Saturday, December 7, 2013

Green Achers of Wabigoon, ON: Pappy's Cafe

Still cold today. -32. It's been a big day. This morning the car was, as expected, dead. I had another go with the vice grips. There's a little rod that has to be turned to release the thing holding the bottom of the battery. I simply can't turn it with my vice grip wrench! I end up calling the Auto Association for a boost. Yep, she starts right up with a little help from a good battery. I drive back across the street to Canadian Tire. I'm so cold now I'll pay them to take out the battery! I've had enough. Except that the garage is closed today. So I'm on my own after all. I've left the car locked and running outside, but knowing that I'll need to shut it of eventually, I buy some heavy duty jumper cables. I used to own all this sort of stuff, but it was all lost in last year's wreck.

After breakfast in the Husky Truck Stop I've got to turn the motor off to buy gas. Good thing I have the cables! I need them! One of the guys working the gas station gives me a jump off his truck, and I'm off. I'm going to Wabigoon, hours early, to hang out and stay warm, get my guitars inside... Manager Suzanne, has a socket wrench set in her truck and it takes us all of four minutes to change out the battery! The Lincoln fires right up with the new kicker in place. The day is looking better!

It's cold, cold, cold. The roads are ice covered. And it is snowing. I'm told that there is an Elvis impersonator playing Dryden tonight, so I may not have a crowd out here anyway...

All set up and ready to go. Every travelling musician in Canada stops by this place sooner or later. It's right on the TransCanada highway. You can't drive across the country without driving past this little cafe. I've had some good shows here. People driving in from places like Sioux Lookout, Ear Falls, Red Lake. Downtown Wabigoon, ON. Tonight I've got maybe ten souls composing my audience. I give them what I believe to be a great show. I've got a good front row- what more do I need? These people have travelled on dark and icy roads to be with me- and I really appreciate that. Note to myself: NEVER forget to appreciate that! I know people who are out there tonight going through the motions with far larger crowds.

Outside it's even colder than before. Pappy's owner, Bruce, locks the place down and we both head off into the night. Nothing moving out here except the occasional semi. It's so cold the smoke from their stacks hangs in the air in long trails behind them. They are like dragons, growling along with so many bright eyes, so many expressions, so many complaints. They trace the ice road, and I wonder how I'm going to join them in the morning. About 400km of slick, ice highway to my show in Thunder Bay, ON. Still snowing, too. Back to my motel to call up the road reports- as if that will make a difference! The short drive to the motel is dark and slippery. I plan for an early morning, and a long day on the road.

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