In the last video, Sean and I finally managed to find lodging. Here are some photos of our cabin at Moak Lake:
We were profoundly grateful to see that note!
After a good sleep, Sean and I hit the road again. We stopped to enjoy the sights and sounds of some modest rapids at Grass River. Here are some photos.
The further north we headed, the more roads were blasted through solid bedrock, as seen here:
Soon we came to the famous rest stop at Ponton:
After Ponton, Leaf Rapids seemed just a hair's breadth away, considering all the distance we'd already travelled. So there was plenty of time for a stop to enjoy the spectacular Pisew Falls, just outside Thompson:
We survived the rainstorm and the insects, and snapped some sweet photos to boot:
We paid heavily for these photos with scores of vicious insect bites. But these wounds were as nothing compared to the bloodsucking monsters we would soon face in Leaf Rapids itself...Leaf Rapids...and the sinkhole...
After shooting this photo near the old stone Breadalbane Church, I asked Mom and Dad the purpose of the shack behind them.
"That's where the churchgoers tied up their horses during the service," Dad said.
"Oh!" I said, feeling enlightened. "Like...like a horse garage."
"It's called a stable, Earl." Mom said.
Here's the stone church itself. The black and white photos were shot with honest-to-goodness film using Mom and Dad's old Canon T70.
We also stopped to pay our respects at Breadalbane Cemetery, where Mom's parents are interred, thankfully just a few kilometres from their home.
After saying goodbye to Mom and Dad, who would return to Edmonton while Sean and I headed north, we paused briefly to explore River Valley School, which as Mom noted back in Part III, was built on land donated in the late 1800s by her grandfather. It's a cute little stone one-room school with false, painted-on windows (and a couple of real windows too, thankfully).
As seen in the videos above, Sean and I witnessed beautiful scenery and spectacular thunderstorms on our trip north. We drove until 1 am, and only by lucky chance were we able to feed ourselves, thanks to a lonely Chicken Delight that was just about to close.
Mom and her sisters - Margaret, Marjorie and Jean, plus their husbands - travelled from Winnipeg, the BC interior and Edmonton, respectively, to take part in this ceremony, which featured a bagpiper, cake, speeches (including Mom's) and coverage by the local media.
It was quite an affair, and Mom was delighted to see her sisters, brothers-in-law and old friends from Manitoba.
It was doubly nice to see kids frolicking in the lake, as Grandma and Granddad intended.
Of course they did so at their own risk...
Sean and I worked on the phrasing for the cairn.
There remains, however, some controversy over which Woods brother can claim final credit for the draft as engraved.
(Unfortunately, the memory card filled up instants before the cairn was unveiled.)
Uncle John and Dad share a laugh.
Earl and his cousin David Newton. Some people say there's a family resemblance.