• (0:53:20) Grace – Flora was born that June in Banff.

• (0:53:28) Don – After that wild winter we came back to Field and had the horse stables… Andy hired me on the two-man trail crew. Chris Schober and I. The previous summer before they had had the big Amiskwi fire in1971. Most of the Park staff were working on the fires…and nothing else was done. I can remember it was in the hippy era. I was taking rides around the end of Emerald Lake and the whole place had hippies camping there. Half of them with no clothes on and garbage was everywhere…none of the maintenance crew were doing anything except fighting fires. It was quite entertaining taking people riding through there with all these naked hippies, garbage and dogs! It was a mess. People would put garbage cans out, with a chain around a post. I don’t know what that was supposed to do? The bears still got all the garbage…nobody was maintaining it. All the trails after that big winter got plugged solid. Chris and I were on the two-man trail crew the following year. I remember it took us two days to cut up to Burgess Pass, cutting huge big cedar and fir…and they had this huge avalanche that winter too down at Takakkaw Falls. It took out the youth hostel. In the spring before we had the horses and we were just working on the trail crew I can remember Yoho Danny bringing his loader up with the bucket and the chainsaw. I was in the bucket about 20 feet up cutting these trees out of the avalanche to open up the Takakkaw road…

• (0:56:11) Grace – When you drove through in the summer it was just like a huge wall of snow on each side.

• (0:56:14) Don – And big tree stumps sticking out of the snow wall! The old lodge was called Whiskey Jack Lodge. It was up where the youth hostel is. The lodge had caved in and they had taken it out the year before. Some of the old cabins were made into washrooms. The youth hostel had been the managers building. I think, it’s still there. The avalanche went right over top of it. All the trees kind of went over top of it with the avalanche…if someone was inthe building they probably would have run out and got clobbered! It took out the other buildings but they were such huge trees they went right over the roof of the hostel and the building stayed. Now it is all a big avalanche path…We rode through that trail up there quite often through the forest. Now that trail is right out in the open.

• (0:57:21) Don – It was a busy summer (working on the two-man trail crew and running the pony stand at Emerald Lake. Flora was born in June. We didn’t have a washing machine. I would come home at night and go down to the Kicking Horse chalets to use their laundromat to wash diapers. And it seemed like I was always out of hay! We would have to drive down to Cochrane to get hay, come back and shoe horses.

• (0:57:49) Grace – Emerald Lake didn’t have any running water and it didn’t have any toilet facilities, just an outhouse. No, I didn’t mind it. We went to Don’s moms in Lake Louise for baths! We had water coming in the cabin from the main water line that went into Emerald Lake…through Hamilton Falls.

• (0:58:24) Don – The next year we had the little house in Field and we had Flora. We had plumbing and everything, including heat!

• (0:58:32) Grace – I still drove up to Emerald Lake every day with Flora. I ran it and we had a guide. I did the managing at the cabin.

• (0:58:45) Don – I was working with Chris Schober and on my days off we’d be up there to let the girl have her days off.

• (0:58:57) Grace – Then on our days off we would have to go and get hay for the horses.

• (0:59:04) Don – And in the evenings shoe, wash diapers. Yet I still felt that I had way more days off than I’d ever had before! Because when we were outfitting, we never took days off in the summer or in the fall…maybe one a month, or a season, go into Banff Indian Days or something like that.

• (0:59:26) Grace – But you weren’t allowed to graze the horses so you had to bring in all the feed for them…

• (0:59:32) Don – It was quite funny in the fall before we went to Rogers Pass and after we closed the horse stable the first year, we went down east again to visit Grace’s folks. We went on the train and we came back and I thought now I got to truck all the horse manure out of the horse stable. All summer there was this huge big pile and we came back and there was nothing there! It was great but I couldn’t figure out where it went. Glen Brooks said all the Italian families took it for their gardens. They waited until I was gone. I guess they thought that I’d charge them! I was so happy to get rid of it! “Please come, bring trucks!”

• (1:00:20) Grace – They were good gardeners!

• (1:00:29) Don – In the summers we had better gardens in Field there than anywhere! The Allan brothers even grew cucumbers and had a huge garden.

• (1:00:36) Grace – Yes, we had a good garden there. We brought in sheep manure when we built our house.

• (1:00:47) Don – Then we left the stable business. We sold the horse stables to Patty Loewen…that was in 1974. Meanwhile they kept me on at Yoho in the winter as avalanche observer. I worked for Gordon Rutherford. I was on the two-man trail crew one summer and the next spring I got the ranch boss job at Yoho. That was a great job! That was where I first met Gord Antoniuk, a seasonal warden. I would take wardens out riding and packing into the lookouts and for the trail crews. I took care of the horses. I also did some shoeing. Some of the seasonal wardens had just started then. Like Darro Stinson, Gord Antoniuk, Tim Laboucane, and Bob Elliot. I remember taking them riding different places. When I went to do some work, they would come with me to get more horse experience. Gord Antoniuk was living at the ranch. I gave him Craig, a big Thoroughbred from the RCMP for the summer. Gord and Craig got to be real buddies and he did a lot of riding. He was a very competent horse man. Art Cochrane was there too and he was a great horseman. Art and I worked together quite a bit. He would take the guys out whenever he could too. He’s retired now in Manitoba. He and Marilyn were at the West Gate. We got to be pretty good friends we would ski together all the time with Gordon Rutherford. Gordon would take us through all these crazy places! We had fun…We went skiing at Lake Louise quite a bit with Gord and his brother-in-law Ron.

