7 thru 12 ($4*50) I and / or NAME Send a'6-issue ($5*00, Foreign $6.00) ADDRESS . 1'12-issue ($9*00, Foreign $11*00) sub- I scription to Cape Breton*s Magazine. Begin subscription with 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 GIFT FROM: Enclosed is a • check Qmoney order for ' *
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