|The wooden bridge spanning the Magaguadavic River at Flume Ridge|
Phil was a teacher who worked with my dad in the 1970's at Rothesay Junior High School. I would be lying to say that I remember the exact date of the trip - though it had to be in the early 1970's as I was no more than six or seven years old. One evening in the early fall, after school, Dad and Phil packed Blaine, Phil's son and me, into Phil's old, I want to say white but the years leave that detail foggy at best, station wagon and began our trek from Rothesay to Flume Ridge on what was my first hunting trip. The same drive today would be a matter of no more than a few hours but in the 70's the drive was a bit more of a trek given the nature of rural New Brunswick highways at that time. Of course when you are seven or eight and excited and covering new territory time has a way of being distorted.
I clearly remember Blaine and I bouncing around the back seat of the car, as we drove down the paved sections of highway, excited to be on this great adventure with our fathers. Darkness fell and we made the turn onto gravel roads. Here the bouncing stopped and both of us in back focused on the road - made more mysterious and adventurous in the wake of cars passing the other way and throwing up dust that swirled across our path. There was also the chance encounter with wild life to be on the look out for as well. I recall jumping several times with excitement as a deer crossing the road was caught in the dusty yellow light of our headlights.
The last, and most seared memory of that trip was our arrival at the camp and the meal that we had just before turning in for the night. After unloading all of the gear and getting it stowed in the various dedicated nooks and crannies of the camp, Phil and Dad pulled out a loaf of bread and a container of molasses. Now for those of you that are not connoisseurs of molasses allow me to explain that there is no finer version of molasses than Crosby's Molasses, one of the oldest family owned businesses in New Brunswick. The bread was thick sliced and Blaine and I were set down to a plate with molasses poured in the middle and several large chunks of bread with sliced strong cheddar cheese on the side - a meal truly fit for adventurers of our stature.
The only other recollection that I have of that trip is that the following morning Phil killed a pheasant that we cleaned and cooked that evening; and that the rest of the trip was spent adventuring with Blaine in the woods and along the river next to the camp while our fathers spent their time working on odd projects that hunting camps of that ilk require in order to remain at all serviceable. It was almost twenty years later that I crossed that bridge on my first trip into my in-laws camp.
|The Flume Ridge Bridge still welcomes our family adventures today|
The photographs are two of a series of random shots that I took during a quad ride while visiting the in-law`s camp in the summer of 2009. The number of camps in the area has increased significantly, the nature of the area has changed as people have developed summer camps over the older hunting camps that previously dotted this portion of the river. While these aspects have changed over the years the old bridge that was part of my earliest father/son adventures remains as a welcoming reminder of that early trip on each of our family pilgrimages to "Nanny & Pup's Camp." On a melancholy note, I was saddened to learn that "Duff's Camp" washed away in the flooding of the Magaguadavic in the winter of 2010 - it washed down stream until it was hooked under the bridge which miraculously survived the flooding and will again greet us as we continue our family adventures to "The Flume."
Late Note: I have happily discovered that I was mistaken earlier in reporting that the camp had been washed away - several other camps were but Phil's was simply picked up and turned on its axis. I will have to see if I can get a picture of the old place to post when we make the trek into the in-laws camp next week.