The train stopped at mi 92 for the first couple of years. That meant all freight and passengers got off before the dam. Then we had to carry everything down the to the river put it in boats and cross the river and carry everything up on the other side.
There was a lot of celebrating when dad got the RR to put us on the map and we became MI marker Number 93 for freight and passengers.
Of course there was no TV and very little radio reception so things were very quiet after sundown. With a few hotly contested card games and board games such as Monopoly and etc. And on a cool night it was done in front of the fireplace.
One of the things the girls mentioned was the boat house. And also the smell, as it was where fuel and oil was stored. It was a building about 24 X 24 built on top of some stumps down on the water's edge next to the floating docks.
One of the guides, by the name of Bill Roach, basically built the boat house and I was there to help him. Me being a kid I knew absolutely nothing about building (still don't really). Bill was a native American and very woods wise and really handy with a axe. He not only trimmed boards, pounded nails but he used it to sight along the handle to make sure post and timbers were perpendicular to the world. We used a large gallon jug with water in it for a level for the floor. I was so naive at the time I thought everybody did it that way.
When it was finished we then had a place to put and work on the outboard motors, life jackets, parts and the cans of gasoline and oils. All of the gasoline came in by train and was in 55 gallon (US) 50 gal (IMP measure) barrels. We spent a lot of time mixing gas and oil for the motors and running all of the gas through the very fine screen filters to keep out water. Brass shear pins were used on the propellers because of all of the "deadheads" floating in the river. Many a brass shear pin saved the expensive props and lower units from damage.
For the life of me I cannot remember what the floatation was on the floating docks (probably styrofoam). The water level could fluctuate quite a bit, depending on the season and the requirements at the hydroelectric dam. I do remember the dock went straight out about 25 or 30 feet with more dock on the end so that it was a T type. In the morning we'd get the boats ready with fuel, jackets and whatever and tie them up at the T. When the boats were not in use they were kept inside on the straight dock. At the top ends of the T we had log booms run out (a chain of logs tied end to end) probably about 50 ft and anchored out to help keep the floating logs away from the boats and doing damage.
Another one of the morning duties was to make sure the fishermen that were staying out all day had their lunches. If they were using guides, they would be getting a shore lunch. One of the favorite shore lunches was fish. In their lunch would be bread, butter, frying pan, grease, a metal can with a wire handle to make tea, and a couple of pieces of silverware and maybe, fruit or candy. Now you haven't lived until you tried the native tea. The tea itself was pretty good but I think the natives put in about a pound of sugar so that it tasted like tea syrup. All in all with the freshly caught fish over a nice little campfire and it was all very tasty. I do not remember ever hearing about anybody not having caught fish for lunch as fishing was really good in those days.
Bill Roach was probably in his late 50's or early 60's and had done a heap of living in his years. I loved traipsing after him when we were brushing out trails and clearing out some portages at the different lakes. His stories were numerous and I was all ears. Up there there were as mentioned moose, bear, wolves and partridge of the ruffed grouse type. Several times when I was with Bill we had partridge for lunch. The birds would be in the trees and bill would take his ax or hatchet and get one or two before the rest flew away. He used to laugh at me because I missed. We'd build a fire and he make a spit (can't remember what wood he used) and we would roast the birds. Tell you it was better than cornish game hens at any 5 star restaurant. He would deftly peel a little birch bark and make a cup or even a cooking utensil. He never peeled enough bark from the tree to "girdle" the tree and kill it over time. We never carried firearms unless we were hunting and I knew we were safe as long as Bill had his axe. I think he even slept with it at night. One of the first things I learned was DO NOT USE HIS AX!
One night it was getting dark and we still had a long walk before us when a Lynx did its scream. I just about had an accident in my pants. A Lynx lets out a yell not unlike a woman in dire distress and it was close. I asked Bill what should we do he said and I'll never forget, "whistling dixie helps". He admitted later that it just about did him in that night also. Up until that night I never knew you could walk ahead and look behind you at the same time, I was almost like an owl before we got back to the boat.
That reminds me of another story.