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Real Life Adventure Stories, Videos, and Pictures About Building a Life & Business in Northwestern Ontario. Also Current Reports on Fishing, Weather Conditions & Other News.

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The inspiration for this series of true stories, Rum O’Clock with Wayne came about last year while Karla, Wayne, and Meagan were sitting down for "rum o'clock" at a sports show in Minneapolis. "Rum o'clock" is what Wayne and Karla call their daily "down time" that happens at 5:00 p.m. everyday; they take that few minutes to have a "rum" and review the days' events, and plan the next days activities. At this particular "rum o'clock" they started telling Meagan stories about how they got their "start" and began building a life in Northwestern Ontario. At first Wayne talked about starting from scratch and making his living off the land, and then about later when he met Karla and they continued to build their lives and business. Some pretty incredible stories emerged. Meagan encouraged her Dad to start sharing some of these stories. A year later, Rum O’Clock with Wayne was launched. Please enjoy reading these short stories about the trials and struggles encountered while building their lives and businesses and raising a family in Northwestern Ontario.

Stories | Thank You for Watching Our Video
Nov. 10, 2015

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to watch our latest video. We appreciate all of the positive feedback and nice comments. We were very excited to create and release, Welcome to the Crazy Life of the Clark’s, and we are thrilled that people enjoyed watching it as much as they did. Epica Pictures of Thunder Bay did a fantastic job of filming and producing the video and really captured the essence of the Clark family, our history, lifestyle, and the various businesses that we own and operate. You may still think we are “workaholics” but you can now see why we love what we do!

We hope everyone can appreciate the challenges that are faced when building a life in Northwestern Ontario, especially for those who make their living from the land like we do. I have the greatest respect for nature and the outdoors, and most of all for anyone who has made a living and brought up a family using the natural resources that Northwestern Ontario has to offer.

I was born and raised here in Vermilion Bay and over the years I have met many people who have struggled as we have to make a living off the land. Despite the struggles, these people never gave up. Their passion to fulfill their dreams, their respect for nature, and their strong work ethic helped them to always push forward. These people do not just include the minnow harvesters and tourism operators. Others that come to mind are the wood harvesters, fur trappers, farmers, commercial fishermen, and so many others. Northwestern Ontario does have a lot to offer, but it also throws at us some great challenges that one may not encounter anywhere else.

Take the wood harvester for example; they are working long hours in the bush, dealing with equipment breakdowns, bad weather, and mill closures. You then have the logging truck owners and drivers that work on their trucks until midnight just so they don’t miss a day of work.

We also have the fur trappers preparing their traps and equipment to trap their line and fulfill their quota of beaver. They take care of nuisance animals, keep the wildlife populations in check, working hard everyday even while knowing that fur prices are not very high.

Also living off the land are the farmers whose ancestors came to this country, cleared the land, and did their best to make a living and raise their families here. They too are up against Mother Nature, long and hard workdays, and a very short growing season.

The one example that comes to mind as I am writing this is the commercial fishermen of Northwestern Ontario. Just this morning I watched three generations get into their boat, which is docked at our camp. They hit the water every fall just days before freeze up to catch their whitefish; the coldest time of year to be on the lake. It is a tough job, but it is now being passed down to the fourth generation as it was started by the great-grandfather who has since passed.

This is what Northwestern Ontario is all about. The people that have the passion for their work, so much so that they keep persevering even when times are tough. Hats off to the fishermen, wood harvesters, fur trappers, farmers, fellow resort owners, and so many others that are working day in and day out to make a living in Northwestern Ontario. Also just like us they are creating jobs in the area and contributing to the local economy. As some of these industries are down-sizing due to uncontrollable factors, it is important that we continue to pass on to the next generation as much as possible to keep these jobs alive and save our heritage.


Wayne Clark

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