Smokey – That spring we walked out of Indian Head and brought our horses back from the Ya-Ha-Tinda. Then the dogs got distemper. I had to shoot some of them. There was no other way. We had three pups left. We decided to go to the Clearwater cabin, about ten miles away taking Buck and the three pups. We stayed about a week. They all survived fine.

Smokey – We ended up calling one of the pups “Houdini”. Houdini didn’t want to stay around. She never wanted to play with the other dogs or stay around the cabin. She always wanted to get out. Once she took off and never did come back.

Lynn – She must have been caught by a coyote, wolves or a cougar.

Smokey – She didn’t want to be petted or held or anything like the other ones did.

Lynn – At the Clearwater cabin Smokey put all three pups in an old outhouse (with no door) and boarded up the front about eight to ten inches from the top to keep them safe. When we checked the next morning, we saw that Houdini was outside the outhouse. The others were still inside. How she got out, nobody knows.

Smokey – We went to town then with our three dogs. This was another trip. We were coming out again in the winter and we hit 50 below at Parks Cabin. I carried a thermometer. We had made a sleeping bag out of rock wool insulation. I used an old little cotton sleeping bag, sewed a big canvas on it, then used this insulation left over from the new house. I sewed it all together. Well, It was such a huge sucker that the horse would hardly carry it! I knew that we would be warm now. Yes we were warm…from moving around scratching our itchy bodies! I had to turn it over putting the cold canvas next to us. I could leave this sleeping bag in Parks cabin. No one would steal that!

Smokey – One evening at Parks cabin I heard a noise and I saw a light coming through the bush. Early the next morning I went out to investigate. I also took Lynn’s pack and stashed it up the trail about six miles away from Parks cabin, off this new road and up on the horse trail that we intended to use. I continued following this new road to Scalp Creek on route to the Ya-Ha-Tinda Ranch. Finally, I found some guys from an oil company. They thought that I was an “oil spy.” I said, “No I am a park warden. I live here on the Clearwater River.’ They said, “We can’t get through to the Ya-Ha-Tinda this way, so we are stopping and tomorrow we are going to drive around to the ranch from our camp.” I said, “Any chance of getting a ride with you?” “Oh sure” they said. “Be at our camp at 8:00 tomorrow morning.” I went back to Parks cabin and then the next morning we walked over to the Clearwater River and realized that we couldn’t cross it to get their camp because of the open water. So we had to meet them that evening. I returned up the horse trail to retrieve Lynn’s pack and then I went back to the cabin. I quickly got our packs and closed up the cabin while Lynn waited on the side of the road by a bonfire that I lit. This way hopefully they would wait a few moments if I got detained. They did pick us up, it was dark by then. What luck! We stayed overnight with them. They gave us a blanket each and let us stay at the bunkhouse. I fixed up a place for my dogs underneath the power plant which gave off some heat. It was 50 degrees below that night. After a hearty breakfast we were off early the next morning. They drove us to the Ya-Ha-Tinda Ranch in a station wagon, much better treat after snowshoes! When we got to the ranch Evelyn Gilmar asked us, “Where’s Mickey?” The government realized it was so cold that they sent Mickey out to look for us. The snow was so deep that he could only get to the top of the ridge. As there was no sign of us, he turned back. But I had started to look for Mickey because Ev said he was gone. Here I was again with my snowshoes that I had walked so many miles in yesterday. I was just beat. I had done about 40 miles in the previous two days! As I was walking up the trail, I heard his horses coming. Was I ever glad to see him and was he ever surprised to see me!

Smokey – When we moved out of Indian Head, it took three four-wheeled trucks. Before that “endurance-test” trip was over, two of the trucks were no longer four-wheel drive and one of those trucks had no brakes! On several of the 31 river crossings over the Clearwater River, we had to chop the ice, sloping the ice banks into the river in order for the trucks to be able to drive down off the ice shelf, cross open water, then laboriously haul themselves up to the opposite bank.

Lynn – We left Indian Head early in the morning. We had to get as far as possible before the ground started thawing. We followed the River to Parks cabin then continued following the river out to the Clearwater Ranger Station, another Alberta government station. We continued through to Caroline on some hideous road called the “Corkscrew” and over to the Ya-Ha-Tinda Ranch, all in one day. It took about 16 hours in all.

Smokey – We went through mud over the hubcaps necessitating winching the two, “two wheelers” continuously through our trek. We hit a mining road that an oil company pushed in. I have some movies of this trip.

Lynn – And Evelyn Gilmar at the ranch cooked supper for us six raggedy-baggedy hungry people! She opened up a couple jars of canned moose meat and cooked us some macaroni and fixed it all up. We devoured it! That was when they lived at the new house.

Smokey – I have movies of some of the warden gymkhanas. The first one was held at the Ya-Ha-Tinda Ranch.

Smokey – When we left Indian Head after three years, I was stationed at Saskatchewan River Crossing with Wally Mcphee.

Retired Wardens and their Wives – Gerry Campbell, Wally McPhee, Bobbie Campbell (sitting) Smokey Guttman and Nellie McPhee – 1992