Still Frozen Waters
Winters in the Buffalo New York area, which is where my camp, Co. 1229 Camp SCS-6 Machias NY, was, got plenty cold back in the thirties, still do I imagine. And the snow! Oh man, I'm telling you there was a LOT of snow. We would wear snowshoes sometimes or cross country skis because you weren't going anywhere just plain walking. You'd be in up to your neck. Still, we had to go out in the woods, it was what we, the CCCs, were there for. One of my jobs there was going out and surveying. We would put on our cross country skis and pack up the gear and start going out for pretty long trips. If we came across a farm we might stop and they would invite us in for lunch, it was really nice - nice people. You could trust people back then. Then when you were done eating and talking you would go out and start skiing again to where you were going to do your work that afternoon.
Man that was living I'll tell you. On the one afternoon in question I was out there on a beautiful day in the woods cross country skiing like I was somebody, going to do surveying, which was good work. I liked the whole thing. And I was experienced at this by this point, I thought. I knew how to use the skis well. I felt pretty good about myself skiing across the open field of sparkling snow with my comrades.
Whereupon my comrades behind me suddenly noticed I was gone. Vanished. They had no idea where I had gone, and neither did I for a moment. One moment sunny skies and open field the next I'm buried in ten feet of snow! I was in a ravine that a creek ran through. The snow had blown over the ravine and drifted until it had filled it up and smoothed it over even with the snow. You couldn't tell the creek bed was there, until I skiied over it that is. Then you just had to follow the cussing! It took a little while to get me out of there and longer to get my confidence back! Who knew cross country skiing was dangerous!
- A recollection of a story told by James Justin to his family
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