This is in response to your posting re: truck going through the ice at Lake Park Lodge area. Larry Clark— read Remembering Lucky McIlquham of Carleton Place
At the time, I remember hearing of the accident and the conversations as to why it should have ever happened as people who knew the lake were aware of the treacherous ice in front of Rocky Point-frozen one day and open water another. We are all guilty of stupidity and/or inattention at many times in our lives and most of us get away with it. This was one of those times!
Approx. 2 years previous to the above event: on a beautiful, sunny day in late December Bill Neil and I walked along the river ice avoiding the mouth to the Lake Park shore and thence to the area between Poole point and Kinch’s Bay to fish. After an hour or so not having any luck, I decided to try in Kinch’s Bay and walked in that direction-noticing the pressure ridge (usual condition), I crossed into the Bay on shore.
After chopping the hole, I dropped in my bait and realized at some later point I couldn’t see it. I was trying to refocus my eyes in order to better see into the depth when I realized there was something under the surface of the water, detected some movement; waited and realized that it was a very large fish–a Pike. I was unable to encourage it to take the bait, so, went back to get Bill-retracing my steps. Afterwards, Bill, the minnow bucket, rods and I, proceeded back to Kinch’s.
We must have been talking excitedly, animatedly, or some such as we failed to pay attention to our route. Suddenly we were in the water–such a shock that you don’t really feel it–not long to get numb. We struggled and managed to get out. Did I mention that it was 20+ degrees below zero (the old 20); our clothing froze immediately and it was only because we were moving at once, were we able to move at all– allowing our pants to bend at the knees.
We could see that there was smoke coming from a fishing shack and headed there-approx. 1/4 mile. Don’t remember who was there but he allowed us to stay in the warmth until we decided to go to the Lodge (a little crowded in there). Once we arrived, Mrs. Larson (?) gave us dry socks and newspaper to stuff in our rubber boots (yes, rubber boots) . After we felt recovered enough we set out again this time to **Pretty’s Island just over a mile’s distance, to a cabin/cottage with which we were familiar. There was a big cast iron stove, lots of wood and we soon had a great fire going. I can’t remember if we ever undressed to dry our clothes but I do recall crouching (somehow) with my butt extended over the stove and the clouds of steam that were permeating the air around me.
The day must have warmed somewhat because we walked near to Squaw Point to do some more fishing; the result of which was one small pike about 18 inches long and it had a huge scab on its side. It was here that we met and conversed with Thorold Culbertson-a meeting which led to me being in severe hot water about two weeks later. I hadn’t told my parents of this little episode.
Our normal route would be from the High School area along the shore through Duff’s Bay, inland over Allan Point towards Rattray’s (sic) shore. We walked this route many times throughout the winter and further on occasion. We thought nothing of it as we walked everywhere around the town of CP.
**We called the island Pretty’s island and now I can’t be certain which of the 2 islands it was (Dinkey-Dooley or Aberdeen) . We had our own names for a lot of places-to get some of these I cheated and looked at a map.
The pressure ridge between Black Point and Allan Point was a common occurrence then and probably still is. The mouth of the river rarely froze over.
Something else I just discovered on my map (1960) but a line from the south end of McGibbon’s Bay through Two Oaks point is approx. half way between the equator and the North Pole. Interesting?
There were 2 other occasions on the ice that are a reflection of my first sentence but there was intention involved which would probably equate to stupidity.