Weekend camping season finally here

by Chris Meyers Almey
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 21/97) - There's no clock at Prelude Lake, as Ginette Berube points out. The campfire burns until 2 a.m. or maybe 5 a.m. when friends come visiting.

"As long as you don't make too much noise," husband Mike says.

Right now the mid-afternoon campfire is welcome because there's a chill in the air. Those with trailers who won the lottery to park them for the season were moving in on the weekend at the popular park which is about a 40-minute drive east of Yellowknife.

Isabelle Picard sits on one side of the fire.

"She's pretty bored. She has to come to visit the in-laws," says Mike.

Picard's boyfriend, Fred, has been gone for a week, working as a carpenter at the BHP diamond mine, and he won't be back for two more weeks.

"You have to suffer," Mike says, laughing.

Mike is a carpenter from Quebec who worked in Alberta for eight years before he came to Yellowknife many years ago.

Their other two sons are also carpenters. Pierre works at BHP's Koala, while Daniel works in Yellowknife. They have two daughters -- Suzie, who teaches in Quebec and Lucie, who works in Yellowknife as a secretary.

Mike is a supervisor at Rae-Edzo for the Dogrib band and has helped build 47 houses in three years during warm weather.

Mike is a man of means, having a $25,000 trailer to camp in, but he doesn't have a cell phone at Prelude Lake.

He goes to Rae-Edzo often enough on weekends to check things out so he prefers the break that comes without a phone. There's also no TV in the trailer.

Ginette Berube attaches her dog Lucky's leash to a small plastic wagon with some toys in it and tries to get the reluctant, fair-sized pooch to pull it with granddaughter Chelsey alongside, but Lucky almost has a sit-down strike. Ginette winds up pulling on the leash to make the wagon go on a short circuit, while Lucky takes it easy at the reins.

The campers bring lots of kids, some of whom scoot around at slow speed on the park's roads on four-wheel all-terrain vehicles.

One is packed with four kids and another teeny tiny ATV leaves the road and runs over some equally minuscule trees that were planted last year.