• (1:03:39) Grace – Very little (in response to the question “Had you skied before?”) I learned how at Yoho and Temple. Mostly at Temple…and downhill a little bit at Lake Louise.

• (1:03:45) Don – I remember when we skied into Skoki and we were going down Deception Pass and Grace was going so fast I was worried!

• (1:03:52) Grace – I didn’t know how to turn!

• (1:04:04) Don – I was the barn boss for two years. What happened in 1975…Hal Shepard was the chief warden then. Andy had gone to Banff. Hal had been the chief at Prince Albert before that. The ranch boss job was being eliminated and the position was put it into a warden position. To keep my job, I had to qualify. My field experience on avalanche research and back-country travel helped me to qualify. I went in for an interview with Jimmy Simes and Mac Elder and I did well luckily! So that’s how I got onto the warden service. I was probably the last one hired without having university or some kind of degree in that era. I took a diploma on Resource Management through correspondence with the University of Guelph. Meanwhile Johanna was born in October 1974. We had two little girls, plus trying to study and get use to a new career. A lot of the same thing that they taught a bunch of us at the Palisades. For a lot of the older wardens that didn’t have that education, there were courses at the Palisades in Jasper. I went to some of those courses. We went to the Palisades for Law Enforcement training too. I got on as a seasonal warden in 1975 and that was the same year that Kathy Calvert (one of the first female wardens) started.

• (1:06:24) Don – Dale Portman was now in Yoho. He transferred from Jasper. It was funny when Kathy arrived at the Warden Office. We were all sitting in the coffee room in the warden office. Everybody smoked then except a couple of us. Hal was there and the place was covered with smoke. Kathy was supposed to show up and she was late. I think that her car broke down. She came in and she was dressed to the nines, high heel shoes…She came marching in there and everybody stood up. We didn’t know what to do you know – trying to be gentlemen, I guess! It was quite comical. The coffee room was in the middle of the building with no ventilation and clouds of smoke. I can still remember everybody scraping their chairs and standing up, like the queen was coming! Kathy looking around, “What the hell are you guys doing?”

• (1:07:47) Kathy was skilled at mountaineering, climbing and backcountry. She had lots of skills that she brought with her, plus she was in university taking entomology or something. She had all that background as well.

• (1:08:06) Grace – She was very confident.

• (1:08:09) Don – She was very confident in the backcountry. She had some horse skills too. She was a good little rider. And she picked up what she didn’t have really fast. I can remember once we were climbing. She was so small, I think I said something like, “I don’t know whether Kathy can hold me if I fall!” She was there when I said it. Old Hal said, “Well, if you don’t want to do it, I’ll go up and she can hold me when I fall”. We did go climbing up behind Lake O’Hara, Kathy and Dale and me. Sure enough I peeled off and she held me with a grin! She started going out with Dale then and they are still together through thick and thin!

Warden Kathy Calvert and Don Mickle – 1970s

• (1:09:16) Don – Dale and I were already good friends. Dale had worked for us for three years and then he got on the warden service. He was from Calgary. His dad was in the Air Force. But he had come up earlier and worked for Brett Mitzel in the horse business. He was there one summer. I think he worked at the Chateau too, I can’t remember, but he worked for Brewsters with another guy that we knew who worked for Mitzel, Skip Brocheau…We were trailing horses in the fall out on a hunting trip from Lake Louise to the North Saskatchewan River. Skip brought Dale over and said “He’s out of work. Have you guys got any work for him?” Kind of recommending him. Well…we needed somebody to go with us. We had a crazy trip into Skoki with a herd of horses. Dad was there, and there was a little bit of drinking…Dale and Bob Haney and I left the next day to trail the horses to the North Saskatchewan River. Bob was working for us then and we rode probably 30 miles that day chasing horses. We didn’t take enough food. We stopped and we had this bag full of hard-boiled eggs that were all broken with pieces of shell mixed in. The next day we got to the North Saskatchewan and had hunting trips after that. The next year Dale worked with us, for at least another two more years. Barb, his first wife worked for us at Skoki too.

• (1:11:11) Don – It was your dad (Keith Everts) that called us the Millarville Mafia…Andy Anderson used to say… and he would kind of laugh, “Hee, hee, hee!” A prerequisite to work for the warden service was to work for Mickle’s for a couple of years! Bob Haney worked with us and Johnny Nylund, Dale. It was Johnny, Perry Jacobson, Bob and I that were sort of the Millarville Mafia. Dale spent quite a bit of time there though. He used to stay with us at Millarville and chase wild horses with us. He was a natural horseman.

Millarville Mafia 1963 – Dave Wildman, Don Mickle, Bob Haney, Keith Foster

Millarville Mafia 1992 – Dave Wildman, Bob Haney, Perry Jacobson, Don Mickle and Keith Foster